Early ‘Batman v Superman’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

Batman vs Superman
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is facing a rocky start ahead of its Friday release. The tentpole has met with lukewarm reviews and holds a bleak Rotten Tomatoes percentage (which continues to change as more reviews roll in). The last installments fared far better for these caped crusaders, with “Man of Steel” holding a 56% Fresh rating and “The Dark Knight Rises” holding a Fresh 87%.

Although there are a few positive reviews for Zack Snyder’s film, most are calling out the film for its messy, less-than-spectacular promised clash of comic-book titans.

Variety‘s Andrew Barker says this epic standoff never develops fully, and instead “the life-or-death battle between the two icons ultimately comes down to a series of misunderstandings.” Barker also believes Henry Cavill’s Superman pales in comparison to “the winningly cranky, charismatic presence even when out of costume” of Ben Affleck’s Batman. Visually, the film is a win. For Variety’s full review, click here.


Batman v Superman

Box Office: ‘Batman v Superman’ to Soar to $300 Million-Plus Global Debut

Eric Kohn of Indiewire echoes some of Barker’s points by calling this messy and “cacophonous” showdown “basically one long teaser for the next installment.” Kohn also pointed out that while the film “doesn’t lack for inspired visuals” because “it’s filled with motion-heavy sequences rich in light and color,” a good deal of the story “reeks of the usual routine.”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone thought this was a step up from “Man of Steel” but nowhere near Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” franchise. However, even though “Batman v Superman” is probably a dream for most comic-book fans, the “kick-ass revelation” is the “wowza of a Wonder Woman,” played by Gal Gadot.

But Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter believes the writers threw in the towel on how to integrate Wonder Woman. “With just her sword and shield, she doesn’t seem meant to mix it up with these big guys right off the bat,” he writes. McCarthy also adds that the lead characters are not fully developed, but may be in the next installments.

Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty described the film as “overstuffed, confusing and seriously crippled by (Jesse) Eisenberg’s over-the-top performance.”

Jen Yamato of the Daily Beast called the movie a “beautiful mess” that not even Gadot’s Wonder Woman could save.

The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips had one of the harshest reviews, writing “Snyder is not without skills, or ideas, but when a critic finds himself at odds with almost every aspect of a director’s visual approach to material like this, material like this becomes pretty joyless.”
Vulture’s David Edelstein said “There’s enough going on to keep you watching — and, as I said, to keep fanboys wowed by the scale of the production and pretension. But most people will leave feeling drained and depressed, wondering how a studio can get away with withholding so much.”
“For a film so concerned with its characters’ inner lives, there’s a fundamental disconnect going on here — enough to make you yearn for the lighter touch of the Marvel films,” The Guardian’s Andrew Pulver said.
Stephanie Zacharek from Time said “‘Batman v Superman’ lunges for greatness instead of building toward it: It’s so topheavy with false portent that it buckles under its own weight.”

Mike Ryan of Uproxx said the movie’s inability to provide entertaining escapism on a grim day in world news was particularly disappointing. “I am gobsmacked by just how dull this movie turned out to be,” he wrote.

Matt Singer of Screencrush said, “In Snyder’s formulation, protecting the world from evil isn’t a gift or a calling; it’s a burden. And that feeling is reflected in the movie itself, a burdensome 150-minute slog about two men fighting over who is in the right when both are very clearly in the wrong.”

Brian Truitt USA Today had a more positive take: “‘BvS’ will please those either waiting for the two main players to lock horns on a movie screen, or those who’ve just been pining for Wonder Woman forever,” he wrote. “And for the nerdier crowds, a fleeting glimpse at other superheroes hints this is the Dawn of something potentially sensational.”

Related Content Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Batman and Superman Movies?

Somewhat grim reviews won’t necessarily mean this epic caped hero battle will struggle at the box office. The film is projected to surpass $300 million worldwide when it bows this weekend.

“This is basically their ‘Avengers,’” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There’s a ton of buzz about it. They need to open bigger than any DC Comics film ever has.”

Fandango reported that it is the fastest-selling superhero film in the ticketer’s history, beating out “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at the same point in the sales cycle.

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s “Batman v Superman” marches into theaters Friday.

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  1. Richardo mighty says:

    Oaky let’s make something clear there should not be any mix reaction about this movie.(it’s bad period) Also I will be revealing Major spoilers so stop reading now if you insist on wasting 30 dollars took see this movie.
    Before I get into the bad let’s talk about the good. Nice casting for batman, wonder women, and superman. No issues there. The darker version of this film makes it feel more real world. I can live with this. That’s all for the good
    Now the bad. Wtf what were they thinking when they made this. They butchered the whole concept of what this movie is suppose to be. Lex is straight up physcotic. Appearantly the director was trying to pay homage to frank millers version of this but please take it back if I was frank Miller I would sue. Now this is suppose to be the dawn of justice the build up to the justic league. How are you going to do that if you kill of the main member of this league. Now let’s say that our fallen member comes back to live. You have official killed off his alter ego. This can never be brought back. Now as some might now this whole batman vs superman is suppose to come many years after the justice league is formed and dismantled. To see this watch the animated feature batman :the dark knight returns pt 1 and 2 now that’s what this movie is suppose to be. Like it or not these super heroe movies are for the fans that’s your audience so make them happy. The avengers , iron man , captain America. Why are these successful because they stick to what the fans want. Mind you there are instances were they stray but fans will forgive these misshaps and move on. I am sorry to say I have given up on dc. This will be the last dc movie. I will stick to the animated feature movies since at least those are done right. I will never ever see a DC in theatres again. I hope this makes it to the director and screen writer of this movie cause they have official buried this movie the same way they ended it

  2. Mark Charke says:

    Batman vs. Superman – A Review of Justice

    -minor spoilers-

    I love movies. I figure I watch more than average, perhaps a lot more. Might as well do what you love. I’m working to become a costumer for BC Film and I do is reviews. Reviews don’t change the movies but maybe you can influence people to go see them. I’ve looked forward to writing this review more than any other. I’ve made no secret of my dislike for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and his darker Superman. I gave this movie a 25% chance of being a good and couldn’t wait to rip it apart.

    Ben Affleck as Batman never bothered me. The man has been trying to do that role for years. It’s certainly how he acted as Daredevil. And the film certain has an all-star cast. As much as I didn’t like the darker Superman, Henry Cavill suits the role of Superman. Jeremy Irons looks good as a younger, or rather less ancient, Alfred. Laurence Fishbourne fits as Perry White. I spent a good chunk of the movie trying to remember where I knew Holly Hunt (Senator Finch) and it was from her voice acting in the Incredibles as Elastigirl. We finish up the core cast with Amy Adams as Lois, Jesse Eisenberg as a very charismatic Lex Luthor and the big surprise appearance of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Of course, at this point, it was only a surprise if you’ve been living without Internet access for the last year.

    I sat down to watch this movie pretending I had an open mind and realized I just wanted to be right, that it would be terrible. I’ve argued that if Superman was evil, and since Batman is always darker than Superman, Batman will have to be a downright mass murderer. And then I realized that people need the opportunity to change. If we don’t allow that, our first mistake, our first failure, would define the best we could ever be. If I insist that all DC movies be judged by Man of Steel, well they better fold up shop right now. It was at that point, that I was actually able to have an open mind. If I didn’t, then I could only be as good as my worst mistake. Maybe that mistake was how angry I was that Zack Snyder had changed Superman.

    Halfway through Batman vs. Superman, I still didn’t know if it was a good movie or not. It was well filmed. The effects were unbelievable. The acting was superb. They breezed through the prerequisite origins without making it feel like they were taking too long. I really appreciated that. But the big fight had not happened. Would Superman break some more necks in this movie? Would Batman? Or even Wonder Woman? I didn’t know, and you won’t either until you go see it, because I’m not going to tell you that.

    But I am going to tell you why this movie was amazing.

    Clark Kent hides his secret identity by dropping a curl of hair over his forehead and wearing glasses. People complain that this would not work. But it does. Henry Cavil was walking around downtown New York in a T-Shirt with a Superman logo on it and no one noticed. Yeah, it works. At the height of the struggle between Batman and Superman, Chris Terrio and/or David S Goyer, the writers, dug out a gem. It was something obvious about these two Superheroes that I did not notice after 32 years of comic collecting. They have something in common. If you want to know what it is, please, go see this movie. And if you know, please don’t be mean, don’t tell people. And my point is, that is when I knew the movie was fantastic. They took characters I thought I knew and surprised me.

    What about all my complaints about civilian casualties I levied at Man of Steel? The problem is that we have CGI and it’s really easy to show building blowing up now. It’s also really exciting. It’s like what happened with the Mortal Kombat fighting video game. They now have “x-ray” attacks where, in full Dr. House or CSI zoom in graphic gore, they show a punch that breaks almost every bone in the opponent’s body but they keep fighting afterwards like nothing has happened. I love Mortal Kombat but when it gets that absurd, you’ve got to call them on it. All I want is an excuse to believe things are realistic. Just throw me a bone. After Man of Steel, the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron came out and the heroes in that movie went to great efforts to save civilians and were willing to stay and die to prevent casualties. And so were Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman.

    As a final note, many comics, cartoons and films have borrowed from Frank Miller’s epic Graphic Novel, The Dark Knight Returns, which re-defined Batman, and they have never done it justice until now. The only other exception is the animated film version of The Dark Knight Returns which is a direct adaptation and well worth the watching especially as a preparation film for Batman vs. Superman. In watching the credits, I smiled when I saw Frank Miller’s credit.

  3. Miss Brown says:

    This movie overall was outstanding. I loved it. People need to stop saying it was a bad movie. Wonder Woman was also simply perfect and powerful. She saved Batman’s life and is so strong.

  4. John in Delray says:

    Ever wonder how $250,000,000 could be wasted? Then, see “Batman vs Superman.!” This movie is a fiasco on every level!

  5. Alexandre Dery says:

    Best movie ever you critics dont know what a great movie is.This was the best superhero movie i ever saw in my life and i saw them all marvel movies dont even compare…not one dull moment!!!!

  6. Bruce wayne says:

    Nothing above than Christopher Nolan And his Batman Trilogy. I want to explain why #BatmanvSuperman Critical reviews are negative. Actully Batman is very different superhero, he is a superhero for adult people (at least one should above 15 yrs. To understand him) while others like spiderman, ironman, superman etc. Are joyful to kids. What zack snyder did? He puts Batman in such a movie which finishes the original image of Batman….. Nolan’s batman trilogy was both critically and commercially succesful bcoz he did justice to Batman. I watched Batman trilogy and i never forgot them, they are still in my mind and have major impact, they give me goosebumps. snyder’s batman forgot his limitations as he killed a lot of people, the movie don’t impress me… Even music sucks.

  7. Inshan says:

    Watched the movie twice. It was brilliant. The critics are frigging insane. The only reason I can see why they’re being this inept is to get their names out there. It has a genuinely uplifting message and it breathes life into a genre that was necoming formulaic.

  8. Paul says:

    Critics are nothing more than parasites , I think they should be called out for what they are.

    They make a living off other peoples hard work and dedication by just sitting down with their popcorn and watching a movie that doesn’t live up to their insane standards.

    Ask yourself would you share similar likes with any of these critics, like food for example ? Probably not, so why the hell would you like the same movies?

    You become a film critic when you’ve failed at everything else in life.

  9. Rotten Tomatoes gave Sharknado 83%. So I don’t care if Rotten Tomatoes gave BvS 32%.
    All these critics are as lame as the studios who said Deadpool would tank.
    Also, these critics need to get their minds off the 3 Avengers movie, they write as though they expect all super hero flicks to follow in Marvel’s footsteps. You can’t call yourself a critic if you do that.

  10. Hdk says:

    Watched it, liked it. I’m guessing I’m the odd one out, because I love Henry Cavill as Superman. I loved Man Of Steel, and lived him in this movie. As a whole, the first 45 min to an hour are a bit scattered, then the movie comes together and is enjoyable.

  11. GKN says:

    No one in our family cared for the over-hyped “Dark Knight, ” so we’ll give this a shot.

  12. loco73 says:

    That’s what happens when you sacrifice substance for spectacle. I’m sure the movie will make a ton of money at the box office and all self-appointed cinematic heralds and prophets will anoint “Batman V. Superman” as the best thing ever…just like “Mad Max Fury Road”, “The Force Awakens” …or what have you…The sad thing is that this almost perfectly insulated cacophony of “la la I don’t wanna hear it” has largely precluded movie going audiences from demanding quality in their big popcorn movies to go along with the oftentimes numbing visual cavalcade of sights a sounds…

  13. Jacques Strappe says:

    I never expected a huge critical thumbs up for this movie but thought it would sit a little better with critics than Snyder’s Man of Steel. I never imagined in a million years the overall disdain from critics Batman vs Superman is receiving though. I’ll still go see it in any event. Warner Bros must be highly disappointed even though box office should be very good but not extraordinary. And Zack Snyder must be on suicide watch with the critical drubbing this film is getting–this fiasco is probably a career ender for Snyder. I feel bad for all involved. And I wish some of the more passionate fans would stop making these films into an epic battle of Marvel vs DC — that’s just silly nonsense, if not sour grapes.

  14. Bill B. says:

    243 posts (at this moment) seem more indicative of interest and success than the reviews.

  15. Sin city says:

    Wtf. I’ve seen the movie and it’s not the best by far but are any of them?? The bat v sup battle is very close to what shown in the comics the only difference is this movie has a run time and the comics don’t. I’m a self proclaimed comic book nerd but let’s be real none of these movies will truly make us completely happy. Stop being so eragent.

  16. James says:

    Hollywood is so bereft of talent they don’t seem to be capable of creating original stories or adapting them from books much these days. There are some and they are generally small pictures. the big bucks are always it seem devoted to comic book movies. I hate them and I’m glad to see any of them crash and burn. About time Hollywood put it’s money into original material.

  17. capt3292 says:

    The problem – Ben Affleck, the I want to be an actor but can’t act “actor”

  18. Sam Greedman says:

    The Learned Elders ran out of ideas long ago.

  19. Plastic Pony says:

    Ben Affleck keeps me away from this supposed stinker. His acting leaves me cold. His presence sucks all the energy off the screen.

  20. DK says:

    Affleck is a hollyweird ahole!!!!!!! No surprise he makes films that SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. BLM says:

    The movie will be crashing with the politically correct Oscars.
    Superman = White Wonder Woman = White Bat Man = White White is just not right!

    You need Franciso to be Bat man, you need Tyrone to be Superman, and you need Wonder Woman to be an LGBT. The Black lives matter crowd then would not have to protest the Oscars. Only a few would be at the box office to see the circus.

  22. BobM says:

    My mamma always said “stupid is as stupid does.”

  23. TXGunner1 says:

    How incredibly stupid do you have to be to expect some sort of art be associated with this film? A mess. I suppose you would be shocked to see how messy a sausage factory is too. The first time I heard about this movie I was sure it wasn’t a masterpiece.

  24. Ben Affleck was the WRONG choice to play Batman!

    • TXGunner1 says:

      Ben Affleck is the wrong choice for any role. He is plain and simple, a lousy actor. Even Good Will Hunting was painful to watch when he was on screen. Good thing Damon played the main role. Ben really needs to stay behind the camera. He has some talent there.

      • Curly Bill says:

        Good Will Hurting was painful to watch, period. When you need Matt Demon to save your movie you know you are in serious trouble. The only thing Demon did that was of any value was the very last scene of the Departed.

  25. hiram floss says:

    I’m just as comfortable with suspension of disbelief for these kind of movies (men can fly, billionaires care about little people) as the next guy, but given the strength parameters (in their make believe universes) of Superman – basically a god compared with the admittedly technical savvy of Batman I can’t think of any sort of fight that would last longer than it took Superman to either fry Batman with laser eyes or hit him at the speed of sound or drop an asteroid on his head. I may be overthinking this….

    • BobM says:

      Funny and accurate. How in G-D’s great name could Batman equal Superman. The idea isn’t even new. It was a flop as a comic and now a cinematographic action cartoon. Green and blue screen companies made large fortunes off this one.

  26. theplantman941 says:

    I ignore reviews because they are only opinions of people I don’t know.

    I’ve watched poorly reviewed movies and loved them, and have hated others with positive reviews and everything in between.

    Just go see what you want and decide for yourself.

    • Bobbi says:

      @theplantman941. I love people with common sense!! I’ll see this because they’re Super Heroes, it’s all pretend, and fun entertainment, for cryin’ out loud. I’ll decide for myself. BTW all you critics, naysayers and literary snobs…I also plan on seeing Tarzan and the next two adaptations of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Quit telling us what we should watch and enjoy!

    • BobM says:

      I’ll wait till it’s on Netflix. I have a feeling it will make it pretty soon.

      • JR says:

        Netflix doesn’t show major releases…it’s a good place to watch JESSICA JONES but it will be years (if ever) till a film like this appears there. Heck, they don’t even have the Nolan movies. Anyone who relies on NF for movies (I’m speaking of streaming…fortunately for movie fans their disc rental service remains strong) is doing a disservice to themselves.

    • TXGunner1 says:

      How cynical of you…But you are right. If the premise appeals to you go see it. this would never appeal to me even if I was told it was a great movie by people i do know.

  27. Jbstl95 says:

    Just watch the damn movie for yourself and THE_JOELB make an opinion. Never trust snobby writers who try to sway your opinion in the first sentence . At the same time, learn to like movies for what they are and not what someone else tells you it’s supposed to be like.

  28. appleforaface says:

    Let’s return to square one, and blame the studio execs who thought this was a good idea for a movie.

  29. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of this juvenile fascination with “super heroes.”

    • srector1224 says:

      Do you know what ethnocentrism is? It’s looking down on something culturally because you don’t understand it. Apparently a whole lot of people like the movies because they make money. The juvenile thing is thinking that people who enjoy them are lesser or “juvenille”

  30. All superman would have to do is aim for Batmans exposed face on his helmet and rip his chin off,

    • BobM says:

      Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive… and who disguised as a reporter for a so-so metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for truth justice and the Hollywood way.

  31. boo boo says:

    Ben Aflac playing Batman is all I need to know. I will not be seeing this film.

    • boo boo says:

      That would be Ben Affleck, not Aflac. Darn fingers not typing what my brain is thinking.

      • TXGunner1 says:

        No! That is priceless, Ben Aflac…Just need Gilbert Gottfreid belching it out.

      • yaz says:

        lol. same exact thing i said when i first saw this coming out. Ben sucks, he already massacred Daredevil. Umm, Superman guy? Havnet seen any of those failed attempts to make a good superman movie with henry, So why would i go see these 2 together? sad..

  32. I don’t even get the concept of Barman vs Superman. Are they fighting one another? Are they fighting to get the most rescues of the “little people”? WTF I won’t be seeing this movie even when it hits Netflix or some other venue. Sorry, Hollywood needs to come up with some new ideas. Mixing superheroes and hoping for the best is not something that appeals to me. Maybe to my 11 year old grandson. Oh, wait, he’s into You Tube videos.

  33. Gama Rodriguez says:

    Agree, thesr are the same clowns that liked birdman. Wow that was so awful 😥

  34. Cory says:

    This is silly to begin with. Superman would eat Batman for lunch, no comparison. Batman would not stand for two seconds with his utility belt against Superman’s superhuman strength.

  35. Just enjoy the movie. First time in 75 years together on the same screen, first Wonder Woman appearance other than a bad 70’s TV show. Its an adaption of comic books, should be epic. I will be at the premier on Thursday here in Atlanta.

    These are the same people who like Mad max, a HORRIBLE Movie, loved the Marvel Movies, when all but the first Avengers, First Iron Man and both Cap Movies were garbage.

    It will make money, Suicide Squad is going to be very good, the Wonder Woman, the first Female Super Hero Movie.

    Just enjoy the moment.

  36. Good Luck says:

    These are the same critics that gave the horrid MAD MAX a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Their opinion is garbage.

  37. Lex says:

    Warner Brothers should have paid Christopher Nolan a mint to keep Christian Bale in the Batsuit. This is a huge disaster for the studio. Just watch Time-Warner stock tank. Another studio up for sale?

    • JR says:

      Surprise! Because of the movie, Time-Warner stock took a jump UP from Friday to Monday.Hope you don’t play the ponies as well!

    • Bruce wayne says:

      Yes. Agree, but Chris Nolan knew that BvS will be horrible and he himself involve in movie only as ex. Producer.

  38. Marty Moose says:

    It went over very well at the screening last night. I’ll be the 1st to admit that I wasn’t really fired up about it at all. I was willing to pass up on the screening, but my brother dragged me to it. I’ll gladly say that it wasn’t bad. It was a pretty good movie that could’ve really stopped right before Doomsday showed up. It was after he showed up that the CGI just looked a bit bad & there was SO MUCH going on on-screen & all at once. There is cause given to Wayne’s anger, but the resolution seemed a bit too contrived; all just misunderstandings, really. Luthor really was just annoying, as a whole & while I disliked what I saw in the trailer, the movie just amplified. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be & it wasn’t up to typical Marvel standards but overall, I did enjoy it, as did the majority of the audience there.

  39. Fritz-Von-Dago says:

    This is typical Hollywood counter culture garbage. They will produce anything and everything they can to attack real American culture. “Batman vs Superman” Whats next? “Wonder Woman pimps out Spider-man”? These California movie people are totally ridiculous.

    • Wonder Woman is DC and Spider Man is marvel. They don’t exist in the same universe.

      • super hero movies are stupid says:

        it is amazing to me that an adult would even know such a thing. here I was reading the scathing comments about a dumb movie I will never see to get some ammo for the nerds in my life and I come across your comment. lol

  40. Josh Apple says:

    Honestly it has Ben Affleck in it, how good could it possibly be?

  41. nearboston says:

    I knew last year this would be a flop.
    Two words:
    Ben Affleck.

  42. Jpa says:


  43. Mike Arvand says:

    Everything Affleck has been in has been an epic mess.

    • Sylvia says:

      Except ARGO you Hollywood turd. Such a prissy a-hole.

      • TXGunner1 says:

        Argo was good I admit. Not everything he has been in is bad. Good Will Hunting was saved by Damon though and Argo was saved because he is a far better director than he is an actor.

  44. The Infidel Alliance says:

    If you want to catch a REAL evil vs good thriller, with endless plot twists, deceptions, no CGI effects, and loads of blood and gore, check out the latest installment of Muhammed vs Jesus. The current episode, which features the return of the repeatedly vanquished 7th century Meccan arch villain, was just released in Brussels and is now exploding on small screens around the globe.

    Oh…and get ready for the sequel, coming to a Thailand near you, Muhammed vs Buddha. It sure to be a blast as well.

    ~ The Infidel Alliance

  45. Ben Kabak says:

    Dumpster fire.

  46. Muhammad says:

    What did you expect from a Ben Asslick movie?

  47. John Larson says:

    of course, the fact critics DON’T like it is often a GOOD thing

  48. jack says:

    Ben Affleck…what did you expect???

  49. Matt Risgway says:

    I love how all you commenters are dumping all over a movie you haven’t even seen. Since when do “reviewers” know anything at all? At least inform your opinion by seeing it because anything else is just a stupid flapping mouth blathering nothing.

  50. Critics are evil says:

    Do you people honestly really care what these “critics” think? I for one, could care less. I will see the movie myself and come up with my own conclusions about the movie. Fans seem to think it is amazing while critics bash it (as most have before it ever came out). Go see the movie people instead of being heavily influenced by other’s opinions!

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