The DCEU has seen a lot of ups and downs since "Man of Steel" ushered in this shared superhero universe. Thankfully, recent efforts like "Aquaman" and "Shazam" seem to be putting DC back on track. Here's how we rank every DCEU movie released so far.
7. 'Suicide Squad' (2016)
2016 was undoubtedly the low point for the DCEU, with the incredibly disappointing "Batman v Superman" being followed up by this even worse movie about villains trying to be heroes. Little of the whimsical charm of the trailers is apparent in the actual movie, and the plot is about as convoluted as it gets in superhero blockbusters. Other than introducing Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, "Suicide Squad" is better left forgotten.
6. 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' (2016)
Who would have thought the first big-screen team-up between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel would be such a miserable experience? "Batman v Superman" doubled down on the brooding darkness of 2013's "Man of Steel" and suffered as a result. We can appreciate the desire to reexamine these iconic characters through a darker, post-9/11 lens, but no movie starring Superman should be this grim and brooding. Nor should Lex Luthor be this insufferably obnoxious.
5. 'Man of Steel' (2013)
Henry Cavill is a great Superman actor who has yet to find himself a worthy Superman movie. 2013's "Man of Steel" certainly has its moments. However, it tries too hard to apply the "Batman Begins" formula to Superman, forgetting that this hero is meant to embody hope and awe, not tragedy.
4. 'Justice League' (2017)
"Justice League" is by far the most tonally inconsistent DC movie to date, with the brooding darkness of Zack Snyder's earlier movies bumping up against Joss Whedon's lighthearted team banter. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad here, with newer additions like Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Ezra Miller's Flash helping to give the DCEU the burst of fun it had been lacking.
3. 'Aquaman' (2018)
The DCEU veered in a completely different direction in "Aquaman," a movie that seems hellbent on making up for the lack of humor in its predecessors. The end result is a bit too light for its own good, as Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry doesn't undergo much in the way of a hero's journey. However, the film's bombastic action scenes, bedazzling underwater visuals and earnest charm are enough to carry the day.
2. 'Shazam' (2019)
The reason that "Shazam!" works is that it largely ignores the formula that the rest of the DCEU was built upon. Bright, bubbly, and beholden to its lovably cheesy source material (but never slavishly so), it's a movie that you can't help but love. You just want to give it a big hug. Can you imagine saying that about Affleck's Batman? Whew boy.
1. 'Wonder Woman' (2017)
After a string of critical disappointments, the DCEU really needed a win in 2017. It got one in the form of "Wonder Woman." This prequel movie delivered a satisfying origin story for Gal Gadot's Diana, one that shed light on her early adventures in man's world even as it set the stage for a brighter, more hopeful DCEU. The trench sequence alone ranks as one of the best superhero moments in recent memory.