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Man of Steel 2013

Critics score:
56 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The action is plentiful and thumping; Marvel-size thrills await you and the generations of kids who still believe in Superman. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: Even though some of the attempts at gravitas don't work, the movie does make you believe that a flying man in tights is a thing of scary awe. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Mr. Snyder isn't capable of mythmaking, but in his sometimes poetic, sometimes crude way, he has given Superman a new lease on franchise life by affirming that this most American hero is also an alien yearning to breathe free. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Despite an obscene budget that could have made a giant stride in the cure for cancer, there isn't much originality, and the whole endeavor appears to be the work of grown men who never outgrew puberty. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: What seals the movie's doom ... is its surrender to the lower power of coarsegrained action and computer-generated images of inexplicable banality. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: [It] is thoughtfully crafted and occasionally breathtaking; what it isn't, unfortunately, is much fun. Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: The ambition to make a grittier kind of Superman pic is certainly admirable, but much of what Snyder and Goyer set out to fix wasn't really broken in the first place. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: By effectively denying Superman his defining traits-his complex relationships to duty and humanity-the movie robs the character of any depth or agency. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: If you like your summer-movie explosions huge, "Man of Steel" delivers. But it seems as if it might have delivered even more than a glorious noise. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: The gravity that cloaks ''Man of Steel'' is merely an en vogue costume. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "Man of Steel" has a scope that's hard to resist, but what's missing is a sense of lightness, of pop joy. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: [Nolan and Goyer's] screenplay is a big improvement over the previous one, mainly because they've created a satisfying arc between the hero's genesis story and the big battle at the end. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Cavill looks great in the key outfit. Maybe that's enough. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: You get the feeling [Snyder] would rather have chucked the entire back story, not to mention the front story, and just delivered up nonstop bashing. Which he sort of does anyway. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The movie can't decide if it wants to be a particularly thoughtful brand of superhero saga or a deafeningly generic summer action movie. So it ends up being both, to the detriment of it and us. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The chief problem here is one of rhythm and balance in the storytelling and directing. The movie swings between destructive overstatement and flat-footed homilies. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Man of Steel packs quite a wallop. A few too many wallops, as it turns out. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com: By the end, Man of Steel has mutated into just another superhero action movie, with explosions galore and city buildings toppling like so many Legos. Lather, rinse, repeat. That's too bad because ... Man of Steel has so much going for it. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Never has a race to save the fate of humankind seemed so tedious. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: Christliness has always been an element of the Superman myth. But this film's near literal insistence upon it becomes absurd since director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer don't dramatize the analogy, they presume it. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Zack Snyder's huge, backstory-heavy extravaganza is a rehab job that perhaps didn't cry out to be done but proves so overwhelmingly insistent in its size and strength that it's hard not to give in. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: [Cavill is] a superb choice for someone who needs to convincingly convey innate modesty, occasional confusion and eventual strength. Read more

Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News: The result is a film that, while relentlessly grim and badly in need of humor, manages to be a smart, nuanced take on the Superman mythology. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Man of Steel starts feeling like just another generic superhero movie - the exact opposite to the radical and unique stamp Nolan placed on the Dark Knight trilogy Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Cavill broods handsomely as Superman, but this reboot skimps on fun and romance. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: The movie consists of endless declamation, endless violence. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: "Man of Steel" mostly delivers. And credit for that goes to its director. Read more

Glen Weldon, NPR: Man of Steel's violence doesn't escalate; it simply, tediously, iterates. We keep waiting to thrill, to exult, to cheer our hero on. When the lights come up, we're still waiting. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Despite some true-blue juice, "Man of Steel" has flaws it can't overcome. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: [Snyder] does a highly respectable, and sometimes inspired job of retooling the basic Superman mythology in "Man of Steel.'' Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: The mechanical storytelling swamps a first-rate cast. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Man of Steel is just the same old same old. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: For those who crave cinematic mayhem, Man of Steel is right up your alley (and it will make a ton of money). Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: There's very little humor or joy in this Superman story. Read more

Matt Zoller Seitz, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie delivers on the promise of its title and then some. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Man of Steel is a bumpy ride for sure. But there's no way to stay blind to its wonders. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: "Man of Steel" is second-tier and third-generation Chris Nolan-flavored neo-superhero material. Read more

Mick LaSalle, Hearst Newspapers: If Man of Steel is Snyder at his most conventional, he's still more inspired and innovative than his competition. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Snyder provides an elegantly illuminated retelling of the origin story of that most saintly of superheroes, Superman. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Man of Steel" doesn't do quite as much damage to the 75-year-old hero, but next time out I hope his lighter spirits are allowed to soar. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Every opportunity for humor, compassion or plausible responses to otherworldly phenomena is buried beneath product placements and CGI special effects. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: There's plenty to like in Snyder's hectic, rowdy film. But by the time we reach the bludgeoning excesses of the last half-hour it's hard to shake the sense that this was an opportunity at least partially missed. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: It all gets exhaustingly bombastic although, sequence by sequence, Man of Steel is something worth seeing. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The casting is impeccable, beginning with Cavill as an uncommonly brooding but refreshingly deep Superman. The script doesn't give him much to say, but it doesn't need to. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Now that the requisite origin story has been accomplished, the movie lays the ground for some thrilling sequels featuring a Superman who's both exactly what people want to see and a significantly different take on a well-established character. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: 'Man of Steel' is punchy, engaging and fun, even if it slips into a final 45 minutes of explosions and fights during which reason starts to vanish and the science gets muddy. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: Mostly, the minutes stretch into great expanses of blahness, much of them filled with Transformers-grade skyscraper snapping and bloodless catastrophe. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Henry Cavill has the strapping good looks of the comic icon, and humanity to match his superheroism. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: There's almost a story here. And the actors, including the picture's quietly dazzling star, Henry Cavill, do their damnedest to draw it out. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The movie isn't dead on arrival, like Snyder's over-reverent Watchmen. But it's pleasure-free. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: For now, audiences can only speculate as to the hidden depths of Cavill, who in Zack Snyder's busy, bombastic creation myth is reduced to little more than a joyless cipher or dazzling physical specimen. Read more