Box art for Man of Steel

  Man of Steel

action & adventure, drama

A young boy learns he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, when the world is threatened, he must emerge as a hero and the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 12
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Superman's back in brooding, action-packed reboot.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Man of Steel, the latest take on the legendary Superman character, is darker than the classic Superman films but lighter (and less bloody) than The Dark Knight trilogy. There's definitely a lot of violence (including a destroyed planet, necks being broken, hand-to-hand combat that results in deaths, and -- possible spoiler alert -- Superman actually killing an enemy), but it's more macro than micro in scale: buildings topple, the sea crashes down, planes plummet, etc. Language is infrequent but includes occasional use of "s--t," "d--k," and "ass." The romance even tamer: Lois Lane and Superman hold hands and kiss twice in one scene. Product placements are limited to IHOP, which is shown a few times, and Nikon (but there are more than 100 off-screen licensing deals/promotions in place globally for the movie). Expect plenty of messages about good and evil and identity and what it means to be a hero; ultimately this is a story about the duality of Superman's life (part Clark Kent, part Kal-El), as symbolized by his two fathers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how this Superman differs from past interpretations of the comic-book hero. How is this story unique? What parts of the story are the same? Which adaptation do you like best, and why?
  • How does the impact of the violence in this movie compare to other superhero stories you've seen? What about to other types of movies, like thrillers?
  • General Zod's behavior is "terrorist-like" -- he's willing to have his army destroy anyone and anything to further his cause. But he also makes decisions not out of a sadistic need for violence, but for what he considers the greater good of his people. He's genuinely upset that Jor-El and then Kal-El won't help him. Is Zod completely evil?
  • How does Superman's relationship with his two fathers influence the different aspects of his personality?
  • Many have raised the issue that it goes against the established Superman character to (possible spoiler alert!) have him kill someone, as he does in this movie. How does that action affect your opinion of Superman? Does the act have repercussions?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

3 stars

What's up Goku? Complaints were thrown all over the place after the disappointing "Superman Returns" hit the silver screen. "Where's the action?" "This Superman movie is boring." "All Superman does is lift things." Blah, blah, blah. I, too, was disappointed with "Superman Returns". But I'll give it this: that film was the truer form of the comic book superhero compared to "Man of Steel". Running off the fumes of the successful Dark Knight trilogy, "Man of Steel" attempts to carry the same tone as that trilogy, but it only serves as tone. The dark tone doesn't cohesively mesh with the plot, especially because the Superman saga is essentially a sci-fi action flick. "That's alright," I thought. As long as "Man of Steel" portrays an entertaining rendition of the rise of Superman, I'm good. Nope. "Man of Steel" adds nothing fresh or new to the old tale. Doesn't matter still -- as long as the drama for an old tale works, I'm sold. "Man of Steel" still comes out stilted. It makes me wonder why a film about the genesis of Superman was needed in the first place, and this is coming from someone that has not seen one Superman movie that starred Christopher Reeves. It clicked: This movie was made purely to address the complaints of "Superman Returns". Oh, and it tried to redeem Superman's reputation, alright. What is, for the first half of the film, a somber and brooding film, explodes out into a Dragon Ball Z-esque, face smashing, concrete-breaking, building-exploding frenzy of quick cuts. Hey, if you thought "Superman Returns" was boring for Superman's lack of aggression, you sure get the complete opposite side of him in "Man of Steel". For the most part, the action is somewhat entertaining, but it's all cathartic violence with over-the-top set-pieces. In a crux, it's all mindless and forgetful. Possibly for that split second, you'll find yourself entertained, but once you walk to your car from the movie theater, you'll instantly forget. Albeit, you've never seen Superman action like this before. Gone are the weak-sauce green screen Superman action scenes. "Man of Steel" is rife with bodies being thrown through multiple stories of buildings, complete with skyscrapers falling on larger-than-life characters. You've never seen action in a live action movie like it. Still doesn't make it a marvelous achievement though. All in all, "Man of Steel" is jarringly disappointing. The beginning half is a drama that never seems to stand on its two feet and the last half is an over-the-top action flick that doesn't exactly coexist with its tone. It's Zack Snyder's best movie, but that's not exactly saying much.

- fb1463751009, Thursday, July 25, 2013

2 stars

I have to say, I found this pretty boring, too long, and Superman managed to have not a single personality trait. Which seems hard to pull off.

- Julie, Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 stars

It's the best Superman adaptation ever made. The trio of Director, Zack Snyder, Writer, David S. Goyer and Producer, Christopher Nolan craft a vastly engaging and breathtaking superhero film that grabs you with it's compelling and mysterious story, powerful characters, stunning visuals, searing suspense and mind-blowing action. An unforgettable and spectacular experience that's thrilling, deeply moving and incredibly entertaining all the way through. An impressive display of special effects and storytelling. A true instant classic. Director, Zack Snyder crafts an extraordinary masterpiece that soars. This film is beyond super, its superb. Man of Steel is a darker, tougher, more confident and more character driven piece than expected. The cast is amazing, their is not one bad performance in this film and every actor in this gives it everything. Henry Cavill is absolutely perfect, he gives an outstanding performance. Cavill brings his Superman to life with charm, charisma, emotion, inner-darkness, tremendous confidence and a whole lot of heart. Michael Shannon is incredible, his interpretation of Zod is just fearless. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are terrific, they give such strength and heart to their characters and deliver wonderful performances. Russell Crowe is excellent, he has more screen time than you expect and leaves a strong impression. Amy Adams is fantastic. A heart-pounding and explosive action-packed adventure that you wont soon forget and will want to see again. An impressively effective and astounding piece of work

- allan913, Thursday, July 18, 2013