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CineSymphony: Top 7 Superman Films Ever!

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it's a film list!
January 17, 2024

Superman in Concert

Thu, Feb 15–Sat, Feb 17, 2024
View Event

What’s better than a list of the best Superman films ever? Finding out you could watch every Superman film in one sitting! Clark Kent and his billowing cape looms so large over the global film industry that it’s hard to believe he’s only made seven appearances on the silver screen. From February 15–17, the TSO will present Superman in Concert for a completely immersive experience of the film that started it all, featuring Christopher Reeves en route to global stardom. This unique concert experience engages all senses with a full showing of Superman (1978) in a glorious high definition Technicolor projection. What’s new? You’ll get a chance to hear this film like never before as the TSO delivers a wall-to-wall performance of its GRAMMY® Award–winning John Williams score. Whether you’re treating your inner child, bringing your whole family along, or discovering Superman for the first time—you won’t want to miss this!

But first, let’s take a walk down memory lane for a quick recap of every time Superman has flown past a theatre near you: 

1. Superman (1978)

Directed by: Richard Donner
Starring: Christopher Reeve (as Superman)
Music by: John Williams

Film Synopsis* 

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

Superman: The Movie (Trailer)


2. Superman II (1981)

Directed by: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve (as Superman)
Music by: Ken Thorne

Film Synopsis

Superman (Christopher Reeve) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb's shockwaves free the Kryptonian villain General Zod (Terence Stamp) and his henchmen Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and Non (Jack O'Halloran) from their imprisonment. Travelling to Earth, they threaten the planet with destruction at the same time that Superman decides to renounce his superpowers in order to live a normal life as Clark Kent with his new love, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

Superman II (1981) Poster

3. Superman III (1983)

Directed by: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve (as Superman)
Music by: Ken Thorne

Film Synopsis

Computer programmer Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) is hired by financial tycoon Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) to seize control of a weather satellite and annihilate Colombia's coffee crop. When Superman (Christopher Reeve) manages to thwart the plan, Webster commands Gorman to use the satellite to locate kryptonite, the Man of Steel's mortal weakness. But a missing unknown element in the kryptonite — replaced by Gorman with tar — causes an unintended side effect when presented to Superman.

Superman III (1983) Poster

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

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Christopher Reeve (as Superman)
Music by: John Williams (adapted by Alexander Courage)

Film Synopsis

Seeing the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a nuclear arms race that could lead to Earth's destruction, Superman (Christopher Reeve) decides that he must take action. He collects all the nuclear warheads from the world and throws them into space. Meanwhile, Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), has broken out of prison with a new scheme. He clones Superman with radioactive material to create Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow), a being just as powerful as the Man of Steel.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (Trailer)


5. Superman Returns (2006)

Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Brandon Routh (as Superman)
Music by: John Ottman

Film Synopsis

While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns after a long absence to a much-changed world. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on with her life, and society has learned to survive without him. Superman must find a way to reconnect with her and find his place in a world that may no longer need him.

Superman Returns (Trailer)


6. Man of Steel (2013)

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill (as Superman)
Music by: Hans Zimmer

Film Synopsis

With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child's spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their own son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark (Henry Cavill) living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat.

Man of Steel (Trailer)


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

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill (as Superman)
Music by: Hans Zimmer

Film Synopsis

It's been nearly two years since Superman's colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Trailer)


* All synopses adapted from