Share

Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Superman: The Movie Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    86

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Superman is good, clean, simple-minded fun, though it's a movie whose limited appeal is built in.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Newsweek Jack Kroll

    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]

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    There's no doubt that it's a flawed movie, but it's one of the most wonderfully entertaining flawed movies made.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Superman: The Movie reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Super-nostalgic superhero adventure still soars.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that many characters are in peril before Superman saves the day, including a school bus full of kids teetering off the Golden Gate Bridge, two coasts threatened by a missle launch, and Lois who is buried alive after an earthquake. Superman can't save his adopted dad from a heart attack, however, and is shown mourning his death. There is some smoking in the Daily Planet newsroom typical of the '70s and a few swear words. Superman fights for "truth, justice, and the American way" -- your basic superhero role model.

  • Families can talk about favorite superhero movies. What makes a good superhero movie? What makes Lex Luthor one of the best villains?
  • Families can also talk about different versions of the Superman story. And why do you think in the last century he fought for the "American way" and in this one he becomes more globally minded?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids will see the Hoover Dam and the workings of a press room in the '70s -- typwriters and all!

  • message true4

    Messages: Like every superhero movie, good against evil is a key component. So is the idea that humans are flawed but worth saving.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Superman "fights for truth, justice, and the American way." He's humble, telling a prison warden that "we're all part of the same team," and always tells the truth. Although his father tells him not to meddle with human history, he does so to save someone's life.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Lots of action, but little to no blood. Superman stops property crimes. Clark Kent intercepts a bullet intended for Lois by a mugger who accosts the two of them. The citizens of Krypton are killed when their planet explodes. Various people are imperiled during an earthquake, including Jimmy Olsen, but all are saved by Superman. Clark's father, "Pa" Kent, is shown having a fatal heart attack; Clark mourns his death at his funeral. Before he turns back time, Superman discovers Lois buried alive in her car. A derailing train, a helicopter, a bus full of kids teetering off the Golden Gate Bridge, and a lightning-struck Air Force One are all saved by Superman. A detective is thrown in front of a train and all the police find is his mangled hat.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Two kisses. Lots of cleavage shown on Miss Teschmacher, including one scene where she plays dead on the side of the road and an army officer says he's going to attempt "vigorous chest rubbing." When toddler Superman emerges from the meteor, you can see his penis.

  • language false2

    Language: "Damn," "ass," and "hell" once or twice each.

  • consumerism false4

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

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Perry White smokes cigars and Lois and other newsroom employees smoke cigarettes. Superman tells Lois she shouldn't smoke and uses his x-ray vision to check her lungs. Some wine drinking, but Superman says he never drinks when flying. One cop says to another "the first bottle's on me."

Advertisement