Alright, now that I am rested, time for my details. This has spoilers, so read at own risk.
-Acting- The acting is incredible in this movie. Bridges came into his own as the movie progressed, becoming very creepy. Paltrow did a great job as Pepper. Especially in the scene before the end press conference. Also was nice to see her not get kidnapped, but that will come later. However, you can't discuss acting performance without talking about Robert Downey Jr. In my opinion, it was the best performance for an actor playing a superhero since Christopher Reeve first dawned the "S" in Superman: The Movie. In this movie, he WAS Tony Stark. Jon got the right man for this movie, and deserves props for making he perfect casting choice no one else would have ever thought of prior.
-Story- The movie takes all the right elements of Iron Man's origin, Armor Wars, etc. and mixes the classic Iron Man story elements with newer ones very well (I thought the public identity was a good idea to go with). Iron Monger was the right choice of Armored villain also, as he fit seamlessly into the story. I also loved how Pepper is not kidnapped and that her and Tony don't officially get together (as are both precedents in superhero movies, even when they are unneeded). I must also give props to how they handled the Mandarin in this. While the idea is heavily reworked, I love the references they throw out from the comic Mandarin (probably to come later in the series, and how the Ten Rings are reworked into an organization (though it isn't quite the comic Mandarin). While I love the comic book Mandarin, I can see why they altered the idea way they did (never even referring to him by name, at least as far as I noticed).
-Effects- All I can say is wow to the effects. The CGI in this movie was top notch, and some of the best I have seen. A lot of props must go out to the effects crew. I am not a huge CGI fan, but here is a case where it looked outstanding (unlike the CGI in the Indy 4 trailer, in which it looks completely fake).
-Ending- I loved the after the credits scene, and I hope we get Cap and Thor soon so we can get moving on the Avengers movie. This is probably years away, but it was a nice appetite wetter. I will be curious to see if they try IM2 before Avengers. The Paramount guy at the premiere said IM2 may be go for 2010, but I will wait to hear from Marvel on this.
-Howard was weak as Rhodey. He didn't seem to have the spine I always felt Rhodey had in the comic. He seemes like a weaker man, and this is the one area of casting I feel we could have seen improvement. Though, to be fair, Rhodey didn't really do much in the movie.
-Score- Wasn't bad, but it could have been better. Better has been done in this genre. Also, I still say Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" is a very inappropriate song for this movie. Just listen to the words, it is not heroic!
-Tony Stark doesn't change all that much as a character once he returns from the Middle East. From then on, he realizes his past sins and decided to atone for them, no matter the costs. We don't really see his obsession grow deeper. It just is kind of his obsession, and he is always inherently right. He ideals don't fall into question or anything.
Overall, 4 of 5 and an elite example of Superhero movies. I can't wait for more from Marvel Studios. Great start guys