ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Many of the early Man of Steel reviews certainly suggest we in for one super-sized treat. But now, Man of Steel has received a wider press screening which has resulted in a mass of reviews washing up online. The floodgates have been opened and we're going to take a broad look at how 's Superman reboot has fared. Does Man of Steel really deserve all the hyperbole being thrown its way, or have we got a little bit too excited? Let's take a look at the Man of Steel review round-up to find out.

Firstly, let's visit Rotten Tomatoes to get a general idea about how most critics felt about Man of Steel. Well, from a cursory glance it looks pretty promising. On Man of Steel is currently averaging 84%, placing it well within the 'worth watching' bracket. If we take a look at another (arguably more accurate) review collating site. MetaCritic, things are not so peachy, with only a score of 63 out of 100. Sure, it's still in the green, but Man of Steel only has 7 positive reviews, against 4 mixed. Not all too reassuring.

But what have specific critics been saying? Well, Drew McWeeny over at HitFix certainly isn't one to mince his words. He declared:

[This] is the Superman movie I've waited my whole life to see.

Devin Faraci of Badass Digest was similarly impressed but went even further, suggesting Man of Steel was in fact:

The best superhero action ever put to film.

Although these super-positive one-line reviews are reassuring, they don't tell us much. McWeeny went on to explain:

Snyder's film, written by David Goyer and starring an impeccably cast ensemble, is remarkable mythmaking, a canny spin on the oft-told details that have defined the character over time. While there is plenty about it that can be be described as new, the bones of it are instantly familiar. Make no mistake; this is Superman.

While Jonathan Lack at WeGotThisCovered, added:

At once vaster in scope than any superhero movie yet produced, and as intimately, crushingly emotional as any other entry in the genre, Man of Steel lands with the precise, explosive weight of a true historical milestone.

But what about some of those less positive reviews? Well, the complaints seem to be based on two main issues, the length and an over-saturation of action. Tim Grierson at Screen International argued:

The film doesn't lack for spectacle, but after a while its emphasis on grand gestures and unwavering gravitas stops feeling heroic and begins to seem like overkill.

Eric Kohn at IndieWire felt similarly bombarded, stating:

Instead of making a blockbuster Superman movie, Snyder has turned the Superman narrative into yet another modern day blockbuster.

He went on to add:

While certainly the most dazzling Superman movie to hit the big screen, the 143-minute Man of Steel is also the longest, and it only justifies that heft because it leaves room to keep the effects coming.

Scott Foundas at Variety provided perhaps the least positive review, scoring Man of Steel only 40%. He claimed:

The humorless tone and relentlessly noisy (visually and sonically) aesthetics leave much to be desired.

The Hollywood Reporter's well-respected Todd McCarthy also pointed out an overly bombastic presentation, but suggested it was navigable:

As much spectacle and action — minute-by-minute, frame-by-frame — as any movie anyone could think of. 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.

There you have it. Certainly a mixed bag, although I can imagine Man of Steel will still have the clout to appeal to most mainstream audiences.

So, what do you think? Have these Man of Steel reviews changed how you feel about Superman's return? Let us know about your feelings below.


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