X-Men: First Class

June 3rd, 2011

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X-Men: First Class

January Jones in X-Men: First ClassX-Men: First ClassKevin Bacon at event of X-Men: First ClassStill of Rose Byrne in X-Men: First ClassStill of Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First ClassStill of James McAvoy in X-Men: First Class

In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start world war III.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 7.9/10 (161,708 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN.

Writers: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz

James McAvoy - Charles Xavier
Laurence Belcher - Charles Xavier (12 Years)
Michael Fassbender - Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Bill Milner - Young Erik
Kevin Bacon - Sebastian Shaw
Rose Byrne - Moira MacTaggert
Jennifer Lawrence - Raven / Mystique
Beth Goddard - Mrs. Xavier
Morgan Lily - Young Raven (10 yrs)
Oliver Platt - Man in Black Suit
Álex González - Janos Quested / Riptide
Jason Flemyng - Azazel
Zoë Kravitz - Angel Salvadore
January Jones - Emma Frost
Nicholas Hoult - Hank McCoy / Beast

Taglines: Witness the beginning.


Official Website: 20th Century Fox [France] | 20th Century Fox [Japan] |

Release Date: 3 June 2011

Filming Locations: Englefield House, Theale, Reading, Berkshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $55,101,604 (USA) (5 June 2011) (3641 Screens)

Gross: $352,616,690 (Worldwide) (29 September 2011)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Charlie Rowe was initially cast as the young Charles Xavier but, due to scheduling conflicts with Neverland, he was replaced by Laurence Belcher.

Anachronisms: At one point we see Moscow's Red Square and the Russian hotel behind Saint Basil's Cathedral, but this hotel was not built until 1967.

[first lines]
Charles Xavier: Mother. What are you... I thought you were a burglar.
Mrs. Xavier: I didn't mean to scare you darling. I was just getting a snack. Go back to bed. What's the matter? Go on, back to bed.I I'll make you a hot chocolate.
Charles Xavier: Who are you? And what have you done with my mother?
[telepathically in her mind]
Charles Xavier: My mother has never set foot in this kitchen in her life. And she certainly never made me a hot chocolate. Unless you count ordering the maid to do it.

User Review

A prequel that does not, in any way, suck. Amazing, isn't it?

Rating: 9/10

There came a point, about half way through this film, when I emerged from the world of wonder on screen, took stock of my emotions in that instant, and realized that yes, by God, I am LOVING this movie.

I didn't really expect to, of course -- although certainly, I hoped for it. With such an incredible cast, an able director at the helm, a story of Bryan Singer provenance and the inclusion of some of my favorite, if lesser known, X-types (Darwin! Tempest! Havok!), I was eager to see this beloved band of merry Marvel mutants redeem themselves after the massive failures of X3 and X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.

Which they do. And how!

One thing that the avid comic fan must do when approaching this movie, however, is to divorce themselves utterly from almost all established four-color X-Men continuity. Oh, some bears up, but by and large this is a whole new origin story, a reboot of epic proportions, and yet it is a retcon so cleverly done, and one that offers up a such a delicious mélange of complex relationships and sensible motivation, that all of the many discrepancies inherent in having Mystique on the side of good or having Moira McTaggert a CIA agent simply do not matter.

Speaking of McTaggert, Rose Byrne is both comely and convincing in the role, and almost every other actor is perfectly, one might almost say forcefully, cast. McAvoy brings a kind of laddish charm to Charles Xavier that he mixes nicely with both decency and naïveté, and Michael Fassbender's nascent Magneto is relentlessly, even heart-breakingly, compelling. Their chemistry is electric -- theirs' is one of the most multi-faceted and sincere bromances the screen has seen in a good long while.

The younger cast all impress, though particular praise must go to Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the petulant but pitiable Raven/Mystique (The Academy Awards have been good to young, hot X-chicks; let us not forget that Rogue herself, Anna Paquin, won for THE PIANO). Former child star Nicholas Hoult is also outstanding as the troubled Hank McCoy, and perhaps the most surprising kudos must go to teenage dream Lucas Till, who conveys the particular anti-social asshole-hood of the turbulent Alex Summers very convincingly indeed.

The biggest letdown in the movie, acting-wise, is January Jones as Emma Frost. True, she is appropriately ravishing, there can be no denying that, but she lacks the… the zing of the written character. There is very little intelligence, snark, or even personality behind her interpretation of this most intriguing of mutants; she's just kind of Stand There and Look Pretty -- which, for one playing Emma Frost, is something a travesty.

The only other weight under which this movie really labors is the fact that it is a prequel, and it therefore suffers from the feeling of inevitability that besets all such endeavors. Anakin Skywalker HAS to go Dark Side. Bilbo Baggins HAS to find the One Ring. And Magneto HAS to turn against humans; Mystique HAS to join him; Xavier HAS to end up in a wheelchair. With these definite plot developments looming, their eventuation is bound to be a bit of an anti-climax.

And yet the fun part about X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is the journey it takes us on to get us there. Offering up plenty of surprises, some kickass action sequences, mighty fine special effects, sly humor and a killer cameo, it is without doubt the best comic book movie of the year – nay, decade – thus far. And considering how overcrowded that list is, this is really saying Something.

Huh. A prequel that does not, in any way, suck.

Amazing, isn't it?

-- Rachel Hyland, geekspeakmagazine.com

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