All-Star Superman

  • Review Date: February 20, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Violence and minor sensuality in reflective Superman tale.
  • Review Date: February 20, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Age(i)

2
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9
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12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

When Superman learns that he's dying, he attempts to wrap up his unfinished business. He shows love, kindness, tolerance, bravery, inclusiveness, and -- most importantly -- forgiveness. When two Kryptonian villains try to take over the world, Superman tries to help them. And, in the end, even Lex Luthor comes to understand that all life is connected and that everyone should be doing his or her best to help others.

Positive role models

Superman is a terrific role model here; he's a kinder, less violent hero than in other depictions. He's concerned with helping others and considering others' feelings and needs. Most often, and most obviously, he shows forgiveness.

Violence

This movie is about the impending death of Superman, which makes it potentially difficult viewing for kids. The first scene has a pretty scary monster and some brutal violence (with bodily fluids). Another scene shows prison guards firing guns at an escaped villain, and Lois Lane fires a laser gun. In the most disturbing scene, Lex Luthor goes to the electric chair and screams as the electricity surges through his body. Also standard superhero fighting, with punching, body-slamming, etc.

Sex

Lois takes a shower, but her body is covered by lots of steam. She also wears sexy outfits. She and Superman flirt and kiss, and another couple is seen kissing.

Language

"Son of a bitch" is heard once, and "hell" is heard twice. A character also says an awestruck "my God."

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that All-Star Superman contains the usual cartoon/superhero violence, with at least three scary and/or intense scenes, plus some minor sensuality. Far from a kiddie cartoon, this story centers on the Man of Steel's impending death, which lends a dark tone to the movie. But this Superman is also a hugely admirable figure, showing forgiveness, bravery, empathy, and inclusiveness as he wraps up his affairs. It's a very touching story with some powerful messages. The violence keeps it from being age appropriate for younger kids, but teens should enjoy it, as well as any grown-up Superman fans.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After rescuing a scientific mission from the surface of the sun, Superman (voiced by James Denton) learns that he has increased powers -- but he also finds out that he's dying. He tries to wrap up some unfinished business, like telling Lois Lane (Christina Hendricks) about his secret identity. Meanwhile, he must also deal with various meddlers -- like super-strong time-travelers Samson and Atlas and lost explorers from Krypton who wish to take over the Earth. Ultimately, it turns out that Lex Luthor (Anthony LaPaglia) is responsible for Superman's predicament; Superman must deal with the villain's nefarious plans, which include turning Earth's yellow sun red, thereby draining Superman's powers. But in doing that, Luthor has unexpectedly poisoned the sun; can Superman survive long enough to save humanity one last time?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's reboot of Superman, this animated feature has the difficult task of boiling 12 comic books down to a relatively brief 75 minutes. The result is that the movie plays mostly in self-contained episodes rather than in a linear story, but veteran superhero director Sam Liu (Planet Hulk, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) sustains the thoughtful, reflective mood of the movie throughout.

Despite some gruesome violence here and there, the movie is surprisingly powerful as Superman considers his life and legacy, focusing on strong ideas like forgiveness, empathy, inclusiveness, and tolerance, as well as love. Likewise, the voice performance of Denton, who is new to Superman, is wonderfully soft and modulated; he's the most laid-back Superman yet. Though the action and fight scenes still pack a punch, it's the quiet moments here that are the most memorable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it exciting here, or is it more ugly and disturbing? How does the movie achieve this mood?

  • How does it feel to watch a movie about how Superman is dying? Is the movie sad or reflective? What kinds of things does it make you think about?

  • How is this Superman different from others you've seen in comics, TV shows, and movies?

  • What lesson does Lex Luthor learn at the end of the movie after "borrowing" Superman's powers?

Movie details

DVD release date:February 22, 2011
Cast:Anthony LaPaglia, Christina Hendricks, James Denton
Director:Sam Liu
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes, Adventures
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of action and violence, language including brief innuendo, and some sensuality

This review of All-Star Superman was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byTinyToya July 29, 2011
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

All Star Superman Falls Flat, but Still Manages a Decent Story

*Spoiler Alert!*This movie was not the riveting action adventure I was expecting. This was more of a slow-paced tragedy to be honest. Superman tying up loose ends in his life and fighting off just about any bad guy the writers could think of to keep things interesting. About the violence, I found that the scene in the prison with Lex Luthor shooting, then kicking, and BEATing an already defeated monster was the worst yet, not the electric chair (I mean he was BEYOND brutal on that creature). Alas, by the end of the film you will get tired of Superman passing out and looking about ready to die, but it might still bring you to tears at the end of it. Maybe.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byMitchell Charleston June 17, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Good movie.

Not as good as most Superman films, but still very good. The animation was kinda blury, but everything else about All Star Superman was good.
Teen, 17 years old Written bylyrehc March 16, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
*This review may contain spoilers* This is the best DC animated film I have seen. It does not have much of the high-action fight scenes we usually associate with heroes; rather it goes to a deeper level to explore the heart of Superman and the decisions he makes in view of his impending death. To be honest, I enjoyed the scene where Superman flew into the sun much more than I did in the comics. Overall, the movie had a great combination of funny, epic and touching scenes, though I think some scenes could have less emphasis. For example, I did not particularly like the scene where Superman displays his jealous side to Samson and Atlas.
What other families should know
Great messages

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