Critics Consensus: X-Men: First Class is Certified Fresh

Plus, the Brit indie Submarine, in limited release, is also Certified Fresh.

This week at the movies, we've only got one wide release: the hotly-anticipated origin story of everyone's favorite mutants (X-Men: First Class, starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender). What do the critics have to say?

X-Men: First Class

87%

Sometimes, when a franchise starts drifting toward mediocrity, it's best to start again from the top. That certainly seems to be the case with X-Men: First Class; critics call this origin story a visually stunning, action-packed popcorn flick with excellent performances and a smarter-than-average script. A prequel to Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000), First Class takes us back to the Cold War-era beginnings of the organization; the CIA turns to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) for help in recruiting a band of mutants to help defend the United States against the Soviets. In the process, he befriends Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), who is haunted by unspeakable events in his past. The pundits say the Certified Fresh X-men: First Class liberally borrows from the 1960s aesthetic of the early James Bond pictures, and also shares that franchise's sense of pop-movie fun with its electrifying action set-pieces, handsome production values, and full-bodied characters. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down McAvoy's best movies, as well as Marvel Movie Madness, our continuing look at every movie based on Marvel characters.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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