The last son of Krypton comes to Earth, realizes he has incredible powers, and fights for truth, justice, and the American way.
About the first forty/fifty minutes of this Superman has some of the best superhero movie stuff specifically, and some of the best movie stuff in general. It's so well made. The Krypton stuff with Brando, Terrance Stamp and Sarah Douglas. Then the Smallville sequence is amazing. Great images and acting and probably the only John Williams score I really like.
But when the movie gets to Metropolis, I tend to lose interest. Christopher Reeve is great as Clark Kent and Superman, Margot Kidder is a delight, and Gene Hackman always brings a reality to any role. Some people criticize this movie for its sentiment, and that it hasn't aged well. Basically its earnest quality; how Clark Kent is bumbling and wholesome and Superman is a bit of a boy scout, then how it is more of a traditional "comic book" movie. That I can accept because it's the intention of the movie. What I can't get behind is the goofy humor. For example, Superman gets a cat out of a tree for a girl and the girl goes into the house to tell her parents and we hear the mother tell the child to stop telling lies and we hear a smack on the soundtrack. I'm not offended or anything, it's just not funny. Later on, Lex Luthor has his underling, Miss Teschmacher, lay in the road to stop a military convoy for part of his scheme. So a bunch of soldiers roll up and are surprised by the hotness of Miss Teschmacher instead of being concerned with helping her. Then the leader played by the guy from I Dream of Jeanie has the soldiers stand around Miss Teschmacher and face away as he ostensibly gropes her. Many gross things can be funny. But that is too goofy. And I will gladly suspend my disbelief to accept a fantasy story. But I can't go along with the idea that somehow reversing the rotation of the Earth also reverses time.
With all that complaining, I still give this credit for being one of the movies that started a new wave of fantasy movies in the late 1970s and early 80s.