(NOTE: I've received a couple complaints about this review containing spoilers. That wasn't my intention, but I thought you should be warned.)

Opening with a chilling evil-mutant breach of White House security that feels especially ominous in today's terrorist-tinged political atmosphere, "X2: X-Men United" is gripping from frame one and doesn't let go for 135 minutes.

Breaking off from a tour of the presidential residence, a creature known as Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming in sharpened teeth, dark blue skin and extensive ceremonial scars) evades Secret Service agents by bursting into a puff of paint-like mist that instantaneously gusts across rooms and reconstitutes itself into solid humanoid form long enough to, say, snap a guard's neck, before evaporating into blue vapor again and surging into the Oval Office.

Continue reading: X2: X-Men United Review