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Paramount Pictures: Iron Man 2

The action scenes are all a beat or three too long, the jokes are just above that lowest common denominator range, and its presence as a product is transparent, no matter attempts at the self-aware bet-hedging—in fact, all those nods at the audience wind up like tics. For a film full of “confidence,” it sure seems to desire approval, just like its hero.

The Depressing Spirit of A Serious Man

What makes A Serious Man so much more despairing than the Coens’ No Country For Old Men is that its mortal coil is wound tighter. Where No Country had the luxury of retirement, of throwing in the towel by choice, our serious man can only hope things end before they get worse…