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Superman III

Superman III (1983)



Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 32

When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3

When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 166,262

My Rating

Movie Info

In a major departure from the tone of the preceding two Superman adventure films, this mix of vile deeds and fantasy heroics drops the "S" out of cosmic and goes for comic instead. Right at the starting gate, Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) and a subsequent slapstick sequence upstage (Christopher Reeves again), who later develops an identity crisis. Gorman, newly trained as a computer whiz, starts working for a conglomerate run by the corporate nemesis Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), intent on world

May 1, 2001


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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (32) | DVD (14)

Putting its emphasis on broad comedy at the expense of ingenious plotting and technical wizardry, it has virtually none of the mythic or cosmic sensibility that marked its predecessors.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Enjoyable, nevertheless.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a cinematic comic book, shallow, silly, filled with stunts and action, without much human interest.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Anyone who has been following the Superman saga will find this installment enjoyable enough, but some of the magic is missing.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Superman is thrown in to the mix somewhere. But he's merely an after thought, and a supporting player in his own film.

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A noticeable drop in quality from the first two, but it's still decent enough that you don't have to be embarrassed for liking it. That comes soon enough...

June 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

Outdated superhero movie may interest older kids.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

Richard Lester's direction injects nothing new into the material, giving the feeling that he views the whole thing as an exercise in comedy set pieces.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Apparently, Richard Lester's intent was to turn Superman into a joke. A really bad joke.

January 20, 2007 Full Review Source:

'Superman contra os avanços da tecnologia'. Uma idéia cuja estupidez só é superada por sua péssima execução.

July 11, 2006 | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

Reeve continues his traditions of graceful flying moves, confident carriage, and twinkly warmth. Sadly, none of it is enough to save Superman III from being at home only in a junkyard.

July 4, 2006
Groucho Reviews

Now retooling the Superman series into middleweight comedy, the script feels written for no one above the age of twelve. As a production it looks cheaply made and thrown together. Worse, this is a mean-spirited piece of work.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source:

One of the most underrated movies of all time. Seriously.

June 18, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Hey, it ain't that bad!

May 6, 2005 | Comment (1)

Pryor is wasted but the image of a bad Superman, and his battle with his good side, is memorable.

November 11, 2004 | Comment (1)
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Super disappointment w/Pryor comedy emphasis a cosmic mistake

October 19, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Superman fights a super computer with a mind of its own.

August 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice | Comment (1)
Spirituality and Practice

When you need someone to reverse-engineer an unknown chemical substance, Richard Pryor is actually a pretty good pick.

July 5, 2004 | Comment (1) of history's most infamous cautionary tales about the dangers of computers, and... also one of the silliest.

April 27, 2004 Full Review Source:

Wheezy and cheap

February 25, 2004
NUVO Newsweekly

Audience Reviews for Superman III

Richard Donner steps out and in comes Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night), who proceeds to strip the franchise away of any dignity it once had. Donner's close-to-the-chest serious tone is abandoned in favor a cheesy campy one, accompanied by lame sight gags and un-funny slapstick. Having Richard Pryor's scenes (who is playing a PG-version of himself) consist of half the film's runtime is just too much because most of the time he just bumbles like an idiot. Rarely has a comedic genius been so utterly misrepresented.

Due to working with a lower budget, the story comes off as a Superman TV episode rather than an epic story like the previous two Donner flicks. The subplot with Clark and Lana Lang could have been interesting but it is rushed and brushed to the wayside to set-up a future Superman love-triangle between Lois and Lana (which is never followed-up upon). The villains are lame (especially there computer scheme that's laughable even for the time) but there is a morbid enjoyment to be had watching Reeve play a corrupted Man of Steel, which he perfectly nails. The 'Army of Darkness'-style fight between Good Supes and Evil Supes yields some impressive special effects. Despite a few decent moments trickled throughout, they are all crushed under a crappy and tedious narrative that feels confused about whether it is catering to kids or adults.

Donner one time made audiences believe a man CAN fly. With 'Superman III', Lester proved to audiences that a man can also fall from grace.
June 19, 2013
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Dumber, with a less-interesting story and a stupid villain, "Superman 3" is definitely not the return that fans were hoping for. It kind of breaks the back of the series in a way, especially during the first act, where the fact of it being a Superman film is thrown out the window. This time, the film focusses on Richard Pryor's character who is an accountant, stealing money from his firm, but when he get's involved with an evil genius, his plans turn completely around, as he is faced to confront and destroy Superman with them. The most interesting portion of the film is when Superman must face his alternate self, because it is really the soul of the film and the turn-around point which makes the film watchable. I did not hate this film, it does have it's fun moments, but it's just not a good movie. The direction is sloppy, which is odd, because Lester's directing for the second was so great, and the writing here is much more bland. I expected much more from the third film in a series, but oh well, it'll be hard to top the first two anyways. I definitely do not recommend this one!
June 15, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Wow, if you want to see how far comic book adaptation movies have come, just watch this. This is the 3rd Superman movie and it is a real stinker(not as bad as four, but it's bad). Here, Superman basically goes against a rich guy who wants to rule the world by using Richard Pryor(yeah, that Richard Rryor) to create a giant computer. Pryor tries to be funny here, and he is the best thing about the movie, but man he has no place in a Superman movie. Could you imagine Chris Rock as the lead villain in "Iron Man"? Me either. At one point he creates a form of kryptonite that turns Superman bad. By bad I mean his outfit is now maroon, he has stuble and he's a dick. Instead of doing anything real bad, he does things like blow the torch out at the Olympics. This movie was lame as lame can get, and I'm sure it was lame when it came out in the theaters. It doesn't hold up at all, and runs at right around 2 hours, which is way too long. Watch if your a die hard Pryor fan(even though you still won't like it), otherwise just skip this one altogether.
June 12, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

How the hell is Richard Pryor supposed to be the smartest person in the movie when his character acts like he hasn't got a clue what's going on? It really doesn't matter, because where the first two movies were meant to be taken seriously, this one is a straight-up comedy. Every scene either has some slapstick humor or Richard Pryor babbling like an imbecile. And yes, it is all intention. It's not a Superman movie at all. It's a shameful parody. But... it is funny.
June 8, 2013
Johnny D.

Super Reviewer

    1. Clark Kent/Superman: I don't know you lady!
    – Submitted by Nathan J (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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