(Photo by Warner Bros/ Everett Collection)
DCEU Ranked: DC Movies By Tomatometer
After a long-running Superman series with Christopher Reeve in the iconic tights and cape (and one more with Brandon Routh), and compelling takes on Batman on both sides of the millennium, Warner Bros. put the reset on their DC Comics movies and created the DC Extended Universe. The first in this new constellation of comic book cinema was 2013’s Man of Steel, which took audiences back through the beefy boy from Krypton’s origins and his blossoming into the protector of mankind. The super-serious tone and dismissal of some of Superman’s key characteristics put off some, but this new take was bold enough to keep modern cynical audiences intrigued.
Inevitably, comparisons were incessant to the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially as director Zack Snyder doubled down on the dourness with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this day and age, fans on the internet expect an all-access pass on the production of their favorite properties, including leaks, rumors, and sneaky on-set photos. The publicly aired dirty laundry of the troubled Suicide Squad shoot colored audience perception of the film before it even released. It also wasn’t very good.
Wonder Woman, with its fleet touch and storytelling pizzazz, would become the first beacon of light for the DCEU, and its first Certified Fresh hit. Justice League followed that year, cramming huge characters into a truncated runtime (not to mention tonally inconsistent reshoots by Joss Whedon, and Henry Cavill’s phantom mustache), leading to rallying cries online of a fabled “Snyder Cut” of the movie.
It’d be more than a year later for the next DCEU entry: 2018’s Aquaman. Directed by James Wan, if the film wasn’t exactly drowning in critical praise, it at last was enough to keep the audiences worldwide satisfied and optimistic for the future. That paid off with Shazam!, a superhero comedy in the more classic vein, one that doesn’t bend over backwards to connect with the larger DC Universe. It worked there and looks like it’s working for Birds of Prey, featuring Margot Robbie and her squad in this Suicide Squad spinoff. See where it lands as we rank all DC Extended Universe movies!
Adjusted Score: 41.406%
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.
From director David Ayer ("Fury," "End of Watch") comes "Suicide Squad," starring Oscar nominee Will Smith ("Ali," "The Pursuit of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 45.328%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) share the screen in this Warner Bros./DC Entertainment co-production penned by David S.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 57.234%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69.502%
Critics Consensus: Man of Steel's exhilarating action and spectacle can't fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.
A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82.735%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97.424%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? "Birds of Prey (And... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107.959%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 113.159%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
An Amazon princess (Gal Gadot) finds her idyllic life on an island occupied only by female warriors interrupted when a... [More]