Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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 … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2001
Warner Home Video


as Superman/Clark Kent

as Lex Luthor

as Nuclear Man

as Lois Lane

as Perry White

as Jimmy Olsen

as Lenny

as David Warfield

as Harry Howler

as Lacy Warfield

as Jean Pierre Dubois

as General Romoff

as Levon Hornsby

as U.S. President

as Tall Marshall (Chain...

as Russian General 1

as Russian General 2

as Russian General 3 (K...

as Senator - Pentagon

as U.N. Guard - Japanes...

as Russian General - Re...

as Cosmonaut Captain

as Teacher - JFK High S...

as Convict

as Army Chief

as Navy Chief

as Priest - Boystown

as Technician - Fort Ma...

as First Elder

as Second Elder

as Bill Compton

as Husband - Great Wall...

as Tourist - Great Wall...

as MBC Newscaster

as Superman's Mother, ...

as Marshall 1

as Cosmonaut - Space Wa...

as Marshall 1

as Tornova

as Melandri
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (10)

The impoverishment here is not merely of means, but of spirit.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The overall effect is of a story atomized and dying before our eyes, collapsing into smashed pulp, ground down into big-budget Kryptonite ash.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Of course, Superman saves the world, but the real news is that there's still some life in the series.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Superman IV is cinematic kryptonite. Not only could it kill the Superman series, it might also leave filmgoers feeling weak.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 17, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Christopher Heim
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!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

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.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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