While Marvel kept making hit after hit with its cinematic universe, DC just never seemed to get it right. While some of the films have small, cult followings, most people agree that pretty much every film in the DC Extended Universe is hot garbage.
From bad casting, to bad writing, to REALLY bad special effects, there is a lot of muck to sift through. However, the DCEU does have a shining light amongst all of the trash. What is that shining light you may ask? You’ll just have to read to find out.
DCEU movies ranked from worst to best
7. Suicide Squad
This movie is about as far from “squad goals” as you can get.
“Suicide Squad” was a movie that was ruined by its production team. Basically, the MCU was making tons of money with movies that were universally loved. The DCEU was turning into a laughing stock after “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” deflated any interest fans had in the series.
In an attempt to regain the support of fans, the DCEU filmmakers decided that the smartest thing to do was to make “Suicide Squad” more like an MCU movie. Halfway through the making of “Suicide Squad,” Warner Bros. spent millions of dollars to make the movie more “lighthearted.”
What was the result? One of the worst superhero movies ever created.
The movie made next to no sense. It’s about Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) wanting to create a league of meta-humans that would be able to take down a Superman-level threat. The problem is that her plan is stupid!
First off, trying to make a team of heroes out of a bunch of villains is a horrible idea. Aside from Enchantress, none of the members of the Suicide Squad really seem that threatening. The rest of the members just feel like a typical Tuesday for Batman.
Also, adding Harley Quinn to the squad (who has nothing to bring to the table) just means that you will have Joker on your tail. Speaking of the Joker…
This was the worst on-screen Joker we have ever seen. When we first saw him with his tats and grills, we knew something was wrong. Think about it: can you picture the Joker, the most clinically insane individual on the planet, sit perfectly still for multiple tattoos? The answer is “absolutely not.”
From the awful story, to the poorly executed characters, to the sub-par action, “Suicide Squad” failed to be DC’s saving grace and instead became their ultimate nightmare.
Let’s go back to 2012 when “The Avengers” was coming to theaters. At the time, it was one of the most highly anticipated movies in history. For the most part, it lived up to the hype. However, when looking back on the MCU as a whole, it was a bit middle-of-the-road. Despite all of that, the movie still made a boatload of money and was the MCU’s highest-grossing film at the time.
When “Justice League” came to theaters, it had one of the worst box offices in the entire DCEU. This was absolute proof that the hype was dead. Fans have been begging for a Justice League movie for years. Even though we finally got one, fans knew that these filmmakers were going to screw it up. As much as the fans didn’t care, the filmmakers clearly cared even less.
The movie was awful. It had an incredibly forgettable villain, a forgettable story, and beloved characters played by forgettable actors. Heck, when crafting this list, we actually forgot this movie was even made!
The movie just seemed incredibly poorly timed. Only half of the members of the Justice League had prior movies establishing their characters. Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman had none of that. Instead, the filmmakers had to hope that the people that actually came to see this trash were all fans of the comics and had done their research. Unfortunately, even if you read the comics, you were going to still be confused throughout the movie.
It’s not as unwatchable as “Suicide Squad,” but it’s two hours of your life that you’ll never get back.
“Aquaman” felt like it was made by a bunch of frat boys one step away from flunking out of school. The movie is basically just one-liners and Jason Momoa smoldering for the camera. Just watch this:
The acting is absolutely atrocious. If “Game of Thrones” taught us anything about Jason Momoa, it’s that he is at his best when he isn’t talking. Every line out of the lord of the bro-cean’s mouth is ridiculously cheesy.
The movie actually did exceptionally well at the box office. Thanks to foreign ticket sales, the movie made more than $1 billion.
That’s not to say that the movie isn’t garbage. It’s painfully hard to get through. Do yourself a favor let this flick sink to the bottom of the ocean.
4. “Man of Steel”
Superman is a hard character to get right.
He’s a god living among men and he’s trying to find out how to fit in the world. To be fair, that’s what “Man of Steel” explores. The only problem is that it gets everything wrong in the process.
While Superman struggles to find his purpose in “Man of Steel,” we as the audience struggle to get through the movie. “Man of Steel” was the first movie in the DCEU, and boy-oh-boy did it give it a rocky start. Need an example? Watch the most pointless death in any superhero movie:
The movie is infamous for being overly dark, joyless, and even colorless.
The main problem with the movie is that they hired the brainless robot Henry Cavill to play Superman. He’s definitely no Christopher Reeve, but he’s also just not a very good actor. Granted, the writers don’t give him much to work with:
If you think Cavill’s acting as Superman is hokey, just take a look at Michael Shannon as General Zod:
Director Zac Snyder watched that line delivery and said, “Yeah, that was good. Let’s go with that take.”
“Man of Steel” could have been the start of DC’s golden age of comic book movies. Instead, it was the start of a long series of disappointments.
It’s really easy to hate this movie.
From start to finish, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” is poor decision after poor decision. From casting Jesse Eisenberg to play Lex Luthor, to the world’s greatest detective falling for a middle school level scheme, to… “Martha,” the movie is awful.
You’re probably asking yourself, “If this movie is so bad, then why is it so close to the top?” Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that it doesn’t have much in terms of competition. Secondly, the movie does have a few redeemable qualities. First off, Ben Affleck does a phenomenal job as Batman. The character’s worst qualities clearly aren’t Affleck’s fault, but the fault of the writers.
Secondly, although a lot of the action is pretty lame, this scene is awesome:
This one scene of Batman kicking butt is the best action scene in the entire DCEU.
What made this movie rub so many people the wrong way is because this could have been the greatest superhero movie ever created. Buried beneath all of the bad CGI and awful writing there is a good movie somewhere in here. Those who watch DC’s animated movies will tell you just how good “The Dark Knight Returns” is. The two movies contain what most agree is the best on-screen confrontation between the Son of Krypton and Bat of Gotham.
Dawn of Justice couldn’t even channel a fraction of that film’s energy, and instead became the living meme we all know today.
The film’s biggest issue lies in how much it tries to cram in. It has to establish Batman, establish Lex Luthor, create the Batman versus Superman story, set up the Justice League, introduce Wonder Woman, introduce and execute Doomsday, and then play out the Death of Superman storyline. It fails on all accounts and just comes off as a bloated mess.
“Wonder Woman” is far from a perfect film. However, it does deserve most of the praise it gets.
The story and characters were the best the DCEU had given us by far up until this point. Wonder Woman was likable, and she was thrown into a story that made perfect sense for her character.
The movie plays a lot like “Captain America: The First Avenger,” as it takes place during a World War with the main character out to defeat the overwhelming German forces. However, it is also a fish-out-of-water story as Wonder Woman struggles to learn how to live in our world after being raised with the Amazons. In this sense, it’s a lot like “Thor.”
The movie does have two pretty big issues. The first is the special effects. A lot of the action scenes look pretty bad.
Gal Gadot’s fight choreography is fine, but when she jumps around fighting people, the special effects look about as convincing as middle school theater.
The second worst part is the villain. Wonder Woman believes that the God of War Ares (sorry, Kratos) is the cause of all the suffering going on in the world. At first, it looks like Ares isn’t real. At this point, you think the movie is going to actually be pretty smart by showing that humans are flawed and that there aren’t always supernatural causes for our misdoings. However, Ares then reveals himself resulting in quite possibly the worst villain casting of all time.
Who was chosen to play the God of War? Why, Professor Lupin from Harry Potter, of course!
He isn’t the least bit threatening. He looks like a complete dork throwing a hissy-fit. Rather than feeling scared, you just laugh at the screen as the poindexter tries to act all-powerful.
All in all, “Wonder Woman” is a decent flick by DCEU standards, but it is far from a great superhero movie.
If you were to have gone back in time to when we were in elementary school and would’ve told us, “In the future, there is going to be an Aquaman movie, a Batman vs. Superman movie, and a Justice League movie, but they’re all going to suck. However, there is going to be an awesome Shazam movie,” we would’ve called you insane.
However, that was exactly the case. “Shazam!” is a blast from start to finish. The DCEU filmmakers decided that rather than trying to make a cinematic universe, a dark film, or a something monumental, they would just make something fun. “Fun” is the best way to describe this flick.
If we had to nitpick at one part of the movie, it would be the special effects. Sometimes the movie looks like a PlayStation 2 game.
The dogs in “Ghostbusters” look more convincing.
However, it doesn’t take away from the rest of the film.
Zachary Levi does a great job of playing a child in a superhero’s body. He’s believably cocky and arrogant while also being hilariously awkward when trying to interact with people.
The main character Billy Batson is a likable kid with a rough past. It’s very easy to get invested in him and to root for him to succeed. When he gets his powers, he does what any other kid with superpowers could do; he tests them and makes YouTube videos. This results in quite possibly the best scene in the entire DCEU:
If “Shazam!” were an MCU film, we would probably put it between “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” on our list. The fact that we think this movie is better than almost half of the movies in the MCU is crazy given the fact that pretty much everything else on here would plummet to the bottom of the list.
“Shazam!” is far from a perfect movie, and it is nowhere near the level of movies like “Avengers: Endgame.” However, it is easily the best movie the DCEU has to offer.
If you happened to like one of the movies we ripped apart, more power to you. We’ll just agree to disagree. There are a ton of Marvel movies with issues, but the DCEU just seems to get it wrong over and over again. With that being said, we would like nothing more than to see great movies involving these characters.
The main thing DC needs now is time. The movie industry is so saturated with superhero flicks that DC needs to wait for things to die down before throwing their hat back into the ring. Once some time has passed, they should be able to get some fresh ideas on what to do with these beloved characters.
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