Man of Steel Revisited: Is it the best Superman movie?

In this episode of DC Revisited, we reexamine Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and try to determine whether or not it’s the best Superman movie.

Last Updated on March 2, 2023

There’s been a lot of drama surrounding Henry Cavill’s tenure as Superman. Too much. In 2013, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel premiered to excellent box office, and fans loved Cavill as the new Superman. To them, he was the best of both worlds, as he had brought some of the same heart to the role that Christopher Reeve did in the Richard Donner movies but also did enough of his own thing that it wasn’t a full-scale homage. This was a common criticism levelled at Brandon Routh when he played the role in Superman Returns. Yet, some fans took issue with director Zack Snyder’s darker take on the Superman mythology. The film ended with a polarizing climax that saw most of Metropolis destroyed during a battle between Superman and Michael Shannon’s General Zod.

Of course, the divide between fans grew exponentially following the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, to the extent that Zack Snyder’s Justice League was taken away from him, reshot and released in a shockingly revised version by Joss Whedon that almost ended the DC Universe on the big screen. In the end, Cavill, despite almost reprising the role following a cameo in Black Adam, would find his run as Superman truncated.

In this episode of DC Revisited, we reexamine the movie that started it all, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Does the film hold up ten years later, and did Henry Cavill ever truly get his due as Superman? As host/editor/writer Tyler Nichols explains, this was a role Cavill was seemingly born to play, with him having already come close to playing the part in a version of the character depicted in the abandoned project Superman: Flyby by J.J. Abrams. We examine Man of Steel’s reception and enduring legacy, with Michael Shannon’s General Zod and Antje Traue’s Faora-Ul set to return as antagonists in the upcoming, much-hyped DC-reset movie, The Flash.

Do you think Man of Steel is, arguably, the best Superman movie? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.