For those who are not aware, DCEU, or DC Extended Universe, refers to the slate of movies within a cinematic universe that began with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, with the recent entry being Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984. This, however, excludes Todd Phillips' Joker that came out in 2019, and won its lead star Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar, as well as the upcoming Matt Reeves' The Batman. Competing with Marvel Cinematic Universe in getting their fair share of fan love and box office profits, the DCEU slate turned out to be a mixed bag, seeing its share of disappointments in the beginning to some nice returns near the end. Gal Gadot Is Over the Moon As Her Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer Shines High on the Burj Khalifa.
With Wonder Woman 1984 being the talk of the town these days, and Michael Keaton reportedly returning as Batman and replacing Ben Affleck, after latter is done with Justice League reshoots, DCEU has been the talk of the town these days. For both right and wrong reasons.
Now that we are done with Wonder Woman 1984, let's reevaluate our opinion on all the nine DCEU movies till now, and see where Wonder Woman 1984 fits in the ranking from Worst to Best.
A Still From Justice League (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
In trying to ape the formula of the 2012 film The Avengers, Justice League messes up the much anticipated union of some of our favourite superheroes. Tonally inconsistent and screwing up big moments, Justice League was a real letdown for fans, who are now eagerly waiting to see if Zack Snyder's original vision, coming on HBO Max, does some justice to their dreams.
A Still From Suicide Squad (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
Another film that got screwed due to studio meddling, Suicide Squad trades style for substance, but turns out to be a soul-less superhero vehicle, that is only made watchable thanks to Will Smith's Deadshot and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. Suicide Squad's biggest crime is how it reduces Jared Leto's Joker to a glorified cameo. Let's hope that the upcoming The Suicide Squad reboot brings some cheer to the fans. As for Leto, he has jumped ship to Marvel and is now the living vampire, Morbius! (though he would have a cameo in Justice League Snyder Cut)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
A Still From Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
The disappointment of BVS should have hinted us about what to have expected from Justice League. To be fair, the clash between Batman and Superman had some promising moments - like a more vicious Batman beating and killing Luthor's men - though sillier ideas like the 'Martha' sequence and shoehorning 'The Death of Superman' storyline into the plot left us underwhelmed. You know there is a problem with your film, when in a movie about Batman and Superman, it is Wonder Woman who becomes the most talked about aspect.
Man of Steel
A Still From Man of Steel (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
Save for its over-stretched climactic battle and the rushed romance, Man of Steel is a very decent Superman origin story. Beautifully photographed and very engaging, despite its sombre tone, Man of Steel also serves well from the casting of Henry Cavill as the titular superhero and the dependable Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Its one major issue - MoS isn't an easy rewatch.
Wonder Woman 1984
A Still From Wonder Woman 1984 (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
Whether you are a fan of WW84 or not, you have to admit it - even by superhero plot standards, the premise of the film, centering around a magical stone, is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention, the problematic return of Chris Pine's deceased Steve Trevor, and its cliched handling of the villains, especially Kristen Wiig's Cheetah. But Gal Gadot is in prime form once again, and Patty Jenkins' direction makes WW84 still watchable.
A Still From Shazam! (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
In their childhood, everyone would have wished to be a superhero. Some still do. Shazam! is a reflection of that thought, that delights in its child-like aspirations, even though its standard plotline and Mark Strong's forgettable villain don't allow it to go beyond a decent watch. Shazam! is funny, sentimental and benefits a lot from the fantastic camaraderie between Zachary Levi/Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer.
Birds of Prey
A Still From Birds of Prey (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
Birds of Prey, the only R-Rated entry in this list (unless you also include BvS' R-Rated Extended Cut), had a disappointing box office returns, which is frustrating. For the film is hardly bad at all. Birds of Prey (with a ridiculously long tagline), that released in 2020, felt like the silver lining on a dark cloud. It is unapologetically violent, darkly humorous and stylishly shot, with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn shining throughout and Ewan McGregor being excellent as the pompous antagonist, Black Mask. Year-Ender 2020: From The Invisible Man to Soul, 11 Hollywood Films That We Enjoyed Watching the Most This Year.
A Still From Aquaman (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
Aquaman has a cliched storyline, a couple of bad acting turns and some dodgy CGI. And yet it is pure superhero fun, what with some enjoyable underwater battle sequences, as director James Wan takes us through some very fantastical imagery. Also brownie points to Jason Momoa for making Aquaman look badass, and not a lame superhero tag that was once associated with the character.
A Still From Wonder Woman (Photo Credit: Warner Bros)
The reason why WW84 felt so underwhelming, is the comparison that comes with its predecessor. Wonder Woman was a truly enjoyable superhero flick, with its feminist touches done right, and served by some excellent visuals. The third act might be a little disappointing, but the No Man's Land sequence is easily one of the best action scenes of last decade. Also Wonder Woman shows that you don't need to make your superheroines leer-worthy in order to make them appealing. Alas, something that the character's next appearance in Justice League easily forgot!