Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell | PG-13 |

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REVIEWED BY ALYNDA WHEAT

ACTION

Fun, meet the movie audience. Movie audience, fun. (It's been such a long time, introductions seemed necessary.) Tony Stark (Downey) is back, and is it ever good to see him. Unfortunately Tony (Iron Man to his friends) is in a spot. Not only is that shiny battery in his chest killing him, there are folks willing to pitch in if it doesn't-Ivan (Rourke), a vengeful Russian physicist, and arms-business rival Hammer (Rockwell, having a ball matching Downey's swagger). The high stakes make for great action, and the script is so solidly funny our complaints are few: Cheadle's Lt. Col. Rhodes is underwritten, and sidekicks Johansson (as a superspy) and Paltrow (as Tony's ever-trusty assistant) are merely ornamental until the climax. But Downey's cocky command of the screen is so much fun (there's that word again), we'll let it slide.

Mother and Child

Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington| R |

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REVIEWED BY SARA VILKOMERSON

DRAMA

Think of Mother and Child as the flip side to the flippant Juno: This timely and at times gut-wrenching movie focuses on three women affected by adoption. Lucy (Washington) hopes to adopt a baby; Karen (Bening) is haunted by the decision to give up her baby at the age of 14; and Elizabeth (Watts), who was adopted as an infant, has grown up to be successful professionally but resolutely detached from any kind of personal relationship (prepare yourself for a startling sex scene that gives the term "control freak" new meaning). Their stories and lives intersect in interesting and unpredictable ways, and the three lead actresses-supported with great turns by Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits-have never been better. Warning: Tears will be shed. Consider bringing your mom as your date.

Nightmare on Elm Street

Jackie Earle Haley, Kellan Lutz R |

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HORROR

Freddy Krueger's reinvention is a humor-free remake that flags until the satisfying final scenes. Haley tries, but his new Freddy is no cut-up as he grimly stalks kids. Still, purists will appreciate the nods to the original.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

With Thierry Guetta and Shepard Fairey | R |

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DOCUMENTARY

The surprise of Gift Shop, in which reclusive street artist Banksy flips the script on an obsessed videographer, isn't just that it's the best documentary so far this year, but that it's as insightful as it is funny. You'll be enthralled.

>These key roles have been recast with new stars. Spot the swaps:

FREDDY KRUEGER

After Englund sharpened his claws in eight Elm Street movies, Haley tries his hand in the reboot.

VICTORIA

Howard replaces Lefevre as the evil flame-haired vampire in this summer's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

LT. COL. JAMES "RHODEY" RHODES

The Ocean's Eleven star steps in as Iron Man's best bud in the sequel.

>• The star, 38, talks about a new cause: helping kids eat healthily.

WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN?

One in five kids lives in poverty. We are trying to get them excited about making healthy choices.

YOUR GO-TO SNACK?

Quesadillas. I sneak healthy things in there, like avocado.

WHO'S A HEALTHIER SNACKER, YOU OR YOUR HUSBAND, BEN AFFLECK?

Ben. Unless he's on a tear. Then it's me.

>• Three years after her breakout role in Juno as the funny best pal, Thirlby, 23, stars in the romance Breaking Upwards and the comedy-drama Solitary Man.

YOU STEAM THINGS UP IN BREAKING UPWARDS!

With love scenes, you can build it up in your head beforehand and feel nervous. When it happens, it's like any other thing you'd do at work.

YOU'RE CLOSE PALS WITH DIRECTOR/COSTAR DARYL WEIN AND HIS GIRLFRIEND. WAS IT AWKWARD?

It wasn't weird at all. Basically what happens in the movie is almost exactly what they really went through.

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE JUNO?

Juno was pretty intense. All of a sudden I went from having to fight to get auditions to getting offers. It's definitely a lot of fun to have a leg up in that way.

YOU VISITED ANTARCTICA RECENTLY.

It was pretty spectacular. It was an artistic film experiment—very small-budget kind of thing you'll probably never see, but it was amazing. Hung out with lots of penguins.

>In the much buzzed-about film, director Thomas Balmes follows the lives of four newborns from Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and the U.S. Balmes cast pregnant women set to deliver by shooting time, who committed to 18 months of filming. From first smiles to tantrums, "I wanted to be there every time something new happened," he says. What do the babies, now all 3 to 4 years old, think? "Bayar (from Mongolia) told me, 'I love the movie. It's about the sky, the wind and how my older brother keeps beating me up.''"

>These key roles have been recast with new stars. Spot the swaps:

FREDDY KRUEGER

After Englund sharpened his claws in eight Elm Street movies, Haley tries his hand in the reboot.

VICTORIA

Howard replaces Lefevre as the evil flame-haired vampire in this summer's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

LT. COL. JAMES "RHODEY" RHODES

The Ocean's Eleven star steps in as Iron Man's best bud in the sequel.

>• The star, 38, talks about a new cause: helping kids eat healthily.

WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN?

One in five kids lives in poverty. We are trying to get them excited about making healthy choices.

YOUR GO-TO SNACK?

Quesadillas. I sneak healthy things in there, like avocado.

WHO'S A HEALTHIER SNACKER, YOU OR YOUR HUSBAND, BEN AFFLECK?

Ben. Unless he's on a tear. Then it's me.

>• Three years after her breakout role in Juno as the funny best pal, Thirlby, 23, stars in the romance Breaking Upwards and the comedy-drama Solitary Man.

YOU STEAM THINGS UP IN BREAKING UPWARDS!

With love scenes, you can build it up in your head beforehand and feel nervous. When it happens, it's like any other thing you'd do at work.

YOU'RE CLOSE PALS WITH DIRECTOR/COSTAR DARYL WEIN AND HIS GIRLFRIEND. WAS IT AWKWARD?

It wasn't weird at all. Basically what happens in the movie is almost exactly what they really went through.

HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE JUNO?

Juno was pretty intense. All of a sudden I went from having to fight to get auditions to getting offers. It's definitely a lot of fun to have a leg up in that way.

YOU VISITED ANTARCTICA RECENTLY.

It was pretty spectacular. It was an artistic film experiment—very small-budget kind of thing you'll probably never see, but it was amazing. Hung out with lots of penguins.

>In the much buzzed-about film, director Thomas Balmes follows the lives of four newborns from Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and the U.S. Balmes cast pregnant women set to deliver by shooting time, who committed to 18 months of filming. From first smiles to tantrums, "I wanted to be there every time something new happened," he says. What do the babies, now all 3 to 4 years old, think? "Bayar [from Mongolia] told me, 'I love the movie. It's about the sky, the wind and how my older brother keeps beating me up.''"