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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Critics wowed by Superman return
Brandon Routh in Superman Returns
Brandon Routh fills Christopher Reeve's famous suit

The first reviews for Superman Returns have given the new movie, which stars newcomer Brandon Routh as the legendary superhero, a resounding thumbs up.

Variety magazine's critic said it was "grandly conceived, sensitively drawn [and] never self-consciously hip".

"It is sincere, with an artistic elegance and a genuine emotional investment in the material," he wrote.

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, saluted "a heartfelt Superman movie that plays to a broad audience".

Routh, it continued, plays the comic book character "with honesty [and] winning fortitude".

And Newsweek's David Ansen wrote: "From the start of this gorgeously crafted epic, you can feel that Singer has real love and respect for the most foursquare comics superhero of them all.

The film I was hoping and dreaming for
Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News
"Newcomer Routh may or may not be a real actor, but he effortlessly lays claim to the iconic role."

His comments were echoed by Harry Knowles on the Ain't It Cool News website, who described Superman Returns as "the film I was hoping and dreaming for".

"Just as Batman Begins relaunched an ailing Batman, it sends Superman into the stratosphere," he wrote.

The film - which stars Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane - is released in the US on 28 June and in the UK on 14 July.

It is the Man of Steel's first big-screen appearance since 1987's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace starring the late Christopher Reeve.

Singer's previous films have included The Usual Suspects and the first two instalments in the X-Men franchise.

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