Early ‘Iron Man 3′ Reviews – A Strong Beginning for Marvel’s Phase 2

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 19th, 2013 at 11:42 am,

Iron Man 3 Trailer Official Early Iron Man 3 Reviews   A Strong Beginning for Marvels Phase 2

UPDATE: Click here for our very own Iron Man 3 review!

Your average moviegoer in the U.S. won’t get to see Iron Man 3 in theaters for another week, but the movie has already begun opening across the pond and, thus, reviews have started trickling in. So, what do those professional film critics and the major movie bloggers think about co-writer/director Shane Black and star Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel movie (the first released since The Avengers)?

We’ve rounded up excerpts from a handful of early Iron Man 3 reviews, which were published by some of the best-known and well-trusted entertainment sites around the Internet; needless to say, they speak for themselves.

For the full reviews, click on the respective links below (NOTE: These excerpts are all SPOILER-FREE):



The third time is neither a particular charm nor the kiss of death for Marvel Studios’ robust “Iron Man” series, which has changed studios (from Paramount to Disney) and directors (Shane Black subbing for Jon Favreau) but otherwise toyed little with the formula that has so far generated more than $1.2 billion in global ticket sales. The inevitable franchise fatigue ― plus a markedly unmemorable villain ― may account for the feeling that “Iron Man 3” is more perfunctory and workmanlike than its two predecessors, but this solid production still delivers more than enough of what fans expect to earn its weight in box office metal.


Too long gone from the film scene, Black, who made his mark with the initial Lethal Weapon script, takes this assignment both very seriously and not seriously at all, which is entirely in tune with the glib determination Downey has always brought to the role of Tony Stark… the well-chosen cast members respond in kind with virtually palpable glee… Looking, if anything, younger than he did in his last couple of spins for Marvel, Downey is at his superhero genius best here… Cinematographer John Toll and production designer Bill Brzeski add class to the generic proceedings, Brian Tyler’s ultra-energetic score doesn’t grate the way soundtracks for such films often do and the special and visual effects are tops when they count.

Iron Man 3 Pepper Potts Armor Early Iron Man 3 Reviews   A Strong Beginning for Marvels Phase 2

Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Iron Man 3′


['Iron Man 3' is] a superhero flick with smarts, depth and a marvellously mischievous sense of fun When Shane Black was first announced as writer-director, there were doubts from fans due to his perceived lack of experience in the genre. But once again Marvel has been proved right, their left-field choice resulting in a comic-book movie that expertly melds action, comedy and drama to become the finest Iron Man movie yet.

The Playlist

… [It's] the inventiveness of the film that’s probably its best feature; there are plenty of surprises in store, smart reversals and plot twists that are a reminder that summer blockbusters don’t necessarily have to stick to formula, even if they’re as factory-assembled as ['Iron Man 3']… With this being the third summer in four to feature a movie starring Tony Stark, it’s not surprising that at times, the film does feel more like an episode of a particularly expensive TV show rather than a movie. But for all the film’s flaws, Black brings enough to the table that it’s far from a chore, and if this level of ingenuity and surprise can be maintained, there’ll be no need for Tony to hang up his Iron Man helmet any time soon.

Time Out London

Calling ‘Iron Man 3’ a mixed bag doesn’t really do justice to the heady peaks and interminable troughs in this scrappy but overwhelmingly likeable superhero sequel… Despite his unimpeachable screenwriting CV, this is only Black’s second film as a director… and it shows. When he’s in his element Black delivers the goods in style… But he seems out of his depth during the larger set pieces… The result is a film which never settles into a comfortable groove. It tries to be an angsty ‘Dark Knight’-style game changer, an ’80’s-throwback action romp, a nudge-wink pastiche and a CG-fuelled spectacular. It’s undeniably entertaining – and worth seeing for Kingsley alone – with the misfires never fully overshadowing the moments of glory. But in the wake of the triumph of ‘The Avengers’, ‘Iron Man 3’ still feels like something of a disappointment.

Iron Man 3 Preview Tony Stark and Rhodey 570x308 Early Iron Man 3 Reviews   A Strong Beginning for Marvels Phase 2

Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle in ‘Iron Man 3′


… Pleasingly, Iron Man 3 ticks every box. Just as Joss Whedon pepped up ['The Avengers'] with his unique brand of jocosity, here, despite the sci-fi trimmings and goliath budget, it feels like Black’s been given carte blanche by Marvel to do his thing. The result is a swinging caper with wit, balls, heart and exploding baubles. It’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with a lot of extra bang. And, by some distance, the Man In The Can’s best solo outing so far… Black proves the perfect blacksmith, forging smart new tech and scenarios for the swaggering super-genius. If this does turn out to be Downey Jr.’s final solo outing, it’s a very strong exit.


What surprised and satisfied me most about “Iron Man Three” is just how thematically tight it is… It’s almost shocking how much of a Shane Black film this is. I expected him to play around a little but within something that felt like pretty much every other Marvel movie. Instead, I recognize that this is firmly set within the Marvel universe, but the story and the voice in which it’s told? Unmistakable. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” fans in particular are going to find themselves howling at the film’s framing device and at a few twists and turns in the detective elements of the story. The result of this particular creative alchemy is a film that suggests they are still just starting to figure out what to do with this character, and I sincerely hope that the final credit of the film, “Tony Stark Will Return,” is not just an empty promise.


After taking this character on for the fourth time now, Robert Downey Jr. continues to create a layered individual who is trying to deal with the awesome nature of what he has become. The references to THE AVENGERS are especially well played here without becoming a crutch or relying on the previous film… When Shane Black was first announced as the new director in the series, it seemed to be an intriguing, yet questionable choice. Happily the director brings out some of the intensity that he did with some of his earlier scripts including LETHAL WEAPON and KISS KISS BANG BANG (which he directed as well)… As dramatic and dark as it can get, it never loses the humor which has become an important factor in the Marvel Universe…  In every way, this latest chapter is one of the best Marvel features to date. Tony Stark’s latest adventure is an enthusiastically exciting ride that never loses its humor or its edge.

Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 Early Iron Man 3 Reviews   A Strong Beginning for Marvels Phase 2

So, in summation:

  • Iron Man 3 doesn’t reinvent the (iron?) wheel, but it’s a definite improvement on Iron Man 2 (and maybe the best Iron Man movie yet, depending on who you ask).
  • This feels like a Shane Black action movie, in the best ways possible.
  • There are imperfections in every department (tone, character development, action), but ultimately the good far outweighs the bad.

Iron Man 3 is currently holding a 93% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, after 46 reviews and counting. Thus, it’s probably safe to say: Marvel’s Phase 2 is off to an excellent start, as far as quality goes (no doubt, box office success is a sure thing).

517670639 cv1 620 439 Early Iron Man 3 Reviews   A Strong Beginning for Marvels Phase 2


Look for Screen Rant‘s official Iron Man 3 review when the film opens in (U.S.) theaters on May 3rd, 2013!

Source: See the above links

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  1. No Spoilers.
    Post credit scene: 2 ways to look at it. 1st is that it very neatly tied up the movie and iron man story. 2nd is that it did not lean into other movies like Avengers 2 which made the crowd I was with get somewhat pissed off. Personally I liked that it was the true ending to Iron Man 3.
    Biggest let down is the overly forced comedy especially in dramatic scenes the humour absolutely killed the drama and suspense and I doubt the comedy would have much replayability. Some of the (mainly dark) humour was smart but most was just crap.
    Action fairly decent. I didn’t like how the end fight was at night time, everything was dark enough on its own.

    • I agree I think your totally right.

  2. It’s already out here in aus and I’ve already seen it twice, it’s definatly worth while seeing in three d. It’s probably the best so far from all the iron men movies.

  3. Saw it yesterday (UK) excellent. Highly recommended.

  4. My reponses to the reviews (I saw this in IMAX last night and I’d give it 4/5)

    Variety – The villain is stunning and absolutely brilliant. You’re flat out wrong. I think in Marvel (Disney) movies to date he is only beaten by Loki and that’s marginally.

    THR – Here here, a fair, honest and correct review.

    IGN – Not sure if it beats IM1 but it’s pretty darn close!

    The Playlist – I can understand the TV series comment but this is the only blockbust film I know to feature the same character this many times in quick succession, it’s pretty ground breaking.

    Time Out London – What? To all fans out there, ignore this. At no point did I find the direct was out of his depth. The film does move through all of those types but it does so fluidly and in an imaginitive way. At no point did I go “Hmmm this would have been better if it wasn’t directed by the same guy as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”

    Empire – *High Five*

    HitFlix – Thoroughly agree, it does have a very ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ feel but only in a “Wow, well done” kind of way.

    JoBlo – *Approving Nod* Correct. The film hints and nods at the previous films in such a way to only progress the film and not make it stumble (A La IM2). It’s crafted well.

    I personally think the casting, the acting, the effects and the overall tempo to be brilliant.
    I think in respects to coherent story, twisting plot and tempo it actually beats Avengers Assemble BUT although it is brilliant it is ever so slightly less brilliant than Avengers…but it’s so marginall I would recommend EVERYONE see it.

    • I also recommend it.

      I give it . First half 4/5 and second half 2/4.
      It is great enjoyment to watch. Only one disappointed twist which ruin a great story.

      • Grewal, 2/4? ’tis 5 stars! Oh, and there are 3 acts to a film, they just don’t have to be in the right order!

        • @ Eel Egg Trick Boogaloo

          Sorry it is 2/5.
          If u want it three act. Then ok.

          First : 4/5
          Second : 4/5
          Third : 2/5
          Total : 2.5/5

    • @Gremore

      Just seen Mark Kermode on the BBC News channel and he said it was choppy but highly enjoyable and that the Black/Downey Jr partnership is like a marriage made in Heaven in terms of a known scriptwriter who commonly uses sassy and quotable dialog directing a movie where the main character is just that kind of person.

      It wasn’t his Film Of The Week (Love Is All You Need starring Pierce Brosnan was) but he did say it was the best of the superhero movies he’s seen in his career so far and seemed to applaud the direction, the script and the acting (despite hating the “silly Transformers style robot on robot” third act as he called it).

      • @ dazz

        For me it have good direction and acting but second half not even ok. But first half is awesome.
        script is not good.

        Final battle look cool , not cooler then avenger.

        By view of story , it make great starting. Then I feel it is the Iron man movie I Want to watch. But its twist and conclusion ruin the whole movie and make first half meaningless.

    • Really???? If you think this Iron man was better than 1&2 then you are watching the wrong movie franchise. Ironman was not at all like Spiderman and I would be I retested to know what Stan Lee thinks.

  5. * saw it yesterday

  6. * saw it yesterday…….. Dam iphone

  7. First half of this film is one of the best Marvel films so far. Then after the worst twist in recent memory it fell away so quickly for me and just disappointed after all the hype. Plus waiting for that post credits scene was a big let down.

    • @ ClaretandBlue

      I agree, first half is the best thing in marvel universe. After that worst part start. But I hoped for big twist at end but only disappointment. And final fight make whole movie meaning less.

    • Yes, agreed 100%. The twist in the middle turned it from serious superhero movie into a total self-parody.

    • :( sadly thats true. saw the film last night. that tiwst just took me out of the movie. felt cheated. was that a prank u played on us Mr. Black ??

  8. I agree with you claretandblue

  9. And people keep bashing Nolan for taking too many liberties with well known characters. The “Big Twist” trashes anything Nolan did in the DK trilogy.

    • Since when is the Mandarin a well known character?

      People should have seen this coming with the way Marvel/Disney had to walk on egg shells if they wanted this movie released in China.

      As it turns out, the only thing “Mandarin” about this character is his name. Not Chinese + No rings = Not Mandarin

      • Okay fine, he is not a memorable one, but hey, it’s a cheating marketing strategy by Disney to make us think it’s going to be epic. The reality is, the movie was a total joke after the first part was ruined.

      • Dr Mindbender

        You must not read comics much. since Mandarin was already an enemy of Iron Man since the 60′s

    • exactly. i was bit disppointed to see Bane revealed as kind of sub-ordinate to talia. But man nothing had prepared me for this.

  10. I think the twist makes this movie not a memorable one. I’m certain that I’m not the only. If some offers me to watch another time, I’ll say “No thanks” without a second thought.

  11. The mods should seriously delete that post before the movie is ruined for a lot more people who will surely visit this topic soon.

  12. I was slightly letdown to be honest. I didn’t expect comedy and as for Ben Kingsley “Manderian” what a joke. pepper potts is really by the ned the main focus. They could have done better

  13. Seriously? Where are the Mods? Is there no one moderating this site? Give me Admin powers and I will rain hell on this lifeless ordinary. Rawr!

  14. Please an Ironman 3 ending explanation ASAP thanks!!!!

  15. What you expect from a 3D Disney movie!!! Ironman went from kicking ass to kicking the trilogy in the ass. Please save us Superman!!!

  16. I just watched it! It’s spectacular. Incredible story and amazing fight scenes and oh yes the twists are indeed unexpected and awesome. I was also grinning like a loon at many scenes :D

    I love it! Strong start for the Phase 2 indeed, I am completely satisfied with the movie.

  17. There are some real sad people on this thread. This movie is very anticipated and all you can do is spoil it? Let me guess: All these spoiler-idjits are DC fans? Pathetic!

  18. Loling at this article. The spoiler trolls and the cry babies who cry when they troll. Acting like they are the worst human beings on the planet because the post spoilers. ROFL. Yeah, get real. If anything your lives are pathetic, moaning for mods, not having anything else better to do than spending your life crying on screenrant.

  19. Loling at this article. The spoiler trolls and the cry babies who cry when they troll.

  20. How has this jerkwads comments not been removed yet??? Spoilers dont bother me as much as they do most but this one was special dammit! I would just really like to see them deleted for others sake now.

  21. I saw the film this evening and I’m not totally sure what to make of it.
    Personally I thought the second half was far better than the first, I just didn’t really think it was going anywhere for a while.
    I actually loved ‘the big twist’. After I heard that the Mandarin was going to be a grounded character without his 10 rings from the comics he became the part of the film I was least looking forward to and so the actual result was far prefered.
    I really did want to see I giant robotic Fin Fang Foom for the climax, but I guess that was never going to happen.

    I think it will benefit from a second viewing.

  22. Have to say I’m intrigued to see what Screenrant make of the movie.

    Saw this yesterday in the UK and have to say that it’s my favourite Iron Man film so far!! solid 4/5. It was good popcorn fun and put my fears that it would be a bit of an anti climax after The Avengers to bed.

    There’s one moment in particular that will have everyone in debate and can’t wait to see what everyones reaction across the pond will be :)

  23. I just saw the film. The truth is that this was not a memorable movie for fans of the comics. The Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s most bad-ass enemies, if not THE most bad-ass. This movie was a letdown for comic book fans everywhere.

    But the good thing is, people who aren’t familiar with the Mandarin will love it. Honestly, the twist was well-played. Plus, having a Chinese villain really wouldn’t help Marvel sell the movie in China.

    I still do hope we get to see a REAL Mandarin in a future IM movie. I feel like the character was cheated, and so was I :(

  24. This movie was fun. It should be called the Tony Stark Show instead of Iron Man 3, but Robert Downey Jr. is what makes these movies so bankable in the first place. My only gripes are that the mystery threat plot twist is telegraphed much too early, and the main villain’s motivation is somewhat lacking. But, small potatoes. This movie should rightfully be Iron Man 2. Oh, well. Congrats, Shane Black!

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