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Superman II Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    87

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    A marvelous toy. It's funny, it's full of tricks and it manages to be royally entertaining, which is really all it aims for.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It brings the fantastic into our everyday lives; it delights in showing us the reaction of the man on the street to Superman's latest stunt.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    It boasts a more consistent tone, better special effects (such as villains throwing buses around like paper planes), and even an affecting love story.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety

    Superman II emerges as a solid, classy, cannily constructed piece of entertainment which gets down to action almost immediately.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    A marvelous toy. It's funny, it's full of tricks and it manages to be royally entertaining, which is really all it aims for.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    A stylish, well-paced film with a good variety of moods and moves.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Newsweek David Ansen

    Superman II is a success, a stirring sequel to the smash of '79. Whether you will prefer it to the original is like choosing between root beer and Fresca. They're both bubbly, but the flavor is different. What the follow-up doesn't have is the epic lyricism of Richard Donner's version; it's harder edged, fleeter on its feet, less reverential. [22 June 1981, p.87]

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Superman II delivers on the promise hinted at in "Superman." Which is the better film? That's a hard choice to make, since both succeed in different ways.

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  • See all Superman II reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Witty, action-packed superadventure with big themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Superman II is a sequel to the 1978 live-action film and is heads and shoulders above the original. Witty and fast-paced, a playful sense of humor pervades this superhero saga. School-age kids respond to both the action and the sympathetic portrait of the nerdy Clark Kent. Although they'll be repelled by the primitive-looking special effects, preteens respond well to the flippant humor and fast pace. They're also able to comprehend Superman's "sacrifice" for love. Teen and older viewers enjoy the movie's irreverent attitude towards many hallmarks of the Man of Steel mythos, while also appreciating the "date" between Lois and Clark. This film does, however, deal with mature themes of world domination, crime, love, heroism, sacrifice.

  • Families can talk about what they value most in life and what they would sacrifice for it. What would they do in Superman's shoes?
  • How is this movie different from the original? Which do you think is better?
  • Why do you think Superman has to sacrifice his powers to be with Lois?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true3

    Messages: Good and bad are clearly defined. Superman wins the day by lying to Lex Luthor and the Kryptonian supervillains (knowing that Luthor's pledge to not reveal a secret was, in itself, a lie). Some underlying messages about love and relationships weakening a man, but this is not explicit.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Superman is the ultimate superhero role model -- sacrificing himself for the greater good.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Lois is nearly crushed to death. Superman undergoes a creepy-looking change (with muscles and skeleton visible) when he sacrifices his powers for Lois. Younger viewers might be disturbed when the powerless Clark Kent is bested by a roadside bully, resulting in a bloody nose. Superman has several encounters with villains, the most notable being his battle with the trio from Krypton, which leaves much of Metropolis destroyed. Not many casualties are viewed, with the exception of a snake who is burnt, and a little boy who receives the same treatment (offscreen) for trying to warn authorities about the trio's threat.

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: Lois and Clark consummate their relationship, but it's discreetly depicted.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false4

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

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable

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