The Grade Book: “Man of Steel”

Man of Steel

Plot: Kal-El, an extraterrestrial from Krypton, must learn his place on Earth when he is confronted by members of his race. 

Director: Zack Snyder. 

Writers: David S. Goyer (story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan; Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster). 

Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, and Kevin Costner. 

Genres: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Fantasy.

Running Time: 2 hours and 23 minutes.

U.S. Release Date: June 14th, 2013.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.




(Lowest Grade Given to the Film: D-, Highest Grade Given to the Film: A)

SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel may annoy some Superman diehards in ways (and it has a climax that goes on forever), but the film still works excellently as summer entertainment. Henry Cavill is terrific as Kal-El and is surrounded by great actors. The visual effects and action are also built for wowing viewers.



  • Rokaan Al-zeer:

Grade: A

A fantastic reboot of the superman franchise. Snyder and Goyer and Nolan have crafted the Superman of the next generation. Henry Cavill is a great Superman and offered to give him more humanity. Everyone else was fantastic! Amy Adams is the best Lois Lane put on screen, Kevin Costner and Diane lane are great, and Michael Shannon and Russell Crowe are amazing as Zod and Jor-El. The action is so good and very over-the-top like Superman and the comics. I enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t wait to see what they do in the future with Justice League and the sequels.

  • Gabriel Alcantara (Big Gabe):

Grade: A-

While the storytelling could have been a bit deeper, the spectacle of Zack Snyder’s Superman film is immersive. All I even wanted was to see Superman kick some serious ass on the big screen, and I finally got it. If you can just get it through your head that this is a new take on the DC superhero and tell yourself NOT to compare it to the other films, comics, and cartoons, you might just have fun and appreciate the magic of Man of Steel.

  • Christian Becker:

Grade: A-

While I thought the chemistry between Clark and Lois could have used some work, and the story could have used a bit touching up, I had a blast watching everything take place. Snyder finds that perfect balance between emotion and stylized action, with top-notch performances (especially by Crowe and Costner) to top it all off.

  • Ryan Fecskovics:

Grade: B-

Not perfect but enjoyable. I was thoroughly impressed with the fantastic visual effects featured in the film. Henry Cavill does a great job as Superman and Amy Adams owns it as Lois Lane. The script at points is quite dull and Michael Shannon failed to impress me with his version of General Zod. Otherwise, I liked the film a lot. But I wish the film had a better script. I will be very interested to see where this franchise goes.

  • Adriana Floridia:

Grade: C-

Visually stunning, with jaw-dropping action sequences, yet even this aspect is not enough to uphold the rest of the film, which can be quite a mess at times. The acting is all-around decent and Cavill makes for a great Superman. However, the screenplay does not give him much room to re-create this beloved character. The film is long, some sequences are breathtaking and others are boring. Overall, it makes for an uneven and ineffectual film.

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: C-

This was the film I was the most excited to see all year and it pains me to say that this was such a huge disappointment. I just feel numb and lost for words.

  • Mike Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: A

It’s a fun superhero movie with maybe the coolest fight scenes and special effects of all time. People’s expectations won’t allow them to fully enjoy it though, because they expect The Dark Knight. It’s Superman!

  • Steven Hunt:

Grade: B+

This isn’t the perfect movie everyone was hoping for, but it is still very good. Henry Cavill is a fantastic Superman and the rest of the actors are cast perfectly in the movie. Zod was, overall, underwhelming as a villain though; he didn’t do much. The action is amazing but becomes exhausting after a while. I’m really looking forward to Man of Steel sequel.

  • John Maffeo:

Grade: B-

A somewhat controversial film as of late, but in my opinion it is a solid comic book movie and a memorable blockbuster! The story is told in nonlinear fashion, which creates flaws, and the screenplay is heavily lacking unfortunately. But the character of Superman is executed well-enough, the action is very intense, the performances are earnest, and the setup for future films is astonishingly great!

  • Zachary S. Marsh:

Grade: A
Now THIS is how you tell an untold superhero story. As someone who actually enjoyed Superman Returns, this is the DC superhero movie I’ve been waiting for. Not that the Christopher Nolan Batman films were bad, because they’re great, but this film had everything I’d want in a superhero film and more — despite having very tiny plotholes and a forced romance between Superman and Lois Lane. Great story, superb acting, and spectacular direction from Zack Snyder make Man of Steel the blockbuster event of the summer that should not be missed. How this is rotten on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me.

  • Matt Marshall:

Grade: C-

Man of Steel will have its legions of proponents, blinded by the big names and glitz that go with a leaden summer blockbuster, but that doesn’t deny the fact that Superman has been de-Supermaned courtesy of Zack Snyder and company. Is it too soon to start asking for a reboot?

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: B+

Unlike the die hard fanatics of this superhero, I found myself really taken back by how much I enjoyed this film. While I feel the film as a whole tried to cover way too much in one film, I do think it served as a welcoming introduction to a new era of Superman. The performances were all top-notch but all characters could have used more screen time. I really enjoyed the direction by Snyder, which was a nice mix of the classic superhero-type films mixed with his own unique vision. All in all, while the die hard fans will be disappointed with Man of Steel, I found it to be a breathe of fresh air and I look forward to what will be done with the sequels.

  • Steven Merced (Geeked Out):

Grade: B-

Man of Steel is a movie that never fully develops into anything more then a mindless action film with a bit of heart at the beginning. Now all of that being said, it is nice to see Superman back on the big screen from a 7-year hiatus. It’s one of those movies where the trailer is so much better then the actual movie itself, which ends up disappointing the moviegoer. It has amazing visuals, a mesmerizing score, and good acting. The problem is that for all of the good, there is equal parts bad. That makes the overall movie going experience a mixed bag.

  • Kevin Morrison:

Grade: D-

That was the best trailer to a movie sequel I have ever seen. It suffers as its own movie.

  • William Bond Nunn:

Grade: A

A worthy remake for the Last Son of Krypton. Excellent visual direction by Zack Synder, great writing by David S Goyer, and Christopher Nolan’s help in the film made it quite an epic. Henry Cavill is marvelous as Kal-El and every actor in this movie is great, but Russell Crowe as Jor-El really takes the cake. Hans Zimmer’s score is wonderful, the action is great, and there are some great emotional scenes that you’ll see in the film. A lot of characters don’t have that much depth and some scenes with Lois Lane feel a tad forced, but overall, this is a really good film. Keep your eyes on a satellite later in the film. You might like what you see.

  • Alex Perez:

Grade: B+

Is it as good as I might have hoped it would be? Not quite. It does suffer from some action scenes being slightly prolonged and getting in the way of some necessary character development, as well as David S. Goyer’s script providing for a few rather ridiculous moments. That being said, Man of Steel is a solid reboot of the Superman franchise, with great performances all around, extremely well done action scenes, effective dramatic material, and very good direction from Zack Snyder.

  • Austin Putnam:

Grade: B+
Superman is brought back in great fashion by Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer. Henry Cavill does a fantastic job as Kal-El (learn from him, Brandon Routh). Seeing Superman throwing a punch was awesome. Russell Crowe is also great as Jor-El. The special effects and action sequences are phenomenal. Although, I felt that Michael Shannon was really underused as Zod. It seemed that Snyder focused on bringing the badass action rather than character development. Still…I won’t deny that Man Of Steel was a fantastic summer film. I can’t wait for the next one.

  • Daniel Rester:

Grade: A-

Man of Steel is a worthy reinvention of a great superhero. Some changes may piss off diehards, but I found the film to be fresh and highly entertaining. The cast here is aces, with Henry Cavill making for a terrific Kal-El and Michael Shannon making for an interesting Zod. It also has magnificent visuals and jaw-dropping action (the Smallville fight is so good). There are some script issues, some hit-and-miss chemistry between Lois and Clark, and the climax is exhausting and repetitive, but the film as a whole is excellent blockbuster entertainment.

  • Christian Ruvalcaba:

Grade: A-
Tons of action and fighting scenes? Hell yes! This has been the Superman film that I have been waiting for. Although not the perfect superhero flick I was expecting, it is still an amazing experience in the theaters. Looking forward to a sequel!

  • Brandt Sohn:

Grade: A-

What a spectacle this was! Superman is given more humanistic qualities in this film, which makes us feel sympathy for him and making this movie a lot more relatable than previous Superman films. Henry Cavill was everything I imagined the character to be. Zod is a great villain and Michael Shannon was fantastic in the role. The action sequences are unbelievable and filled with, for the most part, outstanding visual effects. Hans Zimmer’s score brings everything together and amps up the tension in these absolutely nail-biting moments of action. The lack of character development will, hopefully, be fleshed out more in the sequel, as this film sets up what should be three Superman movies that complete a single, cohesive story — rather than three separate entries. This is an epic ride with pacing that is as brisk as Superman’s flight!

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