Parents' Guide to

Man of Steel

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Superman's back in brooding, action-packed reboot.

Movie PG-13 2013 148 minutes
Man of Steel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 47 parent reviews

age 14+

Mindless violence ruins great build up

We watched the first hour and loved the way it developed the characters and the relationships Superman has with his fathers and Lois Lane. This movie had the potential to be better than most one-dimensional superhero movies. Then the bad guys appeared and the movie turned into a festival of indestructible aliens pounding each other (and the city) into pulp (and rubble). The intimate physical violence, smashing faces, grinding heads into the ground, and especially the neck snapping at the end of the movie was unnecessary and hard to take. Attempting to hold this slug-fest together was an increasingly irrelevant story full of plot holes and even the claim that evolutionary theory predicts that amorality gives a species a survival advantage (...really??) Unless you are a superman fan, I don't see the point of this movie. Despite early promise, it ended up being too mindless for most older viewers to be kept interested, while being too violent for a younger audience. I guess if you are an action movie fan with 3 free hours then go for it. Or better yet, watch the Krypton bit, then fast forward to Zod and enjoy.

This title has:

Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Man of Steel

DC Awesomeness 8/10. Some language and variations on "ass": "ass," "dumbass," "a--wipe," and "a--hole," plus "d--ksplash," "hell," "s--t," "pussy," "comparing d--ks," "damn," and "crap." One use of the word "f-ing," toward the end, with out the rest filled in.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (47):
Kids say (141):

Director Zack Snyder's take on the Superman legend is seriously reverent. He strikes a tone that's lighter than Christopher Nolan's unrelentingly violent and contemplative Dark Knight trilogy but darker than the humor- and banter-filled The Avengers. Superman has always been unique among the popular superheroes: He's not a mutant or a billionaire with a penchant for vigilante justice; he's a straight-up alien who doesn't know why he's on Earth, where he came from, or what his purpose is as a lone outsider in a world of humans. Cavill is dashing and strong enough to pull off the role, and he certainly has the broodiness and the requisite Snyder-mandated six pack. But all of his self reflection, as understandable as it is, could use more levity, more spark, more of Christopher Reeve's sense of joy in the red and blue costume.

It's the more mature generation of actors in the movie who lend it its gravitas: Costner and Crowe as Superman's two fathers, both dead but still guiding and inspiring and encouraging him (literally, in the case of Jor-El and symbolically -- and via flashbacks -- in the case of Jonathan Kent). Ultimately, though, Man of Steel, like Superman II, is a face-off between Superman and his ideological nemesis, supervillain General Zod. Shannon is brilliantly cast, and despite being ruthless, actually expresses precisely why he's willing to sacrifice humanity: Protecting and ensuring the future of the Krypton people is what he was created to do, no matter what the cost. And Snyder certainly knows his way around action sequences and huge CGI set pieces, while keeping the violence much less bloody than 300. The two-and-a-half-hour movie is considerably longer than necessary, but the dramatic fight scenes will keep audiences from checking their watches. The prospect of a sequel is enticing, because now that Clark has accepted his Superman persona, there should be more fun, humor, and romance in store for the Man of Steel.

Movie Details

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