I hesitated to give this the full five stars for a couple of reasons:
In terms of what's going on I think I prefer Stagecoach, and Victor Mature's acting style hasn't aged as well as Fonda or Wayne's.
But my god, it's so well shot.
Ford uses every single frame to develop the story or deepen the characters, taking 103 minutes to do what would no doubt be around 3 hours these days. Masterful stuff.
With MAN OF STEEL Zack Snyder confirms that he's a stylistic magpie whose guiding principle appears to be 'what's the coolest looking thing to do?' at any given moment. He has a poor grasp of storytelling, no sense of drama & is tone deaf with regards to actors' performances. The Superman-as-first-contact story is a good idea, but poorly executed. Structurally similar to Batman Begins it lacks the narrative momentum that carried that movie along. Goyer's dialogue is exposition heavy, witless & tin-eared. A good cast is wasted and despite a great many whizzes & bangs very little of interest actually happens.