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Super (2011)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 19

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 21,444

My Rating

Movie Info

In the outlandish dark comedy SUPER, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes. When sad-sack loser Frank (Rainn Wilson) sees his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), he finds himself bereft and wholly unable to cope. But soon he decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson


Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy

Aug 9, 2011


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Latest News on Super

March 31, 2011:
Critics Consensus: Source Code Is Certified Fresh
This week at the movies, we've got a funny bunny (Hop, starring James Marsden and Russell Brand);...
March 30, 2011:
Ellen Page Super Interview
It isn't getting the best reviews, but James Gunn's "Super" brings its unique take on the superhero...


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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (59) | DVD (7)

Offers genuine empathy with the put-upon protagonist's longing for justice, yet plays the bloody ramifications for cartoonish fun.

July 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Super just doesn't fly.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comment (1)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie is too pedestrian for camp, and too scattershot for an action comedy.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Super" could use the certitude of its hero, but the weapon it wields instead is a scalpel to see what's inside us.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A sense of style can make up for a lot at the movies. But James Gunn's brutal new comedy-thriller, "Super," succeeds only in demonstrating that without it, you may not have much of anything.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Could be endearing, if Wilson's performance weren't so nihilistically dull, and if there were somebody in the picture who had a soul.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gunn's movie is an ingeniously nasty concoction that feeds the cult of superhero fandom back into itself.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Great dark humor and enjoyable performances make this one a winner. Surprisingly, the animated sequences also work quite well.

June 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The graphic violence spatters along for an hour and a half until we reach that point when writer-director James Gunn says, "That's all I've got" and basically gives up.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

[Not] an easily digestible movie but this is ... the point - in a world where everything isn't as cut and dry as 'good versus evil', rationality is increasingly rare.

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source:

Super can be very affecting and emotionally disturbing, which might not suit everyone's tastes, but it's also an absorbing, bleak and sometimes funny deviation from the usual superhero fodder.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comment (1)

I liked Super more than I did Defendor. . . .

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Super is the sudden kick in the crotch this summer of square-jawed superheroes never knew it needed.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

I will say this of Super: it commits to its premise far better than Kick-Ass; if you thought the latter was violent, you haven't seen Rainn Wilson cracking someone's head repeatedly on a rock. But at least Kick-Ass was fun.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Super is a film infused with that impossibly compelling mix of deeply empathic insights, disturbingly-visualised violence and goodwill-rousing positive energy.

August 30, 2011 Full Review Source:

Both [Super & Kick-Ass] feature ... crazy vigilantes ... but whereas Kick-Ass disguised its unsettling subtext beneath a hip and stylish surface, the scuzzy, low-budget Super forces the viewer to confront its disturbing side head on.

August 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Not simple knockabout fun ... and therein lies both the attraction and the challenge.

July 17, 2011 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

Where it completely fails is when the in-your-face amorality is contextualised with an icky epilogue which tries to justify what came before as some kind of "spiritual journey". It doesn't convince.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Ellen Page, who has a manic energy here that she's not shown before... Her too-brief time on screen energizes the film

July 13, 2011 Full Review Source:

Gunn seems unable to decide whether he's making a satirical work or a sick joke and, as a result, he squanders the entertainingly unhinged performances of his cast before copping out with a sentimental happy ending.

July 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Scotsman | Comments (2)

This disastrously unfunny superhero spoof features a grating performance from Juno star Ellen Page, a vapid leading man in Rainn Wilson and an idiotic mix of humour and violence.

July 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

An atonal mix of knockabout humour and out-of-nowhere violence that's so utterly wrong, it might actually challenge The Day The Clown Cried, Jerry Lewis's unfinished and unreleased 1972 Holocaust comedy.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Thanks to Wilson's ridiculously nerdish ambition, and a lively performance from Page, there are laughs to be had, but it could have been a funnier parody.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Writer-director James Gunn eventually loses control of the tone, which slips from deadpan to deadly and trashes what little amusement there was in a finale of gruesome violence.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Independent

Some really interesting ideas and the odd flash of awesomeness, but overall a big old misfire with some ill-judged nastiness.

July 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

As black comedy, it works reasonably well some of the time, with plenty of black but not much comedy.

July 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Audience Reviews for Super

Director James Gunn has a knack for making genre films that go outside of regular film conventions. With "Slither" he made an old time monster movie that coupled with horror and thrillers. Here he takes on the superhero milieu, and in the same way as "Kickass," easily subverts the traditional hero. While that film was more about teenaged angst and hardcore violence, "Super's protagonist is much darker, very prone to violence, and he definitely does not have his life in order. Frank (Wilson) is a very confused man who has his wife taken away from him by violent individuals who have drugged and re-addicted her to drugs. He has acted as her rock for so long that when she is powerless to even save herself, he jumps into action and takes on the unique catchphrase of "Shut up crime!" Frank has his own virtues and creed, but he oftentimes takes justice too far but without repercussion. Instead of finding the character repulsive and his actions incomprehensible, the film celebrates the blood and sometimes gore. Frank fights tooth and nail to save his wife, and his sacrifices, whether physical, mental, or emotional, are all brave and heartbreaking to watch. The film gets much darker when he takes on sidekick Boltie (Page), who has a violent streak that runs deeper than anything Frank could imagine. Her rage and lack of common sense seems to work well with his naiveté and need to crusade for justice. The film is also laced with black comedy, and it works well with what the film is. The relationship between Frank and Boltie is both obviously flawed and always entertaining. The action has some bloody battles, but what makes these scenes really interesting is how excited Frank is to burst into battle, and yet it's so painful and frightening for him. It's not just a film about bloodletting of course; it's also about a man who takes on everyone, to save the one person he has always protected.
July 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

This is such an under appreciated movie. It's not a dumb fun "what if a normal guy dressed in a suit and fought crime" like Kickass was. It's a tale of self-discovery and not only that but a disturbing yet funny look at morality and other themes. Rainn Wilson is perfectly cast in this movie as the well-meaning yet psychotic Frank Darbo (aka The Crimson Bolt). Also, the rest of the cast is great too. I thought Kevin Bacon was great as the bad guy. It's a very dark movie but at the same time very funny and entertaining. It gets you thinking "should I be rooting for this psychopath or should I be frightened?". It's a movie that makes you think and I believe the reason people disregard it so much is because they think it was going to be like Kickass. There is a lot more to it than that. Overall- An extremely underrated "superhero" movie that makes you laugh while making you feel emotional. I watched it twice and it was much better a second time. Letter Grade: A-
July 23, 2013
Chris Miele

Super Reviewer

The Holy Avenger: All it takes to become a superhero is the choice to fight evil.

"Shut up, crime!"

Super is all in all a very fun, entertaining, and frequently funny film. For some reason I never hate anything that Rainn Wilson does. There's just something about his deadpan delivery that makes me laugh. Super isn't anything special. It lacks everything realistic, but it still manages to get a pass because of just how fun the whole film is. It's violent, it's vengeful, and it's glorious. It doesn't make it to the level of Kick-Ass, but it still manages to be a pretty good little film in its own right.

Franks wife up and leaves one day. She was an ex-junkie and alcoholic, but she left him for a high level drug dealer, played perfectly by Kevin Bacon. After mourning her absence for awhile, Frank gets a message from God that he should become a crime fighter. He takes the name Crimson Bolt and decides to start his vigilante career. It starts pretty weak, but with the help of a comic book store employee, Libby, he starts to get better. Soon, Libby teams up with him as Bolty and he has his sidekick. Now all he has to do is rescue his wife and take down anyone that tries to stop him.

The movie has its problems, like Frank never getting arrested even though there's this huge investigation going on. He drives around his own car with his license plates, but somehow all the witnesses never seem to see it. Whatever, I guess. Maybe it was God protecting him and that's what James Gunn was going to stick to. Real world though, Frank is out of commission about two weeks into his crime fighting career.

Super is worth a look if you like this new and upcoming sub genre. Kick-Ass was a great movie in my eyes, so I was really interested in watching this. It helps that it has such a great cast including the already mentioned Rainn Wilson and Kevin Bacon, but it also has Ellen Page as Libby/Bolty. She seemed to be the energy this movie needed and I really enjoyed her performance. All in all this was about as good as it could be. The writing could use a tuneup, but it still was a pleasure to watch.
June 23, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

"Shut Up, Crime!" A depressed failure who has lost his wife to the depths of evil decides to take justice into his own hands. The story of Frank a.k.a. The Crimson Bolt, is quite dark and realistic. The film is full of hilarious moments, but it also has the balls to throw dark and dramatic twists into the story. Both Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page's performances are absolutely amazing.
March 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Hamilton: Hamilton: You got to forget about that bitch! She's a fucking whore. She sucked more dick than my brother Victor, and you saw that faggot come in here once with a cum worm on his beard. He didn't even know it was there. How you don't know someone jizzed in your face?
    – Submitted by Ethan M (14 months ago)
    1. Frank: You don't butt in line! You don't sell drugs! You don't molest little children! You don't profit on the misery of others! The rules were set a long time ago! They don't change!
    – Submitted by Jack G (2 years ago)
    1. Boltie: It's called internal bleeding, f***er! Then you die! Ha ha ha!
    – Submitted by Emma B (2 years ago)
    1. Frank: People look stupid when they cry.
    – Submitted by Fabio B (3 years ago)
    1. The Holy Avenger: All it takes to be a superhero is the choice to fight evil.
    – Submitted by Carlo A (3 years ago)
    1. Frank/Crimson Bolt: SHUT UP, CRIME!
    – Submitted by Christopher D (3 years ago)
View all quotes (12)

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