How to Watch the Superman Movies in Order

Watch the Man of Steel on multiple streaming platforms

What to Know

  • In order: Superman: The Movie > Superman II > Superman III > Superman IV > Superman Returns > Man of Steel > Batman v Superman
  • Christopher Reeve era: Superman: The Movie > Superman II > Superman III > Superman IV. DCEU: Man of Steel > Batman v Superman
  • Standalone: Superman Returns. Compare origin stories: Superman: The Movie and Man of Steel. To watch all movies, it will take 900 minutes.

This article explains how to watch all the Superman movies in order of release and by series, along with some non-linear ways to watch.

Note:

While they’re not featured on this list, several serials were created in 1948 and 1950, which you can find on YouTube. And in 1951, Superman appeared in an independent black-and-white film called Superman and the Mole Men, and that’s 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 have a healthy chunk of time to spare for a movie marathon, you could easily get through the original four Superman movies in a weekend. The whole gang is there: ambitious Lois Lane who inexplicably 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 the no-nonsense Daily Planet editor Perry White.

Let’s not forget two other important supporting characters from these films: the impressive precision of Superman’s S-shaped forehead curl and his favorite changing vessel: the trusty phone booth. 

The Superman retellings from the 2000s largely phase out the trademarks of the Man of Steel’s 80’s hairdo and his penchant for phone booths, but your favorite characters are the same and different in a timeless fashion. Ready to compare notes? Here’s the best way to do that on your chosen streaming platform.

Movie Plot Highlight Where to Watch
Superman: The Movie (1978) The classic Superman origin story that sets the stage for the ongoing battle between Superman and Lex Luthor. HBO Max Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman II (1981) General Zod and co. escape imprisonment and wreak havoc on earth in partnership with Lex Luthor. HBO Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman III (1983) Superman grows apathetic after exposure to a synthetic kryptonite devised by power-hungry millionaire villain Ross Webster. HBO Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google 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 Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman Returns (2006) Superman emerges after five years of absence. Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Man of Steel (2013) Another take on the Superman origin story. Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) A follow-up to Man of Steel. Batman and Superman battle. HBO Max Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play

How to Watch the Superman Movies By Series

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

Series Where to Watch
Superman: The Movie Christopher Reeve era HBO Max Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman II Christopher Reeve era HBO Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman III Christopher Reeve era HBO Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Christopher Reeve era HBO Max Amazon Prime Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Superman Returns Singer (Standalone) Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Man of Steel Snyder/DC Extended Universe (DCEU) Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Snyder/DC Extended Universe (DCEU) HBO Max Amazon Prime YouTube Vudu Apple TV Google Play

Note:

To watch every film on this list, you’ll need to allot about 900 minutes or 15 hours, give or take a few more to account for snack runs and bathroom breaks. If you are breaking your viewing by series, you’ll need approximately 480 minutes or 8 hours for the original Christopher Reeve era and 7 hours and 20 minutes for the newer standalone and DCEU releases. If you get an early start, you could still have more than half a day to spare.

Alternate Ways to View the Superman Movies

If you’re less concerned about chronological order or release order and more interested in comparing similar storylines, here are a few suggested non-linear pairings.

Compare Origin Stories

Origin stories are a quintessential part of superhero anything. Watch the original Superman: The Movie and Man of Steel to see where the two meet and diverge. There’s a considerable time gap between the two, 1978 versus 2013, but all things considered, the special effects from 1978 still hold up in their own (often comical) way.

If you’re interested in seeing more, several platforms offer extended cuts and special editions of both the Christopher Reeve era and DCEU Superman movies. Look for these versions on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube.

Something Old, Something New, Something Newer

If you want to experience the Christopher Reeve era but don’t want to watch the whole series, you don’t have to. Superman II does a great job of summarizing the first movie in the intro credits and features two formidable enemies: General Zod and Lex Luthor.

As for the newer options, you have your pick between a few. You could opt for the stand-alone retelling in the mid-aughts or one or both of the movies from the DCEU series.

Was this page helpful?