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X-Men: First Class

By BECKY OHLSEN
A prequel to the four preceding X-Men movies (from the pretty-good Bryan Singer-directed X-Men in 2000 to the universally lambasted X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009), First Class has so much fun with its setup that you almost wish it never got around to the saving-the-world-from-nuclear-annihilation plot. It’s a blast watching the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the future Magneto, a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), sashay around the planet collecting stray mutants to protect and school. Even more fun is watching Lehnsherr track down and punish his Nazi tormenters; this could easily be its own whole movie. It’s also cool to see how far the characters have come: Pre-wheelchair Xavier is a little smarmy (he tries the line “that’s a very groovy mutation” twice). He’s idealistic and brilliant but not yet wise. Other characters arrive fully formed. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) does a good job at toughing it out as Mystique, who must console herself with Fassbender after getting the brush-off from wimpy Xavier and nerdy Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult). Both silliness and sap increase as the film rolls along, but the big action scenes are handled well, and it never becomes ridiculous enough to undercut the cool, shaken-not-stirred vibe of its first half.
 
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Release Date: Friday, June 3, 2011
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Brief Partial Nudity, Intense Sequences of Action, Intense Sequences of Violence, Language, Some Sexual Content ]
  • Critic's Score: 73
  • Starring: James McAvoy [Charles Xavier], Michael Fassbender [Erik Lehnsherr], Rose Byrne [Moira MacTaggert], Jennifer Lawrence [Raven/Mystique], January Jones [Emma Frost], Nicholas Hoult [Hank/Beast], Oliver Platt [Man in Black Suit], Jason Flemyng [Azazel], Lucas Till [Alex Summers/Havok], Edi Gathegi [Armando Munoz/Darwin], Kevin Bacon [Sebastian Shaw], Caleb Jones [Cassidy/Banshee], Zoë Kravitz [Angel Salvadore], Alejandro González [Janos Quested/Riptide], Matt Craven [CIA Director McCone], Rade Sherbedgia [Russian General], Glenn Morshower [Col. Hendry], Laurence Belcher [Charles Xavier (12 Years)], Bill Milner [Young Erik], Morgan Lily [Young Raven (10 Years)]
  • Directed by: Matthew Vaughn [Director], Ashley Edward Miller [Screenwriter], Zack Stentz [Screenwriter], Jane Goldman [Screenwriter], Matthew Vaughn [Screenwriter], Bryan Singer [Producer], Lauren Shuler Donner [Producer], Simon Kinberg [Producer], Gregory Goodman [Producer], Stan Lee [Executive Producer], Tarquin Pack [Executive Producer], Josh McLaglen [Executive Producer], John Mathieson [Cinematographer], Chris Seagers [Production Design], Lee Smith [Film Editor], Eddie Hamilton [Film Editor], Henry Jackman [Original Music], Sammy Sheldon [Costume Designer], Lucinda Syson [Casting], Roger Mussenden [Casting], Jeremy Rich [Casting], John Frankish [Supervising Art Direction], Dawn Swiderski [Supervising Art Direction], Grant Armstrong [Art Director], Alan Gilmore [Art Director], James Hambidge [Art Director], Mark Homes [Art Director], Thomas Frohling [Art Director], Joe Howard [Art Director], Les Tomkins [Art Director], Sue Whitaker [Art Director], Ben Munro [Art Director], Dawn Snyder [Art Director], Sonja Klaus [Set Decoration], Erin Boyd [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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