hitting theaters this Friday, we explore DC’s long history at the movies by ranking their 27 theatrical superhero films best to worst by Tomatometer! Where do you think Justice League JL will land?
The Dark Knight
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Critics Consensus: Deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot’s charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
The LEGO Batman Movie
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise’s winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny — and beautifully animated — family-friendly mayhem.
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.
The Dark Knight Rises
Critics Consensus: An ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan’s franchise in spectacular fashion.
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Batman: The Movie
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form — and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton’s dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton’s work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer’s reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson’s Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.
Critics Consensus: Unabashedly campy — often to its detriment — Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.
Man of Steel
Critics Consensus: Exhilarating action and spectacle can’t fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.
Critics Consensus: Despite solid production values and an intriguing premise, Constantine lacks the focus of another spiritual shoot-em-up, The Matrix.
Critics Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.
The Return of the Swamp Thing
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Critics Consensus: Smothers a potentially powerful story — and some of America’s most iconic superheroes — in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Critics Consensus: Noisy, overproduced, and thinly written, Green Lantern squanders an impressive budget and decades of comics mythology.
Critics Consensus: When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren’t enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
Critics Consensus: The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.
Critics Consensus: Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.
Batman & Robin
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher’s tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that’s too jokey to care much for.
Critics Consensus: Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can’t save this laughable action thriller.
Critics Consensus: The effects are cheesy and Supergirl‘s wide-eyed, cheery heroine simply isn’t interesting to watch for an hour and a half.