None of the Iron Man movies has been as good as The Dark Knight (2008), but their mix of spectacle and droll comedy goes down a lot easier than the other franchise's thumping Sturm und Drang. One might even argue that their obsession with weapons manufacturing offers as interesting a cultural critique as the surveillance element of The Dark Knight, though the filmmakers have generally backed away from this idea as if it were a live grenade. This installment actually flirts with satire, sending its hero-in-a-can (Robert Downey Jr.) on a vengeful mission against a mad, bearded jihadist (Ben Kingsley) before yanking the rug out from under the neocon story line. There are some good laughs as well, most of them involving Downey's brutal put-downs of cute little kids. Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) directed; with Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, and Don Cheadle.
Director: Shane Black
Producer: Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Louis D'Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Dale Dickey, Ty Simpkins, Miguel Ferrer, Wang Xueqi and Shaun Toub