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Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2512 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. 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.
  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: 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Jun 11, 2013
    60
    It has heft, it looks amazing, and it's businesslike to a fault.
  5. 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.
  6. 50
    The movie isn’t dead on arrival, like Snyder’s over-reverent "Watchmen." But it’s pleasure-free.
  7. 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.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Jun 15, 2013
    10
    Great performances all around and some of the best effects I've seen in any comic book film. This is the Superman movie I've wanted to see for a long time.

    Henry Cavil gives a breakout performance while Russell Crowe gives us the best version of Jor-El I've ever seen in film, comics or otherwise. And make no mistake, this movie is all about Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El.

    I was very happy the filmmakers didn't attempt to just remake the Richard Donner films of the 70s and 80s. That was tried in 2006's Superman Returns to much critical acclaim and not much in the way of box office numbers.

    MoS really gives us an in-depth picture of who Clark Kent is, not so much in his dialog, but in his actions and sometimes inaction. From the time he's a kid to the time he's an adult he's faced with some really tough decisions. That's a running theme of this film and, yes, it's a familiar one: With great power, comes great responsibility. Is it an old trope? Sure, but it's still relevant to the superhero conversation.

    Unlike Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, this movie takes a darker world and puts a modern Superman in it. Is the movie gritty? Not really. There are plenty of dark characters and moments, but Superman himself (along with Lois Lane, Perry White, The Kents and especially Jor-El) gives off great amounts of hope. The world around them seems harsh and cynical, but there is a light in the darkness.

    Unlike Batman, Superman makes the decision to step out of the shadows and make himself known. Granted, there wasn't much choice in the matter, but when push comes to shove, this Superman makes the choice he feels is right, even when it takes a tremendous emotional toll on him.

    I usually don't like a lot of time spent on Krypton when it comes to Superman films or TV shows, but this movie actually made that part seem interesting. It even works in some cool effects and action, which was very unexpected.

    Is the movie perfect? Of course not, there's no such thing as a perfect film. Amy Adams shows so much potential to be the best on-screen Lois Lane there's ever been, but she doesn't get enough development in this movie to show us that completely. Kevin Costner gives such a tear-inducing performance, you can't help but feel his part was underwritten. Same with Diane Lane's Martha Kent, but at least that lady gets to be a real firecracker in one scene I'm going to remember as one of the all-time greats from any superhero film.

    Lawrence Fishburne just barely scratched the surface of his Perry White, but he's definitely the right choice for the role. Way better than what we got in Superman Returns. This Perry White is a take-charge, hard-news man. And he gets his own hero moment when things get really crazy toward the end.

    The humor in the movie is kept to a lower level than the Richard Donner films, but that's to its benefit in my view. Campy humor can be lots of fun and is in the Donner films. I love Otis probably more than any person should. But, for the modern screen, that type of things just doesn't work. Especially not if DC/Warner Bros. is really planning to compete with Marvel/Disney.

    Still, a sequel (now pretty much inevitable) could use with a little more comic relief. Not a ton, but that's where some good banter between Clark and Lois might help, along with maybe the introduction of Jimmy Olsen.

    But if the story/acting/effects don't give you chills, I don't see how Hans Zimmer's score could do anything less. One of the best movie scores of the last decade, possibly ever.

    I'm one of those people that liked Iron Man 3. I say that as a preface to this: I LOVED Man of Steel! It's certainly going to divide the fans as it has the critics, but I think this is the way to go for cinematic DC Universe. I can't wait to see where this leads next.
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  2. Jun 14, 2013
    10
    Epic...Finally a good Superman, alot of action and epic special effects. The visual was perfect. For me this is the movie of the year...Plz sequel and justice league ASAP Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Aug 4, 2013
    9
    I didn't have any doubts that Zack Snyder would disappoint me, in fact he didn't The whole movie is just a great portrait of the "man of steel", it's the Superman that I loved to watch and the story i just well-narrated.
    I don't understand all the hate to this film, but I just want to say that "the director of a movie is just the illustrator of his own comic", so don't pretend to watch a movie perfectly-copied-by-the-comic, honestly I would gave to this movie 3 or less instead of 9 Btw, Zakk Snyder made a perfect job with some Nolan's councils, I guess (I saw his paw xD) and when I watched it, my adrenaline began to flow Henry Cavill gave a face to the new Superman and he made a great acting, really great acting for this role and the whole cast made it the same, expecially for Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner (just amazing acting),Michael Shannon was a son of in this movie, only him could do a role like Zod haha !
    Conclusions The film is great, is a director's view of Supes and we can all enjoy this movie Cheers
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  5. Jun 19, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. (Contains some spoilers)
    After viewing Man of Steel I found that I was talking myself into having a positive reaction for it. Now don't confuse this for a condemnation, there was plenty to like about the newest iteration of the Superman story, but there was a lot to be critical of as well. Let's start with the good stuff.

    The most exciting and perfect part of Man of Steel had to be the man himself. Henry Cavill was an excellent choice to play the last son of Krypton. His physical presence never sways far from the center of the film, as it should be when talking about THE superhero of superheroes. Looks, brawn, and a subtle magnetism combine to give us the most believable Superman since the late Christopher Reeve. That said, there was too much brooding and emotional detachment brought to the character this time around. I don't necessarily blame Cavill for this as much as I blame the writer (David S. Goyer) and the director (Zack Snyder). While gritty realism and a darker, foreboding landscape has become the post-9/11 norm in cinema, it does not work in the world of Superman, who has always been an optimistic beacon of hope in the comic and film world. I think a little too much Dark Knight crept into the screenplay and creative input from Goyer and Nolan.
    Other members of the cast were equally excellent in supporting roles. Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner deliver as the two fathers of Kal-El/Clark Kent. Michael Shannon makes us almost sympathetic for the formidable General Zod in the end. Amy Adams, while not a standout in this cast, turns out an worthy performance as the tenacious reporter who will eventually steal the heart of Superman.
    Also of note are the stunning visual effects, refreshing when this well done.

    Although there was enough in this film to make me hopeful for some even better sequels in the future, there was also enough in this particular film to cause some concern. There was so much content in the form of origin, flashbacks, exposition, and the overly drawn out final confrontation in this film that the pacing suffered as a result. There was simply too much story to tell in too little time. The franchise would have been much better served had they left several backstory elements for future films. Also of concern was the tremendous lack of character development of anyone outside of Superman and Zod. I kept anticipating a scene where we could get some Superman/Lois connection, maybe not a deep emotional bond, but something other than random flirtation. The frantic pacing and need for overlong building destruction was what we got instead. Seriously, if I saw another random building come crashing down I was going to scream. There is no way they can rebuild a city after all that, it would take a century, even with Superman's help.

    My greatest irritation with the movie was the way in which Johnathan Kent was killed. Anyone who knows even a little about the story of Clark Kent knows that his adopted father dies when hes a teenager, and it's important to keep that part of the story because it was such a pivotal moment in the character's history. However, to have Jonathan tell Clark to watch him die in a tornado just to protect his secret seemed a little unbelievable. No one, not even Superman, would stand idly by and watch their father die when they could have saved him. Not even to protect his secret, not ever.

    All that being said, I thought it was a noble first effort to reboot a storied franchise. The film did an excellent job of setting up a classic superhero in the midst of our modern world. I eagerly await the much higher potential that this story can climb, or fly, to.
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  6. Jun 25, 2013
    6
    I went into this movie REALLY wanting to love it. All of the teasers made it seem like it was going to be the best Superman movie and possible one of the best comic book movies of all time. To my dismay, I was sadly mistaken.

    All of the changes that were made to the origin story didn't bother me like they did some people. That wasn't my gripe. My gripe was what seemed like a lack of character development and relationship development. The movie gave me no reason to care about the relationship between Clark and Lois. There was no development of it, just all of the sudden they are gazing into each other's eyes.

    There was a severe lack of development of the relationships between Clark and his parents. We get little snippets here an there, but again, not enough to make me believe they had any impact on him at all.

    Lastly, there was no development of Superman at all. Its like he just wakes up one day and he is Superman.

    Don't get me wrong. The world the movie takes place in is big, the scenes are big, the action is big. But Nolan set a new bar with the Dark Knight Trilogy on what it takes to make a good Comic book movie. You need all of the action with a great story that makes you connect with the characters and care about their relationships. This was all missing from Man of Steel.

    Here's hoping that the next one takes the time to do all of these things write. I believe they have all of the write pieces in place to make a truly Epic Superman Franchise, but I must say, I feel it is off to a slow start.
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  7. Jun 2, 2014
    0
    Movie even worse second time, you start ti wonder why do they do this? CGI nightmare, stolen scenes from other movies. Like 4th of July, Doc Oct, Loki mop scene fro. avengers, big robot looking villain walking down small town scene.

    The acting was terrible, I think one of the worse lois lane characters ever, Perry White awful and bad scenes. Same story written again about supermans beginning boring.

    Everyone knows who superman is the cops even went by his house. The fact that he didn't save his father was crazy period.

    CGi awful, a lot of destruction, even the Characters in front if the CGI background looked more like a game then a movie. Just nit good. Not sure why it gets some good reviews at all?

    The story was bad, from the beginning. Typical Hollywood goons can't make a DC franchise good. Enough of the origins of superman already.
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