Every DCEU Movie Ranked—‘Wonder Woman 1984’, ‘Man of Steel’, and More
The newest film in the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman 1984, has arrived in theaters and HBO Max. With nine installments in this superhero franchise and a new film available for fans of the series, I decided it would be a great time to rank every DCEU movie from Man of Steel to Wonder Woman 1984.
You probably will not agree with my ranking, but that’s where the fun is!
9. Suicide Squad (2016)
Easily the worst movie in the DCEU is Suicide Squad, a film that was bogged down by studio interference, and the result is a bloated film that suffered from many rewrites. The exposition is delivered poorly, and Jared Leto’s performance as the Joker is not great.
This all leads to a CGI-heavy finale that fails to be exciting. I can understand how a film like this can go wrong, and while Ayer has stated that a lot of footage ended up on the cutting room floor, the result is a very subpar superhero film.
8. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
This sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman was a disappointment on many levels, with a very messy narrative that feels overlong in its two-and-a-half-hour runtime. While the film boasts exciting action sequences, they were all spoiled by the trailers, and there aren’t that many.
Unfortunately, the film was bogged down by a boring mystery and questionable performances from the villains, who are basically walking clichés. Read my full review of Wonder Woman 1984 here.
7. Justice League (2017)
What should have been a thrilling event that brought together the DC universe is instead a film plagued with studio interference. Hit with a two-hour maximum runtime and Joss Whedon taking over directorial duties during production, this is a very messy, rushed superhero film.
Much of the characters’ origins are rushed through. While Zack Snyder isn’t my favorite filmmaker, the film would have been much better had he been given full creative control and if Whedon was more respectful to the cast and Snyder’s original vision.
6. Man of Steel (2013)
Zack Snyder’s kick-off to the DCEU is Man of Steel, a very dark film. Hans Zimmer’s score is fantastic, and it’s a very well-shot origin story that may have been better had it not lied so much in sadness and destruction.
The action sequences feel a bit long and repetitive, but Snyder did good work with this film.
5. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
This film improved on a rewatch. The first half of this film is light on action, functioning mainly as a political thriller, and it works so well. We have two heroes, whose ideologies are so different, and their perception of each other is negative, and it’s really fascinating to watch as we see the world react to these events.
However, in a movie so grounded in darkness and sadness, the film takes a strange turn by going to this giant CGI monster for the heroes to fight. It’s not a bad finale, but it feels so different from the first two hours, almost as if it had become a different movie entirely.
It’s a good film with breathtaking cinematography, but it doesn’t reach its full potential.
4. Birds of Prey (2020)
The past few months have been so crazy that it feels like Birds of Prey came out six years ago at this point. Nevertheless, this may go down as a very underrated film from the DCEU, with colorful, exciting fight sequences directed very stylishly by Cathy Yan.
Margot Robbie, who was easily the best part of Suicide Squad, portrays Harley Quinn to perfection, making her a very likable antihero. The plot isn’t the most original, but I loved seeing Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask, and overall, this is a fun movie.
3. Aquaman (2018)
James Wan directs this film so well; this is a fun, thrilling movie that boasts tons of exciting action setpieces and it really is a blast from start to finish. When the film isn’t giving us a fun action sequence, it’s giving us a lot of really great visual effects and fun dialogue between the characters.
It’s a rewatchable superhero film that really is an amazing time.
2. Shazam! (2019)
I could argue that this is a Christmas movie; aside from that, this is a hilarious superhero movie that shows the theme of family. It’s about a kid with a journey that he’s dealing with, trying to find who he really is, and it’s a great story that also makes fun of the superhero genre.
This is a funny, enjoyable movie that entertains throughout its entire runtime.
1. Wonder Woman (2017)
DC’s greatest outing since The Dark Knight is Wonder Woman, a delightful film about an Amazonian princess who arrives in the real world with a pilot named Steve Trevor. It is a thrilling movie that boasts a ton of truly incredible action sequences, particularly the No Man’s Land sequence.
It has such a charming performance from Gal Gadot with great chemistry between her and Chris Pine. This is a phenomenal superhero film that I’m always willing to go back and watch.