Robert Downey Jr.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ sacrifices fun for action, with mixed results

The Avengers clicked with both Marvel fans and general audiences because we loved watching these massive egos clash for the first time. It was the perfect blend of action and attitude, and its mastermind, Joss Whedon, was handed the golden ticket to Marvel’s keystone franchise. The long-awaited sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, shows the strain of trying to be bigger-and-better while still indulging the subtle pleasures of its predecessor. It succeeds, just barely, on the strength of a talented cast and our fondness for these characters. Still, it’s a decidedly somber affair that will turn off casual fans, and it stands as the most impersonal, and arguable weakest installment of Marvel’s vaunted “Phase Two.”

‘The Judge’ is guilty of being dull

The Judge is an actor’s showcase that gets lost in the weeds of tired family dynamics and clunky subplots. There are moments when Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are allowed to take their characters into more dangerous places, but mostly they’re just constrained by an uninteresting story. The result is a film that packs no emotional wallop and builds to a conclusion that is neither surprising nor satisfying.

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