Parent reviews for Superman: The Movie

Common Sense says

Super-nostalgic superhero adventure still soars.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 44 reviews

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Adult Written byDr3w November 29, 2011

Great Film-Making

Well, I think there have been enough reviews of this movie from a quality perspective. However, I have yet to see a review that accurately described the bad content in this film, so I thought I might as well write a review.

Superman is not an overly gratuitous film. It shows quite a bit of restraint as far as violence, language and sexual behaviour are concerned, but it is not squeaky clean. There are about ten curses in this film (ranging from d-words and h-words to a scarcely audible s-word). Lex Luthor's girlfriend wears VERY revealing clothing on more than one occasion which shows off quite a bit of cleavage. These scenes are fairly brief, but very noticeable. Lois Lane and Superman share a few veiled innuendos in one scene, but nothing I felt too uncomfortable with. Lois Lane asks Superman at one point what color her underwear are (he can see through anything, remember?) and he tells her that they are pink. Superman is shown completely nude from the front as a baby. Thankfully, grown-up Superman wears a jock-strap underneath his tights so that the suit is not as immodest as it could be. In one scene played for laughs, Lex Luthor's girlfriend lies out in the middle of the road as though she has fainted distracting some soldiers from their duty. In their attempts to "revive" her, one soldier sticks his head on her chest (mildly suggestive) and another volunteers to perform CPR (implied strongly, but not shown). The violence is handled well, but may be too intense for some younger viewers. For example: Lex Luthor pushes a man out in front of a fast-moving train. The death is not shown. However, the man screams loudly and the hat he was wearing is shown lying beaten up on the ground afterwards. SUMMARY: A nice classic film for most of the family. You might want to fast-forward the parts with Lex Luthor's girlfriend.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byAllAges August 14, 2020

Best Superman movie; Theatrical cut is more family-friendly.

There are two cuts: the theatrical (rated G), and the director’s (rated PG). The director’s cut has language, while I don’t recall any in the theatrical (which is also shorter). This is a wonderful film.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byKimberly P. October 4, 2019

Loved the movie, but my kids weren't ready

I was really excited to get the collection of all 4 movies with Christopher Reeve and the 5th Superman Returns to enjoy with my family. Since the rating was PG, I did not watch first to refresh my memory. I really wish I had.

My son is 4, and now that he's getting into super heroes, I was disappointed when he was asking to watch something else only 15 minutes after it started. My husband and I watched it all the way through and really, every review before mine tells of all the little things that were just wrong for my kids right now, so I won't repeat them. However, they are all valid and made us uncomfortable to show the kids just yet.

After my 9 yr old had some issues with the violence, I simply decided I was not ready to desensitize them to the negativity that comes with the world today. Since I have no desire to shelter them, one day, we will address it, but not for the sake of entertainment.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTravis H. February 9, 2018

An overrated disappointment

Hard to believe this movie is so highly rated. It is painful to watch and drags on for a very long time.
Adult Written byNobobby September 6, 2020

Young me loved it, today’s me was shocked

Of course I saw this as a kid and loved it and I figured it would be fine for my 7 yr old son. It is, kind of, but there was one scene that mortified me (and I’m sure it went over my head as a kid). There’s a scene where Lex Luthors buxom girlfriend fakes unconsciousness in the road to stop a military convoy. Played for laughs, it’s alluded to, strongly, that the Sargent commands his men to form a circle around her with their backs turned so he can violate her. I was shocked. This was considered humorous in 1978 apparently. I am sure my son didn’t understand the innuendo and the campiness of the acting made it fairly obvious this was for laughs, but I was not laughing. I was horrified. Not enough for me to say “don’t watch the movie“ but if any kid does ask what was going on in that scene it could be helpful to be prepared.
Parent Written byTawana A. January 11, 2020

Don't Let The Title Fool You-Not For Kids

I didn't see the first part of this movie when it first came out some years ago. It surprises me that they allowed them to show the toddler without his clothes & show his private part. This would be considered "Child Pornography" today. There was a lot of language toward the first part of the movie. I agree that the words could even be worse. However, I don't think there should be any in the movie at all. The scene between Superman & Lois Lane about her underwear really didn't need to be in the movie. And there were other issues with the other lady that didn't need to be in there either. This movie would have still done very well without the things mentioned. It seems that the company who made this movie should have considered that there would be kids watching this movie. And there were things that was inappropriate for children. I totally forgot or missed the language the first time I saw it (when it originally came out years ago). . But tonight, my husband decided to watch it with our 9 year old daughter. Also, there were a couple of scenes toward the end of this movie that were too intense for her. This has made us aware that even if we watched a movie in the past, to check out reviews as it may have things that we have forgotten that was inappropriate for children. And we will be doing this. We will be doing this no matter what from this point on.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byKarmaMomma May 24, 2019

Super Inappropriate

I've read the other reviews and I find it disturbing that a scene hasn't been mentioned that made this movie stand out as inappropriate.
The first scene in the news room, Lois is talking with the other people of The Daily Planet about a massacre, rapist, serial killer and an orgy!!! It's just a quick bit of dialogue, but I certainly don't want to explain that to my 7 year old... I find that a lot more offensive than a penis on a little boy, but hey, that didn't need to be in there either.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byLindgren Fam April 21, 2019

Some scenes seemed inappropriate for my 10 yr old

Lex Luther's wife often wears sultry clothes.
Some inappropriate sexual jokes and comments.
Overall, the movie is great. But there were definitely some scenes/comments we hope went over our kids heads.
Just be ready with the remote to skip ahead and they'll love this movie.
Written byAnonymous November 23, 2018
Adult Written byEthan A. March 14, 2018

What I think

This movie is so amazing but very cheesy. The only thing that was not for kids was Luthor's girlfriend reveals breast nudity.
Parent Written byMeghann M. February 16, 2018

Common sense was a bit off

I hadn’t seen this movie in 25+ years so I relied on Common Sense for a refresher. I wish it had reminded me of the extensive dying scene in the beginning when bodies are flying through the air as planet crypton explodes. I also did not remember the scene where Superman is trying to guess the color of Lois lane’s unserwear. Not appropriate to watch such a sexist scene with young kids.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Parent Written byMoviecriticdude101 January 22, 2018

watch wth whole fam

Great blockbuster

my rating PG
grade B+

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 10, 12, and 15-year-old Written byHendo H. U December 20, 2017

Meh.

Too much about Clark Kent’s life.
Adult Written byMelissaJ 2 October 8, 2015

Superman...Super Movie!

The character of Superman first appeared in the Action Comic book in the 1930’s. The movie Superman, 1978 is the story of a young boy from a planet called Krypton who landed in a field and was found and adopted by a children less couple. He had great powers such as speed, strength and the ability to fly. The movie portrayed an awkward, nerdy news reporter who was secretly a super hero trying to woo a smart, confident fellow news reporter. The plot of the movie is a guy tries to get the girl while anonymously protecting good from evil by battling for “truth, justice and the American way.”

I noticed several patterns emerge in the movie through the characters, symbolism and themes. The characters cast were believable and fit perfectly in the story. Clark was quirky, smart and kind with a strong sense of morals/values. Even though as Superman he was confident, handsome, and charming his sense of moral/values is still evident. Lois was an attractive, sarcastic, young women who was career driven and a hopeless romantic. Lex Luthor was arrogant, conniving and intelligent. Even Otis was cast perfectly as an overweight, tweed jacket wearing, and moronic comment making, Nincompoop. The symbolism is displayed through colors and music. The strong colors of red, blue and green represented key features the directed wanted the audience to pick up on. The music from the beginning set an “out of this world” theme and transitioned perfectly through the scenes. Chirping birds, rooster crowing equals new day, slow and dramatic, fast and exciting. There was even goofy music that played when Otis was, well…being Otis.

The color red was very prominent as an important color through the entire movie. Young Clark Kent was seen wearing the color red at the beginning of the movie which later turned out to be the color of Superman’s cape. Red was also used to show the audience something was going to happen when it appeared. It was the color of lighting used during Krypton’s explosion, his parent’s truck, the tractor when his dad died, the helicopter, Miss Tessmaucher’s dress, and Lois’ car are all examples. The color green represented evil/criminals in the movie. Although kryptonite was an obvious evil, there were subtle incidences of green including: articles of clothing, money, Lex Luthor’s swimming pool, lighting around criminals/criminal acts. Even the prison yard spotlight that was shining on Lex Luthor and Otis was green. The theme of crime doesn’t pay and where good overcomes evil was shown in several scenes including: the purse thief in the alley, jewelry thief on side of the building and the ending where Superman foils Lex Luthor’s plan to use missiles to destroy California.

I believe since there are so many different cultural aspects in this film, there is something for everyone across the high and low cultural spectrum. Science-fiction, love story, comedy, action, drama, suspense, are all covered in this film. I found that watching this movie as a child, as an adult and then as a critic were completely different experiences for me. As a child I remember being in awe of the special effects. Watching Superman use his powers to save good people from the bad guys and being sad at the part where Superman couldn’t save Lois were real feelings. As an adult, I enjoyed watching it with my children and understanding more of the plot, admiring how handsome Christopher Reeves was and how tragic his real life situation was. The special effects of Superman’s special powers were too unrealistic. However, even as an adult the thought of a hero saving people from harm still gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. As a critic, I viewed the film through a technical scope. The special effects were actually quite remarkable given the technology at the time. I wondered how they pulled off the stunts/camera/scenes before they had CGI’s and other tools the film industry uses now. I appreciated things like the casting of the characters, sounds, music, and camera angles. Most importantly I noticed a deeper understanding of the theme. Overall, the theme that good triumphs evil, by a being truthful, caring, productive member of society is a wonderful concept!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Written byAnonymous June 7, 2015

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byhomeschoolin February 9, 2011

Good movie, but some PG language! Wish Common Sense screening had been more dependable.

Warning!!! Language IS an issue!! I counted several (at least 4 times?) that "hell" was used as an expletive. Also, one d**n, and one a**. Not words I want my daughter repeating, although they are common in PG movies.

This title contains:

Language
Parent Written byPlague May 14, 2010

Superman: The Movie

An instant classic, and a fabulous superhero movie for the whole family.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Written byAnonymous February 14, 2010

Great movie for the kids, but be advised of some language

We just watched superman with our 8 year old, and he enjoyed it very much, but there were some language references that we did not expect. Commonsensemedia is usually pretty thorough with the content descriptions, but in this case "Language: Not an issue" was not accurate for us. It is really mild stuff, but if you are worried about your children picking up phrases like "what the hell was that" or "who the hell was that" or "what the hell just happened", be advised these phrases are present. Overall, still a great experience for us and our young children.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 5, 10, and 16-year-old Written bySmartViewer January 23, 2009

You and the whole family will soar with fun!

Terrific, and original! Your kids will want to see the Superman movie, for sure. It is one that I would definitely recommend for even younger kids. There is very little language (if any) and the violence is nothing but fun and packed with excitement. There is a bit of sexual references, but nothing your kids cannot be subjected to. A movie I would recommend for everyone! I would rate this movie: PG.