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Watch Iron Man (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Sep 15, 2022
Watch Iron Man (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie

Watch Iron Man (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie


Iron Man (2008)

After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures,[N 1] it is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, and Gwyneth Paltrow. In the film, following his escape from captivity by a terrorist group, world famous industrialist and master engineer Tony Stark builds a mechanized suit of armor and becomes the superhero Iron Man.

A film featuring the character was in development at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema at various times since 1990, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2005. Marvel put the project in production as its first self-financed film, with Paramount Pictures distributing. Favreau signed on as director in April 2006, and faced opposition from Marvel when trying to cast Downey in the title role; the actor was signed in September.

Filming took place from March to June 2007, primarily in California to differentiate the film from numerous other superhero stories that are set in New York City-esque environments. During filming, the actors were free to create their own dialogue because pre-production was focused on the story and action. Rubber and metal versions of the armor, created by Stan Winston’s company, were mixed with computer-generated imagery to create the title character.

Iron Man premiered in Sydney on April 14, 2008, and was released in the United States on May 2, as the first film in Phase One of the MCU. It grossed over $585 million, becoming the eighth-highest grossing film of 2008. The film received praise from critics, especially for Downey’s performance, as well as Favreau’s direction, visual effects, action sequences, and writing.

It was selected by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of 2008 and received two nominations at the 81st Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. Two sequels have been released: Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013).

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Iron Man (2008) Trailer

Iron Man (2008) Reviews

When I caught up with “Iron Man,” a broken hip had delayed me and the movie had already been playing for three weeks. What I heard during that time was that a lot of people loved it, that they were surprised to love it so much, and that Robert Downey Jr.’s performance was special. Apart from that, all I knew was that the movie was about a big iron man. I didn’t even know that a human occupied it, and halfway thought that the Downey character’s brain had been transplanted into a robot, or a fate equally weird.
Yes, I knew I was looking at sets and special effects–but I’m referring to the reality of the illusion, if that make any sense. With many superhero movies, all you get is the surface of the illusion. With “Iron Man,” you get a glimpse into the depths. You get the feeling, for example, of a functioning corporation. Consider the characters of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark’s loyal aide, and Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), Stark’s business partner. They don’t feel drummed up for the occasion. They seem to have worked together for awhile.Much of that feeling is created by the chemistry involving Downey, Paltrow and Bridges. They have relationships that seem fully-formed and resilient enough to last through the whole movie, even if plot mechanics were not about to take them to another level. Between the two men, there are echoes of the relationship between Howard Hughes and Noah Dietrich in Scorsese’s “The Aviator” (2004).

Obadiah Stane doesn’t come onscreen waving flags and winking at the camera to announce he is the villain; he seems adequately explained simply as the voice of reason at Stark’s press conference. (Why did “Stark,” during that scene, make me think of “staring mad?”). Between Stark and Pepper, there’s that classic screen tension between “friends” who know they can potentially become lovers.

Downey’s performance is intriguing, and unexpected. He doesn’t behave like most superheroes: he lacks the psychic weight and gravitas. Tony Stark is created from the persona Downey has fashioned through many movies: irreverent, quirky, self-deprecating, wise-cracking. The fact that Downey is allowed to think and talk the way he does while wearing all that hardware represents a bold decision by the director, Jon Favreau.

If he hadn’t desired that, he probably wouldn’t have hired Downey. So comfortable is Downey with Tony Stark’s dialogue, so familiar does it sound coming from him, that the screenplay seems almost to have been dictated by Downey’s persona.

There are some things that some actors can safely say onscreen, and other things they can’t. The Robert Downey Jr. persona would find it difficult to get away with weighty, profound statements (in an “entertainment,” anyway–a more serious film like “Zodiac” is another matter). Some superheroes speak in a kind of heightened, semi-formal prose, as if dictating to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.Not Tony Stark. He could talk that way and be Juno’s uncle. “Iron Man” doesn’t seem to know how seriously most superhero movies take themselves. If there is wit in the dialog, the superhero is often supposed to be unaware of it. If there is broad humor, it usually belongs to the villain. What happens in “Iron Man,” however, is that sometimes we wonder how seriously even Stark takes it. He’s flippant in the face of disaster, casual on the brink of ruin.

It’s prudent, I think, that Favreau positions the rest of the characters in a more serious vein. The supporting cast wisely does not try to one-up him. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts as a woman who is seriously concerned that this goofball will kill himself. Jeff Bridges makes Obadiah Stane one of the great superhero villains by seeming plausibly concerned about the stock price.

Terrence Howard, as Col. Rhodes, is at every moment a conventional straight arrow. What a horror show it would have been if they were all tuned to Tony Stark’s sardonic wave length. We’d be back in the world of “Swingers” (1996) which was written by Favreau.

Another of the film’s novelties is that the enemy is not a conspiracy or spy organization. It is instead the reality in our own world today: Armaments are escalating beyond the ability to control them. In most movies in this genre, the goal would be to create bigger and better weapons. How unique that Tony Stark wants to disarm. It makes him a superhero who can think, reason and draw moral conclusions, instead of one who recites platitudes.

The movie is largely founded on its special effects. When somebody isn’t talking, something is banging, clanging or laying rubber. The armored robotic suits utilized by Tony and Obadiah would upstage lesser actors than Downey and Bridges; it’s surprising how much those two giant iron men seem to reflect the personalities of the men inside them. Everything they do is preposterous, of course, but they seem to be doing it, not the suits.

Some of their moments have real grandeur–as when Tony tests his suit to see how high it will fly, and it finally falls back toward earth in a sequence that reminded me of a similar challenge in “The Right Stuff.” The art direction is inspired by the original Marvel artists. The movie doesn’t reproduce the drawings of Jack Kirby and others, but it reproduces their feeling, a vision of out-scale enormity, seamless sleekness, secret laboratories made not of nuts and bolts but of…vistas.

A lot of big budget f/x epics seem to abandon their stories with half an hour to go, and just throw effects at the audience. This one has a plot so ingenious it continues to function no matter how loud the impacts, how enormous the explosions. It’s an inspiration to provide Tony with that heart-saving device; he’s vulnerable not simply because Obadiah might destroy him, but because he might simply run out of juice.That leaves us, however, with a fundamental question at the bottom of the story: Why must the ultimate weapon be humanoid in appearance? Why must it have two arms and two legs, and why does it matter if its face is scowling? In the real-world competitions between fighting machines, all the elements of design are based entirely on questions of how well they allow the machines to attack, defend, recover, stay upright, and overturn their enemies.

It is irrelevant whether they have conventional eyes, or whether those eyes narrow. Nor does it matter whether they have noses, because their oxygen supply is obviously not obtained by breathing.

The solution to such dilemmas is that the armored suits look the way they do for entirely cinematic reasons. The bad iron man should look like a mean machine. The good iron man should utilize the racing colors of Tony Stark’s favorite sports cars. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to see a fight scene between two refrigerators crossed with the leftovers from a boiler room.

At the end of the day it ‘s Robert Downey Jr. who powers the lift-off separating this from most other superhero movies. You hire an actor for his strengths, and Downey would not be strong as a one-dimensional mighty-man. He is strong because he is smart, quick and funny, and because we sense his public persona masks deep private wounds. By building on that, Favreau found his movie, and it’s a good one.

  • Roger Ebert  –  Roger Ebert
  • Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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Iron Man (2008) Credits

Iron Man movie poster

Iron Man (2008)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content

126 minutes


Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark

Terrence Howard as Rhodey

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

Directed by

  • Jon Favreau

Screenplay by

  • Mark Fergus
  • Hawk Ostby
  • Art Marcum
  • Matt Holloway

Based on characters by

  • Stan Lee
  • Don Heck
  • Larry Lieber
  • Jack Kirby


Iron Man (2008) Plot

Tony Stark, who has inherited the defense contractor Stark Industries from his late father Howard Stark, is in war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant colonel James Rhodes, to demonstrate the new “Jericho” missile. After the demonstration, the convoy is ambushed and Stark is critically wounded by a missile used by the attackers: one of his company’s own.

He is captured and imprisoned in a cave by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings. Yinsen, a fellow captive doctor, implants an electromagnet into Stark’s chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Ten Rings leader Raza offers Stark freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but he and Yinsen know that Raza will not keep his word.

Stark and Yinsen secretly build a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to power Stark’s electromagnet and a prototype suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. Although they keep the suit hidden almost to completion, the Ten Rings discover their hostages’ intentions and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself to divert them while the suit powers up. The armored Stark battles his way out of the cave to find the dying Yinsen, then burns the Ten Rings’ weapons and flies away, crashing in the desert and destroying the suit.

After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark returns home and announces that his company will cease manufacturing weapons. Obadiah Stane, his father’s old partner and the company’s manager, advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father’s legacy. In his home workshop, Stark builds a sleeker, more powerful version of his improvised armor suit as well as a more powerful arc reactor for it and his chest.

Personal assistant Pepper Potts places the original reactor inside a small glass showcase. Though Stane requests details, a suspicious Stark decides to keep his work to himself.

At a charity event held by Stark Industries, reporter Christine Everhart informs Stark that his company’s weapons were recently delivered to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen’s home village, Gulmira. Stark dons his new armor and flies to Afghanistan, where he saves the villagers. While flying home, Stark is attacked by two F-22 Raptors. He reveals his secret identity to Rhodes over the phone in an attempt to end the attack.

Meanwhile, the Ten Rings gather the pieces of Stark’s prototype suit and meet with Stane, who has been trafficking arms to the Ten Rings and has staged a coup to replace Stark as Stark Industries’ CEO by hiring the Ten Rings to kill him. He subdues Raza and has the rest of the group killed. Stane has a massive new suit reverse engineered from the wreckage. Seeking to track his company’s illegal shipments, Stark sends Potts to hack into its database.

She discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, but the group reneged when they realized they had a direct route to Stark’s weapons. Potts meets with Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., an intelligence agency, to inform him of Stane’s activities.

Stane’s scientists cannot duplicate Stark’s miniaturized arc reactor, so Stane ambushes Stark at his home and steals the one from his chest. Stark manages to get to his original reactor to replace it. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempt to arrest Stane, but he dons his suit and attacks them. Stark fights Stane but is outmatched without his new reactor to run his suit at full capacity.

The fight carries Stark and Stane to the top of the Stark Industries building, and Stark instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor powering the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that causes Stane and his armor to fall into the exploding reactor, killing him. The next day, at a press conference, Stark publicly admits to being the superhero the press has dubbed “Iron Man”.

In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury visits Stark at home, telling him that Iron Man is not “the only superhero in the world”, and explaining that he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.

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Iron Man (2008) Box office

Iron Man earned $319 million in the United States and Canada and $266.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $585.8 million.

In its opening weekend, Iron Man grossed $98.6 million in 4,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking first at the box office,[116] giving it the eleventh biggest-opening weekend at the time,[117] ninth-widest release in terms of theaters,[118] and the third highest-grossing opening weekend of 2008 behind Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight. It grossed $35.2 million on its first day, giving it the thirteenth biggest-opening day at the time.

Iron Man had the second-best premiere for a non-sequel, behind Spider-Man, and the fourth biggest-opening for a superhero film.[120] Iron Man was also the number one film in the U.S. and Canada in its second weekend, grossing $51.2 million,[116] giving it the twelfth-best second weekend and the fifth-best for a non-sequel.[121] On June 19, 2008, Iron Man became that year’s first film to pass the $300 million mark for the domestic box office.

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Iron Man (2008) Critical Response

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 94%, with an average score of 7.7/10, based on 281 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Powered by Robert Downey Jr.’s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.”

On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 79 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.[124] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale.[125]

Among the major trade journals, Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film an “expansively entertaining special effects extravaganza” with “fresh energy and stylistic polish”,[126] while Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film, while nonetheless finding “disappointment [in] a climatic [sic] battle between different Iron Man prototypes … how did Tony’s nemesis learn how to use the suit?”

In one of the first major-daily newspaper reviews, Frank Lovece of Newsday lauded the film’s “emotional truth … pitch-perfect casting and plausibly rendered super-science” that made it “faithful to the source material while updating it – and recognizing what’s made that material so enduring isn’t just the high-tech cool of a man in a metal suit, but the human condition that got him there”.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars, praising Downey Jr.’s performance and stating, “At the end of the day it’s Robert Downey Jr. who powers the lift-off separating this from most other superhero movies”.[129] A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film “an unusually good superhero picture. Or at least – since it certainly has its problems – a superhero movie that’s good in unusual ways.”

Among the specialty press, Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons commended the “impressive sets and mechanics that combine smoothly with relatively seamless CG”, and said, “Robert Downey Jr., along with director Jon Favreau … help this rise above formula. The result is something that, whilst hardly original or groundbreaking, is nevertheless refreshing in its earnestness to avoid dark dramatic stylings in favor of an easy-going, crowd-pleasing action movie with a sprinkle of anti-war and redemption themes”.[131]

Among major metropolitan weeklies, David Edelstein of New York magazine called the film “a shapely piece of mythmaking … Favreau doesn’t go in for stylized comic-book frames, at least in the first half. He gets real with it – you’d think you were watching a military thriller”,  while conversely, David Denby of The New Yorker gave a negative review, claiming “a slightly depressed, going-through-the-motions feel to the entire show … Gwyneth Paltrow, widening her eyes and palpitating, can’t do much with an antique role as Stark’s girl Friday, who loves him but can’t say so;

Terrence Howard, playing a military man who chases around after Stark, looks dispirited and taken for granted”. IGN’s Todd Gilchrist recognized Downey as “the best thing” in a film that “functions on autopilot, providing requisite story developments and character details to fill in this default ‘origin story’ while the actors successfully breathe life into their otherwise conventional roles”.

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Iron Man (2008) Accolades

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2008 MTV Movie Awards Best Summer Movie So Far Iron Man Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action Iron Man Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Action Robert Downey Jr. Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Action Gwyneth Paltrow Nominated
Choice Movie: Villain Jeff Bridges Nominated
Scream Awards The Ultimate Scream Iron Man Nominated
Best Science Fiction Movie Won
Best Science Fiction Actor Robert Downey Jr. Won
Best Science Fiction Actress Gwyneth Paltrow Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Terrence Howard Nominated
Best Superhero Robert Downey Jr. Nominated
Best Villain Jeff Bridges Nominated
Best Director Jon Favreau Nominated
Best Comic Book Movie Iron Man Nominated
Best Scream-Play Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway Nominated
Best F/X Iron Man Nominated
Best Line “I am Iron Man” Nominated
The Holy Sh!t Scene of the Year Iron Man’s First Flight Nominated
The Holy Sh!t Scene of the Year Escape from Ten Rings hideout Nominated
2009 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Movie Iron Man Nominated
Favorite Male Action Star Robert Downey Jr. Nominated
Favorite Male Movie Star Nominated
Favorite Superhero Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble Nominated
USC Scripter Awards USC Libraries 21st Annual Scripter Award Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Special Visual Effects Shane Mahan, John Nelson, Ben Snow Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Ramin Djawadi Nominated
VES Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture Ben Snow, Hal Hickel, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson Nominated
Best Single Visual Effect of the Year Ben Snow, Wayne Billheimer, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson Nominated
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture Hal Hickel, Bruce Holcomb, James Tooley, John Walker Nominated
Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture Aaron McBride, Russell Paul, Gerald Gutschmidt, Kenji Yamaguchi for “Suit Up Machine” Nominated
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture Jonathan Rothbart, Dav Rauch, Kyle McCulloch, Kent Seki for “HUD Compositing” Nominated
Academy Awards Best Sound Editing Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes Nominated
Best Visual Effects John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick, and Shane Mahan Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Movie Iron Man Nominated
Empire Awards Best Film Iron Man Nominated
Best Actor Robert Downey Jr. Nominated
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Superhero Iron Man Nominated
Taurus World Stunt Awards Hardest Hit Iron Man Won
Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director Thomas R. Harper, Phil Neilson, Keith Woulard Nominated
Best Fire Stunt Mike Justus, Damien Moreno, Timothy P. Trella Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Movie Iron Man Nominated
Best Male Performance Robert Downey Jr. Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Science Fiction Film Iron Man Won
Best Actor Robert Downey Jr. Won
Best Actress Gwyneth Paltrow Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jeff Bridges Nominated
Best Director Jon Favreau Won
Best Screenplay Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway Nominated
Best Score Ramin Djawadi Nominated
Best Visual Effects Iron Man Nominated
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form Iron Man Nominated

Iron Man (2008) Movie Info

A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him to force him to build a devastating weapon. Instead, he builds an armored suit and upends his captors. Returning to America, Stark refines the suit and uses it to combat crime and terrorism.


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