Iron Man 3 IM3 shouldn’t be anywhere close to the Most Anticipated Movie of the Year. Ol’ Shell-head has been available for four of the last six summers, and after the advent of The Avengers, we should be asking whether any of those heroes’ solo adventures can still captivate a nation that’s been trained to expect wall-to-wall Union suits. All of those concerns, though, have been rendered practically moot now that the reins of the Iron Man franchise have been handed to director/co-writer Shane Black. Black’s 2005 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was one of the best crime comedies of the 21st century, and if it had come out after co-star Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel-ous comeback, it might have been a mammoth hit, not just a treasured cult item. The reunion of Black and Downey clears a path for all sorts of snark-injected mayhem, which is what the public wants from the Invincible Irony Man in the first place. If this opening salvo in Marvel Phase II outperforms Man of Steel – which could well happen – it’ll be seppuku all around in DC-ville. Hang on. (PG-13) – Steve Schneider
The Company You Keep An aging lawyer (Robert Redford) is hunted by the FBI and the press after an old friend (Susan Sarandon) is arrested for her involvement with the Weather Underground. Redford also directed the film, which benefits from an intriguing premise, intelligent twists and a superb cast. But when the dust finally settles in this crime thriller, we’re left with little more than the characters’ memories and our own nostalgia for All the President’s Men. (R) – Cameron Meier
Mud Mud is the most instantly satisfying movie of this young year. Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career as a drifter looking to escape his criminal past and reunite with his love (Reese Witherspoon). Helping him are two young boys in the tradition of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, played brilliantly by future superstars Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland. The movie is a bit too long, and the finale seems a tad forced, but director-writer Jeff Nichols gets so many things dead right that any complaints fade to minor quibbles. (PG-13) – CM
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