A few not-so-shocking giveaways about this week’s new movie releases, including Justice League and Frank Serpico
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
A hot mess. Iron Man 3 does what a third installment tends to do: revisit the themes of the first (personal failings giving rise to public disasters), make everything bigger and more complicated, and then deliver some kind of grand resolution. And while director Shane Black brings a manic energy to the franchise that more than matches star Robert Downey Jr.’s twitchy performance, it’s not enough to overcome the lumbering bloat. Black is aiming to leave you dazzled, satisfied, and maybe just a little wiser; you’re more likely to leave punch-drunk, exhausted, and maybe just a little puzzled. Lots of stuff happens in the film's world, but all that matters is what's going on inside Tony Stark: an existential crisis following a near-death experience in The Avengers. Everything else exists to help him get his groove back. Hooray for narcissism. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, and Don Cheadle. 2013.