Man of Steel is more than just Avengers-sized escapism; it's an artistic introduction to a movie superhero we only thought we knew.
—Steve Persall Tampa Bay Times
If the word “epic” has lost its meaning in the throes of recent summers, Man of Steel forcefully redefines it.
—Matt Patches Film.com
It aches for more depth and warmth and humour, but this is spectacular sci-fi — huge, operatic, melodramatic, impressive. It feels the right Superman origin story for our era, and teases what would be a welcome new superfranchise.
—Dan Jolin Empire
A bracing attempt to bring the legend back into contention that successfully separates itself from other Super-movies but misses some of their warmth and charm. But given the craft and class, this could be the start of something special
—Matthew Leland Total Film
Caught in the slipstream between action and angst, Man of Steel is a bumpy ride for sure. But there's no way to stay blind to its wonders.
—Peter Travers Rolling Stone
As much spectacle and action — minute-by-minute, frame-by-frame — as any movie anyone could think of. Zack Snyder’s huge, backstory-heavy extravaganza is a rehab job that perhaps didn’t cry out to be done but proves so overwhelmingly insistent in its size and strength that it’s hard not to give in.
—Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter
Snyder films the violence in Man of Steel the way he films most of the rest of the picture: Like a man chasing tornadoes and not even trying to keep subjects in frame. It's a choice, and not a bad one, necessarily — the Smallville farm scenes, in particular, respond well to the approach — but by the end it's a visually limiting one.
—Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune
At once frantically overblown and beautifully filigreed, Man of Steel will turn on everyone it doesn’t turn off.
—Manohla Dargis The New York Times
While its ambition and scope pull one way, its pinched and unconvincing sense of drama pull the other.
—Kenneth Turan LA Times
A mostly underwhelming film, with underdeveloped characters and supercharged fight scenes that drag on forever and offer nothing new in the way of special-effects creativity.
—Richard Roeper Chicago Sun-Times