Box art for Superman: The Movie

Superman: The Movie

action & adventure, children & family, romance

A new, updated version of the popular comic book hero "Superman."

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 8
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
3 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The film is best when it takes itself seriously, worst when it takes the easy way out in giggly camp -- as it does, finally and fatally, when Lex Luthor enters the action.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fresh: ...the film has aged incredibly poorly in the years since its 1978 debut.

- David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews, Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fresh: The film ranks among the greatest crowd pleasers in cinema history, an achievement it will surely hold for a long time.

- Felix Gonzalez Jr., DVD Review, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Wow, it's been ages since I saw this film. I think last time wasn't even on this side of the millenium. It's still good after all these years, even if I don't love as much now as when I was younger. One thing that will never fade with time though, is the fantastic music theme, composed by no other than the eminent John Williams. The action scenes remain brilliant as well, and are even up to par excitement-wise with today's superhero movies (albeit the special effects obviously have a lower "wow" factor). So when all is said and done, this still keeps its status as a charming and lustrous classic.

- CloudStrife84, Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 stars

The first great superhero movie that paved the way for all future adaptions. Richard Donner and Mario Puzo made superheros realistically fit into the world as much as they could and made comic books more than just something for kids. While it it wasn't a perfect movie at the time, the extended cut really shapes it into one. The performance of Christopher Reeves is great and captures Superman perfectly. However, it's Gene Hackman that completely steals the show and make Lex Luthor even more kooky and diabolical.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, May 27, 2010

5 stars

Superman is by far the best Superhero movie of all time. Sure the new Batman films are excellent but they're not a touch on Donner's classic. Reeve is the quintessential Superman, even though he the 3rd (or is it 4th?) person to play him. I just can't express how much I adore this film, it has been my favourite since childhood and I must have watched it over 100 times. I love everything about it and can find no faults with it. Brilliant!

- SirPant, Thursday, September 3, 2009