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Overall Rating
3.32

Awesome33.09%
Worth A Look: 17.09%
Average: 14.91%
Pretty Bad: 18.91%
Total Crap: 16%

13 reviews, 197 user ratings


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Superman Returns
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by Lybarger

"You’ll believe a man can fly, but you might want him to do a little more."
3 stars

Director Bryan Singer (“X-Men”) is clearly enamored with Richard Donner’s 1978 “Superman.” He borrows the rousing John Williams theme music and even recycles the previous movie’s footage of Marlon Brando as Superman’s father. Singer and writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris also come up with a few nifty ideas of their own. While Donner’s take on the Man of Steel is probably definitive, it’s a shame that Singer isn’t able to forge a Superman that’s all his own.

The new adventure features Superman (Brandon Routh) returning to Earth after trying to find something left of his home planet Krypton. Arriving back at his mother’s house in Smallville, Kans., he discovers that he’s still needed to correct problems in his adopted home.

Criminal mastermind Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is free to wreak havoc in part because Superman was out looking for his roots when he should have been testifying against the villain. To make matters worse, Luthor has discovered how technology back on Krypton worked and is eager to use it for his own ends.

If that weren’t enough to make Superman sweat, Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), his former flame, is now engaged to editor Perry White’s (Frank Langella) nephew Richard (former X-Man James Marsden).

The main strength of Singer’s interpretation of the X-Men saga was his ability to effortlessly juggle spectacle and character development. Singer delivers the former beautifully here in scenes where Superman rediscovers his powers or saves a space shuttle and a jet liner from crashing to the ground.

At my screening, I had the pleasure of catching some of the action scenes in a 3D IMAX format. The election of which scenes to project in 3D seems arbitrary (one of Superman’s more spectacular rescues is presented in mere 2D), so it begs the question of why the whole film wasn’t shown in the same format.

As with the X-Men movies he’s helmed, Singer imbues “Superman Returns” with an implied retro look that recalls the early comics. Unfortunately, little of the movie’s storytelling is quite as creative.

If you’ve seen “Superman” or “Superman II,” you’ll notice dialogue and quips that are lifted or slightly reworked for the new film. This borrow gets old quickly.

It even rubs off on the acting. Spacey proves disappointing as Luthor because he settles for merely aping the way Gene Hackman played the villain in the earlier movies.

Routh has the unenviable task of following in Christopher Reeve’s flight path, but he holds his own. Bosworth thankfully turns in a refreshingly smart and determined take on Lois.

Singer and the screenwriters come up with several interesting directions for “Superman Returns” but never develop them to their potential. For example, it might have been more satisfying to know what motivated Superman’s pilgrimage to the ruins of Krypton and how the journey really affected him. Sadly, Singer and the writers drop many of these ideas almost as quickly as they present them.

As a result, the ending seems empty despite all the 3D mayhem that Singer dishes out.

It’s great to know that Superman can still fly, but it’s more fun when we know what he’s thinking and feeling as well.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14733&reviewer=382
originally posted: 06/30/06 14:47:23
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User Comments

8/25/14 zxcdqanq USA 3 stars
7/23/14 yaltvoufj USA 2 stars
7/12/14 wrqazygmbhp USA 4 stars
1/20/14 reptilesni Superman is a deadbeat. Real hero is the dad who stuck around. Routh is boring. 1 stars
7/19/13 Joe Snoozefest. 1 stars
12/11/12 Linda Boring. I didn't like it. 2 stars
2/05/11 Roy Smith Bosworth badly miscast, Spacey is Dr Evil, plot is recycled garbage 2 stars
1/12/11 James <a href="mailto:elvin44E29559@fireden.net">email</a> <a href="mailto:lou44E29559@fireden.ne 5 stars
9/15/10 marwinkowa scientists pattern due half 1 stars
6/21/10 Sarah Worst Superman movie. 1 stars
7/25/09 Jimmy Zatoichi! 4 stars
3/04/09 lewis davies Campy, schmaltzy retread of I and II, with Christ imagry tossed in a cheap device 1 stars
1/04/09 RECCERS Superman never had a son, so they just pulled that out of there arse. To long too. 3 stars
11/08/08 Abby Meyer your crazy if you don't like this! 4 stars
9/14/08 hannibal I was expecting a big masterpiece. I think you need to love Superman in order to get it. 3 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner The Action was Amazing! 5 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight Just so.......so........blah. 3 stars
7/09/08 Kevin Spacey Hey Bryan Singer, leave Superman alone and return to Keyzer Soze instead! 2 stars
6/30/08 hiperbolha loved the original. this one was incredibly lame and boring 2 stars
6/25/08 J. Wolf Best comic book movie of all time. 5 stars
6/21/08 David V Best Superman movie. 4 stars
5/21/08 sebastian rea Superman is a shitty hero anyway. 1 stars
5/03/08 Arthur Better than the boring Spiderman films, but not as good as Superman: the move 5 stars
4/27/08 Totir Alexandru I hope to see more Superman movies in the future. The character and story are worth it. 4 stars
3/22/08 Kenny Good movie, but it lacked inspiration 4 stars
3/16/08 Stephen C Not as good as the first Superman, but beats most of the sequels out there 4 stars
2/22/08 Badge For kids only. 1 stars
2/20/08 mrsinister Worse than Hellboy, better than Daredevil. 2 stars
11/05/07 Schweinstein Rubbish film, boring, lifeless. Insult to all who loved the first two superman films 1 stars
10/08/07 Dan Halberg You have no right to say this film is BETTER than X-Men. What bullshit. 1 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Brandon Routh made me believe a man could fly again. But nobody can outdo Kidder's Lois. 5 stars
9/25/07 Bitchflaps A decent effort, better than X-Men or Spider-Man, but the bland leads let it down. 3 stars
8/22/07 Jubei A solid homage to Richard Donner's Superman but Singer should find his own vision of Supes. 4 stars
8/07/07 iZoe The BEST Superhero movie ever made. But not for action-obsessed "Brain-Dead" fanboys. 5 stars
8/07/07 Frazier G bad storyline and cast. such a disappointment. Hulk was better 2 stars
8/05/07 Kelly Whitekiller How could anyone give this a good rating? Effects were good, thats it. 1 stars
7/20/07 The Golden Martian Worst comic book movie EVER! 1 stars
6/20/07 simmy Honestly, I didn't enjoy one second. 2 stars
6/19/07 Matt Huge disappointment. 1 stars
6/14/07 Lance The only good thing about this movie was the costume, beyond that it sucked on every level 1 stars
5/30/07 ebert great movie 5 stars
5/21/07 NHK Great film. Better than the first movies for Spiderman, X-Men and Batman 4 stars
5/15/07 967 Overrated and overhyped, like most superhero films. 2 stars
5/15/07 movieman loved it 5 stars
5/12/07 Fudd Poor on every level. 1 stars
5/09/07 Kevin Mecham The greatest Superman to date. A wonderful Return. Superman has a heart! 5 stars
5/01/07 Tracey Chambers very disappointing. This piece of crap killed a great franchise 1 stars
4/05/07 Dave Best Superman yet 5 stars
3/09/07 Simm I don't get what's so great about it. 5 stars?? 2 stars
3/08/07 man great comeback to a great series 5 stars
3/07/07 dude great movie 5 stars
3/07/07 dprodigy Too simplistic. Loony villain. Lois is a bitch. Take your pick. 1 stars
2/20/07 Todd M Not bad. The main characters seemed way too young though. 3 stars
2/18/07 JM Synth Good, but you think they could have come up with a bit more in the last twenty years! 3 stars
2/07/07 Meekay Bad casting, boring plot. Horrible excuse for a Superman movie. 1 stars
2/02/07 Anthony Feor Spectacular film, if only the Batman series could have this much intelligence 5 stars
1/09/07 Indrid Cold Not bad, as good as 1 and 2. Too cartoonish to be a real masterpiece though. 4 stars
1/05/07 Matt C REALLY? The kid just HAPPENED to be looking in the water 10 MINUTES AFTER THEY LEFT? REALLY 1 stars
12/30/06 Austin Wertman ONE OF THE 5 BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIES I'VE EVER SEEN 5 stars
12/29/06 Todd Bring on Doomsday goddammit! 1 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog They should have JUST STARTED OVER! Luthor is too cartoony in this setting. Singer die!!! 2 stars
12/17/06 Jen in Denmark Awful, just awful and disappointing. No story, no content, just a pile of poo. 1 stars
12/06/06 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 5 stars
11/18/06 Quigley WHAT HAPPENED?!? Bryan Singer was a good director! Too bad. Good Brandon Routh, lame action 2 stars
11/15/06 chris f exellent movie dont listen to the freaks who say its bad they no nothing 5 stars
11/15/06 Zaeem D Movie does not depict Superman. Crap dialogue & characters & costume & plot. Truth, Erik! 1 stars
11/05/06 MP Bartley Routh is good, Spacey is great, Singer does a good job...a good job all round. 4 stars
11/05/06 Sven Harvey Not bad. Horribly miscast. Perhaps the movie should have been a follow on from Smallville. 4 stars
10/20/06 Robyn Jamil-Walid Not bad, despite making Lois Lane not particularly likeable & Spacey making a lame villain. 4 stars
10/20/06 Henry Superman Returns fue del carajo 5 stars
10/18/06 Adrian This movie reflects our culture in society; the need for a hero. 4 stars
10/17/06 David I loved this film.Great special effects and story. 5 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Exhausting escapist entertainment, for better and sometimes for worse. CGI is top-notch. 4 stars
10/04/06 Baldeadly Wanted to leave half way into it.It was so BAD! 1 stars
9/24/06 Farnsy great movie with good story but it didn't leave me in awe 4 stars
9/20/06 Jami W. reminded me of an old boyfriend 1 stars
9/16/06 Aldo Actors were good but the story was BAD...Luthor never seemed threating enough 2 stars
9/05/06 The Maz Bad. Only the shitfest Clerks2 was a worse movie in 2006. 2 stars
9/03/06 Christopher Stucky Pleasant to watch, and I've already forgotten what happened in it. 3 stars
8/31/06 Matt Waterhouse Heartfelt, visually stunning, better than Pirates! Too much nitpicking going on. Fantastic! 5 stars
8/26/06 michael first one was better but still worth seeing 3 stars
8/26/06 james burke Singer likes the Donner film, but hasn't read many superman comics. He doesn't 'get' it. 2 stars
8/24/06 Chad Thomas Best movie of the summer! 5 stars
8/22/06 G Sherfy SuperLONG; could have edited out 30 minutes; 3 stars
8/18/06 Alexander Firestone Give Routh an OSCAR now!!! Fabulous performance! 5 stars
8/17/06 Pn. Spacey impoves on Hackman. End of story. 2 stars
8/15/06 Rohit Loved it! Worth for a sequel 5 stars
8/15/06 Don Paco Enough crappy superhero movies already. 2 stars
8/15/06 sweetgrrl1972 Really really boring. 1 stars
8/08/06 Michael Makes Ben Afleck's Daredevil seem like a masterspiece. 1 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant The only good film this summer. Tragically ignored by people who see 'Pirates' repeatedly. 5 stars
8/02/06 Alexander Firestone Give Brandon Routh an OSCAR right now. 5 stars
8/01/06 Michael Worst superhero movie since Batman and Robin 1 stars
8/01/06 Benjamin Meh. Chop an hour off and it would've been better. 3 stars
8/01/06 Chuck Where were the feel of greatness when you see Super? He is another hero not our Super 2 stars
7/28/06 moops Spacey disappoints, inane plot and action scenes are a bore 2 stars
7/26/06 Koitus Disappointed with ending (and green K; he would have sensed / felt it!). Also, a lame Lois 4 stars
7/26/06 Ricardo leave your brain at home to watch this film 1 stars
7/23/06 Doc Holliday Mediocre and Wooden at Best. Very miscast Lois Lane. 3 stars
7/23/06 ES Had a joygasm watching this. We all missed the Man of Steel 5 stars
7/22/06 RealDeal2006 Absolutley superb 5 stars
7/21/06 Alexander Firestone Routh is wonderful; getting the essential loneliness of the savior perfectly. 5 stars
7/20/06 Dick Shatternacker A step up in the visual effects department but life had been drained out of this super hero 4 stars
7/19/06 Michael Luthor was good. Why must lois have a kid? Cyclops should have been Superman! 5 stars
7/18/06 chris f ignore the movie nerds its a great mocie 5 stars
7/17/06 Charlie O. Smith My God -- you're all such pretentious jackasses! It was a genuinely good movie!!! 4 stars
7/16/06 Swellman I was checking my watch - not a good sign 2 stars
7/15/06 Alejandro Luna First Catwoman, then Electra and the FF. They only paved the way for this turkey. 1 stars
7/14/06 alice First part: BORING Second part: Ok 3 stars
7/14/06 harry junk 1 stars
7/13/06 Ole Man Bourbon Pointless, plotless, soulless, and BORING AS FUCK. Awful. 1 stars
7/13/06 mr. mike the '78 movie was better 3 stars
7/13/06 John S Dismal. How many millions and we get THIS for a script? Pure crap. 1 stars
7/13/06 Guy Smiley This movie sucked in spades. I saw a free bootleg and I got ripped off. 1 stars
7/12/06 Colin McEvoy Jon Peters is the only person to blame for this movie. Not the filmmakers, only Jon Peters 4 stars
7/12/06 Mike V Borrrrrrrrrrrring!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
7/11/06 Roy Excellent movie, with Fantastic effects , but it didn't leave me in Awe 4 stars
7/11/06 Joseph P. Hughes Akin to Morgan Freeman's plane crash analogy - a series of misssteps. Great SFX. 3 stars
7/11/06 Alexander Firestone Superb portrayal by Brandon Routh emphasizing Superman's essential lonliness. 5 stars
7/11/06 James Fluker This movie was boring beyond all measure. Routh and Bosworth were miscast! No action!!!! 2 stars
7/11/06 Dez An Exceelent ComeBack! Brandon Routh did an awesome job!! 5 stars
7/09/06 Trevor Simply Amazing 5 stars
7/08/06 Jiz "Boring" about sums it up. I've seen Seagal movies with better plot too. 2 stars
7/08/06 Terry Upp In a word: Boring 1 stars
7/07/06 peter arajs this movie is useless 1 stars
7/07/06 Zaw Wow! really take me back to frist time I saw Superman! Looks like remake at first isn't! 5 stars
7/06/06 Mase For suge a long big movie, it felt somewhat vacant and small. and the casting wow horrible. 3 stars
7/06/06 Seanboy A popcorn masterpiece, sits along side batman begins and spidy 2 as the best of its kind 5 stars
7/05/06 areon didn't live up to "Superman: The Movie" but still -----INCREDIBLY AMAZING 5 stars
7/05/06 R.W.Welch Not quite up to the Chris Reeve original but as close as they're likely to get. Snazzy FX. 4 stars
7/05/06 Mike Didn't meet my expectations but still was a decent flick. It seemed a little slow paced tho 4 stars
7/05/06 Alfonso Affinito An incredibly brilliant and even spiritual movie. I loved itl 5 stars
7/05/06 ajay it was okay... still a little campy and over-the-top, needs to be about 20 minutes shorter 3 stars
7/05/06 John Boring, the "character development" didn't ammount to anything. 2 stars
7/05/06 Steve-O Like Christ, Superman will die of crucifixion - at the hands of bitchy nitpicking fanboys 5 stars
7/05/06 BJaq right up there w/ "Hellboy", as the the stupidest superhero movie i've seen 1 stars
7/05/06 stingerman Puny, Stalker, Deadbeat Dad Superman 1 stars
7/04/06 Bob Boring? I thought it was ok. Not sure it was cast right, but the story was fun. 3 stars
7/04/06 LYR So very bad that it actually made me mad that I'd paid to see it! 1 stars
7/04/06 nick movie was sooooo boring 2 stars
7/04/06 phil About as bad as Childress says, and about twice as boring 2 stars
7/04/06 Dan Disappointing. The screenplay wasn't very good, and Luthor's entire plotline was stupid 2 stars
7/03/06 millersxing Too long, overhyped, the human drama is stale, & the action is dissapointing. 2 stars
7/03/06 Roy Smith Did Lex think a nuke or sniper bullet wouldn't come his way ASAP?! He is a total retard. 2 stars
7/03/06 tx2030 this is great movie! 5 stars
7/03/06 Uncle Salty Hot Molten Shit 1 stars
7/03/06 manosteelbars Awesome movie 5 stars
7/03/06 Logan Horberg what the hell? this was the best superhero movie i've seen since v for vendetta 5 stars
7/03/06 Jeff Botting The dialogue was half-baked and Lex Luthor's character was Dr. Evil.. basically. 2 stars
7/03/06 Sean D Very very good. 5 stars
7/02/06 jcjs i'm going all the way with this..rather stunned i like it much more than i expected 5 stars
7/02/06 M Franck No script. A shell of a film. Empty - yet deeply disappointing. 1 stars
7/02/06 The StarWolf This is by the same guy who gave us X-MEN and X-MEN 2? You just be joking. 2 stars
7/02/06 erick A depressed, souless Superman...great summer fun indeed. 2 stars
7/02/06 Nick Supercrap. Childress speaks the truth. 1 stars
7/02/06 steve Childress has it right word for word. 2 stars
7/02/06 George Fantastic effects with great suspense, but it didn't leave me in Awe. 4 stars
7/02/06 cpbjr loved it; HIGHLY entertaining 5 stars
7/01/06 rob Childress had completely the wrong expectations it would seem. 5 stars
7/01/06 Brian Mckay This movie was goddamn amazing. Been trying to nitpick it all night and CAN'T 5 stars
7/01/06 Obi Wan Routh was excellent choice, Singer did a very good job..but too long. 4 stars
7/01/06 phil Childress is completly right, boring as hell 2 stars
7/01/06 Jambi Such a shame, Routh was great, but the movie around him was merely "Meh"...too bad. 3 stars
7/01/06 David LeRoy Don't let others judge it for you...... See it for yourself 5 stars
6/30/06 Peter Has Childress ever read a comic book? I don't think so. 5 stars
6/30/06 Davad Childress is wrong. This movie treats Superman with a wonderful reverence. 5 stars
6/30/06 Ellen This movie was awful. It would have been so easy for people to find out Superman was Clark 2 stars
6/30/06 Scott Wow is all I can say - action with heart - who could ask for more 5 stars
6/30/06 KingNeutron Make your own judgement, but to me Routh *is* Teh New Superman. 4 stars
6/30/06 Nashberg What an epic! Everything Spiderman 2 was, only on a much bigger scale! 5 stars
6/30/06 Mark W I wanted to love this. It was weak. Clark drinks a beer? Has a child? Slow and wrong! 2 stars
6/30/06 Michael Borge The movie was poorly casted and boring 2 stars
6/30/06 Rex To long, slow, and dull. Nothing special about this movie. 2 stars
6/30/06 Mitch Terribly slow-paced and not much fun at all. Donner's is still the best. 3 stars
6/30/06 Melanie Well done! 5 stars
6/30/06 Adrien Some slow parts but still a great movie for a superhero movie. You're way too geek Erik! 4 stars
6/29/06 eric sledge IT WAS EVERYTHING I HOPED FOR AND MORE WELCOME BACK SUPER MAN CANT WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL 5 stars
6/29/06 Bruce Wayne The best SuperHero Movie!!! 5 stars
6/29/06 Steve Martin Boring and overworn. Nothing original, nothing exciting. No real reason to watch. 2 stars
6/29/06 Ricky David Tripp The costume sucked. The movie was only marginally better. 3 stars
6/29/06 Frank Walker This movie reminded us of what makes Superman great and builds a foundation for great sequa 5 stars
6/29/06 Darren Shea Despite some flaws, it is a superb comic book movie. 5 stars
6/29/06 Sam Hozman Interesting take on representing "The American Way" 2 stars
6/29/06 Quiggs Fantastic Film! 5 stars
6/29/06 Reignofjerm I think Erik nailed it. I liked it for the fact that it was Superman, but it was very slow 4 stars
6/29/06 John Stone Erik Childress is an idiot, even for a movie critic. 5 stars
6/29/06 uncle bob childress nailed it. save your money for spidey 3 1 stars
6/29/06 Tswc Can I have my money back so i can use it for Spider-Man 3 please 1 stars
6/29/06 Tony Bussert I thought this was the best of the superhero movies yet. 5 stars
6/28/06 Ole Man Bourbon Beyond boring, plotless, heartless, pointless. Torture session. 1 stars
6/28/06 Doug Are you retarded? Ditching III and IV was the smartest move they could've done. 5 stars
6/28/06 Ron G This was needed to restart the series. But need to be more original and fun from here. 4 stars
6/28/06 BrianWilly Awesome movie, don't miss it. 5 stars
6/28/06 Jord Alexander very very very boring, avoid like the plague 1 stars
6/28/06 Jeremy Swank Sequel to two films made in the friggin 70s? Was looking for an new take on the franchise. 2 stars
6/28/06 Jimmy This just did not make sense, too long and not enough action - Hulksyndrome strikes again 3 stars
6/28/06 Josh Tetreault Erik Childress is a jerk, the movie was superb, possibly the best superhero film ever 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Nov-2006

UK
  14-Jul-2006

Australia
  29-Jun-2006




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