Superman

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 189 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 189

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 23, 2016
    6
    WHAT I LIKED: A fun, classic origin of one of the most iconic superheroes stands the test of time. It sets up a character well, taking time to build Superman himself far better than many subsequent attempts - it really does this throughout with great care and attention. But in the end, the reason it's enjoyable now is because it's cliched. It makes you smile
    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's so
    WHAT I LIKED: A fun, classic origin of one of the most iconic superheroes stands the test of time. It sets up a character well, taking time to build Superman himself far better than many subsequent attempts - it really does this throughout with great care and attention. But in the end, the reason it's enjoyable now is because it's cliched. It makes you smile
    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's so far-fetched in places, that you can't particularly get into it or feel emotionally attatched to the story. This isn't helped by the dated special effects (that are albeit still ahead of their time)
    VERDICT: It's cliched, and ridiculous. But parts of it really work. 'Superman' is a classic that makes you smile.
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  2. Nov 8, 2015
    9
    Superman (1978 film) still remains as the best Superman movie ever made. The visual effects may be dated today, but I still find some scenes visually impressive and it uses the CGI very well. Christopher Reeve is fantastic as Superman, because he made the character his own while respecting the source material to the character. Oh and let's not forget about John Williams amazing score.
  3. Jul 19, 2015
    10
    Superman is awesome the film has a out of body experience to offer it fleshes out the characters perfectly, the story was relatable and intriguing, watching superman save people in this film is so magical and nostalgic.
  4. Jun 25, 2015
    8
    The effects have not aged well, and there are a few points where the film's pace goes a tad too slow. However, "Superman: The Movie" benefits from fun action, being delightfully cheesy, and the late Christopher Reeve playing the man of steel.
  5. Nov 28, 2014
    9
    I like batman more but I like superman for being a little campy and serious at the same time how can it be bad it has Marlon Brando in it, and Christopher Reeve is the best superman, and the green screen effects are great. So this movie my be campy but has a great soundtrack and great actors.
  6. Nov 17, 2014
    9
    This movie is probably still the best Superman movies compared to modern-day Superman movies. Despite having no fight scenes, this movie sticks very closely to the comics, and is iconic as a Superman movie. This movie also has the best Superman theme. I am very impressed on how these people make such a good movie even in the 1970s.
  7. Oct 27, 2014
    10
    One of the best superhero movie ever! Christopher Reeve is a fantastic Superman, the effects are wonderful and the scenes are really great. This remains as my favorite since childhood.
  8. Oct 18, 2014
    10
    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.
  9. Sep 30, 2014
    8
    Though it can be corny at times, Christopher Reeves performance as well as Richard Donner's direction and the dazzling effects make Superman a classic
  10. Sep 3, 2014
    9
    It's goofy yeah, I got that. But this classic super-hero film conveys a talented cast and a well-crafted storytelling that is more than enough to satisfy.
  11. Jun 8, 2014
    7
    The original Superman is campy, superficially fun stuff, and knows it's that way. It's a bit overlong and the dialogue is cheesy at points, but all in all it passes the time. Hey, at least it's better than Man of Steel.
  12. May 16, 2014
    9
    Great movie, really the first good superhero movie and it's a classic despite being somewhat outdated. Gotta love Christopher Reave as Superman he does it perfect and is one of the reasons this movie is a blast.
  13. May 8, 2014
    5
    I am really sorry to say it but this movie is out of time. Maybe it was cool in the 70' but now.. nope. I mean Superman is not super because the technology couldn't show us his full scale of power. So it had to focus to much on humor and it feels to much like a kids movie. Reeve was good for that purpose i'll give you that
  14. Jan 22, 2014
    7
    Originally filmed back to back with Superman 2, Richard Donner was fired half way through filming the second part (due to budget and timing miscalculations) and the end of Superman 2 was slapped onto the first. The genius with the former is bringing to life such an iconic character, but yet it still feels like something is missing.
  15. Nov 29, 2013
    8
    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.
  16. Aug 29, 2013
    7
    May have been made over 30 years ago but Superman still loves up to the superhero standards set today, Heck I'd go as far as saying it's better then quite a few recent superhero films I have seen. Reeves was a great pick for the title character (Superman), He's everything you'd want in an actor and then some. The rest of the cast is solid, No complaints about them.

    The story itself is a
    May have been made over 30 years ago but Superman still loves up to the superhero standards set today, Heck I'd go as far as saying it's better then quite a few recent superhero films I have seen. Reeves was a great pick for the title character (Superman), He's everything you'd want in an actor and then some. The rest of the cast is solid, No complaints about them.

    The story itself is a bit too slow and the 2 hour run time certainly pushed on my nerves a few times through out. Did not care for the character Otis, He was a much unneeded comedy relief and I felt he brought the movie down some.

    Other than that though, I'd recommend watching it because despite it's age, Superman is still a good film and is a prime example of how superhero films should be made.
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  17. Aug 29, 2013
    8
    This a great film. The one thing I cannot stand in this movie is superman turning back time to save Lois. Superman cannot do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  18. Aug 5, 2013
    9
    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.
  19. Jul 3, 2013
    10
    I loved this movie! It was amazing! super entertaining....DO NOT LISTEN TO CRITICS! Judge for yourself and go see it. You will not be disappointed. Superman is my HERO!
  20. Jul 3, 2013
    10
    AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Best Superman Movie ever made hand down! I thoroughly enjoyed this movie so much so I am going to see it again at the IMAX 3D.
  21. Jul 3, 2013
    10
    BEST MOVIE EVER! The critics are a bunch of idiots because "Man of Steel" is a must see, especially on IMAX 3D! It was epic! Best movie of the year! The acting was superb, special effects and graphics were amazing! and story line was edge of your seat entertaining. I love the fact that they still incorporated some of the old school storyline into a modern day feel. I recommend everyone seeBEST MOVIE EVER! The critics are a bunch of idiots because "Man of Steel" is a must see, especially on IMAX 3D! It was epic! Best movie of the year! The acting was superb, special effects and graphics were amazing! and story line was edge of your seat entertaining. I love the fact that they still incorporated some of the old school storyline into a modern day feel. I recommend everyone see this movie. I plan to see it again! Expand
  22. Jun 14, 2013
    9
    I seen the movie man of steel and i give 3 and a half star's that doesn't mean it is a bad movie., i like more Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) and the soundtrack of Superman (1978) is better.
  23. May 19, 2013
    8
    The film is very dated and grimace, but the performance of C.Reve behind some weight to the image of the character and the film, but the trump card is its soundtrack which has a theme inspiring and phenomenal band, and a reasonable communist history the film keeps slowly but good.
  24. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    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, inArguably 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
  25. Jul 12, 2012
    8
    The effects are outdated now, but when Superman first came into theaters it astounded audiences. Although the effects haven't aged particularly well, Superman is a feel-good, well-told superhero origin story that features strong performances from a terrific cast.
  26. May 11, 2012
    10
    Superman, possibly the first superhero movie ever, is a movie that is exactly what Superman should be. Lets hope someday Superman has a video game that is as good as this movie.
  27. Sep 28, 2011
    10
    This movie has a special place in my heart. Christopher Reeve set the bar for all other actors portraying superheroes. And nobody since has managed to meet it. To me, Reeve *is* the Man of Steel. I don't care if the special effects are dated these days. This film's greatness transcends that. After all, Superman Returns had state of the art special effects and yet was a complete failure ofThis movie has a special place in my heart. Christopher Reeve set the bar for all other actors portraying superheroes. And nobody since has managed to meet it. To me, Reeve *is* the Man of Steel. I don't care if the special effects are dated these days. This film's greatness transcends that. After all, Superman Returns had state of the art special effects and yet was a complete failure of a film. Christopher Reeve was able to make me believe a man could fly.

    Also, Superman is one of those magical movies that really lodged itself in my mind because it's one of those films that, because of its length, I could never actually finish watching as a kid. Ya know, it's one of those films that you'll catch on tv, or see at a day care center somewhere in Reno, and yet something will always come up which prevents you from getting the ending. Either you'll just fall asleep, or you'll get picked up from the daycare center... just events unfold which prevent a full viewing. For me, it was this film and Back to the Future 2 that always seemed to last forever and I'd never finish till the end. That gave them a sort of mystique in my childhood.

    Now, there is one weakness of Superman, and that's the ending. Superman turns the world backwards in time to save Lois and stop California from falling into the ocean. Yes, it's not great... it doesn't really make any sense. But it's one small blemish on an otherwise grand superhero origin story. And honestly, how could you resist the very end when Christopher Reeve flies over the earth at the onset of a new dawn, looks up at us, and smiles in the way that Superman would smile? It's just movie magic, folks.

    What makes Superman work is Richard Donner's verisimilitude, especially during the Krypton and Smallville scenes. This movie was the first to tell the superhero origin story, and is still the best one, in my opinion. The shots of the crystalline Kryptonian landscape are awe inspiring. You really believe this is an alien world with an alien people. Smallville looked like the town that Norman Rockwell grew up in. Sure, it doesn't actually exist in real life, but it looks like how we would all want a small American town to look. Who wouldn't want to grow up in a pastural idyllic setting like that? Who could possibly doubt that America's greatest hero would emerge from such a place? When the camera rose and zoomed ahead of Clark and Martha Kent, embracing in a rich field of golden wheat, it was the film letting us know we had just witnessed the birth of a modern American myth.

    And of course, the soundtrack. Who the hell doesn't know the Superman soundtrack? I haven't really talked about the soundtrack of any other film in my reviews, and it's for good reason. None of them matter compared to John Williams' work here. Truly a masterpiece of scoring, and probably his greatest work to date. The notes simply cry out "Superman" even though there aren't any lyrics. Just as Aliens worked to pummel you with dread and suspense, the Superman music worked to uplift the spirit and allow the audience to soar like the Man of Steel himself.
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  28. 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.
  29. Jun 14, 2011
    7
    Well the movie was good enough to watch. And the actor for Superman acted pretty well so yeah it was good that's worth watching.
  30. Oct 19, 2010
    7
    Planet about to explode, parents send son to Earth in capsule, old couple find capsule & adopt son, son is not all that he seems.
    The film that made Christopher Reeve & he really does excel in the lead as both Clark Kent & Superman. Has a hell of a cast around him too with Gene Hackman hamming it up as Lex Luthor, a bumbling Ned Beatty & a very sexy Valerie Perrine as his assistants.
    The
    Planet about to explode, parents send son to Earth in capsule, old couple find capsule & adopt son, son is not all that he seems.
    The film that made Christopher Reeve & he really does excel in the lead as both Clark Kent & Superman. Has a hell of a cast around him too with Gene Hackman hamming it up as Lex Luthor, a bumbling Ned Beatty & a very sexy Valerie Perrine as his assistants.
    The first hour is very well done setting up the background & the hero growing up but I felt it got a bit silly later on when everything becomes a cheesy catalogue of disaster & the effects haven't dated too well either.
    John Williams's score is huge, the main theme being the highlight, but there is a lot of similarities with Star Wars in the incidental music.
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  31. PeterJ
    Dec 23, 2008
    1
    DON'T BELIEVE THE 88 RATING. This is a pretty bad movie. The pacing is horrible, not nearly 2 and 1/2 hours of material, and the special effects aged poorly. One wonders how esteemed critics could have been bamboozled by such tripe. The sound track and opening sequence are ripped off Star Wars, which is funny but sad. The acting is ok later on: two good scenes with comic relief DON'T BELIEVE THE 88 RATING. This is a pretty bad movie. The pacing is horrible, not nearly 2 and 1/2 hours of material, and the special effects aged poorly. One wonders how esteemed critics could have been bamboozled by such tripe. The sound track and opening sequence are ripped off Star Wars, which is funny but sad. The acting is ok later on: two good scenes with comic relief between Clark and Lois, but the script is otherwise cheesy, (including Lois's in-flight mental poetics: "I'm flying so high/ Up in the sky") and Lex Luthor's insufferable whining. The action sequences are fraught with holes and fail to arouse even the barest tendrils of excitement. The only reason to watch this movie is for historical purposes to see how the film version of Superman began. And if you're a big Christopher Reeve fan (though the red panties didn't age well either...) Otherwise, a waste of time. Expand
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. JaredK.
    Nov 11, 2008
    10
    The first superhero movie is one of the best still, see this movie.
  35. TedF.
    Oct 28, 2008
    10
    Before Batman Begins, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, and Dark Knight there was Superman and Superman II. Fantastic film making with wondrous moments. John Williams score takes flight. They got it right. Superman Returns needs to get back to this formula of film making - bright colors, fun story plots, spunky superboy, and energetic risk taker(Lois Lane). Superman is American Pop culture. I think Before Batman Begins, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, and Dark Knight there was Superman and Superman II. Fantastic film making with wondrous moments. John Williams score takes flight. They got it right. Superman Returns needs to get back to this formula of film making - bright colors, fun story plots, spunky superboy, and energetic risk taker(Lois Lane). Superman is American Pop culture. I think of Coca Cola, Apple Pie, Uncle Sam, State Fairs, and Amusement Parks. I love the story of Superman. The whole thing. I think Donner and Lester both understood the super hero myth and where it fits with Americana. I would sure love more movies made like these. I don't think they ever get old. Expand
  36. DamonC.
    Jan 28, 2008
    0
    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 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
  37. Chad
    Jan 28, 2007
    6
    It seems everyone wants to remain forever a child these days, but this movie is not that good. It is entertaining for kids, but hardly worthy of the fawning reviews it's received from critics. I supect it is at least partially due to sentimetality over Christopher's Reeves' unfortunate fate.
  38. [Anonymous]
    Jan 2, 2007
    7
    Christopher Reeve proves he's certainly a phenomenon. However, the film is a bit overrated. Superman winds back time?
  39. AlbertoE.
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    I really enjoyed this movie as a child, yet I learned through time that it has a lot of editing and continuity mistakes, I still like it. And Chris Reeve will be Superman to me forever!
  40. GeorgeS.
    Jul 14, 2006
    10
    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.
  41. Ricosuave
    Jul 1, 2006
    7
    As much as i wanted to like this film i just couldn't get over the plot holes in the end. He goes back in time to save lois, so that should mean that everything he did to save the world should have been undone, but it wasn't i just don't get it. just cuz he went back in time doesn't mean the earthquake and stuff won't happen now. that just brought the movie wayAs much as i wanted to like this film i just couldn't get over the plot holes in the end. He goes back in time to save lois, so that should mean that everything he did to save the world should have been undone, but it wasn't i just don't get it. just cuz he went back in time doesn't mean the earthquake and stuff won't happen now. that just brought the movie way down for me. Expand
  42. cinewill
    Jun 17, 2006
    10
    Truly inspirational, saw it recently at the Arclight Hollywood with Richard Donner commenting live. Donner was a prankster and that level of fun sets the tone of the film. THe emotional depth Chris Reeve displays is amazing! This movie is a gift to all comic book lovers!
  43. BrandonL.
    Mar 17, 2006
    10
    'Superman' has been a personal favorite of mine for 10 years. Compared to the superhero films of today, 'Superman' still stands out as the best comic-to-film adaptation. A brilliant movie with everything you could want in a movie R.I.P. Christopher Reeve: 1952-2004.
  44. ChristopherG.
    Dec 31, 2005
    8
    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.
  45. TomM
    Sep 27, 2005
    9
    There has yet to be a film in this genre that has topped it. Other critics were quick to jump the gun with Spider-Man or X-Men but time has already aged those films like so much cheese...while Superman continues to age like fine wine. Perfect casting, perfect chemistry, perfect music and nearly perfect dialog (albeit somewhat cheesy and uneven with the comic relief of Luthor and Otis) There has yet to be a film in this genre that has topped it. Other critics were quick to jump the gun with Spider-Man or X-Men but time has already aged those films like so much cheese...while Superman continues to age like fine wine. Perfect casting, perfect chemistry, perfect music and nearly perfect dialog (albeit somewhat cheesy and uneven with the comic relief of Luthor and Otis) make this the all-time best superhero movie. Expand
  46. MikeW.
    Jun 6, 2005
    10
    As perfect as a movie can get.
  47. Brett
    May 19, 2005
    10
    Best. Comic. Movie. Ever. Hands down.
  48. Gettford
    Mar 6, 2005
    9
    This was the second movie (after "Star Wars") I had seen at Mann's Chinese Theater and was blown away by it. Incredible film. It's sad thtat today's blockbusters like Spider-Man, Batman, etc. can't stack up to the old blockbusters like Star Wars, Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The writing in those older films was vastly superior. Maybe the technical expertise This was the second movie (after "Star Wars") I had seen at Mann's Chinese Theater and was blown away by it. Incredible film. It's sad thtat today's blockbusters like Spider-Man, Batman, etc. can't stack up to the old blockbusters like Star Wars, Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The writing in those older films was vastly superior. Maybe the technical expertise wasn't there, but the creativity and emotion -- the general artfulness - was in a different league. Expand
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Newsweek
    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]
  2. 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!
  3. 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.