The DC Extended Universe is the shared universe throughout the movies that are based on DC Comics. A series of superhero films distributed by Warner Bros., the characters cross over each movie, but most of them are based on one single character or group.
The DCEU has come under fire from critics often, not having as easy a time or as great a reception as Marvel. The movies are hit or miss, with some being praised and most being spoken of pretty viciously. But the DCEU has continued on, with a bunch of movies due for release in 2019, 2020, and 2021, so apparently, the critics haven’t hit them too hard.
So far, there are six movies available to see, and these are all of them listed and ranked from the worst to the best.
6 Man Of Steel
The first release in the DCEU was Man Of Steel back in 2013 and truthfully, the DCEU didn’t start out strong. It started out pretty badly in fact, apparently unaware of the practice of putting your best foot forward.
It’s a movie based on Superman—a popular character that should have gotten great reception. Henry Cavill was a good choice for Clark Kent too. But the writing sent the movie way downhill. The visuals were awesome and the score by Hans Zimmer was… well, you can’t go wrong with Hans Zimmer. But the writing itself was pretty poor, and even those visuals weren’t enough to dazzle people into forgetting the poor pacing and plot they had just witnessed.
Yikes. More than a shaky start for the DCEU, who were surely very discouraged by the response they got to the movie they pushed out. But things can only get better.
5 Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice was released three years later. One would think that the addition of Batman could only make a movie better, but alas, this was pretty much on par with Man Of Steel. It did well on opening weekend but it never recovered from the drop in ticket sales that came straight after, and most scoffed pretty hard at this movie.
Everything about it wasn’t great. Even for those who prefer their comic book movies dark and grittier than the likes of what Marvel has to offer had to agree that this movie was poorly done, and the dark tone just somehow seemed off.
It did, however, introduce us to Wonder Woman, who is a blessing in the DCEU. So it gets points and is placed above Man Of Steel for the small addition of Diana Prince. Otherwise, the pacing and plot were just about as disappointing.
4 Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad took on a bit of a different tone. There was darkness to it, like the other movies, but it definitely seemed a little more playful. That both helped and hindered it—helped in that people seemed to like it more, but it did make the movie seem a little jumpy; as if no one involved could quite decide if they wanted the tone to be dark and ominous or just all-around amusing.
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Its host of characters made it better than the previous movies though. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was amazing, with Deadshot and El Diablo being other welcome additions. Jared Leto’s Joker managed to knock the movie down a few points though. His “edgy” street design did him no favors, and he didn’t seem much of like the Joker we’re used to.
Overall though, it was a pretty solid movie on entertainment value and better than what audiences had come to expect from the DCEU.
In December 2018, the latest movie from the DCEU hit screens: Aquaman. With Jason Momoa and Amber Heard heading it up, everyone expected great things. It’s certainly the DCEU film that’s made the most, although this is likely due to a lot of cool shots of Jason Momoa—who can blame people?
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It was another movie with a bit of a lighter tone and this seemed to work for it. It was a fun romp through the DCEU, and Momoa and Heard both are great actors that brought this movie to life.
Still not perfect though. The writing still wasn’t anything amazing, and the plot was called convoluted by a lot of critics.
2 Justice League
Technically a sequel to Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice came Justice League. It was almost the antithesis of Suicide Squad. Instead of the villains coming together to form a super team, it was the heroes.
And honestly, it was pretty fun.
Any movie with Diana Prince at the head of it is pretty great, and Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was awesome too. The chemistry between the characters worked well, with Ezra Miller’s Flash adding more amusement to the movie that provided some comedy moments. There were some cheap gags in the movie that lowered the tone a little too much, but it was a solid addition to the DCEU and definite proof that they can totally write a good light-hearted time.
1 Wonder Woman
By the time Wonder Woman was released, people had become tired of the DCEU and were doubting its ability to produce a good movie. Trusting them with such a female-driven narrative was worrying (although the director being female helped instill faith a bit). Gal Gadot came under criticism for not looking enough like Diana Prince (although for some pretty petty reasons).
Still, some of us held out hope because we wanted a good superhero movie with a woman at the head of it and Wonder Woman did not disappoint. The visuals were stunning, the writing was awesome, and Gadot was the absolute embodiment of Diana Prince.
Arguably, it was better than any of the Marvel movies. At least for the women who had been wanting this for so long.
It’s left all of us hyped for the sequel, so we’re hoping that’ll be just as good. Wonder Woman is the best movie in the DCEU and absolute proof they can pull off something amazing.