The amount of superhero movies released is growing exponentially with every passing day. The collection of live-action DC Comics movies prove why. Their super-powered train is showing no sign of stopping anytime soon. With every fan event, comes another bundle of first looks, trailers, and movie announcements for us to get excited about.
The Batman, Black Adam, and Zack Snyder’s famously anticipated Justice League cut are just a few DC Comics movies to be arriving on our screens in the near future. (Some may even be teased at DC FanDome.)
Where will they land in a list comprised of all the live-action DC Comics movies we’ve seen so far? Will any of them take the crown to become the greatest DC Comics movie of all time? Or, will they get sucked into the Phantom Zone of flops alongside the likes of Suicide Squad?
Here’s a list of the top 10 live-action DC Comics movies so far!
Before this movie was released in 2018, many considered Aquaman as one of the less interesting characters DC Comics created. Arthur Curry talks to fish and can be hard to sell as intimidating and powerful. Namely, when you have to stand alongside characters like Superman.
This movie makes the list alone for showing us how bad-ass Aquaman really can be! Jason Momoa brings a solid performance as the Atlantean superhero. With incredibly colorful CGI and over-the-top fight scenes, Aquaman is one of the funnest DC Comics movies to date. Not to mention, it featured director James Wan, who gave us exactly what we needed when we needed it.
Shazam! is a movie about a young boy, Billy Batson. One day, he is bestowed the powers of Shazam, an ancient wizard. These magical powers allow him to transform into a powerful superhero. All he has to do is just say the name “Shazam!”
To its credit, Shazam! was the superhero version of the Tom Hanks movie Big. Zachary Levi delivers an abundance of fun and humour. He also opens the door to a lighter side to DC Comics movies we haven’t seen much before. Shazam! is a nostalgia trip into your childhood by bringing excitement and imagination. Director David Sandberg captured the innocence of kids wishing to be a superhero. Then, immediately delves into what would happen if it became reality.
8. Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey focuses on the popular character Harley Quinn following her break up with Joker. She lands herself in trouble with a crime boss in a comedic way. Then, she reluctantly recruits a group of talented female superheroes to take on the villainous Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Birds of Prey brings the return of Margot Robbie with a wonderful performance. With this, she cements her place as a perfect adaptation of the character Harley Quinn. Additionally, Director Cathy Yan offered up some new kick-ass DC characters into the limelight like Huntress and Victor Zsasz. (Not to mention, I gave it a sweet review too.)
7. The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises was the swan song to the acclaimed The Dark Knight trilogy by the great Christopher Nolan. This tied up the Christian Bale-led movies in beautiful fashion. When the rolling credits came on, this was one of the highest-rated trilogies of all time.
Christopher Nolan holds no punches with this final movie, and it shows. Stunning practical stunts will blow you away. And Christian Bale’s incredible performance is now considered the best portrayal of Batman ever.
6. Wonder Woman
Many consider Wonder Woman to be the turning point on the DCEU or DC Films. Following the lukewarm reception of Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman, Gal Gadot and the Amazonian woman of wonder burst onto the scene and breathed new life into a troubled franchise.
After a World War I plane crashes onto the hidden island of Themyscira, Diana is thrown into the real world. For the first time in her life, she deals with the horrors of war and poverty. Then, she sets out to stop the villainous Ares, whatever it takes. Gal Gadot is fantastic as Diana Prince. This fresh take on the superhero genre makes Wonder Woman stand out. Director Patty Jenkins gave us a heroine in whom we could believe and important messages about real life in the process.
Watchmen is set in an alternate universe during the year 1985 and focuses on superheroes around the Cold War. In a visually dystopian and dark world, a group of retired superheroes come together to investigate the death of one of their old teammates.
Zack Snyder directs an incredibly unique and complex take on the superhero genre. With Alan Moore‘s acclaimed graphic novel, we see the political side of being a superhero. Also, each character delves deep into their own personal demons. Snyder’s signature artistic style compliments the movie and its themes exceptionally well.
Joker is a serious and gritty take on a superhero movie. This is a DC Comics film that portrays mental health. Moreover, we see what happens when someone gets pushed too far by the brutal ignorance of society and ultimately decides to push back. Going deep into the psyche of a villain’s origin story is difficult. Todd Phillips painted a realistic light on Joker, which has never been seen so detailed before.
Joaquin Phoenix won the Academy Award for best actor for his take on the clown prince, and deservedly so. He delivers a powerhouse performance that will leave you in awe. Phoenix completely transformed not only his body, but also his mind to become the perfect embodiment of Arthur Fleck. And we were so grateful for it.
3. Man of Steel
Henry Cavill’s debut as the famous Kryptonian Superman is the best film featuring the legendary hero to this day. After a long break from a cinematic Superman on the big screen, Man of Steel arrived. The teaser exploded in our homes. Then, the movie burst onto the scene with stunning visuals, a darker shift in tone, and action scenes looking straight out of the comics.
The movie opens with a fantastic depiction of Krypton. We see its timely demise, giving fans a unique look on the doomed planet with some incredible world building. Man of Steel also features a great performance from Michael Shannon who plays the central villain Zod, a Kryptonian with plans to rebuild his lost planet on the shattered remains of Earth.
All of this has led to the movie becoming a huge fan-favourite flick. And MoS seemingly gets more appreciation with time, with many desperate for a Man of Steel 2 and the return of Cavill as Clark Kent.
2. Batman Begins
Batman Begins is another origin story of the character Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming one of the most popular superheroes of all time, Batman. Instead this time, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer decide to go for a more realistic and grounded approach to the character and the city of Gotham.
Christian Bale delivers an exceptional performance as the caped crusader as he delves deep into the emotional aspect of what drives Bruce Wayne to don the famous cowl and his struggles with the corruption and violence that pollutes the city he loves. He is trained by his mentor, the mysterious Ra’s Al Ghul who has an insidious plan for Gotham with the help of the frightful villain Scarecrow.
Bruce must make the tough decision to save the infamous city that might not be worth saving in the first place. Batman Begins is one of the best superhero origin movies of all time. And what a kickstart for The Dark Knight Trilogy, a trilogy that would go down in cinematic history.
1. The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight tops the list. Lets be honest, this movie as the number one on the list should come as a surprise to nobody. Not only is it the best DC movie ever made its also one of the best movies ever made… period.
This movie is filled with moments of greatness from start to finish and is a near perfect cinematic experience. It features the best villainous performance of all time starring the late, great Heath Ledger. A role that handed him the Academy Award for best supporting actor and changed the way critics viewed superhero movies forever. It reached over $1 billion in the box office and received tremendously high praise from critics and fans alike. Christopher Nolan truly is a game-changing director.
Any of your favourite movies not on this list? Drop a comment with what you thought was missing and what deserved to make the cut and lets discuss!