Iron Man (2008)

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After being held captive in an Afghan cave, a billionaire engineer creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil. (IMDb)
On one hand, Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is a rich asshole, wisecracking his way through a self-centered lifestyle. On the other, he’s a brilliant and hardworking recluse who still puts his nose to the grindstone for his company. He’s a suitably complex leading man for a film that’s otherwise quite standard (though still with some great action) and his moral transformation-while a bit simplistic-perfects him as a protagonist while still taking care to retain the charisma we’ve grown to love/hate.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

The Company You Keep (2012)

A former Weather Underground activist goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity. (IMDb)
A stacked cast does not disappoint here; LaBeouf is particularly electric as the savvy journalist uncovering for us a fascinating web of former radicals still on the lamb. The past-present element is compelling and produces a refreshingly old and textured cast of characters, while the cat-and-mouse game is exciting without resorting to cheap action. The underlying themes of truth and justice aren’t given quite enough oomph but the movie remains an engaging thriller that looks great to boot.
8/10 (Great)