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X-Men ★★½ 2000 (PG-13)

The Marvel Comics characters, who were born with genetic mutations that give them superpowers, get their shot at the big screen. Wheelchair-bound telepath Charles Xavier (Stewart), AKA Professor X, runs a school to help others learn to use their mutant powers. The good guys, who seeks to work with humans, fight against the Magneto (McKellen)-led Brotherhood, who feel mankind is expendable. The story is simple enough for newbies to follow and takes itself seriously (no camp allowed) but doesn't have a lot of surprises and, except for Wolverine (Jackman), the characters aren't very involving. The setup calls for a sequel, which may flesh things out. 104m/C VHS, DVD, UMD . Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Ray Park, Tyler Mane, Anna Paquin, Bruce Davison, Shawn Ashmore; D: Bryan Singer; W: David Hayter; C: Newton Thomas (Tom) Sigel; M: Michael Kamen.