Ranking the DC Extended Universe movies from worst to best, including Birds Of Prey 2 weeks ago

Ranking the DC Extended Universe movies from worst to best, including Birds Of Prey

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Eight movies in, time to see how the DC movies are getting on...

With the arrival of Birds Of Prey (did you know we chatted to the cast? Because we did! Right here!), we figured now was a good time to look back on how the DCEU is doing so far, in much the same way we did with the MCU (which you can check out here).

So, just to clarify before all of the questions begin, the Detective Comics Extended Universe does not include any of Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, and it also doesn't include Joker, which director Todd Phillips has stated remains separate to the rest of the DCEU as we know.

So with that in mind, on with the ranking:

8. SUICIDE SQUAD

Suicide Squad made $746.8 million at the worldwide box office. Suicide Squad won an Oscar. These are facts. What is also a fact is that the movie feels like it was edited by people who normally make trailers for a living, and while trailers can be great (the trailer for Suicide Squad, for example, was pretty great), they work specifically for those 90 to 120 second attention grabbers. It does NOT work when spread out over 137 minutes, completely pummeling the audience's brains until nothing makes sense anymore. Still though. Will Smith and Margot Robbie were pretty great.

7. JUSTICE LEAGUE

After Zack Snyder stepped down after a death in his family, and was replaced by Joss Whedon, fans correctly pointed out that two more diametrically opposing filmmakers couldn't be found, and forcing the movie to match both of their visions would be next-to-impossible. And this turned out to be entirely correct, as the endless CGI set-pieces were all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Remember when Batman had some kind of robot spider thing to shoot the Space Alien Warlord? You don't? Not to worry, give it enough time and nobody else will either, which is quite the thing to say about a $300 million production.

6. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

In their rush to ape the Marvel set-up, DC attempted to jump the gun of setting up individual characters and immediately give us a mash-up. It was the equivalent of going straight from Iron Man to Captain America: Civil War, with all of the in-between movies given a single line of dialogue as backstory. Affleck made a decent Batman, and his fight scenes with Luthor's henchmen remain some of the best hand-to-hand combat we've seen in any Batman movie (sorry, The Dark Knight, but this was your biggest failing). Cavill is also fantastic as Superman, and ditto for our first introduction of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. It is just such a shame they are all wasted in this mess.

5. AQUAMAN

There is a very strong argument to be made that this movie should be in the No.1 spot on this list. What other huge blockbuster would dedicate a scene to an octopus playing the drums as a way of building excitement between two estranged brothers fighting over the future of a futuristic underwater city? There is no other way to say this: Aquaman is a bonkers movie. Director James Wan couldn't completely give up the ghost of being a horror director, putting in a properly terrifying attack from deep-sea monsters, and whenever a conversation runs on a tad too long, he ends up by blowing up everything on screen, entirely without warning. Momoa is the only person cast correctly, as everyone else seems ENTIRELY out of place, maybe because they're all taking it a little bit too seriously. All in all, Aquaman will either rub you up the wrong way, or you'll allow yourself to be taken along for the ride. There is no middle ground here.

4. MAN OF STEEL

Sure, it all goes a bit off the rails at the end (something that pretty much all of the DC movies are prone to do, and almost all of the Marvel movies too, to be fair), when Superman must fight all of the CGI in the known universe. But prior to that, the movie does a great job of going beyond just the arrival of Superman in our world, but doubles down as a first-contact movie, too. Right from the off, Cavill is fantastic as Clark Kent, bringing the necessary emotional and physicality to the role. Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe, and almost all of the supporting cast are equally great (sorry Amy Adams, this type of movie just isn't for you), and when it stays small, it stays pretty great. But once those Special Effects Villains arrive, all bets are off...

3. SHAZAM!

Speaking of going small, this is how to do that. The Superman-meets-Big pitch is nailed down, although another horror movie director (this time it is Lights Out's David F. Sandberg) also can't quit on the scares, and the monster attacks do not mesh well with the otherwise light 'n' breezy tone. Also, Mark Strong's villain is very Comic Books 101 bad guy, but they're all hushed and pushed into the background behind Levi's million watt bulb of a performance.

2. BIRDS OF PREY

You can check out our full review here, but in short: Deadpool meets Kill Bill. What more do you want?

1. WONDER WOMAN

Despite the fact that we'd already been introduced to Diana Prince in BvS, and the idea of an origin story wasn't exactly flooding the excitement part of anyone's brain, Wonder Woman still stuck the (superhero) landing. Gadot oozes charm and humour throughout, perfectly playing off Chris Pine's mansel-in-distress throughout. Again, the final act descends into mindless action anarchy, but it feels earned by that point. Director Patty Jenkins imbues a sense of strength, both physically and emotionally, in her hero without being crass about it, and gives us a character we both immediately warm to, support, and want to see more of. Bring on Wonder Woman 1984!

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