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Where to Watch the Superman Movies in Order

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This article explains how to watch all of the Superman movies in chronological order and by series, as well as some non-linear viewing options.

What You Should Know

  • Superman: The Movie > Superman II > Superman III > Superman IV > Superman Returns > Man of Steel > Batman v Superman, in that order
  • Superman: The Movie > Superman II > Superman III > Superman IV (Christopher Reeve era). DCEU: Man of Steel > Batman v Superman.
  • Superman Returns stands alone. Compare and contrast the origin stories of Superman: The Movie and Man of Steel. It will take 900 minutes to watch all of the movies.

While not included on this list, additional serials were produced in 1948 and 1950 that can be found on YouTube. Superman also featured in an independent black-and-white film called Superman and the Mole Men in 1951, which is now available on Amazon Prime.

How to Watch the Superman Movies in Release Order

Christopher Reeve as Superman in Superman: The Movie
Keystone / Getty Images

If you had enough time for a movie marathon, you could easily get through the first four Superman films in a weekend. The whole gang is there: the ambitious Lois Lane who can’t spell, Clark Kent’s gee-whiz disguise marked by oversized glasses and a different hair part, Jimmy Olsen’s trusty camera and enthusiasm, and Perry White, the no-nonsense Daily Planet editor.

Not to mention two other key supporting characters from these films: the impressive precision of Superman’s S-shaped forehead curl and his favourite changing vessel: the dependable phone booth.

The characteristics of the Man of Steel’s 80’s hairdo and his propensity for phone booths are largely phased out in the 2000s Superman retellings, yet your favourite characters remain both the same and different in a timeless sense. Are you ready to compare notes? Here’s how to do it on your preferred streaming platform.

MoviePlot HighlightWhere to Watch
Superman: The Movie (1978)The classic Superman original story sets the stage for the ongoing battle between Superman and Lex Luthor.HBO MaxAmazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Superman II (1981)General Zod and co. escape imprisonment and wreak havoc on earth in partnership with Lex Luthor.HBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TV
Superman III (1983)Superman grows apathetic after exposure to synthetic kryptonite devised by power-hungry millionaire villain Ross Webster.HBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)Lex Luthor returns to create a new obstacle for Superman in his quest for world peace.HBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TV
Superman Returns (2006)Superman emerges after five years of absence.Amazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Man of Steel (2013)Another take on the Superman origin story.Amazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)A follow-up to Man of Steel. Batman and Superman battle.HBO MaxAmazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TV

How to Watch the Superman Movies By Series

You could also break up your viewing with a couple of strategic groupings by series.

SeriesWhere to Watch
Superman: The MovieChristopher Reeve eraHBO MaxAmazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Superman IIChristopher Reeve eraHBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TV
Superman IIIChristopher Reeve eraHBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Superman IV: The Quest for PeaceChristopher Reeve eraHBO MaxAmazon PrimeVuduApple TV
Superman ReturnsSinger (Standalone)Amazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Man of SteelSnyder/DC Extended Universe (DCEU)Amazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play
Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSnyder/DC Extended Universe (DCEU)HBO MaxAmazon PrimeYouTubeVuduApple TVGoogle Play

To watch every film on this list, you’ll need roughly 900 minutes, or 15 hours, plus a few minutes for snack breaks and restroom breaks. If you divide your viewing time by series, the original Christopher Reeve era will require around 480 minutes or 8 hours, while the subsequent standalone and DCEU releases would require 7 hours and 20 minutes. If you get an early start, you may have more than a half-day to spare.

Alternate Ways to View the Superman Movies

If you’re less concerned with chronological or release order and more interested in comparing similar storylines, here are some non-linear pairings to consider.

Compare Origin Stories

Origin stories are a crucial component of any superhero story. Watch Superman: The Movie and Man of Steel to observe where the two intersect and diverge. There is a significant time difference between the two, 1978 versus 2013, but the special effects from 1978 still hold up in their own (often comical) way.

If you want to see more, there are several platforms that offer extended cuts and special editions of both the Christopher Reeve era and DCEU Superman films. These versions are available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube.

Something Old, Something New, Something Newer

You don’t have to watch the entire series if you want to experience the Christopher Reeve period. In the opening credits, Superman II summarises the first film and introduces two formidable foes: General Zod and Lex Luthor.

In terms of newer options, you have a few to choose from. You could watch the stand-alone retelling from the mid-aughts or one or both of the DCEU films.

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