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Superman Returns Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

… heart and soul … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    72

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The surprise of Superman Returns is that it isn't a funky, ambitious conceptual reimagining, like last summer's "Batman Begins." This really IS your father's Superman; it re-creates - and updates, though just barely - the universe Donner invented.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A rousing spectacle.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The daunting logistics of Superman Returns have obviously affected the director's work -- thus the hit-or-miss continuity of the narrative -- but Bryan Singer hasn't been defeated by them. While his movie can be cumbersome, it's consistently alive, and that is saying a lot when many such productions are dead in the water, on land or in the air. Also, how can you resist the charm of a fantasy in which everyone gets his news from newspapers?

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Director Bryan Singer positions this new film as a sequel to Donner's film, and his Superman -- played with winning fortitude by newcomer Brandon Routh -- is less a Man of Steel than a Man of Heart.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Superman Returns reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Thrilling but violent, tense return for the Man of Steel.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie features some violent images, beginning with the fiery crash of Superman's return vehicle, along with lots of explosions, earth-shakings, giant waves, and an especially harrowing sequence in which a plane almost crashes. There's an earthquake, a bank robbery, and a near-drowning. And lots of bloodless violence: The villain stabs Superman repeatedly, and in a long scene, Superman is kicked and beaten. Someone is crushed by a piano. Some younger kids could be upset by the fact that both mothers and sons are in jeopardy, and some scenes are very sad (Superman grieves for his lost father and his changed relationship with Lois; when he's in the hospital, people worry). Finally, it wouldn't be summer without smoking in a movie (every year it happens in kids' films...) -- Lois carries cigarettes; one scene in a bar shows beer drinking.

  • Families can talk about the importance of family connections and reconciliations, even following separations. They can also discuss how Superman faces his fear and vulnerability and still serves others generously.

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Superman saves the day unselfishly.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Superman's return to earth occurs in a fiery crash; a plane catches fire and plummets through the sky; Superman rescues victims in other violent scenes (explosion caused by cigarette butt lighting gas, bank robbery, earthquake, woman falling off building, car out of control); Lex beats, kicks, and stabs Superman with kryptonite shard; a little dog is shown eating its fellow little dog; Superman stops thieves with major automatic weapons, deflects a shot at his bullet-proof eye..

  • sex false0

    Sex: Lois and Superman share lingering looks and a chastely romantic flight over Metropolis; Kitty wears some tight, campy costumes.

  • language false3

    Language: One "damn," one s-word.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Clark and Jimmy go to a bar; Jimmy drinks beer; Lois starts to smoke a cigarette and Superman convinces her she should not.

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