The Death of Superman

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
The Death of Superman Movie Poster Image
Intense animated adventure filled with brutality, deaths.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Values promoted: courage, determination, resourcefulness, teamwork, and concern for the welfare of others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroic characters are brave, willing to sacrifice their own well-being for others, determined. Female characters are as competent, strong, and courageous as their male counterparts. Superman discovers that it isn't necessary for him to forgo honesty with those he cares about. Ethnic diversity throughout.


Animated violence that is to be taken seriously. Bloody and brutal. Characters are wounded, killed by explosions, gunfire, falling debris, fire, and most often by a savage alien creature who is able to defeat each member of the Justice League. Their fates are in question for long sequences; one important death occurs. Ordinary citizens are killed by car accidents, bridge failures, falling debris, and the creature.




Occasional swearing: "dammit," "crap," "hell," "son of a bitch." A villain uses insults such as "idiot."


Another entry in the vast DC Comics-Warner Bros. franchise. Film, with a cliffhanger ending, will be followed by the second part.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A beer is consumed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DC Comics' The Death of Superman is a full-length animated feature based on a multi-part DC comic book series, The Death of Superman, which appeared in the early 1990s. This movie is the first part of a multi-movie event, the second part of which is Reign of the Supermen. The villain of the piece (called "Doomsday") may be the most deadly and powerful of Justice League opponents. Superman, his team, and even Lex Luthor are no match for Doomsday's strength, cunning, and aggression. This film is violent from beginning to end, with only some unexpected personal moments between Lois Lane and Clark Kent there to diffuse the mayhem. Audiences can expect explosions, massive infrastructure failure (buildings, bridges collapse), gunfire, multiple injuries and deaths. Leading characters are brutally attacked by Doomsday, bloodied, and left for dead. Ordinary citizens are killed; bodies multiply. A few swear words are sprinkled in the movie: "hell," "dammit," "son of a bitch." Over the years, Superman's apparent "death" has become a mainstay of exciting adventures. Spoiler alert: As in the earlier tales, he's ultimately restored to life by the time the final credits appear. With its violence and brutality, this movie isn't for younger kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byTLRay September 12, 2018

Very bloody with bad language

The movie is disturbingly violent. Language is inappropriate: ***hole, b***ard, h***, and more.
Adult Written byTimDrake March 29, 2021

Violent but A chilling-good film

It’s very violent and scary for a kid but I think 12-year old’s could handle the nudity
Kid, 6 years old May 6, 2020

very good movie has alot of a violence alot of blood

it is 13 beacuse there is alot of blood and freaky villans i say 13 and up
Teen, 14 years old Written by1drakefan October 1, 2018

DEATH of superman

Those who read the comic book, this is rewarding. The title speaks for itself. When I watched it, it was like the comic but I thought to myself, how is this not... Continue reading

What's the story?

After a brief opening battle during which Superman (voiced by Jerry O'Connell) saves Metropolis' mayor from kidnappers, an asteroid lands underwater near Atlantis and sets the stage for the action in THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN. The asteroid breaks down to reveal a gigantic robotic creature who dispatches the Atlantians he encounters with ease. The all-powerful villain, who will be known as "Doomsday," then emerges from the ocean and heads for Metropolis, wreaking destruction along the way. Meanwhile, Clark Kent, unaware of the impending disaster, has finally agreed to introduce Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn) to his parents. Their meeting results in significant changes to the couple's relationship. As Lois and Clark tread lightly upon a new path, Doomsday explodes into the city. The other members of the Justice League are immediately on the scene to save the day. But they are no match for Doomsday, falling one by one, temporary casualties of his might. Lex Luthor (Rainn Wilson) then takes on the creature and he, too, is subdued. Superman is now Metropolis' only hope. His arrival ignites a savage battle. Superman and Doomsday fight to the death for supremacy. Doomsday is unstoppable. The indomitable superhero falls. 

Is it any good?

Intense action, heightened suspense, and dynamic animation blend with a satisfying emotional shift for Clark and Lois to make this a solid addition to the Superman franchise for mature fans. The Death of Superman tells a great story -- clear, concise, and surprising, too. The participation of many members of the Justice League and the encounters with Lex Luthor while he's under electronic surveillance add to the fun. The film moves like lightning, only to find some lulls in the storm to allow for a little humor and a lot of romance. Superman's death here is dealt with at length, but even novice fans will guess that for the uber superhero, death isn't really an option.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Death of Superman. Do you think that animated violence is less impactful than live-action violence? Why or why not? Was the violence in this film essential to the plot? In what way(s)? Why is it important to be aware of the impact of violence on kids?

  • Find out the meaning of the film term "cliffhanger." In what way(s) is this movie a cliffhanger? Does the last scene motivate you to look forward to part two?

  • This movie marks a significant change in the relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Were you surprised by that event? How do you think it will affect further Superman adventures?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate