All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best: Superman made his first debut in 1948 as live-action serial starring “Kirk Alyn”. Since then, The Man of Steel has made numerously animated and live-action films and television appearances, as well. Here, the hero’s live-action theater releases will be highlighted. The MCU’s dominance at the box office and a few challenging DC film endeavours cannot dethrone Superman as being the most recognizable superhero ever made. Despite this in mind, both the worst and best of the genre have been represented in his film adaptations, albeit the same could be said of Batman’s films as well.

Here are all of the Superman films, rated from worst to best. The Man of Steel made his comic book debut in 1938 in Action Comics, thanks to creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. While Superman movies have undoubtedly experienced their share of exhilarating highs and shattering lows, it’s probable that creators will never stop trying to find fresh ways to adapt the Last Son of Krypton because audiences would miss him if they did. Many actors have taken on the role of Superman, just like with other well-known characters like Batman, James Bond, and Sherlock Holmes. But which Superman actor produced the best movies?

Superman and the Mole Men

All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best - Superman and the Mole Men
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman and the Mole Men

This low score is not meant as a criticism of George Reeves’ iconic representation of the Man of Steel over the course of six seasons of Adventures of Superman. Superman and the Mole Men, a 1951 film that had a theatrical distribution but was really just a glorified TV pilot, is the exception to this rule.

Supes defends the famous Mole Men from townspeople brandishing pitchforks, whose once-peaceful apprehension of the benign critters has swiftly turned aggressive. Although Reeves did a good job, the black-and-white movie isn’t quite 60 minutes long and cannot compete with Superman’s other films. But ultimately, it succeeded in bringing Reeves’ hero to everyone’s television.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

With the release of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, the most famous Superman portrayal came to an end, certainly not with a bang. Given that it was a tale that meant a great deal to the actor, it is devastating to rank Christopher Reeve’s final appearance in the red cape so far down the list. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is the worst of the original four films, despite the fact that Reeve had planned to revive the Man of Steel following Superman III.

Making a movie that so blatantly favored world peace and eliminating nuclear weapons both constituted honorable endeavors. Sadly, the 1987 film had severe budget cuts, a weak antagonist in the form of Nuclear Man, and was eventually even more outrageous than Superman III, which was a remarkable achievement.

Superman III

All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best - Superman III
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman III

Superman III may not have turned out the way it was originally intended, but the 1983 movie has the impression that it was made after someone pitched the idea of a Superman/Richard Pryor movie without fully working out the specifics of the plot. Even though the film is obviously absurd, Reeve was still at the peak of his career and Pryor is unquestionably amusing, regardless of how ridiculous the script is.

It was an odd narrative choice in a film that was rife with them to substitute Lois Lane, played by Margot Kidder, for Clark’s attempt to court Lana Lang, his high school love interest. The film, which was directed by Richard Lester after Richard Donner left Superman II, does include a great Superman vs. Clark Kent fight and served as the inspiration for the programmers’ narrative in Office Space.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Man of Steel

The Last Son of Krypton has frequently struggled with loneliness, a subject that was extensively covered in Smallville, but a gloomy, melancholy Superman isn’t the ray of light for humanity that many fans anticipate seeing. Man of Steel shouldn’t be criticized for attempting to show people a different aspect of the hero since it’s not that simple to be a deity among men. Additionally, Henry Cavill, who was first introduced in the 2013 movie, is fantastic in the part, and the rest of the cast. 

Sadly, Man of Steel had some issues with its execution, misrepresenting not only Superman but also the Kent family. Both characters are fundamentally changed by the notion that Jonathan Kent would like Clark to retain his secret at the expense of innocent lives, which includes his own. This, along with a character who left a path of destruction and a dead body in his wake, contributed to the film’s divided fan base. Even though the movie at times felt like a very dull affair due to director Zack Snyder’s muted color scheme, Cavill’s first time donning the red boots did contain some interesting concepts. All things considered, it surpasses many of Superman’s earlier films in quality.

Superman Returns

All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best - Superman Returns
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman Returns

If Superman Returns is accused of anything, it’s having a bit too much affection for the Richard Donner movies. It makes sense given that Superman is still the best superhero movie of all time, despite all these years. The 2006 film skipped over Superman III and IV and instead picked up where Superman II left off. Overall, the Man of Steel did pretty well in Bryan Singer’s movie. Before he played Ray Palmer in the Arrowverse, Brandon Routh showed he could depict a legendary hero. He portrayed the character with confidence and modesty, paying tribute to Reeve while yet giving it his own special spin.

Superman Returns did a good job of capturing the spirit of the previous two movies, although at moments it got lost in all the nostalgia. It struggled to stand on its own since it spent so much time preserving Donner’s legacy. In stark contrast to Snyder’s portrayal of the figure, which uses muted hues, this movie is likewise highly colorful. Many of the movie’s critics focus on whether Superman could have a son, but in a movie about an alien with superpowers, how much authenticity does the public really need? Superman Returns remains the Man of Steel series’ most underappreciated picture, despite the claims against both Kevin Spacey and Singer and the presence of the film’s Lex Luthor, who can’t help but slightly detract from the overall experience.

Superman II

Superman II
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman II

Superman II maintains not only as one of the best films portraying the Man of Steel but also as among the best superhero films overall, despite its notoriously problematic production. Superman II was the product of two opposing visions, much like Justice League, but it still holds up. Although The Donner Cut is excellent as well, the theatrical edition of the film should be listed second. Superman and its sequel were supposed to be filmed concurrently, but because Lester took Donner’s place as director, a large portion of the movie had to be reshot. This resulted in a movie that, despite being sporadic at times, excelled over most of its competitors.

The film Superman II is tremendously ambitious. It stepped up the action and stakes while also introducing some standout adversaries. The threat presented by Terence Stamp’s General Zod and his henchmen to the Last Son of Krypton was greater than any Big Bad from a Superman film. The intriguing love story involving Lois and Clark was further developed in Superman II, which also looked at the hero’s humanity. Even though Christopher Reeve really was ideal for the part, the actor was able to portray something new and more real after the Man of Steel lost his superhuman abilities. In addition to being a constant thrill trip, Superman II is also very moving.


All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best - Superman
All Superman Movies Ranked from Worst to Best – Superman

Despite all the years that has passed and the several actors who have assumed the part since Christopher Reeve’s debut as the Man of Steel in Superman, he continues to be the actor most strongly associated with it. The chemistry between Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Margot Kidder’s brave reporter, Lois Lane, was also brought to audiences’ attention. In addition to including John Williams’ incredible score, Superman also established the bar for future superhero films.

The film takes its time, allowing the Man of Steel’s backstory to develop fully. Reeve continues to do the finest job of presenting Superman and Clark Kent as two completely different people, making it slightly more plausible that he can keep his identities separate with just a pair of glasses. While he has perfect comedic timing, a big part of the movie’s enchantment comes from the way he plays Superman. The movie also introduced us to Gene Hackman’s fairly outstanding performance as Lex Luther, who was noteworthy even though he never really presented a threat to our hero.

Also Read: 10 Worst Superhero Movies of All Time by DC and Marvel