Superman is one of the most iconic and enduring superheroes in the history of comic books and popular culture. The character, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938 and has since become a symbol of hope, strength, and truth for generations of fans. Over the years, the Man of Steel has appeared in countless comic books, television shows, and movies, with varying levels of success. But no matter what medium he appears in, Superman's enduring popularity and cultural significance remain unchanged.
As one of the most recognizable and beloved superheroes of all time, it's no surprise that Superman has had his own solo movie franchise. Since 1978, there have been a total of seven Superman solo movies, each with its own unique take on the character and his adventures. Some of these movies have been met with critical acclaim and have become fan favorites, while others have struggled to capture the magic of the character. So, without further ado, let's take a look at every Superman solo movie, ranked from worst to best. 7/7 Superman IV: The Quest For Peace Warner Bros.Canon Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is the lowest-ranked entry on our list. This 1987 film was plagued by production problems and a limited budget, leading to a poorly received script and subpar special effects. The movie follows Superman as he tries to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but it fails to capture the excitement and wonder of the character. Christopher Reeve reprises his role as Superman, but his performance is overshadowed by the film's many shortcomings. Critically, the movie was a disaster, with many reviewers calling it a disappointing and forgettable entry in the franchise. Warner Bros. Next up is Superman III. This 1983 film was a commercial success, but it was criticized for its campy tone and lack of depth. The movie follows Superman as he battles a computer programmer who has turned to crime, but the plot feels thin and unengaging. Christopher Reeve returns as Superman, but his performance is hindered by the movie's weak script. While it's not the worst entry in the franchise, it's certainly not the best. Warner Bros. Superman II is a slight improvement over Superman III. This 1980 film builds upon the strengths of the first movie, with a more engaging plot, better special effects, and more complex characters. Christopher Reeve once again plays Superman, delivering a solid performance as the iconic hero. While the movie is not without its flaws, it's a solid entry in the franchise and a fan favorite. Legendary Pictures Superman Returns is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, the movie boasts impressive special effects and a solid cast, with Brandon Routh taking on the role of Superman. On the other hand, the movie fails to capture the excitement and energy of the character, leading to a sense of disappointment among fans and critics. While the movie was a box office success, it was largely seen as a disappointment in the grand scheme of the franchise. Warner Bros. Superman: The Movie is a groundbreaking film that introduced audiences to the character and his world in a way that had never been done before. Christopher Reeve delivers a memorable performance as Superman, and the movie boasts impressive special effects for its time. While it may not hold up as well as some of the other movies on this list, it's still an important and influential entry in the franchise. Warner Bros. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is an alternate version of the 1980 film Superman II. This version features additional footage shot by director Richard Donner, resulting in a more cohesive and satisfying movie. Christopher Reeve once again plays Superman, delivering a strong performance as the iconic hero. While it's not a perfect movie, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is a marked improvement over the original version and is considered by many to be the best entry in the franchise. Warner Bros. Finally, we have Man of Steel at the top of the list. This 2013 film was a reboot of the franchise, taking a darker and more grounded approach to the character. Henry Cavill stars as Superman, delivering a powerful and emotional performance as the iconic hero. The movie boasts impressive action, visuals, and performances, making it the best Superman solo movie to date. Critically, the movie was a success, with many reviewers praising its fresh take on the character. The Superman solo movie franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, with some entries being more successful than others. From the campy Superman III to the critically acclaimed Man of Steel, the franchise has offered a variety of takes on the iconic character. While some movies may not have lived up to expectations, they all hold a special place in the hearts of fans and have contributed to the enduring popularity of Superman. No matter which movie you prefer, there's no denying the enduring appeal and cultural significance of the Man of Steel. Whether you're a lifelong fan or new to the character, there's a Superman movie for you to enjoy.