Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Iron Man 2 sets gold standard for sequels thanks to Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark performance.
  2. 75
    Favreau supplies the go-go-go that makes the movie stratospherically entertaining, even without 3-D. But it's the promiscuously talented Downey who adds the grace notes that make Iron Man 2 something to remember.
  3. 75
    A polished, high-ozone sequel, not as good as the original but building once again on a quirky performance by Robert Downey Jr.
  4. At its best, it's shaggily enjoyable and enjoyably shaggy. It's like steroids on steroids with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, disarming arms industrialist, tossing off one-liners like comic grenades.
  5. 75
    It's difficult to say whether the main problem with Iron Man 2 is that it suffers from too much plot or too little.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Starkey
    75
    Like the original, Iron Man 2 is a good time from start to finish.
  7. 75
    A movie franchise can only take us by surprise once, and by that measure, Iron Man 2 is a preordained letdown. But so much of what gave the first film its gas — is still here.
  8. It is all very-very-very entertaining.
  9. 75
    The primary challenge for all blockbuster franchises is to be big yet fleet. Iron Man is as good as model as any, thanks largely to Robert Downey Jr.’s flamboyantly narcissistic Tony Stark and filmmakers that valued pacing and character as much as superhero hardware.
  10. Bigger, louder and dumber than its predecessor, Iron Man 2 is still a lot of fun.
  11. Fans of the first will not be bored. This Iron Man may not be the Godfather II of comic book movie sequels critics hope for but it is a complete blast anyway.
  12. It doesn’t come close to the emotional heft of those two rare 2s that outclassed their ones: Superman 2 and Spider-Man 2. But Iron Man 2 hums along quite nicely.
  13. 70
    To find a comic-book hero who doesn’t agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them, is frankly a relief.
  14. 67
    Only a shadow -- if an agreeable and harmless one -- of its predecessor film.
  15. 67
    It's as slick and fun as summertime entertainment should be. Downey is still an arresting presence, glib to the nth degree and supremely confident that he's smarter than anyone else.
  16. Aside from these two actors (Downey/Rourke), Iron Man 2 isn’t much of a whoop-de-do.
  17. 65
    The big problem with Iron Man 2, maybe, is that it so dutifully gives the people what they want, instead of giving them what they didn’t know they wanted.
  18. A movie like this can handle a large character roster, but it helps if the story retains clean lines and a sense of propulsion. Iron Man 2 sags and wanders in its midsection
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The action sequences are fun, though not as exhilarating as in the 2008 original, and the dialogue can be zingy.
  20. 63
    Robert Downey Jr. looks as hung over in Iron Man 2 as he seemed drunk in “Iron Man.’’ He does his share of drinking this time, too. And the sequel makes more out of his insobriety. It has an early stretch where it fizzes and slurs, with the stars stepping on each other’s lines and feet. The movie feels drunk, too.
  21. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    60
    Rourke and Rockwell make satisfying, complementary villains, while Downey Jr. delivers again. Shame this sequel feels inessential, over-busy and a little, well, mechanical. Nothing they can’t put right for Iron Man 3.
  22. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    Isn't as much fun as its predecessor, but by the time the smoke clears, it'll do.
  23. Downey's head and heart are in the right place, but the movie is more in pieces than whole, and more about iron than about men.
  24. 50
    The main problem with Iron Man 2 lies in the script.
  25. 50
    It’s only fitfully entertaining as an all-star indie team led again by director Jon Favreau, who gets swallowed up by the same sort of overproduced overkill as “Spider Man 3.”
  26. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    50
    A better-than-average follow-up, but Tony doesn't suit up enough.
  27. 50
    "Everything is achievable through technology," a character says more than once in Iron Man 2. Not so.
  28. With seemingly twice as much action, a whole new complex of villainy, competing Iron Man suits, robots and love interests, Iron Man 2 sequel cashes in hard on the unexpected success of the first Iron Man from 2007 and somehow loses much of its soul in the process.
  29. Although it's stuffed with subplots, gadgets and bad guys, this tinny contraption is half-hearted.
  30. 50
    Despite its high tech sheen and overstuffed cast of characters, played by some of the best actors in the land, this mega-mecha melee manages to give short shrift to both the airborne action set-pieces that define Iron Man's zoomy panache and incoming supervillain Whiplash, aka Ivan Vanko (Rourke).
  31. 50
    Yes, yes, yes, Downey is blasé, intelligent and hilarious as Tony Stark -- what do you expect me to say? -- but I'm convinced that sticking with this character much longer won't be good for him.
  32. As sequels go, this one is acceptable, nothing more, nothing less.
  33. 50
    You’re left wanting more, but not quite the “more” Iron Man 2 works so hard to supply.
  34. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    It's beyond absurd that the makers of superhero movies haven't grasped this yet: When an actor's body and face aren't visible beneath a costume, it could be anyone under there. Casting the likes of Downey and Rourke and then imprisoning them in jointed refrigerators is resource-squandering of the highest order.
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    50
    He (Tony) could be a self-destructive hero out of a Dostoyevsky or Mailer novel. That portrait gives Iron Man 2 its fascination. The rest is a cluttered, clattering toy story.
  36. Intimacy has vanished from the relationship between Tony and Pepper, and grace has been stricken from the movie as a whole.
  37. 50
    The first third is terrific...After that the movie settles into a series of ho-hum conflicts and complications, and the requisite slam-bang ending is perfunctory at best.
  38. With this depressingly bland sequel (scripted by snark specialist Justin Theroux), he’s (Robert Downey Jr.) stranded in lightweight arrogance.
  39. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    40
    The elements that made the first Iron Man a rather likable blockbuster have not entirely evaporated. Favreau brings together interesting American movie stars and lets them actually play through scenes.
  40. Well, that didn't take long. Everything fun and terrific about "Iron Man," a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, Iron Man 2 has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 670 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 150
  1. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    Sure, it isn't The Dark Knight, but its the near-perfect blend of action, drama and humor that makes Iron Man 2, one of the best comic-book films of all-time, and undoubtedly, one of this year's best films as well. A 10/10. Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2011
    5
    With a baffling story and really unnecessary humor, Marvel's "Iron man 2" doesn't seem to have the prominent blockbuster spirit its prequel contained.
  3. Sep 28, 2010
    4
    I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the predecessor of this Iron Man franchise. Well it was not exactly cerebral as The Dark Knight (its Summer opponent of 2008), it was fast-paced and indeed had enough action to fill its run time. I wish I could say the same about the sequel, Iron Man 2. What was a franchise known for its action, is now a dull plot-developing movie. The majority of the movie focused on the foolishness of Robert Downey's character. Although well-acted, I wish there was more "Iron Man" than of Tony Stark. The final scene of the movie does go back to it comic-book roots with the duo of War Machine & Iron Man, but it feels empty because there was not much to support it. It is an acceptable and somewhat enjoyable blockbuster, but I could not get over the mindless drama and lack of action. Full Review »