With X-Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn has revived the series after the epic failures of X-Men 3: Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If First Class feels like Magneto’s origin, it’s because that was the intention. We meet a young Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) at a Nazi prison camp, where his ability to control metal with his mind manifests at the cruel hands of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

Lehnsherr spends his adulthood hunting Shaw for revenge, and eventually befriends the telepathic Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), prior to his paralysis and, more importantly, balding. Always the humanitarian, Xavier wants to open a school to shelter and train mutants, as well as mend relations between mutants a humans. In addition to Fassbender’s performance, First Class’s biggest strength is the dynamic between Professor Xavier and Magneto as young men. And while it’s always fun to see familiar characters like Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), it’s nice to see characters like Havok (Lucas Till) get some shine.

As always, the film starts at 8 p.m., but you should plan on getting there before 7 p.m. for the free beer and bag of popcorn. With X-Men: First Class, you’ll get to see a slew of mutants you aren’t used to seeing on the big screen, and Michael Fassbender steal the show as young Magneto. It’s a step in the right direction for a franchise that looked like it was about to bottom out.

If that’s not enough, keep in mind that the $3 you’ll pay at the door is much cheaper than a DVD.

X-Men: First Class (2011)
Monday, September 12
6:30 p.m. (doors)
The Trocadero
1003 Arch St., Philadelphia
Tickets $3 (at the door)