Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 13, 2013
    75
    Man of Steel is, first and foremost, a great spectacle.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 10, 2013
    75
    Deploying an impeccable American accent, Brit Henry Cavill may be as charming as the late great Christopher Reeve.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 13, 2013
    75
    Caught in the slipstream between action and angst, Man of Steel is a bumpy ride for sure. But there's no way to stay blind to its wonders.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 12, 2013
    75
    This is a pretty good action movie that justifies bringing back the Superman franchise -- a dubious proposition to begin with -- by taking the plight of the superhero seriously. Henry Cavill is charismatic in the lead role, Amy Adams is an ideal Lois Lane and, as the villain, Michael Shannon does the best Michael Shannon impersonation you've ever seen.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 13, 2013
    50
    Taking a cue from the “Batman” series, the film is dark and thudding and overlong.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 12, 2013
    63
    Snyder knows how to put on a show, and Man of Steel has a massive scope that’s hard to resist... But what’s missing from this Superman saga is a sense of lightness, of pop joy.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 13, 2013
    40
    Here's one more studio extravaganza brought down by numbing action and an addiction to generic digital effects.
  8. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 12, 2013
    50
    While its ambition and scope pull one way, its pinched and unconvincing sense of drama pull the other.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 12, 2013
    63
    The story, while sometimes soaring, is other times grounded by a hyperactive and numbing vibe. But Henry Cavill has the strapping good looks of the comic icon, and humanity to match his superheroism.
  10. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 13, 2013
    50
    At least an hour of Man of Steel's excessive running time is devoted to the sort of crash-and-burn, slamming-into-skyscrapers CG fight scenes that we've already seen in "The Avengers" and "Dark Knight," "Iron Man," and "Spider-Man." Man of Steel is just the same old same old.
  11. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 13, 2013
    50
    What went wrong with Man of Steel? The early teasers promised Terrence Malick. The finished film is more Michael Bay.
  12. 50
    The movie isn’t dead on arrival, like Snyder’s over-reverent "Watchmen." But it’s pleasure-free.
  13. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 13, 2013
    60
    At once frantically overblown and beautifully filigreed, Man of Steel will turn on everyone it doesn’t turn off.
  14. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 10, 2013
    60
    It’s a relief just to watch the actors act once in a while, and thankfully, Snyder is astute enough to punch some breathing holes in this steel-clad colossus.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 12, 2013
    63
    Snyder films the violence in Man of Steel the way he films most of the rest of the picture: Like a man chasing tornadoes and not even trying to keep subjects in frame. It's a choice, and not a bad one, necessarily — the Smallville farm scenes, in particular, respond well to the approach — but by the end it's a visually limiting one.
  16. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 13, 2013
    75
    David Goyer, who wrote the script for Man of Steel from a story he concocted with Christopher Nolan, found a new way to make us care: The title character is disturbed by everything in his adopted home.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 10, 2013
    70
    As much spectacle and action — minute-by-minute, frame-by-frame — as any movie anyone could think of. Zack Snyder’s huge, backstory-heavy extravaganza is a rehab job that perhaps didn’t cry out to be done but proves so overwhelmingly insistent in its size and strength that it’s hard not to give in.
  18. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 13, 2013
    40
    Despite looking, feeling and (especially) sounding expensive – this is one of the loudest summer spectacles of recent years – Man of Steel is second-tier and third-generation Chris Nolan-flavored neo-superhero material.
  19. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 13, 2013
    37
    Snyder tries to up the spectacle ante with ever more explosions, crashes, thermal blasts, topological realignments, gunfire and mano-a-mano fistfights. But the result is a punishing sense of diminishing returns and a genre that has finally reached the point of mayhem-induced exhaustion.
  20. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 13, 2013
    63
    Here are a few adjectives that do not apply to the new Superman movie: Beguiling. Frisky. Nuanced. Quiet. Even the title, Man of Steel, sounds too flighty for this film. Man of Lead, or Man of Plutonium, maybe.
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 11, 2013
    60
    The serious-minded result has many super-cool moments. But when it gets clunky, it’s super-meh.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 13, 2013
    50
    If this version of Superman is to have a future — as Warner Brothers seems convinced he will, having already green-lit the sequel — I hope Snyder will dial back both the casualty count and the Krypton mythmaking and instead focus on establishing a fictional Earth that’s rich enough to be worth saving.
  23. 50
    If every generation gets the Superman it deserves, Man of Steel suggests we’ve earned one utterly without wit or charm.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 12, 2013
    70
    The action is plentiful and thumping; Marvel-size thrills await you and the generations of kids who still believe in Superman. I just mean that the movie finds its true, lofty footing not when it displays Kal-El’s extraordinary powers but when it dramatizes Clark Kent’s roiling humanity. The super part of Man of Steel is just O.K.; but the man part is super.
  25. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 12, 2013
    70
    If you like your summer-movie explosions huge, Man of Steel delivers. But it seems as if it might have delivered even more than a glorious noise.
  26. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jun 10, 2013
    40
    The humorless tone and relentlessly noisy (visually and sonically) aesthetics leave much to be desired.
  27. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 13, 2013
    38
    A soulless, overblown bore.
  28. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jun 12, 2013
    67
    Snyder has cast Man of Steel with dramatic actors, not action stars, and it pays off.
  29. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 11, 2013
    40
    The better actors — Kevin Costner, chiefly, as the adoptive Earth father — strain to supply warmth, but mostly, the minutes stretch into great expanses of blahness, much of them filled with Transformers-grade skyscraper snapping and bloodless catastrophe.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 13, 2013
    40
    So we get no zippy, Tony Stark-flavored one-liners. No comic-relief characters. No nonsense. But that means we also get no up, up and away, either.
  31. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 12, 2013
    50
    Man of Steel has too many characters and too much plot, resulting in a movie that feels overstuffed and overlong.
  32. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 10, 2013
    58
    While certainly the most dazzling Superman movie to hit the big screen, the 143-minute Man of Steel is also the longest, and it only justifies that heft because it leaves room to keep the effects coming.
  33. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 13, 2013
    100
    Man of Steel is more than just Avengers-sized escapism; it's an artistic introduction to a movie superhero we only thought we knew.
  34. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jun 11, 2013
    50
    Redundant, unnecessary and a colossal waste of talent and money, you can pretty much sum up Man of Steel in the scene in which a lady police officer watches with her mouth wide open as Superman tosses aside tanks like Tinker Toys. “What are you smiling about, captain?” asks another cop. “Nothing, sir — I just think he’s hot.”
  35. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jun 11, 2013
    50
    A mostly underwhelming film, with underdeveloped characters and supercharged fight scenes that drag on forever and offer nothing new in the way of special-effects creativity.
  36. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Jun 12, 2013
    58
    Like Snyder’s Sucker Punch, it’s a confused but fascinating mishmash of religious, military, and sexual imagery.
  37. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 11, 2013
    60
    It has heft, it looks amazing, and it's businesslike to a fault.
  38. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Jun 10, 2013
    80
    It aches for more depth and warmth and humour, but this is spectacular sci-fi — huge, operatic, melodramatic, impressive. It feels the right Superman origin story for our era, and teases what would be a welcome new superfranchise.
  39. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Jun 10, 2013
    80
    Feels both modern and traditional – a halfway house between the broodier Nolan way of shaking things up and the louder, bone-crunching style that director Zack Snyder established with films such as ‘300’ and ‘Sucker Punch’. Man of Steel is punchy, engaging and fun, even if it slips into a final 45 minutes of explosions and fights during which reason starts to vanish and the science gets muddy.
  40. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 12, 2013
    38
    All its faux-patriotism isn't played for satire, but instead utilized to align the film with an idyllic, unquestioned vision of goodness.
  41. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 14, 2013
    75
    The most striking and curious aspect of Man of Steel is the way it minimizes and even shuts out women.
  42. Reviewed by: Andrew Pulver
    Jun 10, 2013
    60
    The whole film ends up feeling weighed down: though Man of Steel bounds from one epic setpiece to another, you're left with the nagging feeling that you just can't work out what the central twosome see in each other. And for Superman and Lois Lane, that's hardly ideal.
  43. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Jun 10, 2013
    80
    A bracing attempt to bring the legend back into contention that successfully separates itself from other Super-movies but misses some of their warmth and charm. But given the craft and class, this could be the start of something special
  44. Reviewed by: Glen Weldon
    Jun 14, 2013
    60
    What it fails to supply much of — surprisingly, it must be said — is fun. This is serious business, Snyder seems always to be saying. This is badass. And given the sheer logistical size of the spectacle on display, it's a position that's hard to argue with.
  45. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 11, 2013
    50
    The local multiplex is lousy with celluloid crime fighters. So what turf is left for good old Clark Kent? That's the nagging question that director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel tries — and ultimately fails — to answer.
  46. Reviewed by: Charlie Schmidlin
    Jun 10, 2013
    75
    Goyer and Nolan have crafted in Man of Steel a taut, exploratory vision, and Snyder's later inheritance of the material indeed proves his best work since “Dawn of the Dead.”
  47. Reviewed by: Matt Patches
    Jun 10, 2013
    87
    If the word “epic” has lost its meaning in the throes of recent summers, Man of Steel forcefully redefines it.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2512 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    I had my doubts about Man Of Steel but after watching Superman come alive and kick some serious ass, I was happily proved wrong. The film captures the humanity of Superman's search to be human even after finding out who he really is. David S. Goyer's screenplay perfectly reflects Kal-El's struggles and challenges growing up in today's world. Zack Snyder has managed to do the impossible, he has successfully made the Man Of Steel relevant and above all human. With a strong cast including Russel Crowe as Jor-El, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and of course Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El. Michael Shannon makes a truly menacing General Zod that you actually respect for his notions but understand his questionable motives. Overall, Man Of Steel is a pleasant surprise filled with plenty of little Easter eggs for DC fans to look out for. This is one summer blockbuster you won't want to miss, Zack Snyder has created another epic superhero masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. Jun 14, 2013
    8
    It was an awesome movie, with alot of action and beutiful special effects. The only thing i don't like much is the performance of the main actor, doesn't show alot of emotion. Can't wait to see the sequel and Justice Leage! Full Review »
  3. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    Very, very well made movie. Despite the last forty minutes being one straight up action scene, the first one hundred are excellent insights into Clark Kent's troubled character. Not to mention a climax that will leave you agape. Full Review »