Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. 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.
  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. 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!
  4. If not the best superhero movie ever, it's definitely in the top 3. Reeve will forever be Superman to most of us.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    100
    Magnify James Bond's extraordinary physical powers while curbing his sex drive and you have the essence of Superman, a wonderful, chuckling, preposterously exciting fantasy.
  6. 88
    There's no doubt that it's a flawed movie, but it's one of the most wonderfully entertaining flawed movies made.
  7. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Jun 4, 2013
    80
    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]
  8. Reviewed by: Judith Martin
    80
    it's the simple, earth-bound quality of the film that makes this comic-book fantasy soar.
  9. Superman is good, clean, simple-minded fun, though it's a movie whose limited appeal is built in.
  10. 70
    The film is best when it takes itself seriously, worst when it takes the easy way out into giggly camp--as it does, finally and fatally, when Lex Luthor enters the action; Gene Hackman plays the arch-villain like a hairdresser left over from a TV skit.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    60
    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.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. DS
    Nov 22, 2008
    10
    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. Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2011
    8
    Do you people know how comic book adapted movies started out? Uh Huh. "Superman" started it all, and guess what; it was marvelous.
  3. GregM
    Dec 12, 2008
    10
    There have been other actors before christopher reeve that played the part of superman but he made the character of clark kent and superman come to life. Full Review »