Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An adventure re-told, spanning the Man of Steel's life from his Krypton infancy and Midwest boyhood to his career as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent and through his titanic struggle with archnemesis Lex Luthor. [Warner Bros.]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Boasts a smart screenplay by Robert Benton and David and Leslie Newman, striking cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth (especially in the Smallville sequence), bright comic turns by Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman, and of course, that winning performance by Christopher Reeve in the title role. Believe a man can fly? You bet!
  2. Estimates of the movie's costs range between $35-and $70-million; whatever the price, it was not too much to pay. As gods go, Superman is one of the godliest; his movie is one of the best.
  3. 100
    Superman is a pure delight, a wondrous combination of all the old-fashioned things we never really get tired of: adventure and romance, heroes and villains, earthshaking special effects, and -- you know what else? Wit.
  4. 88
    There's no doubt that it's a flawed movie, but it's one of the most wonderfully entertaining flawed movies made.
  5. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Jun 4, 2013
    Superman turns out to be a surprisingly infectious entertainment, nicely balanced between warmth and wit, intimacy and impressive special effects, comic-strip fantasy and several elements that make the movie eminently eligible for Deep Thinking about rescue fantasies, cherubic messiahs and other pieces of popcorn metaphysics. [1 Jan 1979, p.46]
  6. Reviewed by: Judith Martin
    it's the simple, earth-bound quality of the film that makes this comic-book fantasy soar.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    The film burdens itself with too many story lines and an overlong (though beautifully photographed) prologue, but things really get moving when Reeve takes the screen.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. GeorgeS.
    Jul 14, 2006
    Quite possibly the best super hero movie of all time. Special effects years ahead of its time, Puzo's script was great, Donner was spot on directing, best complete casting job of all time, and what else can you say about Chris Reeves - he will forever BE Superman. Expand
  2. Nov 17, 2012
    Arguably the greatest superhero of all time in what is inarguably his greatest movie. Yes, its campy. Its campy to the extreme. But it meant to be. Superman, from the clothes to the sets to the colors, is a living comic book. The classic Man of Steel books of yesteryear brought to life on screen, and the most faithful adaptation of the superhero source material you'll find. Of course, in the light of the obsession with "dark, gritty and real", the film falters, but its not about that. It's about childlike wonderment, it's about the good, honest power of Superman, the sincerity of it all. He's not a tortured soul, but merely a good-hearted young man with a sense of purpose, played inimitably by the late Christopher Reeves. And say what you will about the Caped Crusader, nobody cared when Rachel blew up like we did when Lois died. We all wanted to spin the world backwards then. It is a comic book through and through, and maybe not the bleak, murder-filled darkness everyone prefers, but for what it is, it's perfection. Let go of the obsession with brooding, turn on your inner child, and watch. You will believe a man can fly. Expand
  3. DS
    Nov 22, 2008
    Looks like somebody got bored and decided to trash a classic film. Yeah it seems a bit dated now, but it's a great great movie. Supes is in need of a reboot. Expand
  4. Aug 5, 2013
    Insanely entertaining, and a complete breakout movie for its time period, both as a superhero film and an epic in special effects. Superman is one exciting ride. Expand
  5. Nov 29, 2013
    This is an original superhero movie. Sure its extremely cheesy, but hey, no one really cares at this point. It's a classic. It began the Superman franchise. Although most of the other ones were bad, this one was still okay. Expand
  6. ChristopherG.
    Dec 31, 2005
    If I had seen this for the first time not some fifteen years after it came out I might have rated it higher. It's not the best superhero to movie adaptation (Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 were better), but none the less ranks among the best Superhero films. Expand
  7. DamonC.
    Jan 28, 2008
    The problem with this movie is that it goes too far with Superman's powers. And whenever he fights a bad guy, he always wins. Its like he's undestructable and invincible. And director Richard Donner cheesily art directs this movie, with a horrible style, unengaging fashion, and a dull, dudfull life. Superman would have been better if it weren't cheesy, frick'n overrated, and better acting. Its so corny, Richard Donner presents a getting far overaged, and has easily lost its high standards it once had. The affects are terrible, everything sucks. The kryptonyte stuff, the nudity (which in the beginning shows an 8 year-old kid butt-naked, showing absolutely everything, and some parts we don't want to see), its nudity like never before, but a bit too much. The planet Krypton stuff, the 7 crystal things, the ghost of his father, led being a weakness. There are so many stupid ideas. Just to settle the reviews, I personally think this is a simply forgettable bore. Snd a huge disappointing letdown. Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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