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Rated NR · 2011

Believe the title. Top-grade prequel to the popular Marvel Comics franchise rolls out the extras in telling the back story of Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and their super-heroic buddies. Contains the requisite explosions and shape-shifting creature effects, but also more importantly, canny writing by director Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller, Jane Goldman, and Zack Stentz (reworking the story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer), as well as smart character playing by Jennifer Lawrence (as Raven), Rose Byrne (CIA agent Moira McTaggert), January Jones (Emma Frost), and Kevin Bacon as evil Nazi retread Sebastian Shaw. Together they insert themselves into the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and generally improve on history while making things go boom. Could well be the best of the series when all the dust settles. (132 min.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn


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