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Weekend Preview: ‘Iron Man 3’ a Smart Superhero Flick; Critics Applaud ‘What Maisie Knew’ and ‘Something in the Air,’ Mixed on ‘Post Tenebras Lux’

Weekend Preview: 'Iron Man 3' a Smart Superhero Flick; Critics Applaud 'What Maisie Knew' and 'Something in the Air,' Mixed on 'Post Tenebras Lux'

This weekend, the latest installment of “Iron Man” soars through multiplexes after racking up more than $360 million overseas. Could it score a $150 million opening, or beat 2012’s number one movie, “The Avengers”‘ $1.5 billion total worldwide gross? It is a Marvel sequel, after all. (A history of Marvel’s success is here.) Here’s our review and a sampling of critics’ raves of the VFX effects as well as Robert Downey, Jr.’s charismatic performance. 

Some long-awaited indies hit theaters after traveling the festival circuit, including Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s brilliant Henry James adaptation “What Maisie Knew,” starring Julianne Moore. Carlos Reygadas’ Bunuellian, psychosexual odyssey “Post Tenebras Lux,” which premiered at Cannes last year to literal boos, continues to bewilder audiences and critics, though it does have its firm supporters, among them Manohla Dargis of The NY Times. 

Critics have been excited about Oliver Assayas’ political coming-of-age film “Something in the Air” since it won best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival last year. Also opening is “The Iceman,” an uber-violent ’80s-set crime drama featuring a delightfully evil Michael Shannon.

Trailers after the jump.

Something in the Air Dir. Olivier Assayas, France | IFC Films | Cast: Lola Creton, Dolores Chaplin | 82% Fresh | AV Club: “The film often plays like a nostalgic doodle, gliding aimlessly from one classic-rock-scored encounter to another. But then, that meandering quality is part of the appeal.”

What Maisie Knew Dirs. Scott McGehee, David Siegel, USA | Millennium Entertainment | Cast: Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgard, Onata Aprile | 82% Fresh | The New York Times: “‘What Maisie Knew'” lays waste to the comforting dogma that children are naturally resilient, and that our casual, unthinking cruelty to them can be answered by guilty and belated displays of affection.” | Our TOH! interview with screenwriter Carroll Cartwright.

Iron Man 3 Dir. Shane Black, USA | Disney | Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce | 77% Fresh | LA Times: “By even posing questions of identity, the film creates the kind of jeopardy we can believe in, and for a superhero movie, that is an accomplishment in and of itself.” | TOH! review and roundup.

Love is All You Need Dir. Susanne Bier, Denmark | Sony Pictures Classics | Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Paprika Steen | 73% Fresh | NPR: “‘Love Is All You Need’ feels more like a chiropractic realignment than a passionate joining of romantic destinies.”

The Iceman Dir. Ariel Vromen, USA | Millennium | Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, James Franco | 70% Fresh | Slate: “If you can tolerate the (at times oppressive) moral bleakness of The Iceman, it’s a chance to watch Shannon spelunk down to some of the darkest places he’s visited yet.”

Greetings from Tim Buckley Dir. Dan Algrant, USA | Tribeca Film | Cast: Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots | 60% Fresh | Entertainment Weekly: “This is a melancholy wisp of a movie. Yet it lingers in the heart.”

Post Tenebras Lux Dir. Carlos Reygadas, Mexico | Strand Releasing | Cast: Adolfo Jimenez Castro, Nathalia Acevedo | 47% Fresh | The NY Times: “While Mr. Reygadas doesn’t always make it easy to watch his work (occasionally the reverse), the Carlos Reygadas Experience is always a worthwhile trip.”

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