Review | X-Men: First Class

Credit: courtesy Everett Collection

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Us Rating: ***

This stylish prequel features the backstories of the series' longtime rivals, Professor X and Magneto. In 1962, the young hotshots -- then known as Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (a sensational Michael Fassbender) -- join forces to stop a fellow mutant from starting World War III. With brisk pacing and sly humor, it's the best comic-book movie of the year. Still, January Jones, with her wooden delivery as villain Emma Frost, fails. Only her costumes are cool! (20th Century Fox, $30)