Directed by: Matthew Vaughn. I was surprised to learn that this came from Matthew Vaughn—the quiet, unsung co-creator behind Guy Ritchie’s early films. I watched this film because it was the final stroke in two of my recent obsessive impulses: to watch all of the X-Men movies, and to watch (almost) all of the Michael Fassbender movies. In both categories, I’d say it ranks pretty high. It balances the ratio of entertainment value-to-quality content on par with the other X-films, and it’s a great showcase for actors—particularly Herr Fassbender. I’m not the biggest fan of James MacEvoy, but he does his damndest to keep up with Fassbender, who, all gushing aside, elevates the emotional level of this film to an impressively adult level, considering what we’re talking about. I didn’t quite find the buddy-buddy relationship between Xavier and Magneto that is so crucial to this back story to be totally convincing. I felt like this plot element could have used more screen time to develop, time that could have been borrowed from the throwaway romance between Hank and Mystique. Also, it was depressing to see January Jones in a role that makes her look like a talentless bimbo. There is nothing of the subtle emotional intensity we know here capable of from Betty Draper—just flat dialogue delivered in a flat tone, made all the worse by those ridiculous outfits that make her look like a disposable Maxim model, a pair of boobs reading cue cards. This aside, I’d recommend this movie to anyone remotely interested in either superhero movies, or Michael Fassbender.