Lately we have had an overdose of superhero movies, with few of them being exceptional. I think that the 2004 Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero movie ever. After that, what superhero movies were exceptional? It certainly wasn't Ant-Man, and all the recent X-Men movies have been just decent.
As popular as the first Avengers movie was, I think that the film has a few problems. The second one is much better. Most of the Marvel based films have been good, but not great. However, the first Iron Man movie is really good, and Captain America: The First Avenger deserves some credit too.
I think that the 2006 Superman Returns is quite good, but underappreciated.
The reviews weren't particularly great for the 2013 Man of Steel, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, and it almost qualifies as a great film. It was willing to take a new direction with more of a science fiction perspective on the Superman story.
Now the sequel to Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has terrible reviews, but I can find nothing wrong with the movie. It is also willing to take a new direction that seems more appropriate for the age we live in, which is an age of terrorism in a post 9-11 world. Some people view the movie as too dour, but the tone seems perfect to me, and the movie is smartly written.
The story starts with Bruce Wayne witnessing the destruction and loss of life from Man of Steel. He concludes that Superman is an alien threat to this world, which inevitably leads to a showdown between the two.
Rating: * * * .5