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Superman Returns [2006] [PG-13] - 3.6.2



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


» Official Site
» IMDb Listing

Brandon Routh assumes the mantle of the Man of Steel in this new series based on the classic comic: After a long absence Superman comes back to Earth to find that his old enemies are still determined to take away his powers, while Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), whom he's still in love with, has moved on with her life. Also with James Marsden, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey and Frank Langella. Directed by Bryan Singer. [2:34]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - A man and a woman hug and kiss, a man and a woman kiss, and a woman kisses a man. A man and a woman kiss each other on the cheek. A woman clings to Superman, he holds her close, and they fly together and nearly kiss.
 Superman's suit is pulled off him in a hospital scene revealing his bare chest and abdomen. A woman wears low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage. Superman's tight-fitting suit accentuates his endowment in a couple of scenes.
 A man asks his fiancée if she was in love with another man (a superhero).
 A woman says, "I've done Superman" not meaning sexually but people listening misunderstand. A man says that he likes the idea that Superman can see through anything. An elderly woman makes a comment about a man, "showing her such pleasures" and it is implied that the pleasures were sexual. It is suggested that a man and a woman have had a sexual relationship in the past.
 Superman scans a woman's body (presumably to determine if she has any life threatening injuries) and we see bone, muscle and veins.

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A weakened Superman is punched repeatedly, he tumbles backward, down stairs (we see a bit of blood on his hands), he is kicked in the stomach repeatedly, his face is held under water, he is kicked some more, stabbed in the back with a shard of kryptonite (we hear crunching as the shard is being pushed farther into his back and he screams in pain), and he falls over a tall cliff into water below, where he sinks. A woman uses a pair of pliers to remove a shard from Superman's back (we hear squishing and see blood on the shard).
 A small dog gnaws on the remains of another small dog (we see slightly bloody bones and tufts of fur on the floor and hear crunching).
 A man is crushed when a piano is pushed into him (we see the crumpled remains of the piano but do not see the man). A large crystalline formation begins to crumble, a large piece breaks away, and it falls on three people crushing them.
 A man is shot in the back repeatedly (he is wearing a bulletproof vest), he turns around, points a huge gun at the two men who shot him and opens fire; Superman walks in the path of the bullets and is struck repeatedly -- the bullets bounce off him, and we see one bullet, in slow motion, strike him in the eye, become compressed and fall to the ground.
 Three people are trapped in part of a sinking ship, as water fills the ship, a door slams shut hitting a woman hard on the head and sealing the three inside the ship as it sinks out of sight (they are rescued).
 A man grabs a woman by the hair, throws her into a table, then shoves her into a globe (she hits her head hard), and he approaches her with a blade in his hand. An elderly woman on oxygen dies (we see tubes and IVs).
 An unconscious Superman falls through the air and crashes into the ground, creating a large crater, and he lies motionless. An unconscious Superman is rushed into an ER, the doctors try to give him an injection but the needle breaks on his arm, then they try to use a defibrillator and it sparks and bursts into flames.
 A seaplane with three passengers tries to take off in rough weather, it hits a land formation with its wing, continues, clears another formation, and falls off a cliff and out of sight, but then pulls up and flies away.
 A huge wave of energy crashes into a city: a man falls toward the ground, a large sign falls from a roof toward the street below, glass breaks, a gas line breaks leaking gas, a cigar ignites the gas causing a large explosion that sends flames through manhole covers, and a large globe tips and falls from a tall building but is stopped before it crashes onto the cars on the street below.
 Police cars race to the scene of a robbery, a robber trains a large gun at them from the roof of the building and opens fire hitting their cars (a couple of the cars explode) and causing the police officers to scatter.
 A car with no brakes speeds through crowded city streets and sidewalks: it crashes into cars and vendors' carts along the street, pedestrians leap out of the way, it bounces down flights of stairs and jumps over a wall, and it is stopped before crashing into the ground, while the driver collapses in Superman's arms.
 An airplane carrying a space shuttle in flight loses power and begins to lose altitude, the release mechanism attached to the shuttle does not release, the shuttle fires its boosters igniting the plane's tail and causing the plane to fly out of control (a passenger inside the plane is thrown around the cabin), and it plummets toward earth but it is stopped by Superman just before crashing into a baseball stadium filled with people. A large crystalline land formation rises up from the sea and impales a yacht, lifting it out of the water and cutting it in half.
 Superman stops several calamities around the world: huge fires, other natural disasters, a man falling from the roof of a building, etc. An entire city loses power, which creates tremendous mayhem.
 A woman walks through a crash site where there is a hole burned in the ground, pockets of flames and a large crystal-shaped vessel; a young man touches her shoulder and then collapses (he's OK). After a close call on an airplane, a woman faints and slides down the emergency exit slide. A young man runs very fast and jumps very high through cornfields, and crashes through a barn roof, stopping just before slamming into the ground.
 A woman slaps a man in the face, and then tries again but he grabs her hand and squeezes her. A man yells at a woman and threatens a boy, and a man yells at another woman.
 A planet explodes with a bright flash and bits of rock are thrown through space. A rocket is launched into the air; it crashes into the sea and into the sea floor, and then breaks through pushing up large crystalline formations. A huge rock formation crumbles, as it is lifted into the air and into space. A house begins to shake violently, things on tables and shelves fall to the floor, a large ball of flame crosses the sky and something large crashes into the ground. A model display of a town is destroyed when it shakes violently: a train runs over a doll that falls on the tracks, the train falls off the tracks, the ground breaks apart, buildings crumble, etc.
 A bullet hole riddled van pulls into a parking lot after the men in it stole something. A man squeezes a framed photograph and breaks the glass. A man and a woman are stranded on a very small island and the tide is coming in.
 There are several conversations about billions of people dying. We are told that a boy is fragile and that he has asthma (we see him taking medication from an inhaler in a few scenes). A man makes reference to another man having died.
 Superman scans a woman's body (presumably to determine if she has any life threatening injuries) and we see bone, muscle and veins. A man burps.

PROFANITY 2 - 1 sexual reference (a woman refers to another woman as a hooker), 2 scatological terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (creep), 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Two men drink beer in a bar scene, and a woman drinks alcohol in a few scenes. A man smokes a cigar in a few scenes, and a woman tries to light cigarettes in a couple of scenes but never manages to.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Family, love, children out of wedlock, heroes, superheroes, alien life, passion, greed, power, saviors, morality, deceit, second chances, jealousy, Prometheus, feeling alone, solitude, insanity, the appeals process, truth, justice, home, the Pulitzer Prize, human capacity for good.

MESSAGE - We are never alone if there is someone who cares about us. We all need help every now and then.

Note: There are a few veiled religious undertones that suggest that Superman is the savior of mankind.)

Special Keywords: S3 - V6 - P2 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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