How To Watch DC Movies In Order


The DC Extended Universe

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is a series of interconnected superhero films that share a unified continuity. It offers a sprawling and immersive cinematic universe that brings together iconic DC Comics characters and stories. The DCEU aims to create a cohesive narrative, with each film building on the events and characters that came before.

Launched in 2013 with the release of “Man of Steel,” the DCEU has captivated audiences with its unique take on beloved superheroes. The franchise has evolved over the years, incorporating new characters, expanding the universe, and delivering epic storylines.

One of the key features of the DCEU is its commitment to character-driven storytelling. These films explore the complexities of superheroes, delving into their personal struggles, moral dilemmas, and the impact of their extraordinary abilities on the world around them.

From the brooding and conflicted Batman to the empowering and inspiring Wonder Woman, the DCEU showcases a diverse range of heroes who come together to fight evil and protect the innocent. This interconnected universe allows for thrilling crossovers and team-ups, creating a sense of continuity and unity among the different films.

While the DCEU initially faced some criticism, the franchise has consistently improved and evolved with each new installment. It has found its own distinctive voice, offering a darker and more grounded take on superheroes compared to other cinematic universes.

With visually stunning action sequences, thought-provoking themes, and compelling character arcs, the DCEU continues to enthrall audiences and build anticipation for each new release.

Whether you’re a long-time fan of DC Comics or a casual moviegoer, the DC Extended Universe provides an expansive and exciting cinematic experience. With each film contributing to a larger narrative, watching these movies in the right order can enhance your understanding and enjoyment of this superhero universe.

Phase 1: The Early Films

The first phase of the DC Extended Universe introduced audiences to the iconic characters and set the foundation for the interconnected superhero universe. These early films laid the groundwork for the overarching storylines and established the tone and style of the DCEU.

It all started with “Man of Steel” (2013), directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill as Superman. This film rebooted the Superman franchise and introduced a more grounded and emotionally-driven approach to the character. It explored Clark Kent’s journey of self-discovery and his struggle to protect humanity while grappling with his own identity.

The next film in this phase was “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), which brought together two of the most popular DC superheroes. Directed by Zack Snyder, this film explored the clash of ideologies between Batman, played by Ben Affleck, and Superman. It also introduced Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, who became an integral part of the DCEU.

The final film of Phase 1 was “Suicide Squad” (2016), directed by David Ayer. It focused on a team of antiheroes forced to work together on dangerous missions. With an ensemble cast that included Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot, “Suicide Squad” delved into the darker and morally complex side of the DCEU.

These early films set the stage for the larger DCEU narrative, highlighting the conflicts and tensions between superheroes and the challenges they face in a world filled with both superhuman threats and ordinary human struggles.

While not all of these films were unanimously praised, they laid the groundwork for future installments. They introduced key characters, established their motivations, and provided a glimpse into the evolving dynamics of the DCEU. These films brought fresh perspectives to iconic superheroes, presenting them as flawed and complex individuals with personal demons to overcome.

Phase 1 of the DCEU showcased the potential of this interconnected superhero universe and left fans eagerly anticipating the next phase of films that would further expand the universe and deliver even more epic adventures.

Phase 2: Expanding the Universe

Phase 2 of the DC Extended Universe marked a period of expansion and exploration, as the franchise delved deeper into the world of superheroes and introduced new characters and stories. This phase built upon the foundations laid in Phase 1 and expanded the scope of the DCEU.

The first film of Phase 2 was “Wonder Woman” (2017), directed by Patty Jenkins. Starring Gal Gadot in the titular role, this film explored the origin story of Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman. It took audiences back to World War I and showcased Diana’s journey of self-discovery, as she embraced her powers and fought for justice and peace.

This phase also introduced “Justice League” (2017), directed by Zack Snyder. Serving as the culmination of the early films, “Justice League” brought together Batman, Wonder Woman, and other heroes as they joined forces to save the world from a powerful threat. The film further expanded the DCEU by introducing characters such as The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, setting the stage for their future standalone films.

Continuing the trend of character-centric stories, Phase 2 also included “Aquaman” (2018), directed by James Wan. This film explored the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and followed Arthur Curry, played by Jason Momoa, as he embraced his destiny as the King of Atlantis. With breathtaking visuals and epic underwater battles, “Aquaman” expanded the DCEU into uncharted territory.

Shaking things up, “Shazam!” (2019), directed by David F. Sandberg, brought a lighter and more comedic tone to the DCEU. It followed the story of a young boy who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero by saying the word “Shazam!” This film added a refreshing and youthful energy to the franchise.

Phase 2 of the DCEU showcased the breadth of storytelling possibilities within the superhero genre. It introduced captivating new characters, expanded the universe to new realms and dimensions, and further developed the relationships between the heroes. The films in this phase also explored themes of identity, destiny, and the moral responsibilities that come with great power.

As the DCEU continued to evolve, Phase 2 set the stage for the grander narrative arcs to come in the subsequent phases. The interconnected nature of these films deepened the sense of a shared universe, creating anticipation for the future of the DCEU.

Phase 3: The Culmination

Phase 3 of the DC Extended Universe brought the culmination of the overarching narrative that had been building throughout the previous phases. This phase consisted of epic and highly anticipated films that brought together the heroes and villains of the DCEU in thrilling and climactic battles.

The first film of Phase 3 was “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” (2020), directed by Cathy Yan. While primarily focused on the beloved character of Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, this film showcased the formation of a team of female antiheroes who joined forces to protect Gotham City.

Next, “Wonder Woman 1984” (2020), directed by Patty Jenkins, continued the story of Diana Prince. Set in the 1980s, this film explored Wonder Woman’s encounters with powerful adversaries and tested her commitment to truth and justice.

The highly anticipated “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021) arrived as a definitive version of the previous “Justice League” film. With a runtime of four hours, this director’s cut offered a more cohesive and complete vision of the superhero team-up, satisfying fans with its expanded storylines and character development.

Phase 3 also featured “The Suicide Squad” (2021), directed by James Gunn. Serving as a soft reboot of the franchise, this film showcased a new team of supervillains on a dangerous mission. With a mix of action, humor, and high stakes, “The Suicide Squad” further expanded the DCEU’s roster of antiheroes.

Concluding Phase 3 was “The Flash” (2022), directed by Andy Muschietti. This film introduced audiences to the concept of the multiverse, exploring different versions of beloved characters and opening up endless possibilities for future storytelling.

Phase 3 of the DCEU brought together key storylines and characters, delivering epic and emotional moments. It showcased the growth and development of heroes and villains alike, as they faced their greatest challenges and uncovered deeper truths about themselves.

With each film in Phase 3, the DCEU demonstrated its commitment to both standalone storytelling and interconnected narratives. These films allowed for character-driven stories while also contributing to the larger tapestry of the superhero universe.

Phase 3 marked a significant chapter in the DCEU, setting the stage for future films and exciting possibilities. It brought a sense of fulfillment to fans who had been eagerly following the journey of these iconic characters and left them hungry for more adventures to come.

The Standalone Films

Alongside the interconnected narrative of the DC Extended Universe, there have been several standalone films that offer unique and self-contained stories within the larger superhero universe. These films provide a deeper exploration of individual characters and their journeys, offering a diverse range of storytelling experiences.

“Joker” (2019), directed by Todd Phillips, stands out as one of the most notable standalone films in the DCEU. This dark and gritty origin story delves into the psyche of the iconic Batman villain, played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix. The film explores the descent into madness and showcases the societal issues that contribute to the creation of the Joker.

Another standout standalone film is “Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” (2020), directed by Cathy Yan. This colorful and energetic film spotlights the fan-favorite character of Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. It follows Harley Quinn’s journey of self-discovery and her teaming up with other female antiheroes to take on a formidable villain.

“Aquaman” (2018), directed by James Wan, is another notable standalone film that explores the depths of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. With Jason Momoa reprising his role as Arthur Curry, also known as Aquaman, the film delves into his quest to claim his rightful place as the King of Atlantis and protect both land and sea from a looming threat.

“Shazam!” (2019), directed by David F. Sandberg, offers a lighter and more comedic take on the superhero genre. It follows the story of a young boy who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero with a single word. This film brings a sense of fun and youthful energy to the DCEU, showcasing the journey of self-discovery and the bonds of family.

Each standalone film in the DCEU brings a unique flavor and tone to the superhero universe. They dive deeper into the individual character arcs, exploring their origins, motivations, and personal struggles. These films offer a variety of genres, from dark and introspective dramas to lighthearted and comedic adventures, catering to different storytelling styles and audience preferences.

The standalone films complement the interconnected narrative of the DCEU by providing a more in-depth look at specific characters and their individual journeys. They allow for greater exploration of the rich tapestry of DC Comics, showcasing the complexities and nuances of these beloved superheroes and villains.

With the upcoming slate of standalone films, such as “The Batman” and “Black Adam,” the DCEU continues to expand its roster of captivating and compelling solo adventures. These films offer fans an exciting and diverse range of stories that contribute to the larger mythos of the DC universe while standing on their own as engaging and entertaining cinematic experiences.

The Upcoming Films

The DC Extended Universe is constantly evolving, with a lineup of exciting upcoming films that promise to expand the superhero universe in new and thrilling ways. These films will introduce new characters, continue the stories of established heroes, and explore different corners of the DC Comics universe.

One highly anticipated upcoming film is “The Batman,” directed by Matt Reeves. This standalone film stars Robert Pattinson as the iconic Dark Knight, showcasing a darker and more detective-focused take on the character. Set in Gotham City, “The Batman” promises to delve into the depths of Bruce Wayne’s psyche and confront him with formidable adversaries.

Another highly anticipated film is “Black Adam,” directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes on the role of the powerful antihero, Black Adam. The film explores the origins and motivations of this complex character and promises to deliver an epic clash between Black Adam and other DC heroes.

Upcoming films also include “The Flash,” directed by Andy Muschietti, which dives into the concept of the multiverse and brings back familiar characters from different timelines. It offers the opportunity for exciting crossovers and reunions, giving fans a renewed sense of anticipation for the future of the DCEU.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” the sequel to the successful “Aquaman” film, is set to continue the underwater adventures of Arthur Curry. Directed by James Wan, the film is expected to explore new realms and introduce fresh challenges for the King of Atlantis.

Additionally, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” promises to continue the lighthearted and comedic tone of the original film. Directed by David F. Sandberg, this sequel will see the return of young Billy Batson as he navigates his dual life as a teenager and a powerful superhero.

These upcoming films showcase a commitment to diverse storytelling within the DC Extended Universe. They blend different genres, ranging from gritty detective stories to epic adventures and humorous escapades, providing something for every type of audience.

The future of the DCEU is brimming with potential, as these upcoming films expand the superhero universe and delve deeper into the lore of DC Comics. They offer fresh perspectives, new characters, and exciting storylines, ensuring that fans have much to look forward to in the years to come.

The Recommended Viewing Order

With a plethora of films in the DC Extended Universe, it can be daunting to determine the optimal viewing order. Here is a recommended order that allows for a coherent and enjoyable experience, taking into account the interconnected narrative and character arcs:

  1. Man of Steel (2013): Begin your journey with the film that rebooted the Superman franchise and introduced the foundation of the DCEU.
  2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016): Dive into the clash between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, and witness the formation of the Justice League.
  3. Wonder Woman (2017): Explore the origins of Diana Prince as Wonder Woman, set in the backdrop of World War I.
  4. Suicide Squad (2016): Follow the adventures of a team of antiheroes forced to work together on dangerous missions.
  5. Justice League (2017): Witness the epic team-up of the Earth’s mightiest heroes to save humanity from a powerful threat.
  6. Aquaman (2018): Plunge into the underwater world of Atlantis and join Arthur Curry as he embraces his destiny as Aquaman.
  7. Shazam! (2019): Experience the fun and lighthearted journey of a young boy who gains the power to transform into a superhero.
  8. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020): Immerse yourself in the colorful and chaotic world of Harley Quinn and her team of female antiheroes.
  9. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020): Travel back to the 1980s with Wonder Woman as she faces new adversaries and tests her commitment to truth and justice.
  10. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021): Experience the definitive cut of the Justice League film, offering an expanded and more cohesive narrative.
  11. The Suicide Squad (2021): Join a new team of supervillains on a dangerous mission packed with action, humor, and high stakes.
  12. The Flash (2022): Explore the concept of the multiverse and witness the return of familiar characters from different timelines.
  13. The Batman (upcoming): Immerse yourself in the dark and detective-focused world of Batman, as a new incarnation of the Caped Crusader takes the spotlight.
  14. Black Adam (upcoming): Brace yourself for an epic clash as Dwayne Johnson brings the powerful antihero Black Adam to life.
  15. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (upcoming): Dive back into the underwater adventures of Arthur Curry as he faces new challenges in the kingdom of Atlantis.
  16. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (upcoming): Revisit the humorous and youthful world of Shazam as he takes on new adversaries and continues his journey.

This recommended viewing order allows for a cohesive storytelling experience, as it follows the chronology of events and character arcs within the DCEU. However, it’s important to note that you can also enjoy the standalone films independently, as they offer self-contained stories that can be watched at any point in your viewing journey.

So grab some popcorn, get comfortable, and embark on an epic adventure through the DC Extended Universe!