‘Man of Steel’ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:32 am,

Man of Steel Review starring Henry Cavill Amy Adams Michael Shannon and Laurence Fishburne Man of Steel Review

Man of Steel has more than earned its keep, and deserves to be THE iconic Superman movie for a whole new generation.

Man of Steel re-imagines the legend of Superman in modern movie fashion – beginning with the story of his home planet, Krypton. We first witness the miraculous birth of Kal-El, son of prominent scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer), who happens to be the first naturally born Kryptonian (i.e., not genetically engineered) in a long time. Unfortunately, Kal’s birth comes just at the time when Krypton’s society is fracturing under the fear inspired by Jor-El’s prediction that the planet’s end is nigh.

An attempted military coup by General Zod (Michael Shannon) sets into motion a series of fateful events that see young Kal-El raised on Earth, where he is warned by his adoptive parents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) that his god-like alien powers will one day force him to make a choice about how he will change the world for better or worse. And when Zod and his minions suddenly appear in Earth’s orbit, ready to finish what was started on Krypton, Kal-El/Clark Kent realizes that his prophesied moment of choice has now arrived.

Michael Shannon and Antje Traue in Man of Steel Man of Steel Review

Michael Shannon and Antje Traue in ‘Man of Steel’

As was hoped for by many, Man of Steel is a fine marriage between the rich character-centric storytelling of Dark Knight Trilogy architects Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer, and the signature visual talents of director Zack Snyder. The movie is very much “Superman Begins” in terms of its narrative approach and structure; however, in terms of themes and tone the film achieves its own identity as an insightful, reverent and effectively relatable Superman story. Are there liberties taken with certain details of the costume, origin story or character relationships? Of course. But then again; this is a fresh start to present a new Superman to a modern world – and in that, Man of Steel ultimately succeeds.

Visually, this is Snyder’s most impressive film yet – and it looks pretty stunning in 3D. Everything from Kryptonian culture and technology to the way Superman’s powers (and the impossible physics surrounding them) operate looks on point and believable (enough) in a real-world context. Add to that an abundance of visual iconography and head nods to both the comics and Richard Donner’s seminal films (in particular Superman II) and it’s clear that Man of Steel‘s director has true love, understanding and appreciation for the subject matter at hand.

Man of Steel Full Trailer Spoilers Man of Steel Review

The action sequences – while at times a bit too CGI-heavy – are pretty epic in nature and certainly deliver on that perennial fanboy desire to see a film that depicts how super-powered beings would look and feel battling it out in a real-world setting. The wonderful pacing, editing, smart selection of scenes and abundance of action make this two-plus-hour ride go rather quickly; although by the climax, seeing flying men get punched through buildings over and over again might have you checking your watch. The score by Dark Knight composer Hans Zimmer is phenomenal and heightens the film every turn, while also establishing yet another new-age superhero theme to replace a classic favorite (John Williams’ Superman theme from the Donner films).

Script-wise, the story moves at a nonstop pace and should be wholly familiar to fans of Batman Begins in terms of structure; while comic book fans will also recognize several modern Superman stories that were mined for this film’s plot. A lengthy prologue introduces us to the world of Krypton in detailed and imaginative fashion, before we break into that signature Nolan non-linear scene montage format, covering Clark Kent’s life on Earth, past and present. The second act settles back into linear character and plot development (the re-introduction of General Zod), while the third act takes things into a full-on, over-the-top, super-powered showdown.

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel Man of Steel Review

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in ‘Man of Steel’

In terms of quality, the script definitely has strength and heart in terms of characterization and themes; Nolan and Goyer seem to understand Superman and his origins as well as they did Batman’s, as well as the similarities and the distinct differences between the two characters. The film contains some powerful moments and character beats – particularly where Clark Kent and his human parents are concerned.

At the same time, Man of Steel  is not without some noticeable narrative flaws. The script can be very “comic-bookish” in some scenes of dialogue, and the jumps in time and place during the first act are not as cohesive as they were in Batman Begins. Clever editing and speedy movement earlier on often comes at the price of effective narrative development. In short: if you were one of those people who were hung up on the question of how Bruce Wayne made it back to Gotham after escaping prison in Dark Knight Rises, you’ll find similar gripes with Man of Steel. Thankfully, the studio and filmmakers pull the same magic trick they did with the Batman franchise by casting an impressive array of highly-talented actors, who help elevate the weaker points of the script.

Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne in Man of Steel Man of Steel Review

Amy Adams and Laurence Fishburne in ‘Man of Steel’

Henry Cavill’s role is pared-down and restrained much of the time, which, combined with the talent of his co-stars, helps to overcome any deficiencies in his performance and sell him as the new Superman for a new era. By the end, he locks down the role and franchise as his own. Amy Adams (even with her different hair color) and Laurence Fishburne (even with his different skin color) both nail their respective characters of Lois Lane and Perry White and have great chemistry with each other, and with  Cavill. Michael Shannon was the perfect left-field casting choice for General Zod, as he and Antje Traue (as Zod’s lieutenant, Faora-Ul) manage to ground all of the alien fantasy with no-nonsense performances that steer well clear of comic book villain campiness.

Meanwhile, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe add Oscar-caliber gravitas and heart to the film as Superman’s two sets of parents. Crowe gets a substantial amount of screen time to really flesh-out the character of Jor-El like never before, while Lane and Costner totally carry the family drama subplot, which is the most moving and beautiful element of the story. Even military side-characters like Genearl Swanwick, Colonel Nathan Hardy and scientist Emil Hamilton get a boost from being portrayed by fine actors like Harry Lennix (The Matrix 2 & 3), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) and Richard Schiff (The West Wing), respectively.

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent Kal El Superman in Man of Steel Man of Steel Review

Henry Cavill as Superman in ‘Man of Steel’

On the whole, this movie is exactly the sort of experience that many Superman fans have been asking for, with the added benefit of having some smart storytellers providing fresh insight into why the character is one of the most iconic fictional creations out there. Like Nolan and Christian Bale’s first Batman outing, Snyder and Cavill’s first crack at Superman isn’t a homerun (we’ll call it a triple), but having succeeded in re-introducing the franchise to the masses; crafting a satisfying summer blockbuster; melding real-world sensibility with sci-fi fantasy (better than Green Lantern ever did) AND leaving the door open for an entire DC superhero universe to follow behind itMan of Steel has more than earned its keep, and deserves to be THE iconic Superman movie for a whole new generation. (Sorry, Bryan Singer…)

…And, if the Batman franchise is anything to judge by, imperfections will be corrected and the best is still yet to come with the inevitable Man of Steel 2.

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Man of Steel is now in theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language.

Want to discuss the film without SPOILING it for others? Head over to our Man of Steel Spoilers Discussion. If you want to hear the Screen Rant Editors discuss the film, check out our Man of Steel special episode of the Screen Rant Undergound Podcast.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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TAGS: superman, superman man of steel

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  1. Glad to read that positive review,seeing it this morning,cant wait.

    • Was that Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in the Twisted Redux Flashback?

  2. Totally agree with everything said above. I just walked out of the theater and I would give it 4.5/5. Henry Cavill IS superman! I’ve been a huge supes fan for 23 years and this movie is everything I could have possibly hoped for. Honestly. Even my wife who was against even wanting to see it came out of theater hyped up over what she just saw. It was a incredible movie and really well done. I def don’t agree with most critics. I look forward to hearing the podcast come Monday about the other editors thoughts.

    • I wrote a rather lengthy comment earlier but I agree with you, it was like they were comparing it to the 1978 movie or were upset because they couldn’t determine how to rate it-

      It told a story, it tried to relate the character, and it had action- It nailed the action, it held a serious tone throughout the movie- But they skipped a bit in the story and relate ability.

      Which may have been the logic, they weren’t sure how to rate it- It had the seriousness which made you want to be critical. Not sure, but it doesn’t warrant a low rating I thought it was a really distinct unique approach to the Superman mythology.

      I’m seeing it again I liked it so much.

  3. SuperMan is back.
    Take that Marvel Bi@%e&.

    • Ditto! Marvel is unraveling at the seams…

      • oh yea, marvel must really be freaking out, what with IM3 having a better overall rotten tomatoes score and a billion dollar box office take and all their sequels for their proven and established shared universe down the pipeline for thor cap and their juggernaut film ‘ the Avengers’. yea, they must be trembling…. trembling carrying all that money all the way to the bank.

        Seeing MoS this weekend, hope its as good as Kofi makes it seem. have high hopes for supes.

      • im pretty sure their bank account from movies is doing quite well. One good movie does not make marvel worry. Plus how many dc movies are coming out this year? Oh….this is it? Shucks, cuz marvel has another still. And has at least 6 planned after that, soooo ill hold my breath while dc figures out how to bring their characters to the big screen in more ways than bats and supes.

      • @ Rahul and Wes

        You two are the perfect combination of stupid and ignorant.

        • Owned

        • butthurt so much iron man?? LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLL

    • DC > Marvel without a doubt!

    • From a marketing perspective, Marvel is hoping Superman (and all non-marvel comic book movies do well). Only people like us, who read sites like this, might care about some kind of Marvel vs. DC war (and whatever studios represent them). If Supes does well, most folks will be even more excited for whatever Marvel churns out next.

      • I agree with Tyler. The DC vs. Marvel war is STUPID.
        All of the comic book companies have always supported each other because they love the medium! They have to. Comic book hasn’t always been good, and in time of crisis there’ll always be supportive of their fellow publishers.
        Fanboys are ridiculous, just read comics, of any publisher (if indie, the better). Stop whining and enjoy the magnificent art form we have available to our eyes.

      • @ Tyler

        Your comment is the best and smartest one I’ve read in tho entire post, or any MoS threads.

        Well said, and your are absolutly right!

      • @ Tyler

        Your comment is the best and smartest one I’ve read in the entire thread, or any MoS threads.

        Well said, and your are absolutly right!

        • I can’t believe people are childish enough to think there is some war between DC and Marvel?! Sure each of them hopes to be number 1, but ultimately they don’t want to see each other fail because that sets a worrying trend for themselves.

          Also have you all forgotten the many crossovers Marvel and DC have done?!

          Personally I love them both, they both made stuff I love and hate!

          • Nooo, no no. See, there’s a war between Marvel and DC *fanboys*. I’m not part of it – I enjoy all the movies equally. I’m recently extra hyped about Man of Steel, since I just saw it, and you just can’t beat The Dark Knight. But I usually prefer Marvel characters (Spider-man character, Ironman, TASM, SM1 and SM2 movies), so yeah – I’m pretty neutral.

  4. Just got back from the theater, watching Man of Steel. It was a darn good movie, that is action packed, but I still like the first Superman film from 1978, a bit more, because it has a stronger story IMHO. Also, BOTH the Nolanverse Batman films (for the realism crowd) and the Green Lantern film (for the fantasy crowd) can fit into the MOS universe. Let me repeat that again, both genres of realism and fantasy can fit into the MOS universe. Anyways, I hope it will do well at the box office, so we can start to see Warner create a Justice League movie, down the line.

    • I have seen the donner films, and i have to say they dont hold up after all these years. I feel they are amazing for their time, but the action is so bad in those its laughable. Again, looking at it now – back then when i saw it i was like whaaaaaaaaaaaat!

      • I agree totally. While great in their day, it just doesn’t hold up to todays standards. Unlike the Star Wars which will probably hold up forever…

    • @GizmoduckJP and @Manowar:

      Storyline wise Superman (1978) blows away Man of Steel. I would say Man of Steel’s storyline edges Superman II and blows away Superman III, IV and Superman Returns. Now there is no doubt, Man of Steel blows away all previous Superman films in terms of action, but Superman (1978), IMHO gets the nod in storyline. I do not care, if the Superman (1978) is outdated, that freaking storyline rocks!!! ‘Nuff said!

      • So the turning back time by flying around the world did it for you eh?

  5. Great review! Just got out and absolutely loved it! The film ended with a thunderous applause.

    I was reading some of the comments in the Man of Steel cast interviews thread and a lot of people were saying this superman film had TO MUCH action… I don’t get it. People were complaining about how Superman Returns didnt have enough action and now people are saying this Superman movie has to much? The hell?! haha

    • It wasn’t that there was too much action, but that there wasn’t enough of a balance stricken between that and the narrative. Maybe it’s because of how the scenes were cut Batman Begins style? Most of the character development occurs through flash backs. I don’t know. I guess I was just hoping it would be perfect instead of really good, because it’s Superman.

      Regardless I enjoyed it a lot. I think the critics giving it negative reviews went in with their rose-tinted glasses on expecting a rehash of “the good ol’ days”.

      • I agree, while I love my action, I usually enjoy it a lot more when the action is tastefully done. Sort of less would be more kinda thing.

        • You said it, less is more. When there’s an oversaturation of destruction going on it tends to lessen the impact of it all. Someone else said that Snyder was overcompensating for Superman Returns’ shortcomings. I agree. But the Krypton prologue alone makes this worth seeing more than once.

          If this is “Superman Begins” and TDK was the best of that trilogy…

      • +1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

    • I live in a small town and the theater was half packed. No one applauded. The only thing heard was a popcorn tub hit the floor. I heard a few jeers in disappointment and I am still trying to wrap my thoughts as to why Helen Hunt was missing from the Twister Movie Flashback. Also how did the Daily Planet building miraculously rebuild itself so quickly?

      • What do you mean so quickly? There is no reference to time at that point in the movie. It could have been a year later that he started to work at the DP.

  6. I have barely gotten two hours of sleep since getting back from the midnight screening of Man of Steel. Having sung the praises of Christopher Reeve’s 1978 incarnation for my entire life, I never thought I would see anything top that film, but today Chris Nolan, Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill have done it. I’ll always cherish 1978′s Superman as an iconic vision of a comics icon, but this… this feels like the first REAL Superman movie.

  7. Can you answer a question? It seems the negative reviews are the result of critics going in with the expectation and desire to see and have a ‘Richard Donner Superman’ experience again. Instead, they are getting a film whose source material is basically the current NEW 52 Action Comics and Superman series, along with graphic novels like EARTH ONE, BIRTHRIGHT, SECRET ORIGIN, BRAINIAC – and even the 1986 John Bryne ‘Man of Steel’ story-arc.

    I’d always thought if Warner Bros. had shot the script to the DC Animated Film ‘SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY’ instead of ‘SUPERMAN RETURNS’ back in 2006, they would have successfully rebooted Superman back then. But now, after reading the issues many critics have with the content of ‘MAN OF STEEL’, it looks like a theatrical release of the animated ‘SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY’ would’ve been slammed even worse for its excessive violence, mass destruction, dark themes, adult content and ultra-serious approach to Superman.

    • I didn’t see a question in there, lol!

      But I agree with you. The majority of the critics who are giving this movie negative reviews are seeing Superman through the eyes of a different generation. This was the same problem the 1989 Batman faced, being based on the “darker” Batman established by O’Neill and Miller, and playing to a generation raised on Adam West.

      • That is a very condescending statement! I think those that are fortunate enough to have seen the original in their life have the wisdom and critical analysis skills to critique the movie fairly.

    • Yes, it’s clearly the professional critics who are biased by their expectations going into this film and not the fans who have been flooding message boards for the past several months with ludicrously optimistic comments about how Man of Steel will surpass all previous comic book movies, will be nominated for a best picture Oscar, and so on.

      • Thank you. Totally agree with you. The critics are absolutely wrong.

        • they are critics paid by Marvel :D

  8. I loved the film, its great to finally see DC universe get a proper start cinematicly, Goyer and Snyder could be Wheaton’s and Fegie’s counterparts in the DC comics cinematic universe. As it was a great film i only had one problem, i didn’t like the ending as much, i think it could have been handled different.

  9. There were some parts I enjoyed but I didn’t think it was that good overall. To put it simply, I thought the story and direction were weak and the action was just way too awkward and like a cartoon. That’s just me, I guess.

    • U stand alone dude…

      • Not that I can personally comment yet but……there are a lot of critics who are standing with him ;)

      • No, he doesn’t.

        I’m in my forties and lived on the Steve Reeves Superman (after school back to back with the Lone Ranger). I though that nothing could beat that…until Donner’s Superman. If Man of Steel held up, I’m sure that I would have the clarity of mind to agree.

        It didn’t.

        I see what Snyder tried to do, and admittedly I loved the costume update. The story however, was pretty weak and I did not come away feeling ‘wowed’ at all. Interestingly enough, the rest of the theater seemed to feel the same. No applause, no yahoo’s or whistles…just a sort of “ho hum, well…that’s that.” feeling when leaving. People talking about it in the corridor saying “Well, I guess it was OK…” I don’t know where all of these theater’s are where everyone was experiencing some kind of group euphoria.

    • So what’s so terrible about the story? Everybody keeps saying this.

      We see the origin of Superman and the development of Zod’s mission, as well as why and how they survived Krypton and searched space for years.

      We have the story of Pa Kent and how he shaped Superman to having the M.O. that he does, the struggle and development of Clark Kent in growing up and his journey to coming to terms with his powers and his place in the world. We’re shown how this fuels his ventures around the world – which double as his undercover “guardian angel” role – and how this leads to him discovering his suit (which serves to seal his Kryptonian mythology and greater purpose, i.e. as the living Codex of the Kryptons). His activating the ship after discovering it is what draws Zod to earth after the aforementioned 33-year search. All wrapped up neatly thus far.

      I can go on, but I still have to ask – what is so wrong with this thus far?

  10. Jus got out of the midnight show, watched it on IMAX. I must say it is an action packed, fast pace, origin movie. This movie did not disappoint me.
    I will also say this, there where a lot of women at the theatre! Lol, did not see this film attracting so many women. J/k.

    • That’s funny… I am more excited to see this than my husband is. Though admittedly he’s not a big comic book movie fan. I love ‘em! We’re seeing the early show on Sunday.

  11. Wow, great review, I feel like I have a certain grasp of the movie and that I’ll enjoy it, without knowing anything about the story. Great job Kofi, I was on the fence about watching it, but after reading this I can’t wait.

  12. 4 OUT OF 5??! I MEAN REALLY?? I really don’t understand your screenrant critics, I just came from the theater & IT WAS AWESOME!! !But still you gave it 4 stars?? Your critics must definitely have bad taste, cause this movie tops it all –way better than Iron Man and the Dark Knight for me. I’m planning on seeing it 2 more times at the theater. IT WAS GREAT! IT WAS AWESOME! GO SEE IT, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    • Dude, we gave it four out of 5 stars – And it says “Excellent” right under the rating. If it was a bit more polished, it would be a 5.

      • Definitely high praise! Thanks for this review. Can’t wait to see it. ;)

      • I’m curious, not that I disagree with your rating as I rated it about an 8.5 out of 10. What would you say needs polishing to bump the rating up to 5 for you?

      • Thanks for the feedback. Would you say the 3D on this film makes an impact or should I just choose to go with 2D? I haven’t really heard too much about the 3D on this film yet

        • Apparently 3D is nothing special from what I’m hearing. You’re able to see the fights better since they’re too fast paced for 3D.

      • THOUGH I THINK THAT WAS A VERY GOOD FILM BUT DISCOVERY OF THE FORTRESS WASN’T DONE GOOD AT ALL AND THE FIGHT WITH THOSE TENTACLES ALSO

    • Personally, no film deserves a 5 out of 5, since that implies perfection, and no film is perfect.

      • Obviously you haven’t seen Robocop…

        • Robocop 1 was very, very good. However, I can’t give a film a 5/5 on the principle that NOTHING is perfect.

          I can give it a 4.9, 4.99, 4.999, etc, just not a 5. ;)

        • Lol

        • Ha! So true. “Robocop” is just the PERFECT movie. (^-^)

    • Do you understand how numbers work? 4/5 is a very positive score.

  13. Hi Kofi, fantastic review. I live in New Zealand and we don’t get this movie until June 29th. I have been reading every review coming out at Rotten Tomatoes and as the days have progressed the score has been descending which had me worried. Glad you liked it and your comments are encouraging. I just could not believe that with the cast, the soundtrack and the pedigree of the producers and director that a mediocre movie could prevail. I have observed that many of the negative reviews seem to be from people who watch the film with a strong presupposed sense of who Superman should be in their minds. I think reviewers need to respond to Snyder’s film and his take on the Man of Steel after his change in direction has sunk in. Will be tuning into the Screen Rant podcast when available.

  14. Why are you apologizing to Bryan Singer? His Superman movie was a giant P.O.S.

  15. Superman Returns had more story, less action. Man of Steel, to much action and not enough story.

    People are going to either hate it or love it. Point is. It is not the movie Warner Brothers and DC thought it would be. Same type of over the top action and erratic editing, combined with the fast pace for which Zack Synder is known for.

    Warner Brothers wanted Man of Steel to be the New Batman, they wanted it to be the beginning of Justice League. This movie casts a conundrum. If Man of Steel is what Superman is in the Justice League, there is no point to having a Justice League if Villains know that Superman now has no moral limit. They are just there to add substance.

    There are people who are reaping praise on it, and there are those who loathe it.

    There are people saying the reviews are from people who hold on to the Donner version of Superman, well half if not 3/4 of them were not even born when Superman came out.

    I,as a person who has both inherited and collected a large collection of Superman Comic Books and anything related to Superman. I can also say, Only one Superman Movie was great and that was Superman II. I am not going to get all excited over a CGI Overloaded movie, and this may hurt some of your feelings. CGI is a crutch for which every action director in movies like this fall back upon and it becomes almost comical.

    A Serious Realistic Superman? Show me exactly how that is relevant in the real world, or show me the last super powered alien you ran into?

    Keep CBM Simple, fun and entertaining, do not go around putting realism into the movie.

    As for the Standing Ovations? Really? One Lemming goes off a cliff a few thousand more are going to follow him.

    • Yeah, anyone who likes this movie is a “Lemming” – and anyone who subscribes to the Jeff W school of thought is “smart.”

      …That about cover it?

      • Kofi, I doubt anyone subscribes to that school. lol.

        • I don’t subscribe only because I have my own school of thought. However, it seems that Jeff W and myself have very similar courses.

          I don’t care who says how epic Man of Steel is. It fell way short in my opinion. There were a few moments I appreciated (like the birth of Kal-El), but most I thought were lacking.

          • It’s good that you think that Patrick, it just goes to show just how important Superman is too everyone.

      • +1

        • Damm lol

      • Just came back from the movie.

        Was good. Not impressive and quite frankly. Packed Theater. all ages..No Standing Ovation.

        What I was referring to Kofi, is that I doubt everyone gave a stand ovation, probably just stood up to get ready to leave or stretch their legs and stop the bleeding from their ears.

        • They only do tht in America, usually for Adam Sandler movies. (^-^)

      • @Kofi

        After I posted it.

        Seems, I have a few people who do subscribe. What I was saying, I doubt everyone stood up and gave it a standing ovation.

        The movie was good, but did not live up to all of the hype.

        And dare I say.

        If you seen one F-35 Joint Fighter get torn apart, you seen them all.

      • @Kofi.

        I guess, you missed the part lemmings in correlation with Standing Ovations.

        That is what I am saying. People are going to like it,some are going to hate it.

        I thought it was good, could have been much better. It was loud and noisy and if you close your eyes, you hear a Michael Bay Film.

        • stupid, 2 spaceship going to torn earth and you expect sound like some people making firecamp at graveyard eh?

    • Great, I’m with you 100%. This movie has no emotional connection at all. It was like seeing a Michael Bay movie. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t good either. 6/10 IMHO.

      • I disagree completely the flashback scenes had great emotion

        • @Trey

          I agree there is many scenes that got me emotionally invested. Even characters that really are not seen much throughout the film- such as Perry White, the military officers and Dr. Hamilton.

          The parents (all four) made me emotionally connect with the film automatically on screen due to just great casting choices.

        • I absolutely disagree. Some were not only lacking, but when you really thought about them they made no sense at all.

          (THIS IS A SPOILER…IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE AND YOU PLAN TO, DON’T READ!!!)

          For example…young Clark saves the children on the bus. Pete Ross and his Mom go over to the Kent’s to discuss that Pete what well aware of what Clark did. Jonathan Kent while speaking to Clark, proposes that maybe Clark should have let the children on the bus die for the sake of keeping his background a secret. Also, when the tornado hit, Ken’t Sr. doesn’t allow Clark to save him, again pressing his opinion that he should preserve his identity for what is to be his ‘higher purpose’.

          Think for a minute…if Clark had let the children drown on the bus, it is obvious that Clark himself wouldn’t have died. So, in addition to many grieving parents asking why he was the only child saved from the accident…fast forward a few years later. Clark is now a grown and recognizable resident of Smallvile, before he disappears for a while. Smallvile’s residents all know his face…which is one of the main reasons that Lois was able to track down “Joe” to the Kent farm!

          So, now this Superman/Alien fella shows up sporting the same face as the young man that left Smallville some years ago. This is also the face of the man who was once a child, and schoolmate of the kids that drowned in the bus…where he was the only survivor. The same way that Pete Ross obviously still recognizes him, I’m sure many others would as well.

          Couldn’t you just hear the parents…”You could have saved my child…and you didn’t for the sake of your identity?”

          With that said…Clark did save the children on the bus and his identity remained for the most part, intact. Clark’s judgement call was sound, not Johnathan’s. It seems that Johnathan Kent lost his life trying to prove a moot point.

          There are other area’s that are just as ‘cloudy’, but I’ll stop here. There are valid reasons as to why this movie did not hold up to the hype preceding it.

          • It’s awesome to see just how important Superman is too you. Don’t worry. Eventually you will admit just how much you love this film.

            • Actually, it’s storytelling in general that is important to me. Flashy CGI without a very good story is just flashy CGI. Of the two origin stories made in the past forty years for the big screen, this one comes in second. If it weren’t for a few moments that I actually appreciated (like the consideration that the sudden discovery of these Krytonian powers might prove traumatic for a young child),it would be a distant second.

              Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for a reboot. It’s been more than 35 years since the last origin story and there have been so many technical advances in film making that it’s definitely time to approach subject matter like Superman again.

              Plus, the Donner films were not made with the expansion into a DC Universe, complete with a Justice League in mind. That alone warrants a remake. However, I actually think that the non-linear time line did more harm than good to this film. It shouldn’t have been approached this way just because it’s popular right now in current movies. Some topics just need to be explored creatively:

              (a) How did Johnathan Kent get that really big Kryptonian spacecraft into the barn when it’s pretty obvious that it’s entry into earths atmosphere during the 80′s would have alerted a few government agencies?

              Plus, well I’m sorry, but Johnathan’s little pickup truck just would not have cut it!

              (b) When Johnathan had the Krytonian fragment tested and it was found to be made of elements that do not exist on earth, why did it not raise more questions as to it’s origin?

              (c) Clark was obviously not too worried about keeping his abilities/powers a secret…even with the example Pa Kent tried to convey of it’s importance by not allowing Clark to save him in public from the twister. The rescue of the men from the oil rig and the shish-ke-bobbed truck of the obnoxious dude in the restaurant proved that. Jonathan’s death seemed to serve no purpose at all…so why the inclusion in the movie?

              (d) Why was there such emphasis placed on the family that Zod was about to kill [when Kal-El decided his only recourse was to kill Zod instead], when it’s pretty obvious that their fight in Metropolis with all of that destruction must have killed THOUSANDS of innocent human civilian lives?

              (e) Since they are no strangers to terra-forming new worlds and the Kyptonian citizens are being genetically created, a belief in a supreme being is obviously not a factor. What possible reason could there be to marry (Jor-El and Lara)? No vows made to a god-figure…therefore, no such thing as fornication or adultery…also, no kids to create. Whats the point of marriage on Krypton?

              (f) Since Kyptonians are being genetically created, with intention for it to stay that way, why weren’t genes to allow procreation turned off?

              (g) I’m glad the movie paid homage to the original comics where Superman started off leaping great distances before he could fly. But in leaping, you are a slave to gravity while flying, you are not.

              The only thing that could explain this is some allowance for telekinetic prowess (he must be controlling flight with his mind). In the Donner films, Lois asks Supes during the rooftop interview about his weight. His answer was “two…two-twenty-five”. It took a while for me to realize that he wasn’t saying “200 – 225 lbs.”, but “2,225 lbs” which is due to his dense molecular structure. Guys that are heavy (even overweight) are usually pretty strong, but usually can’t jump very high. Why?…gravity! That’s also why the trucker in the diner wasn’t able to budge him…Clark is too HEAVY for that.

              Even if you bypass that, how does one regardless of how “Super” he may be, jump (gravity based) so forcefully that he’s eventually able to fly and levitate (non-gravity based)?

              (g2) Speaking of the diner incident…why was the trucker not able to move Clark when years earlier during the incident with the school bullies, he was pulled from a car and pushed to the ground quite easily? His molecular structure and strength were intact as evidenced by the gatepost that Clark bent when he fell.

              (h) If Superman was the first superhero to wear a cape, then who was young Clark mimicking when he donned a red cape while playing with his dog as Johnathan and Martha watched?

              (i) Isn’t an explanation warranted on why it seems when Kryptonians enter earths atmosphere, great strength shows up first while x-ray vision and heat vision show up later since the suns radiation has to be gradually absorbed by the body, but basically enters straightaway through the eyes?

              Someone is bound to say “why not just enjoy the movie?”. Look…alot of us go into these movies with our thinking caps on and can’t really be expected to ‘suspend belief’ unless great efforts are put into the story that make it possible. I wanted to see something that would make me leave the theatre with a gigantic smile in my face.

              I didn’t.

              For the record…I could have gone on with this list, but it is way too lengthy already. So…NO. I will not be professing any love for this film because as much as I wanted to appreciate it, it was severely lacking in essential elements that would have made the story more believable.

              I only hope the writers and director do a much better job with the sequels and expanded universe.

              • (a) Kryptonian cloaking devise. Duh.
                (b) Doctor patient confidentiality type thing. Jonathan wouldn’t have brought the fragment to someone he didn’t trust.
                (c)He does something, then vanishes. The oil rig people didn’t know who he was, he used a different name. Same with the dude in the bar. That tornado scene with Jonathan? Please. Easily one of the most powerful and emotional moments ever to occur in a comic book movie.
                (d) So an emphasis could be put on the fact that Supes has to kill him in order to save lives. If there is ever someone Supes is “allowed” to kill, if we go by the source material… then it’s Zod.
                (e)This is just silly, not sure what your trying to say. You can be raised in a tube and still have a family.
                (f) That’s about as nit-picky as it gets. Maybe they were turned off and “life found a way.” — Jurassic Park
                (g) this is questioning how Superman can fly, and I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.
                (g2) If you knew ANYTHING about Superman, (which you do, which is why this nit-picking is confusing, because it is all explainable) you would know that Clark can be moved if he isn’t expecting it. It’s when he doesn’t want to be moved, when he doesn’t move.
                (h) Captain Marvel, obviously. I thought you knew your comics? Superman was not the first hero in a cape.
                (i) there was an explanation for this, but you know what? You don’t deserve it. Next time try watching a movie instead of spending the entire time trying to find what’s wrong with it.

                • (a) Wow…you really don’t THINK do you? Perhaps it was the same ‘cloaking device’ used when the other FULLY FUNCTIONAL ship was found in the ice. The military certainly DIDN’T see it as it took off (smh). Plus, you never addressed the pick-up truck…no matter. Your answer wasn’t a good one anyway.

                  (b) At the very least, your answer is plausible, but in this story my point was that it is an area that needs to be focused on because it comes off as “Well…here’s your metal shard back Kent. We couldn’t find anything like it on earth. Bye bye now.” That’s the point…THINK Mindbender THINK!

                  (c)That is not a smart answer at all! The fact that they didn’t know his name doesn’t mean anything. It’s seeing Clark’s powers that was the issue. Did Clark know everyone on the highway when Johnathan went to save the dog? Most likely…NO! Yet Johnathan insisted that Clark not save him. Guy in the bar had only ONE altercation with a person that he could refer back to, that could POSSIBLY be responsible for what happened to his truck.

                  And lastly, until you can actually come up with a REAL SET OF REASONS why my FULL EXPLANATION of Johnathan giving up his life for a moot point…DOES NOT WORK, don’t bother trying to debate with a baseless opinion. Use your brain Mindbender! I know you can do it!

                  (d) You must not have read what I wrote…I refuse to believe that you did. This wasn’t about being morally allowed to kill Zod. The point is, why kill him over this family of 3, when a fight that you are having with him in Metropolis is possibly responsible for THOUSANDS of deaths through the destruction of all of those city blocks and buildings? Zod killed possibly a great number through the terra-forming as well. But these three people are the breaking point? If he Kal-El cares that much about humans, shouldn’t he have taken the fight somewhere not as inhabited?

                  I’m starting to see why your opinions are so skewed…you don’t really use your head.

                  (e)That’s because again…YOU’RE NOT THINKING. Under those circumstances there’s no use for marriage. You’re actually PROVING my point because you can have a family without the institution of marriage. But in their case they wont even be procreating to have children. MaGeez dude…!

                  (f) I almost want to laugh but, your comment is actually leaning toward sad. “Life found a way”? Dude…Even without genetic manipulation, we have vasectomies and tube tying and birth control pills, but an advances civilization that ‘creates’ their citizens can’t permanently turn off a gene (or genes)for reproduction? Mindbender…THINK!

                  (g) Well, no it isn’t. It’s a very EASY observation to make. I’ll go slowly…jumping, is gravity based. Levitation and [Superman's brand of] flying, is not. In flying, his molecular structure does not go from being dense, to then lighter than air. Therefore, the only way left to fly is either a set of Super farts or, more plausibly…his mind controlling flight. So, jumping so forcibly that you figure out you can fly is ridiculous. You just were not intelligent enough to think it through.

                  (g2) Umm…seriously? So you’re saying that If I hit him with bat if his back is turned, I’d knock him to the ground?

                  You should feel ashamed of yourself.

                  (h) Man…wrong again dude! Captain Marvel was first published in 1940 by Fawcett Comics. As EVERYONE KNOWS Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938! What’s wrong with you?

                  Don’t you know that Fawcett Comics was even sued because of Captain Marvel’s resemblance to Superman?

                  (i) I’m sure you meant to say “You have no explanation.” It’s ok. Most of your answers were pretty lame anyway.

    • Wow, there’s a lot of buried resentment here… not sure where it’s coming from. Let’s wait and see whether this movie is “what Warner Bros. and DC thought it would be” after a month or two of box office returns.

      • Box office returns will only prove that people went to see this version of the Superman story…a story that is very well known and has an iconic movie made in the ’70s to which many are measuring it up against. It was ALWAYS going to have alot of viewers. I knew this from years ago when I first got wind of the reboot. If the movie has even halfway decent effects and storyline, eye candy for the ladies playing in the lead and even a faint heartbeat, It will make alot of money.

        So, sorry my friend. In this case, box office receipts don’t prove very much.

    • Indeed Jeff, let’s go back to the magical days when believing a man could fly meant ignoring the visible cables you see swinging him around, because THAT’S the way you make a Superman movie in 2013!!

    • This is all coming from someone who has been bashing the movie since the beginning smh.

    • Get over your self Jeff.

      • +1

    • You don’t have friends do you! Sound like a hater or captain………

    • Not to take a jab at ya but I can’t help it…….

      SO you are singing the praises of Superman 2, the movie that had Superman ripping his chest logo off and tossing it at someone, wrapping them up and then having a “molecular change machine”? I enjoyed the movie but rolled my eyes at both of those things.

      And What’s wrong with having that machine? With it you could turn any and everyone into a Superperson. Just a bit too hokey for my taste I guess.

      • or a superfan

    • @Jeff W

      While not everything is thoroughly played out out perfectly- the execution could need polishing up- this film had a more compelling story and one that honors the legacy of the character and embraces the roots of the mythology.

      In the advance screening at the World Premier and the midnight showing, both times I witnessed standing ovation with genuine entertainment filled in the theater’s atmosphere. Once I leave the theater, speaking excitedly of the film, I noticed that mostly everyone walking out was doing the same thing. I have seen people and close friends never interested in Superman become fans of the film because the film finally unlocked something for them.

      I enjoy Superman II but the film does not age well unlike similar films released around the same time such as The Empire Strikes Back and so forth. I was not alive then and I appreciate the film greatly but Superman has returned in a big way. One that is relevant and compelling.

      You ask how is the character relevant? The same way Superman was relevant in 1938 and went on to celebrate 75 years as a pop culture icon. Man of Steel, in my opinions with weaknesses and all, harkens back to those roots of the character’s first appearances and evolution. He is relevant to the troubles of out times.

      You may not be ready for this Superman, but this is the one we deserve.

    • Thank you. This was not the Superman I was expecting. The story was too weak. It felt like a 300, and not a Watchmen.

  16. Happy to read a positive review! I read one on Wired yesterday that pretty much trashed every aspect of the film and even revealed spoilers with little to no warning.

    I remember seeming Donner’s Superman in ’78 on a one-screened theater when it opened. Amazing movie and will always be a favorite. I don’t look at MOS as attempting to replace it but just carrying on the legend.

    Can’t wait to see it on Sunday!

  17. Collateral damage. Collateral damage everywhere…and I love it! Though, I wish that supes had acknowledged how much damage he was causing.

  18. I’m seeing the film later today hopefully and many reviews I have read have amazed me as they seem unable to grasp a new concept of Superman. It is always being compared to Donners yet when BB/TDK were released critics embraced the new take. Obviously I will form my own opinion but I am surprised by critics as most audiences seem to love it from what I’ve seen.

  19. I’m seeing the film later today hopefully and many reviews I have read have amazed me as they seem unable to grasp a new concept of Superman. It is always being compared to Donners yet when BB/TDK were released critics embraced the new take. Obviously I will form my own opinion but I am surprised by critics as most audiences seem to love it from what I’ve seen around the web

  20. Best superman movie to date. Hans Zimmer nailed it too. GREAT MOVIE

  21. i know superman and superman 2 will always be the best movie about the man of steel. i just wanna see this new movie out of curiosity.

    • Why even bother since you’ve already made up your mind about which are best?

  22. I absolutely loved it. Cavill owned the role. I never once question and that he was Superman. The action was sweet and there wasn’t anything I didn’t like. The movie in my eyes went by fast and that’s always a good sign to me. I am shocked the critics give it such a low review. This movie blows Superman Returns out of the water and that movie got a higher critic review than MOS. How the hell is that possible?

    • The more I read of critics’ reviews and fan discussion, the more I get a sense of why the reviews aren’t better. There is a big generational disconnect between devotees to the Donner film and those who recognize that 35 year (almost half of Superman’s existence!) have passed since that film.

  23. Awesome…Awesome…JUST VERY FREAK’N AWESOME!!!!
    This is THE superman movie.Well done Mr. Snyder,very well done indeed.
    Thank you DC!!!Thank you for listening to your fans.

  24. I was pretty disappointed in this movie. I thought the dialogue was cringeworthy and it was pretty obvious in my theater that the audience wasn’t having it. There was no applause at the end for my midnight IMAX showing… ouch. Although my friend went to the 2D midnight showing and he said that his got a standing ovation. I really don’t know how to feel about this movie… I felt that the pacing in the first half of the movie was awkward and forced. Very sad to say since this was my most anticipated movie of the summer. I’m glad that most fans seem to be really praising it though!

    I’m going to another showing today and maybe seeing it the second time around will help me like it as much as others. The action and visuals were excellent though.

    • Both times I saw it: standing ovations and applause.
      My friend’s theaters: Same.

      Movie Theaters Outside as everyone leaving: People in excitement and trying to convey that feelings to one another.

      I personally enjoyed the film very much so and in my experience it seemed many did as well. But of course a portion of the audience is not having it apparently.

  25. EPIC!!!! AWESOME!!! BADASS!!! probably not enough words to describe what i saw last night. Man of Steel is the Superman movie that needed to be made. Its a must see!!!!!!!!

  26. I LOVED this movie. I never compared it to the donner movie though so thats probably why. I’m 35 and was born in 78, a few months before superman came out. I have seen it several times,part two as well, and I have to say…I have always thought they were lame. There is no real relationship formed between kal el and pa kent, the action is sparce the acting was hammy and dont get me started on superman’s ever evolving powers. Telekenesis…really…memory wiping kisses….HORRIBLE S shield net trap thing in part two?…I imagine all the people who compare this movie to the donner film and part two are doing so out of loyalty or nostalgia… but if they took off there 70′s goggles and actually watched the man of steel they might like it more. BTW…everyone saying part two was a richard donner film is a flaming idiot. It’s not. they reshot most of donners stuff so that the guy who replaced him could get a directors credit. Those movies piss meoff anyway though. Back on track. I really think this man of steel has potential to breakthe DC bank wideopen. I plan on seeing it several more times just to get all the stuff i know i missed the first time around.

    • +1

  27. I can’t believe people are liking this. Not close to 4 stars. It’s superman meets star wars meets independence day meets the matrix.

  28. Just because Nolans name is attached to a movie doesn’t mean it’s good.

    • Or maybe just cause snyders name is attached it doesnt mean its bad?

      • No. Repetitive action and shallow characters means its bad.

        • The Characters were not shallow.

          They were somewhat predictable.

          As was most of the movie.

          What Superman should have done, is take him and Zod to a place to minimize even more damage, and let them go at it in and smash mountains all over each other heads.

          I much rather see Mountains being used as boxing gloves..to buildings being destroyed…AGAIN…By…Aliens.

          • I don’t think Zod and co was really playing ball mate..

      • +1

  29. Really happy to read this review. I’m going to see it this afternoon. I’m very surprised by the rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I trust Screen Rant though. Hopefully this is one of those films that audiences and critics disagree on and I side with the audience.

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