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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)



Average Rating: 2.8/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 29

The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot's going.


Average Rating: 3.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 5

The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot's going.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 64,938

My Rating

Movie Info

Superman (Christopher Reeve) tries to save the world from nuclear destruction at the hands of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) in this action film featuring the man of steel. In a speech to the United Nations, Superman declares he will rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Arch-villain Luthor emerges from prison obsessed with killing Superman and creates an adversary known as Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow). The two engage in a fight to the finish in various landmarks on Earth before taking their battle into

May 1, 2001

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (29) | DVD (14)

The earlier films in the series were far from perfect, but at their best they had some flair and agreeable humor, qualities this one sorely lacks.

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

By ordinary movie standards it's awful, but fans of cinematic dementia should have fun for about half an hour.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

About as dreary as a summit conference in Belgium.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Superman series gets more and more whimsically outrageous as it goes along.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the cheesiest movies ever made.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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More sluggish than a funeral barge, cheaper than a sale at K mart, it's a nerd, it's a shame, it's Superman IV.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a shame that "Superman" had to leave the eighties in such a disgraceful fashion.

June 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

For sentimentality's sake, it's great watching Reeve and company reprise their roles even if it's in the bastard child edition of the series, but this isn't just one of the worst comic book films, it's one of the worst films ever made.

June 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

Predictably awful fourth installment.

July 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

With the passing of the production torch to infamous budget tightwads Golan and Globus, it was clear that the worst was yet to come.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source:

The special effects are decidedly on the cheap side.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Comment (1)
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Disappointing to say the least, but at least it doesn't have Richard Pryor this time as its star.

December 23, 2006 | Comments (3)
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

The cut-rate production resulted in what Reeve termed "catastrophe" for a film intended to marry a serious message to the series' signature action, humor, and romance.

July 5, 2006
Groucho Reviews

...this final sigh of a movie manages to send the series out with a feeble yet breathing dignity. It's bad, but it's better than III in that it does try to rise above itself.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source:


August 23, 2005 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

That this movie is how the Superman movie legacy ended would be a depressing thought if the movie weren't so endlessly hilarious.

June 18, 2005 Full Review Source:

Great cast, terrible premise, done ultra-cheap. Sad Supes had to go out like this.

September 7, 2004
New Times

Should have been a quest for a better script. Ridiculous, tedious, and lifeless. Characters a shadow of their former selves. A sad note for the franchise to end on.

March 22, 2003

Godawful, pointless, preachy sequel.

February 7, 2003 | Comment (1)
San Francisco Examiner

Quickly followed by Superman V: The Need to Explain What The Hell We Were Thinking.

November 1, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace could be one of those 'so bad it is good' movies for some people but I couldn't even find it funny.

August 1, 2002 Full Review Source:

Bargain basement caper.

September 26, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC

Audience Reviews for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

What can be said about this film that hasn't already been said, it is very much the 'Batman and Robin' of the Superman franchise and proceeded to kill the franchise until 2006. Not only is it the worst of the franchise but 'Superman IV' also represents the absolute bottom of the barrel as far as superhero movies are concerned. The plot plays out like a very bad Silver Age comic, with a cringeworthy heavy-handed 'Captain Planet'-esque anti-nuclear weapon message, beyond cheesy plot consisting of multiple meaningless subplots, mediocre effects-driven action sequences that induce laughter rather than suspense, and actors who seem more disinterested than the next. Even Christopher Reeve seems to be tired of the role that once launched his career nine years prior. Gene Hackman's reprisal as Lex Luthor brings a couple smiles but he is not nearly in the movie enough to elevate it. The film's actual villain, Nuclear Man, looks like a blond curly-haired Fabio Lanzoni with silver press-on nails. It is a complete failure as a film but if you can gather a few of your friends together, it can be very enjoyable just to do a MST3K beat-down on this absolute garbage of a flick.
June 19, 2013
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Was this really the way they wanted to finish this series of films? Honestly? I definitely don't think this is what the creators had planned from the beginning. Going completely against all the comics and story lines, "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" has the worst script, the dumbest plot, and the most laughable villain of all. Above all, Christopher Reeve doesn't even seem like he really wants to be there. The first two Superman pictures truly show what is meant to be seen from these stories and the third hit a pretty weak slope, but this scream bad all the way through. The direction is sloppy, the effects are worse than ever, and the classic Superman transformations are so lazy that I almost shut this movie off. This is the worst Superman film by far, the worst superhero film I have ever seen, and one of the worst films in general that I have ever seen!
June 15, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

I guess it wouldn't be a Superman movie without something happening to the State of Liberty. "Superman IV" is such a mess. Everything from it's poorly written story to its sometimes confusing editing. As much as I thought it couldn't be possible, it's actually worse than "Superman III."
June 10, 2013
John Hein

Super Reviewer

While the first couple of Superman entries were something very entertaining and fun, this fourth film is basically an awful mess from start to finish. The filmmakers should have called it quits after the third film. I really can't see why this film made as it fails to capture anything that made the first two films great. Acting wise, the cast seem bored and there is no standout performance here. Christopher Reeve should have hung his cape and called it a day. However they had to eke out a fourth film, and in turn it was a tired, lazy affair that simply doesn't pay off for the audience looking for something wonderful to watch. Director Sidney J. Furie directs this failure and it should be no surprise at the result because Furie is an incompetent director who can't seem to direct an entertaining film. Don't expect anything with this fourth film as it scrapes the bottom of the barrel of ideas. There's nothing interesting going on on-screen and the cast simply don't deliver. Usually in a franchise, a fourth entry will show its lazy qualities and lack in terms of original ideas. That is very much the case with Superman IV. If you love Superman check out the first two films and give the third one a view, but don't expect anything as good as the first two. With this one, expect a crap fest that is sure to disappoint and one that just doesn't have any redeeming factors whatsoever. I hated this film, and think it should never have been made. The only good thing about this film is that it is the last in a series that was once great, but that with every film the studio made, the ideas would start to feel strained, and that simply made the series a tad too silly. A big disappointment.
February 9, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Lex Luthor: Do you know what the sun is? It is nothing more than a huge nuclear bomb.
    – Submitted by John P (10 months ago)
    1. Superman/Clark Kent: Once more, we have survived the threat of war and found a fragile peace. I thought I could give you all the gift of the freedom from war, but I was wrong. It's not mine to give. We're still a young planet. There are galaxies out there. Other civilizations for us to meet and to learn from. What a brilliant future we could have. And there will be peace ? there will be peace when the people of this world want it so badly that their governments will have no choice but to give it to them. I just wish you could all see the Earth the way that I see it. Because when you really look at it, it's just one world.
    – Submitted by Quincy J (17 months ago)
    1. Lenny: The Dude of Steel! Boy are you gonna get it!
    – Submitted by Wesley W (19 months ago)
    1. Nuclear Man: Where's the woman?
    2. Superman/Clark Kent: Give it up you'll never find her!
    3. Nuclear Man: If you will not tell me, I will hurt people!
    – Submitted by Facebook U (22 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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