Iron Man 3 is a thematically muddled entry in the franchise, with a weak villain and (to the disappointment of some fans) relatively little time spent in the Iron Man suit.
However, there’s enough I still like about it to recommend it: This movie’s script is far funnier than its predecessors’; it features my favorite fight scene across the three movies, a close-quarters battle where Tony Stark is wearing only part of the Iron Man armor; and director Shane Black, as he does with seemingly all his movies, sets this one at Christmas, which lends itself to some fun gags and lovely visuals.
And this may be a controversial opinion in the Marvel fandom, but I prefer it when there’s a reason for our heroes to be out of their suits or stripped of their full powers. Movies are all fakery, but when your characters are in life-or-death circumstances, a bouncy CGI suit feels especially phony. All of which is to say, I like this movie! Recommended. ★★★½