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Every Superman Movie Ranked By IMDb

He's he last son of the doomed planet Krypton who was rocketed to Earth as an infant, raised in small-town Kansas, and eventually graduated to become the hero of Metropolis — that's right, we're talking about the one and only Superman! Disguised as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, Superman fights for "truth, justice, and the American way" as he soars above every catastrophe or villainous plot. Whether he's fighting alien invaders, mole people, or mad scientists, there's no doubt that the Man of Steel will always triumph over the worst of evils.

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 back in 1938, becoming the first official comic book superhero. Ten years later, he made his big screen debut in the 15-part film serial "Superman," only to eventually make his feature film debut in "Superman and the Mole Men," which tied into the "Adventures of Superman" television series. It wouldn't be until 1978 that our hero would make his big blockbuster debut in director Richard Donners' "Superman," which would make him a cinematic icon. Whether you prefer George Reeves, Brandon Routh, Christopher Reeve, or Henry Cavill in the red cape and tights, there's no doubt that Superman stands alone among a pantheon of superheroes.

Be it live-action or animation, here is every Superman movie ranked by IMDb, showing the general audience consensus about each of his adventures. Oh, and just to clear things up, we're not counting team-up movies about Batman or the Justice League.

29. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Often considered the absolute worst Superman film out there, "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" was a not-so-solid send-off for probably the most beloved actor to ever portray the Man of Steel in live-action or any other medium: Christopher Reeve. Based on a story by the actor himself, "The Quest for Peace" centers around Superman hoping to stop nuclear war, and while he had been once forbidden by his people from interfering in human affairs, he chooses to anyway. Oh, and Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) and his nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer, who would actually go on to play Lex Luthor in the "Supergirl" television series) are also running around, creating a "bizarro Superman" named Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow), who nearly kills the Man of Steel in combat.

With an IMDb score of 3.7 (yeah, it's pretty bad), there's no debate as to whether or not "Superman IV" is the worst of the "Superman" movies. Though the film has garnered a cult following over the years (Nuclear Man even showed up in the comics, per CBR), it's admittedly not the best that a Superman movie has to offer. As critic James Beradinelli put it, "In the end, while it can be said that Christopher Reeve made four Superman movies, only the first two are worth watching." Sadly, he's not wrong, though die-hard Reeve and Superman fans may still enjoy "Superman IV" despite its many flaws.

28. Supergirl (1984)

Okay, so technically Superman doesn't actually show up in this one, but Marc McClure's Jimmy Olsen from the Christopher Reeve movies does, so we'll allow it. Plus, there's a very sweet cameo moment where Kara Zor-El — played wonderfully by Helen Slater, who went on to appear as Superman's mom on "Smallville" and as Supergirl's adoptive mother on the "Supergirl" series — is directly inspired by the Reeve's version of Superman after seeing a poster of him on Lucy Lane's wall. So there's enough of a connection to count it here, though sadly, even the brief Superman cameo and Slater's performance weren't enough to save this one from a grizzly fate.

While its 4.4 IMDb rating may be a bit too harsh (the movie isn't that terrible), the truth is that it isn't so great either. With so many exciting comic book moments throughout the film, it's a real shame that "Supergirl" didn't soar higher, especially given how accurate to Supergirl's personality the movie truly is. Originally, Reeve's Superman was supposed to appear as a mentor to his cousin, but due to scheduling conflicts (and a grudge with the producers), it never happened (per CBR). Sadly, not even Supergirl's status as the Man of Steel's cousin was enough to save her here, and although the film isn't nearly as bad as some make it out to be, it's not exactly Shakespeare.

27. Superman III (1983)

With an IMDb rating of 5.0, it's clear that "Superman III" isn't too much better than "Supergirl." There's a lot going on here in Reeve's third outing as our titular hero, including synthetic Kryptonite that splits Superman into good and bad versions of himself, Clark Kent's return to his hometown of Smallville to rekindle a brief romance with his old flame Lana Lang (played by Annette O'Toole, who would go on to play Martha Kent on "Smallville"), and Richard Pryor's comedic role that eventually results in the creation of a killer artificial intelligence. If that sounds like a bit too much, well, it's because it is.

When the film was first released, J.A. Connor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote, "One expects romance, humor and grandeur, but only gets a frustrating mixture of failed opportunities and missed chances." Unfortunately, he couldn't be closer to the truth. "Superman III" is pretty uneven as far as Superman movies go, and its attempts at humor don't mix terribly well with Superman's own internal battles (watching a drunk Superman fight Clark Kent and then trying to laugh at Richard Pryor's "I don't believe a man can fly" is an odd experience). Though, if more outlandish Silver Age era of Superman stories are more your thing, then "Superman III" might just have something for you.

26. Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)

Did you know that Superman once fought a group of mole people from beneath the Earth's surface? A sort of trial run for the beloved "Adventures of Superman" TV series, "Superman and the Mole-Men" is a fun science-fiction story that fits nicely into the canon of George Reeves' iconic version of Superman. Eventually, this film was re-purposed for the series as "The Unknown People," a two-parter to conclude the first season of "Adventures of Superman," but it's still best known for being the first feature film based on a DC Comics character.

A 5.5 IMDb rating makes it clear that the film hasn't exactly aged well, a fact that critic Peter Canavese echoes in his retro review, writing, "This children's fantasy is sluggishly paced by today's standards ... but it does have its charms and a relevant social message at its core." Another critic, Scott Nash, adds to that idea. "It contains some interesting ideas," he writes, "but is really only going to appeal to massive fans of Superman or those seeking a sense of nostalgia." While this may be true, there's no doubt that, at the time, "Superman and the Mole Men" was an exciting hit that got folks excited about the Man of Steel.

25. Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)

Hoping to cash in on that summer's release of "Superman Returns" (which we'll get to in a minute), Warner Bros. commissioned "Superman: Brainiac Attacks," an animated Superman feature in which Metropolis' greatest hero faces off against the Kryptonian A.I. that destroyed his homeworld. But don't let the animation style (or Tim Daly's return as the Man of Steel) fool you — this direct-to-video feature has absolutely nothing to do with "Superman: The Animated Series" or the greater DC Animated Universe, which is a bit confusing at first but eventually becomes clear (Lance Henriksen's Brainiac and Powers Boothe's odd Lex Luthor quickly give that away).

This movie's incredibly strange, even by an animated comic book movie's standards. Besides the oddly comedic Lex Luthor ("ooh, brainfreeze") who barely resembles the iconic supervillain, Superman's powers and intelligence always seem to be in flux. But beyond that, "Brainiac Attacks" does do a great job with the Superman/Lois Lane romance, giving Clark an internal struggle regarding the question of revealing his secret identity to her. It's a bit clunky, and there's a reason it wasn't terribly well received, but Superman die-hards will no doubt enjoy some of the drama and the twists. Still, the end certainly leaves a lot to be desired. (Another magic kiss? really?) No wonder it has a 5.8 IMDb rating.

24. Justice League (2017)

Honestly, it's criminal that this film — at a 6.1 on IMDb — ranks higher than some of the Christopher Reeve "Superman" films, but that's not because Henry Cavill's performance is at all subpar. Rather, director Joss Whedon (and the awkward hand-off from Zack Snyder) can be blamed for this mess of a movie, which tries way too hard to blend old versions of these characters — even going so far as to use Danny Elfman's "Batman Theme" and John Williams' "Superman March" — with the pre-established versions of them seen in Snyder's other films. It doesn't really blend together well (and the movie is a pretty mixed bag anyway), but the biggest offenses include sidelining heroes like Cyborg, making Amy Adams' Lois Lane and Diane Lane's Martha Kent engage in a "thirsty" joke, and the bad anti-mustache CGI on Superman.

While some initially thought that "Justice League" was a significant improvement compared to previous DC Extended Universe installments, not everybody agreed. Film Monthly critic Matt Cipolla wrote, "I'm not even sure it's an actual movie. It's a two-hour trailer with some okay visuals and some decent sound design." While this might seem a bit harsh, when compared to Snyder's director's cut there's no denying that Whedon's theatrical cut is vastly inferior, and the film's treatment of its supporting characters is pretty disingenuous. Still, there is an iconic Superman shirt-rip at the end of the movie, which is admittedly really cool to see from Henry Cavill's version of the character.

23. Superman Returns (2006)

Okay, let's be real here — this film's 6.1 IMDb rating is a bit low (it's nowhere near as bad as "Justice League"), especially considering that this is Bryan Singer's love letter to the classic Christopher Reeve-era "Superman" movies from his own childhood, and it manages to be a genuinely great homage. Superman and Lois Lane's son aside, Brandon Routh gives an excellent performance as the Man of Steel (not to mention his spot-on Clark Kent), one that he thankfully got to revisit during The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event in 2019. But the real star of the show is Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor, who goes far above and beyond Gene Hackman's portrayal in the original films (yeah, really). Aside from Michael Rosenbaum on "Smallville," he's the best Lex Luthor we've ever seen.

Another great thing about "Superman Returns" is the film's commitment to being an introspective look at the character. While some hoped for more incredible action sequences — which we'd eventually get in "Man of Steel" — Singer and crew took a more classical approach to the Man of Tomorrow. Scott Huver of Hollywood.com made note that, "Superman Returns is a great kick start to a potentially knockout new franchise, which ultimately leaves the audience, like the people of Metropolis when its greatest hero returns to the skies, brimming with hope." While the film (sadly) never got a sequel, it stands alone as an excellent addition to the big-screen legacy of "Superman."

22. Injustice (2021)

Based on the acclaimed video game series and comics of the same name, "Injustice" shows us what would happen if the Joker murdered Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Superman's unborn child — or, to put it more accurately, if he got Superman to do it. As it turns out, Superman (voiced here by Justin Hartley of "Smallville") would become an authoritarian dictator with an appetite for destruction. As Batman leads a group of heroes who oppose Superman's Regime, they fight to keep the world from becoming an even worse version of Orwell's "1984," a world completely ruled by fear.

"Evil Superman" stories may be a bit overplayed at this point, with so many different comics, cartoons, and even films all telling the same sort of warped tales, but "Injustice" stands apart as a greater DC Universe story that, while still centered around the Man of Steel, has far greater implications. As Julian Ruman from MovieWebb put it, "'Injustice' has a great premise. It needed to advance the source material and not just emulate its violence. An opportunity was lost here to really challenge Batman and Superman's unyielding virtue." While the animated film may not be as exciting as the video game or the comic books, it holds a solid message and has a finale that's worthy of the title (and the 6.3 on IMDb).

21. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

It may seem odd that "Batman v Superman" ranks higher than "Superman Returns," but this film's 6.4 IMDb rating is fairly accurate. A direct follow-up to Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel," this sequel follows both Superman and the Dark Knight of Gotham as they figure out how to deal with one another. Batman (played to perfection by Ben Affleck), who had witnessed the destruction of Metropolis during the battle between Superman and General Zod, wants to take down the Kryptonian, while Superman discovers Batman's string of violence throughout Gotham and hopes to stop him from hurting anyone else.

The movie is no doubt an interesting concept, and the idea that these two would try to fight each other upon their first meeting rather than wanting to team-up is certainly compelling. Of course, there was lots of criticism surrounding the "Martha" moment that actually ties these heroes together. Whether you loved or hated it, there's no doubt that the "Ultimate Edition" of this film (which we'll talk about later) is the vastly superior version and expands excellently on both Clark Kent and Lois Lane's respective journalistic prowess. NME Critic Olly Richards echoed this sentiment in his review, writing, "The grand punch-up between Superman, last son of Krypton, and Batman, lost son of Gotham, arrives not with great fanfare but with a big raspberry."

20. Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020)

The most recent attempt at a new Superman origin story, "Superman: Man of Tomorrow" has launched a new DC Animated Original Movie Universe that also includes "Batman: The Long Halloween" and "Justice Society: World War II. But don't let that grander continuity scare you — this one stands alone. While not the best animated Superman origin story on this list, "Man of Tomorrow" brings a freshly adventuristic take to the character's origins, replacing the more reverent tones of certain interpretations with a free-spirited action story that does its best to deliver, even if it's a bit shaky.

Darren Criss voices the Man of Tomorrow here, while Zachary Quinto gives a chilling performance as Lex Luthor, though even these two aren't enough to stop this movie from feeling like it's trying to do a bit too much in such a short time. The film's middling 6.4 IMDb rating is somewhat earned, given how much "Man of Tomorrow" tries to tackle in just under 90 minutes. With the inclusion of Lobo, the Martian Manhunter, and Parasite, all while trying to establish Clark's role at the Daily Planet, his own superhero identity, and his relationship with Lois Lane ... well, let's just say that you're either going to love this one or find it very disappointing. There's not much of an in-between.

19. Superman: Red Son (2020)

Another 6.4 on IMDb, "Superman: Red Son" is based on the critically-acclaimed comic story of the same name that asked what would happen if baby Kal-El landed in the Soviet Union and was raised as a weapon by Joseph Stalin. As for the animated adaptation, folks have been somewhat split on how they feel about "Red Son." Critic Víctor López G. wrote, "Its greatest sin [is] its excessive simplification that ends up undermining the stimulating original material by [comic writer] Mark Millar." However, Terence Johnson disagreed, saying, "Not only is this a good film, it's also a superlative adaptation of the source material, being both more brutal and less foolish than the (very good) comic it is based on."

Regardless of how you feel about the film itself and its use of the source material, it has a stellar cast that includes Jason Isaacs as the Soviet Last Son of Krypton, Amy Acker as Lois Lane, Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, Paul Williams as Brainiac, and Phil Morris of "Smallville" as Jimmy Olsen. Alongside them, Phil LaMarr reprises his role as the Green Lantern John Stewart from the "Justice League Unlimited" animated series, which is as welcome a surprise as any. "Superman: Red Son" is beautifully animated, and feels like the natural continuation from the famed Bruce Timm style of the DC Animated Universe.

18. Superman: Unbound (2013)

Based on Geoff Johns' popular "Superman: Brainiac" story arc, "Superman: Unbound" is the story of Superman and Supergirl as they attempt to retrieve the bottled city of Kandor from the villainous Collector of Worlds known as Brainiac. "Unbound" is pretty action-packed, and probably deserves a bit higher of an IMDb rating than a 6.6, especially given its supremely talented voice cast. Matt Bomer (who has played Superman once before) stars as the Man of Steel alongside Molly C. Quinn as Supergirl, Stana Katic as Lois Lane, and John Noble is perfectly cast as the dastardly Brainiac himself.

As Aisle Seat's Mike McGranaghan accurately puts it, "[Director James Tucker] brings a visual finesse to 'Superman: Unbound' that makes it feel cinematic, despite the fact that it wasn't made for the big screen." Having come out only weeks before "Man of Steel" hit theaters, Superman fans were in for a treat, as "Superman: Unbound" is an excellent tribute to 75 years of comic book history. Not only does Bomer shine as the Man of Steel, but the story itself is well-paced and exhilarating, and feels like something we probably should get in live-action at some point. The final battle between Superman and Brainiac is taken right out of the comic book the film's based on, which only adds to its excellent flavor.

17. Superman (1948 film serials)

In Superman's first live-action theatrical appearance (that's right, this predates George Reeves), "Superman" was a 15-part film serial released by Columbia Pictures just ten years after the Man of Steel's first appearance in comic books. Starring Kirk Alyn as Clark Kent/Superman and Noel Neill as Lois Lane (she would go on to play the character on "Adventures of Superman" and even cameo in "Superman Returns"), there's some debate about whether or not "Superman" counts as a television series given the serialized nature of the project (and its four-hour runtime) or a film given its theatrical run, but we're counting it here anyway.

With a 6.8 on IMDb, "Superman" chronicles the Man of Steel's origins, his first exposure to Kryptonite, his job at the Daily Planet, his relationship with Lois Lane, and his investigation into the villainous affairs of the Spider Lady (who only just recently made her comic book debut). The serials admittedly feel pretty cheap by today's standards, but any die-hard Superman fan will surely enjoy this time capsule of a serial. Also, it launched the careers of both Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill, which it should count for something.

16. Atom-Man vs. Superman (1950 film serials)

Only one year before "Superman Meets the Mole-Men," the highly anticipated sequel to the 1948 "Superman" film serial was released. This 15-part serial, called "Atom-Man vs. Superman," followed Daily Planet staffers Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen (Timmy Bond) as they uncover the story behind the Atom-Man (Lyle Talbot), who has blackmailed Metropolis. But this Atom-Man isn't the one we've seen most recently in the "Superman & Lois" TV series. No, it's actually Lex Luthor himself, who announces all his evil plots over the radio. Go figure!

With a 6.8 on IMDb, "Atom-Man vs. Superman" is a bit more interesting than its predecessor, largely in part due to the unique take on Lex Luthor, but it's just as campy as the 1948 serial that came before. If you're looking for some fun black-and-white, family friendly, retro superhero science-fiction, this four-hour serial may just be just right. Of course, Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill reprise their roles as Superman and Lois Lane, and do an excellent job on screen as always. Again, this one might be most interesting to Superman die-hards, or those who love classic sci-fi adventures.

15. Superman II (1980)

By far the best of the Christopher Reeve "Superman" sequels, "Superman II" pushes our hero to his absolute limits as three super-powered criminals from the Phantom Zone escape and set their sights on Earth. This is where that opening scene from "Superman: The Movie" gets paid off, as General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O'Halloran) arrive to bring the planet to its knees. Literally. But if it's so good, then why does it only have a 6.8 on IMDb? Well, honestly, because they kicked director Richard Donner off the production, replaced him with Richard Lester, and made the ending a bit more cartoonish than it should've been, with an uneven tone and some poor finale choices that make you just wish for more.

While "The Richard Donner Cut" is infinitely better (and we'll get to that in a bit), "Superman II" is still a pretty solid movie that gives us the best parts of Superman, the Clark Kent/Lois Lane romance, and General Zod and Lex Luthor. Honestly, it holds up pretty well compared to the first film. But while it's certainly better than the following sequels, there are plenty of fans out there who still despise Lester's vision for "Superman II." As Mike Massie of Gone With the Twins writes, "It's a matching continuation, even if it's an uninspired one, whose stale direction wasn't dismissed in later years ... prompting fired director Donner to release his own cut."

14. All-Star Superman (2011)

Based on one of the greatest Superman stories of all time, "All-Star Superman" is a triumph in Superman-related animation, one that seems to pay tribute to everything that's come before while also paving the way for an exciting future. With an IMDb rating of 6.8, the movie finds a dying Superman (voiced here by James Denton) using his remaining time on Earth to not only fulfill his own dreams, but share them with others — namely Lois Lane (Christina Hendricks). Of course, Lex Luthor (Anthony LaPaglia) has his own plans in mind. Having finally defeated Superman, he hopes to remake the world in his own image.

There's a lot to take in with "All-Star Superman." For one, there are plenty of villains introduced and taken care of throughout the film that it feels a lot more like the comic book than your standard animated movie. But don't get us wrong, it's actually not as distracting as you might think, and manages to be pretty engaging throughout. Stream on Demand writer Sean Axmaker said it perfectly: "The 76-minute 'All-Star Superman' synthesizes the famous 12-issue mini-series by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. Their take embraces the pulp fun of golden age Superman with a modern grace and a mythic dimension."

13. Superman: Doomsday (2007)

Warner Bros. Animation's first attempt at retelling "The Death of Superman" story in animation, "Superman: Doomsday" is a solid action movie that pushes the original story to its limits. Instead of opening it up to the greater DC Universe and including members of the Justice League, this tale feels deeply personal and focuses purely on Superman and his own supporting cast. With a 6.9 on IMDb, "Superman: Doomsday" doesn't mess around, containing plenty of cartoon violence, blood, and even some pretty dark thematic material that's a little uncomfortable upon the first watch. Yet it manages to retell this familiar tale with tons of originality and plenty of interesting twists.

Adam Baldwin as Superman is a solid casting choice, matched only by James Marsters' Lex Luthor (Marsters had previously played Brainiac on "Smallville"). Things do get pretty dark, especially when it comes to a subplot involving Toyman (John DiMaggio) kidnapping children, so be warned that this isn't a kid's movie. But the heavy themes and departures from the source material only serve to make "Superman: Doomsday" a stronger film. Felix Vasquez Jr. of Cinema Crazed even went so far as to call it "one of the better Superman films to date," and he might not be too far from the truth.

12. Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)

Okay, so this one is less of a full-length animated movie and more of a direct-to-video collection of shorts, but "Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam" — which earned a 7.0 on IMDb — is still pretty exciting. The short matches up Superman (George Newbern, who reprises his role from the "Justice League" animated series) with the boy-turned-hero Captain Marvel (Jerry O'Connell) to face off against the latter's greatest nemesis: Black Adam (Arnold Vosloo). This 25-minute romp between these heroes and the famed supervillain is exciting, fun, and just shows that when going up against magic-based villains, Superman is a bit outmatched. Thankfully, Captain Marvel is there to even things out.

The actual "Superman/Shazam!" DVD features a bunch of different DC Comics-related short films, including "The Spectre," "Jonah Hex," and "Green Arrow," which are all excellent by the way (especially "Green Arrow"). Of course, the real headliner is the Superman-inspired story, which expertly shows off the power sets of Superman, Captain Marvel, and Black Adam. It's no wonder that The Rock wants his Black Adam to fight Henry Cavill's Superman. R.L. Shaffer of IGN DVD wrote, "Ultimately, 'Superman/Shazam!' is a satisfying short, but it barely scrapes the surface of this character's potential, which is just a shame."

11. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

Batman and Superman team-ups are always memorable, and "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" is based on one of the best in the 21st century. Based on the modern reintroduction of Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El, aka Supergirl (voiced by Summer Glau), "Apocalypse" unites the Dark Knight (the one-and-only Kevin Conroy of "Batman: The Animated Series" fame) and the Man of Steel (Tim Daly reprising his role from "Superman: The Animated Series") as they fight to protect her from the Lord of Apokolips himself, Darkseid (Andre Braugher). If you're looking for some great superhero action, including our heroes fighting a hoard of Doomsdays, then this is the animated film for you.

A pretty straightforward adaptation of the comic book story, this "Superman/Batman" feature is a mix of a superhero team-up, a Supergirl origin, and an intergalactic invasion film, which makes it pretty exciting. "Apocalypse" is certainly not as compelling as the first film in the "Superman/Batman" duology (more on that in a moment), and there are plenty of other DC Universe Animated Original Movies that maybe deserve to be a bit higher than "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" and its 7.0 IMDb rating. But hey, we don't make the rules.

10. Superman vs. The Elite (2012)

Based on the Superman comic story "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?," "Superman vs. The Elite" is one of the absolute best Superman animated films you could ever ask for. With a solid 7.0 on IMDb, "Superman vs. The Elite" pits the Man of Steel (voiced again by George Newbern) against a new group of heroes who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. A battle of morals, Superman finds himself in conflict with Manchester Black (Robin Atkin Downes), who believes that the Man of Tomorrow's ideals are not only outdated, but completely irrelevant. 

If there was ever a timely Superman story for today, "Superman vs. The Elite" is most definitely it, pushing all the limits and boundaries of what a superhero like Superman should or shouldn't do. The climax alone is utterly terrifying and pushes the audience's tolerance for what we can handle seeing our heroes doing (or not doing). As critic Peter Canavese put it, "The conflict between The Elite's way of doing things and Superman's sets up a 'might makes right' allegory wrestling with national and global politics as well as, on a more personal level, civilian tolerance of capital punishment."

9. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

The first of the two "Superman/Batman" films, "Public Enemies" is a direct adaptation of the DC Comics story of the same name, set during the Presidency of Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown). Yes, Lex Luthor is the President of the United States of America (is it really that hard to believe?), and has made both Superman (Tim Daly) and Batman (Kevin Conroy) sworn enemies of the state. This has pit the World's Finest heroes against some of their most trusted allies, including Power Girl (voiced by Allison Mack of "Smallville"), who struggles to choose a side.

With an IMDb rating of 7.1, "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" is just a bit more loved than its sequel, largely because the story itself is a bit more interesting. President Luthor actively persecuting Superman? What amazing story potential! While the film clocks in at just over an hour (making it one of the shortest of the DC Animated Original Movies), it manages to tell a concise and engaging story in that time. With few departures from the original comic (though it would've been nice to see the Batman and Superman families try to rescue their mentors), "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" is exactly what you'd hope for, supervillain cameos and all.

8. The Death and Return of Superman (2019)

The second animated attempt at adapting "The Death of Superman" to animation is by far the better of the two. Originally released in two parts — "The Death of Superman" and "Reign of the Supermen" — the films were eventually compiled into a single film, retitled "The Death and Return of Superman," which kind of gives it away. With a combined rating of 7.1 on IMDb (though the original films earned a 7.3 and 6.7 respectively), this adaptation opens Superman's death up to the entire DC Universe as the Justice League fails to stop Doomsday, forcing the Man of Steel (voiced here by Jerry O'Connell) to make the ultimate sacrifice.

As our heroes mourn, four new Supermen appear, each with their own gimmicks and ideas of how to preserve Superman's legacy. As far as comic book adaptations go, this film's "Death of Superman" segment is arguably better than the way the comics did it, though their "Reign of Supermen" arc left a bit to be desired. Still, the combined picture manages to capture the full scope of the original comic books, bringing in Steel, Superboy, the Eradicator, and the Cyborg-Superman. As Den of Geek put it in their review, "It's a big win for Superman fans, finally giving them the adaptation of this tale that they've long craved, and one that sacrifices neither the violence nor the humanity that offsets it."

7. Man of Steel (2013)

In celebration of Superman's 75th anniversary, Zack Snyder's vision for the Last Son of Krypton finally came to fruition. Though many fans have been split on "Man of Steel," time has helped many to appreciate the film more. With an IMDb rating of 7.1 (better than nearly a dozen Marvel Cinematic Universe movies), it's no wonder that this is one of the greatest Superman movies out there. From a story by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, this film takes a much more introspective look at Clark Kent's childhood, his discovery of his origins, and his journey towards becoming a hero. Henry Cavill knocks it out of the park, and his supporting cast — including Kevin Costner's Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane's Martha Kent, and Russell Crowe's Jor-El — all push him to shine even brighter.

Of course, Michael Shannon's General Zod is the biggest threat, and his army of Kryptonians seems to be more than even Superman can handle at times. Yet with the help of his allies, including Lois Lane (Amy Adams), the Man of Steel is finally able to overcome. "Man of Steel gets a lot right," Critic Niall Browne wrote. "The casting of Henry Cavill as Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent is spot-on. He brings the right notes of heroism and earnestness to the role, as well as embodying the physical presence of the character."

6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition (2016)

The first Superman film with an R rating, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition" is loads better than the theatrical cut of the film. A common theme with Superman-related projects, the version of the film that more closely resembles the director's vision is the one that makes the most sense and garners the most praise. The film's superior 7.2 IMDb rating alone proves that it's a lot more coherent than the original version, with 30 extra minutes of footage that expands on Lois' investigation into Lex Luthor's schemes as well as Clark's own journalistic quest to uncover the truth about the Batman.

Of course, many who hated the original version of the film may still hate the "Ultimate Edition," especially since they're structurally the same story, unlike the Whedon and Snyder versions of "Justice League," which share similar bones but are fundamentally different. All that's different here is that our favorite characters from "Man of Steel," Clark and Lois, are not only given more to do, but their roles in the film are better explained (as is Luthor's overall plot), making "Batman v Superman" a much more enjoyable experience.

5. Superman: The Movie (1978)

It's no surprise that the original Richard Donner blockbuster is near the top of this list, but what is admittedly a bit surprising is that it isn't quite at the top. A 7.4 on IMDb doesn't really do this blockbuster justice – "Superman: The Movie" is a classic, and one that — even if dated in some ways — still manages to wow audiences everywhere. From Christopher Reeve's stunning transformation between the mild-mannered Clark Kent and the otherworldly Superman to the exciting look at the alien planet of Krypton (with some great work between Marlon Brando's Jor-El and Terence Stamp's General Zod), there's so much to love here, and there's an obvious reason folks keep coming back after all this time.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Christopher Reeve is perfect in physical appearance for the title role and he manages to play the open honestness and naivete without losing credibility." Folks still look back at "Superman" as being the definitive take on the character, and Reeve's performance as their absolute favorite. Of course, Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor is wonderful, and Margot Kidder's Lois Lane is forever charming, but there's no doubt that Reeve steals the show from everyone on screen (including Brando) and reminds us what Superman stands for. "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" means so much more when he says it than when we read it elsewhere, because with this Superman, we believe him.

4. Superman: The Last Son of Krypton (1996)

Okay, this is admittedly a bit of a cheat, but "Superman: The Last Son of Krypton" is too good to pass up, especially given its 7.6 IMDb rating. Originally premiering as the first three episode of the famed "Superman: The Animated Series," this story would later be re-edited and re-released as a single direct-to-video feature. Chronicling the destruction of Krypton at the hands of the corrupted A.I. Brainiac (Corey Burton) and Clark's time as a young man in Smallville, Kansas, and then following him into adulthood as he reveals himself to the world as Superman (voiced perfectly by Tim Daly), this animated feature is honestly one of the best Superman origin stories that you could ever ask for.

Ed Grant of Common Sense Media wrote that the animated movie was a "smart, charismatic Superman retelling," and we couldn't agree more. All of the stuff on Krypton — especially the interactions between Jor-El (Christopher McDonald) and Brainiac — is excellent, giving us a better understanding of the Kryptonian homeworld and culture. Plus, we get to understand the origins (at least in this retelling) of the Superman/Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) feud, which is pretty entertaining. Oh, and Dana Delany's Lois Lane is the absolute standard. If you're looking for a fresh, sleek, and action-packed version of the Man of Tomorrow's origins, it can't get much better than "The Last Son of Krypton."

3. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980, 2006)

2006 was the year of Superman, as Warner Bros. worked to get folks excited about the Man of Steel ahead of his return to the big screen in "Superman Returns," and giving "Superman: The Movie" director Richard Donner the ability to re-cut "Superman II" the way he (mostly) originally intended is a gigantic win for cinephiles and Superman fans everywhere. Not only does the film feel more personal, but the relationship between Margot Kidder's Lois Lane and Christopher Reeve's Superman/Clark Kent shines brightest in this edition.

Of course, all the things people loved about the original version of the film remain intact — which makes sense given that much of Richard Lester's version was still built on Donner's footage — but the character arcs are much stronger in "The Richard Donner Cut" than in the original theatrical version. The film more than earns its 7.6 on IMDb, though many would argue that rating should be much higher. While the ending is certainly better than the original "Superman II," it does seem to be a cheat given that Superman had already time-traveled to fix his mistakes back in "Superman: The Movie." But as an opportunity to see Christopher Reeve's Superman on screen again and watch Donner's vision come to life, we'll let it slide.

2. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)

A four-hour epic and another "R" rated Superman movie, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" serves an excellent conclusion (probably) to Snyder's DC trilogy. While not solely focused on the Man of Steel himself, the events of the previous two films ("Man of Steel" and "Batman v Superman") are the catalyst for the plot here, namely Superman's heroic sacrifice which has inspired Batman, Wonder Woman, and a new generation of heroes to team-up and resist intergalactic threats. Unlike the theatrical cut of the film, this version — which has earned an 8.0 on IMDb — is entirely well-balanced and gives us more time with the Man of Steel upon his resurrection, even hinting at a possible dark side to his return.

Truthfully, Henry Cavill shines more than ever, and as he reunites with Lois Lane (now pregnant with his unborn child), we remain hopeful that we'll see this iteration of Superman once again. Not only does this cut of "Justice League" vastly improve on the flaws of the original, but it feels like a completely different movie altogether. Oh, and more Superman — who defeats Steppenwolf with ease — is always a plus.

1. The Batman-Superman Movie (1997)

Just like "Superman: The Last Son of Krypton," this one is actually three "Superman: The Animated Series" episodes all mashed together in a single animated feature, and it's amazing. With a solid 9.0 on IMDb, the "World's Finest" three-parter brings Batman (Kevin Conroy) to Metropolis to team-up with Superman (Tim Daly) after Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) hires the Joker (Mark Hamill) to kill the Man of Steel with a bunch of Kryptonite. It's an exciting adventure that unites these two DC legends and forces them to uncover each other's secret identities as they work to bring both Luthor and the Joker  to justice (oh, and pine after the same Lois Lane). 

The comics-accurate dynamic between these two heroes is best on display here. Unlike "Batman v Superman" or "Injustice," they're not fundamentally opposed to one another, instead establishing a greater alliance that would stretch all the way to the animated series "Justice League Unlimited" and across the DC Animated Universe. Although Superman isn't exactly flying solo here, this still manages to be one of the best Superman features on this list because it highlights his hope, optimism, journalistic integrity, and desire to fight for truth and justice. What more could you ask for?