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How to watch all the DC movies in order

We've been following the adventures of Superman and co. for years but working out how to watch the DC movies in order is still a challenge.

How to watch all the DC movies in order

Want to give yourself a headache? Try figuring out how to watch the DC movies in order. It’s a nightmare!

Originally known as the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), we’ve had Batman movies, Superman movies, two versions of the same Justice League film, and various offshoots and Elseworld stories often including different versions of the same characters. Sheesh. Moving forward, this will all be known as the DCU, which is far simpler, but that doesn’t help us get to grips with what has already happened across the best movies so far and the new movies ahead. To get everything straight, we’ve unpacked the chaos.

How to watch all the DC movies in order (Chronologically):

The DC timeline is a car crash, to be honest, especially with The Flash canonizing everything that came before, it’s difficult to know where to draw the line. To make this as easy as possible, then, we’ve not included any of the Elseworld stories and stuck to the DCU canon.

In this order, you’ll get the full story of the DC characters so far, although you’ll miss out on two great DC films, and as such, we only recommend this order if you’re a real Snyder fanatic.

It’s worth noting that Peacemaker season 1 also fits in here somewhere, presumably between The Suicide Squad and Black Adam. So even though it’s a TV show, Peacemaker is in this timeline, but it’s up to you whether you watch it or not.

Here’s how to watch all the DC movies in chronological order:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. Man of Steel
  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  5. Suicide Squad
  6. Justice League / Zack Snyder’s Justice League(we recommend the Snyder Cut)
  7. Aquaman
  8. Shazam!
  9. Birds of Prey
  10. The Suicide Squad
  11. Peacemaker season 1
  12. Black Adam
  13. Shazam! Fury of the Gods
  14. The Flash (although time travel complicates that)
  15. Blue Beetle
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How to watch all the DC movies in order of release:

If you’re a completionist and want to watch everything DC’s released since Man of Steel came out in 2013, then you could watch the DC movies in release order.

For the most part, this is pretty easy to understand (The Wonder Woman films are technically prequels), and if you’re watching this way, you’ll probably want to check out the best superhero movies set outside of the DC continuity: Joker, and The Batman. Both are better than most of what’s in the DCEU and are worth a watch.

Here’s how to watch all the DC movies in release order:

  1. Man of Steel
  2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  3. Suicide Squad
  4. Wonder Woman
  5. Justice League
  6. Aquaman
  7. Shazam!
  8. Joker (sort of, it’s technically Elseworlds)
  9. Birds of Prey
  10. Wonder Woman 1984
  11. Zack Snyder’s Justice League
  12. The Suicide Squad
  13. Peacemaker
  14. The Batman (again, this is Elseworlds)
  15. Black Adam
  16. Shazam! Fury of the Gods
  17. The Flash
  18. Blue Beetle

For more on these DC movies and where to watch them, see below.

The DCEU timeline explained

DC movies in order: Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel

1. Man Of Steel (2013)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

Henry Cavill became the first star to join the burgeoning cinematic universe, leading the line in a new style of Superman origin story. With gritty action, a muted color palette, and a little too much destruction for the purists among us, opinions on Man of Steel have long been divided.

Our highlight of the film, though, is Michael Shannon stealing the show as one of the best DC villains around, General Zod. It’s a shame that this struggled so much given Cavill’s obvious love for the character, but Snyder’s super-serious approach was simply an odd fit for the big, blue boy scout.

DC movies in order: Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

While many thought Man of Steel was divisive, Batman v Superman took things to the next level. The theatrical version of this epic action movie is a little convoluted and messy at times, but the director’s cut certainly fixes most of those issues.

Ben Affleck joined the fray, and his time as the main Batman actor began in strong fashion with a grizzled take on the iconic hero. It also featured him chucking a massive tire around in order to prepare for a fight with Superman. We’ve all been there, right?

DC movies in order: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and more in Suicide Squad

3. Suicide Squad (2016)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

The trailer for Suicide Squad promised so much, but the end result was an absolute car crash of a film, directed by David Ayer. The film follows a group of baddies forced into acting as agents of the government. So villains are being threatened into playing hero.

Despite the fact this flick has some solid action sequences, it is let down by a poor script, a misused villain, and a soundtrack that plays like someone letting their toddler mess around with an iPod. There was so much potential here, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the end.

And we’re sorry David, but we don’t think the “Ayer Cut” will ever see the light of day.

DC movies in order: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

4. Wonder Woman (2017)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

We go back in time to World War I for Gal Gadot’s solo venture, and it remains one of the strongest entries in the entire DCU. The DC movie displays all the charm and energy Gadot possesses when she is at her best, and her chemistry with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is wonderful.

Patty Jenkins’ work here will always be remembered for that ‘no man’s land’ sequence, which is truly stunning. Basically, here is one of the best war movies to come from the superhero genre yet. And it also cemented Wonder Woman as the modern superhero with the most recognizable theme music. Crank up that electric cello!

DC movies in order: Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa as the Justice League

5. Justice League (2017)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

This is the moment the DCEU was truly broken in a way that nobody could ever fix. Zack Snyder began work on the ultimate superhero team-up movie in the hopes of matching the MCU’s Avengers, but a personal tragedy meant Snyder had to bow out of the project.

Joss Whedon stepped in but was unable to recreate his Marvel movie magic. Frankly, ‘Josstice’ League was a disaster that tried to shoehorn together two directors who favor completely different tones from their movies. Whedon’s humor bumps awkwardly against Snyder’s self-conscious, stony-faced grandeur.

But if you brave this film, it tries to introduce us to the DC’s Justice League as an answer to Marvel’s Avengers.

DC movies in order: Jason Momoa as Aquaman

6. Aquaman (2018)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

Jason Momoa was given the chance to dive into the murky waters left behind by Justice League and did a fine job in making Aquaman cool again with the help of director James Wan, who has given us some of the best horror movies ever made with Saw and The Conjuring.

This underwater adventure doesn’t take itself too seriously, and Wan applies his visual flair and propensity for chaos in the best way. We also get the backstory of Aquaman, and have more reason to feel invested whenever he pops on screen next.

Let’s face it, there aren’t many major blockbuster movies willing to spend a few seconds of screen time with a drumming octopus. If Aquaman gave us nothing else, it gave us that unique musical moment.

DC movies in order: Asher Angel and Zachary Levi in Shazam!

7. Shazam! (2019)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

DC went all in on the fun element with Shazam! and produced one of its best fantasy movies. There are very few links to the wider DC universe with this one, as the title character is a completely new face, and there’s no doubt the movie benefits from this standalone element.

Without the pressure of nodding to the past and the future, Shazam! is free to relish in Zachary Levi’s carefree performance. There aren’t many DC movies that have found this much room to relax and have fun, with most of them hamstrung by the dark tone of the SnyderVerse.

Still, despite its standalone nature, we recommend watching Shazam! after Aquaman since it benefits from you having a deeper understanding of the DCU beforehand to see how special this movie truly is. You’ll also appreciate the utterly ludicrous final cameo a lot more.

DC movies in order: Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

8. Joker (2019)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

From bright, colorful, happy vibes to the darkest of dark, this Elseworlds story is based on one of the best Batman villains of all time. Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his debut as a Joker actor, and deservedly so.

With anarchic themes, sublime cinematography and music, and an abundance of Martin Scorsese homages, Joker is easily one of the better DC movies ever made.

DC movies in order: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

9. Birds of Prey (2020)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

Harley Quinn was pretty much the only good thing about the abomination that was Suicide Squad, so we were very happy to see this flick (aka one of the best Margot Robbie movies ever!) give her character the chance to shine in her own right. Cathy Yan directs the hell out of this vibrant flick and repairs much of the damage done by Harley’s previous outing.

DC movies in order: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 84

10. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime and Apple TV

The first Wonder Woman movie may be one of the best on this list, but its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, is sadly one of the worst. The tone is all over the place, the acting is painful to watch, and a weird subplot is introduced involving a random man being forced to take on the spirit of Steve Trevor. While this film tries its best to capture the magic of the best ‘80s movies, it does not succeed and is best forgotten.

DC movies in order: Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, and Ray Fisher as the Justice League

11. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

How this four-hour, grandiose culmination of Zack Snyder’s trilogy came to life is both a miracle and a nightmare. The Snyder Cut marked a momentous shift in the power of the audience, as fans of the director forced this version of the Justice League movie into existence. We cannot condone the methods of those fans necessarily, but we have to admit Zack Snyder’s Justice League is absolutely epic.

DC movies in order: Idris Elba, John Cena, David Dastmalchian, and Daniela Melchior in The Suicide Squad

12. The Suicide Squad (2021)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime and Apple TV

If ‘Josstice’ League is where the DCEU died, The Suicide Squad is where the new DCU was born. James Gunn left the Guardians of the Galaxy cast behind to oversee a new team of assholes, and he did such a good job that Warner Bros ended up making him the new king of the DC film division.

This film does little to affect the timeline of the DC movie world, but it does give Margot Robbie the chance to shine once again. Check out our review of The Suicide Squad for more thoughts on the matter.

DC movies in order: Robert Pattinson as Batman in The Batman

13. The Batman (2022)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime and Apple TV

Isn’t it funny how the films that are in no way connected to the wider cinematic universe seem to be the most intriguing? The Batman was one of the best movies of 2022, introducing Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader in a very grimy, gritty Gotham City.

With an array of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, including Catwoman, Penguin, the Riddler, and Carmine Falcone, Matt Reeves’ detective movie is a fascinating look at the criminal underbelly of Bruce Wayne’s world. Check out our The Batman review to see what we thought of this flick.

DC movies in order: Peacemaker (2022)

14. Peacemaker (2022)

Where to watch: Max

In 2022, James Gunn asked us all a simple question: ‘Do you really wanna, do you really wanna taste it?’ And the answer was yes, or at least it was for those who watched Peacemaker, a spin-off following the anti-hero Gunn introduced us to in The Suicide Squad.

The series followed the titular Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith, as he and a team of A.R.G.U.S agents as they tried to save the world from some invading parasitic aliens. It’s basically Secret Invasion with swearing and over-the-top violence. Oh, and it’s actually good. The show’s also surprisingly well connected to the wider universe, with The Flash, Aquaman, and even Superman (although you don’t see his face) turning up in the finale.

Like a lot of Gunn’s work, Peacemaker’s got a real off-beat, irreverent charm to it and largely subverts a number of well-worn superhero cliches to great effect. So come on, Gunn, tell us the Peacemaker season 2 release date. We’re begging you!

DC movies in order: Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam

15. Black Adam (2022)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

The Rock promised the arrival of Black Adam would change the hierarchy of power in the DCEU forever, and he was sort of right. As you can tell from our Black Adam review, we were not at all keen on this Dwayne Johnson movie. We’re not the only ones, either, as shortly after this film, the DCU was given its marching orders, and James Gunn’s new slate of Gods and Monsters was announced.

DC movies in order: Zachery Levi in Shazam 2

16. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

In the aftermath of the emerging DCU, Shazam got a sequel that nobody really cared about. As our Shazam 2 review suggests, this is a movie that was probably only released because it was already complete, and had Gunn had the chance; it may well have been stopped during production. Shazam is unlikely to have a future in the DCU, which makes Fury of the Gods irrelevant, really.

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17. The Flash (2023)

Where to watch: MaxAmazon Prime, and Apple TV

The Flash sees Ezra Miller reprise the role of Barry Allen in a solo venture. After discovering that he can run fast enough to go back in time, Barry decides to rewrite his family’s history in order to save his mother’s life. Obviously, things go horribly wrong, and returning villains and surprise cameos are par for the course.

The movie makes reference to Allen’s time in the Justice League and features Wonder Woman and Affleck’s Batman in the opening sequence. On top of this, it also flashes back to the day of Zod’s destruction that takes place during Man of Steel, so you probably ought to have watched both that and Justice League before dipping your toes into The Flash.

The Flash might be a little confusing, what with all its multiverse antics, but luckily, we’ve got you covered on all matters relating to the speedster. Check out our guides on Dark Flash and time travel in The Flash to get to grips with the DC movie. You can also see what we thought in our The Flash review.

DC movies in order: Blue Beetle

18. Blue Beetle (2023)

Where to watch: In theaters now

Set bang in the middle of the DCU/DCEU Venn Diagram, Blue Beetle tells the story of Jaime Reyes, a young man whose life’s turned upside down when he bonds with a symbiotic alien weapon known as The Scarab. Blessed with incredible powers, Jaime becomes the new Blue Beetle and uses his powers to protect his family from Victoria Kord, who wants The Scarab for her own purposes.

Honestly, the film’s quite fun in a throwaway kind of way (Read our Blue Beetle review for more of our thoughts), and it’s worth a watch, but Jaime’s future is a little unclear. Gunn’s claimed that Blue Beetle is the first ‘DCU character,’ but there’s been little to no news about a potential Blue Beetle 2 release date. It’s more than likely then that Gunn plans on using Jaime again. He’s probably just not interested in the continuity of this particular film.

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Upcoming DC movies and TV series

We’ve included all the upcoming DC movies at this time, including films set in Gunn’s new DCU continuity, which he’s calling Chapter 1 Gods and Monsters. Why? Well, because, currently, we don’t know where they fit in the timeline.

Is it a completely new universe? Have only parts of it been rebooted? There are conflicting reports, so we’re leaving them on this list for now.

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Every DCEU Movie ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re not interested in the overarching story of Snyder’s DCEU, then you can cut out a lot of crap by watching these superhero movies (and TV series) by watching them in order of  Tomato scores (Yes, we’ve included Elseworlds as well).

  1. Peacemaker: Season 1 (2022) – 94%
  2. Wonder Woman (2017) – 93%
  3. Shazam! (2019) – 90%
  4. The Suicide Squad (2021) – 90%
  5. The Batman (2022) – 85%
  6. Birds of Prey (2020) – 78%
  7. Blue Beetle (2023) – 76%
  8. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – 72%
  9. Joker (2019) – 69%
  10. Aquaman (2018) – 65%
  11. The Flash (2023) – 64%
  12. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) – 58%
  13. Man of Steel (2013) – 56%
  14. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) – 49%
  15. Justice League (2017) – 39%
  16. Black Adam (2022) – 38%
  17. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – 29%
  18. Suicide Squad (2016) – 26%
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Every DCEU movie ranked according to IMDb

IMDb has its own opinions on the DC movies as well, so it’s only fair that we include the IMDb rating (Which scores the movies out of 10) for each of them below.

  1. Joker (2019) – 8.4
  2. Peacemaker (2022) – 8.3
  3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – 7.9
  4. The Batman (2022) – 7.8
  5. Aquaman (2018) – 7.8
  6. Wonder Woman (2017) – 7.4
  7. The Suicide Squad (2021) – 7.2
  8. Man of Steel (2013) – 7.1
  9. Shazam (2019) – 7
  10. The Flash (2023) – 6.9
  11. Blue Beetle (2023) – 6.8
  12. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – 6.4
  13. Black Adam (2022) – 6.3
  14. Birds of Prey (2020) – 6.1
  15. Justice League (2017) – 6.1
  16. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) – 6
  17. Suicide Squad (2016) – 5.9
  18. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) – 5.4
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For more DC detail, find out how to watch all the Batman movies in order, as well as how to watch all the Superman movies in order, if you want to keep up with the biggest heroes. We’ve also explored the Zack Snyder mystery the DCU will never solve.

Finally, if you’re looking for a long read on the DC world, take a look at the five things we want to see in James Gunn’s new DCU and the one we don’t.