My top 5 Superman movies

I had been planning on writing this for a little while now, but I decided to wait until Man of Steel had come out in the chance that it would take one of the spots on the list. For a little while I considered adding television shows into the mix, but I’m a bit of a completist and it’s been too long since I’ve seen the animated series and I’ve never seen the classic George Reeves Superman series. But considering that I’ve seen all of the major animated releases, I will of course be adding some of them.

Honorable Mentions

While it gets a lot of hate, especially nowadays, I enjoy watching Superman Returns. I like the cold humor of Kevin Spacey. While the action scenes are few and far between, when they happen they are amazing. I thought Brandon Routh did a fine job as Clark Kent and looks great as Superman, but there are just too many flaws to overlook in the long run. I also really wanted to include The Dark Knight Returns part 2 in here, because of how much I enjoy it, but Superman doesn’t play a large role, and the role he does play is as an antagonist rather than the protagonist.

#5 Superman/Batman Apocalypse

Superman Batman Apocalypse

I just watched this one for the first time recently, I’ve even written a review for it but haven’t had the chance to post it because I keep preempting it with other posts. I had seen Public Enemies before I started writing for this site, and while I liked it, it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me so I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the sequel. Instead what I got was a movie with a lot of action, humor, and heart. Even though it’s called Superman & Batman, it’s actually more of a Supergirl movie. I kept it on this list because Superman does still play a major role and Supergirl is part of his Krypronian family. The final battle is absolutely phenomenal and it just works beautifully. And on top of it all, there’s just enough Batman in it to justify his name being in the title.

#4 Superman vs. The Elite

Superman vs the Elite

This is an animated movie that came out just last year and quickly became one of my favorite Superman stories. During the movie, he’s faced with a group of super powered heroes that go a little too far into vigilante territory and go from merely killing violent criminals to taking it a little bit too far. Not only that, but in the process, they steal the spotlight away from Supes as the public starts to feel that he has be home a little too old fashioned And boring, while the Elite are hip and fresh. Superman then comes up with this elaborate plan where he completely loses it and goes off on the Elite, showing them what the world would face if he ever truly lost control and followed their line of thinking. It was great to see Superman really let loose, but not only that, he got to show off a brilliant plan. I loved it and it’s one of my favorite DC animations to date.

#3 Superman II: The Donner Cut

Superman 2 Donner Cut

It’s no secret that I love the Donner Cut, it’s head and shoulders above the Lester cut of Superman II. Aside from the re-used ending from Superman: The Movie I love every minute of it. The fight scenes feel grander, the love story feels better, the villains feel more menacing, it’s just a better version of the sequel without all the schlocky humor. The original is the movie that made “Kneel before Zod!” such a quotable line and the reason why the Kryptonians were used again in Man of Steel. If it weren’t for the ending, this would have easily taken the top slot. Even so, it’s still better than the amnesia kiss.

#2 Man of Steel

Man of Steel

I almost wanted to put this on the top spot, but it’s just too soon. I’m still on a high after watching this movie. It’s got jaw dropping fight scenes, some real heart wrenching moments especially the scene with Jonathan Kent and the tornado. The acting is top notch from everyone between Michael Shannon’s General Zod to Henry Cavill’s Superman to Amy Adams’ Lois Lane to Russell Crowe’s Jor-El. There may be some changes and differences than the Superman others are used to, but I’m fully on board and can’t wait to see what the rest of the DC Universe can bring to the table.

#1 Superman: The Movie


This is the one that started it all, the first really successful superhero movie. The one that made you believe a man could fly. And now 35 years later it still holds up pretty well as an amazing movie right alongside all the recent superhero movies with all the CGI bells and 3D whistles. Christopher Reeve embodies both Superman and Clark Kent and juggles them perfectly. Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor is a great foil to Reeve and there is just so much to love about this movie, and to this day nothing has been able to beat the original. So what do you think? Am I off my rocker? Or did I get it right? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share this list on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else you hang out. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.


About Bubbawheat

I'm a comic book movie enthusiast who has watched and reviewed over 500 superhero and comic book movies in the past seven years, my goal is to continue to find and watch and review every superhero movie ever made.

Posted on June 17, 2013, in Lists and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. If you’ve grown up with the original Superman film then there is no replacing or besting it. It’s something special!

  2. Nice picks! Surprised to see two animated films, but I guess it’s not that surprising considering the reputation of most Superman movies. I thought Man of Steel was disappointing, but I do think it might lead to some great sequels (that are hopefully more fun that MoS) and perhaps a DC cinematic universe like Marvel has going.

    • What can I say? I’m a sucker for animation. I really do think that Man of Steel will increase its reputation down the line as long as WB handles the universe the right way, rather than decrease its reputation like Superman Returns did.

  3. Cool list, I’m definitely checking out all of these I haven’t seen. I just saw Superman (literally, it just ended a minute ago) and loved the hell out of it.

    • Do you mean original Superman, or new Man of Steel? I suppose it doesn’t matter because they are the top two on my list. And if you can’t find the Donner cut of Superman II, the theatrical isn’t awful. It’s just not as good in my opinion.

  4. No, I meant the original. And now I’ve also seen the Donner Cut of 2, so I’m ready for Man of Steel (I will check out Superman Returns though).

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