<>"Iron Man 3" — No matter how much of a scrap heap of metal-twisting mayhem the "Iron Man" franchise piles on (and it's a lot), Robert Downey's sheer charm — his unsentimental, offhand yammering — is the real superpower in Marvel's trilogy. The latest follows not just "Iron Man 2" but the box-office busting "The Avengers." These global blockbusters are more produced than directed, but it's nevertheless fitting that Shane Black ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," also with Downey) here inherits the helm from Jon Favreau, the director of the previous two. Black, with co-script writer Drew Pearce, squeezes in as much self-aware, winking wisecracks that give the film some zip. But in a fight between screwball irony and blockbuster bombast, the heavy-metal action unfortunately wins. Downey's billionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) is pulled into a battle with the terrorist Mandarin (a bearded Ben Kingsley), who takes credit for a series of random bombings. Also in the bad guy mix is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), an inventor turned military contractor whom Stark haphazardly jilted back in his partying years. When helicopter missiles collapse Stark's Malibu estate into the sea, he's separated from his companion Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and forced to rebuild himself. The action is mostly cut too quickly to enjoy and the 3-D lends a disappointing darkening for what's been a bright-hued franchise. With Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale and an excellent Ty Simpkins as a mop-headed, fatherless boy who helps Stark. PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content. 130 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.
— Jake Coyle, AP Entertainment Writer
"Love Is All You Need" — The message behind most romantic comedies is the simple-minded sentiment that love is all you need. So when Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier ("In a Better World," ''After the Wedding") takes that title for a departure from somber drama to romance, you might expect her to deliver it with some serious irony. Yet in Bier's tale, it turns out love really is all you need. And like any old rom-com, it's the just-add-water, instant mush variety of love that springs up between the unlikeliest of partners because, hey, you're in the theater to see a love story. This is several steps above the usual Hollywood romance, with nice low-key passion between Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm as prospective in-laws who connect during chaotic preparations for their children's wedding. Bier and regular screenwriting partner Anders Thomas Jensen dress things up with gorgeous postcard images of Sorrento, Italy, lovely music, elegant production design and deeper complications and entanglements than we typically see in a screen fling. It's still standard stuff, though: mostly predictable, mostly gooey and mostly unlike anything resembling our own clunky tales of amour. The film is gentle and good-hearted, but despite a few solemn themes of illness and infidelity, it never rises above slight and diverting. It's refreshing to see Bier lighten up, yet disappointing she doesn't find a way to go deeper than the conventional pleasantries explored here. R for brief sexuality, nudity and some language. 116 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.
— David Germain, AP Movie Writer