Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is about to hit theaters soon! And while DC Comics' film adaptations might not be nearly as vast as Marvel's collection of films, DC actually produced the first massively successful superhero film in Superman (1978). Sure, there were superhero serials shown and the old Adam West Batman film, but Superman was the first film to really take things seriously, or at least mostly seriously. For this list, DC's popular collection of Direct-to-DVD animated films will not be included, with a focus on any theatrically released films, animated or not. Also, I am not a DC hater. The Dark Knight is one of my favorite films ever, and, as always, I have not seen every film.
10: Man of Steel
More or less placing tenth by default, Man of Steel is Zack Snyder's attempt to launch the DC Cinematic Universe. Did he succeed? Well, we will have to wait and find out when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters. But as a film on its own, Man of Steel is a moderately fun action flick with dull, lifeless characters, and cool special effects, even if the wanton destruction is disregarded.
Another Zack Snyder flick, Watchmen is an interesting film. Based on the legendary graphic novel of the same name, Watchmen is a deconstruction of the superhero, and the source material featured deep commentary on the genre, human characters, and an enthralling narrative. On the other hand, the film contains the shell of the fascinating themes contained within the original story. First, I watched the movie and found it to be decent, yet nothing remarkable, although the sexual content was extreme. Then I read the graphic novel and realized just how incredible the story should have been. But on the flipside, Watchmen serves as a visually stunning adaptation of the graphic novel that accurately adapts many of the visual aspect, while leaving the story and characters mostly wooden. Here’s hoping for that miniseries adaptation of Watchmen!
8: Superman II
Due to creative differences, the director of the original Superman film, Richard Donner, left the project and Richard Lester took the helm. Years later, a second cut of the film, titled "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut," was released using a combination of deleted scenes and the original footage. While I have not seen that cut, the original Superman II is still a fun film. General Zod is an entertaining, theatrical villain, and Christopher Reeve is an exceptional Clark Kent/Superman.
While Superman launched superhero films onto the big screen, Tim Burton's Batman effectively proved that the genre wasn't dead after two failed Superman sequels. Michael Keaton also proved that he was more than "Mr. Mom" as he played a competent Bruce Wayne and Batman. But of course, Jack Nicholson stole the show as The Joker in his iconic turn as the character. Certain elements of the film might not hold up today, but Tim Burton's gothic style was the perfect fit to bring Batman back to the masses! And who can forget that iconic Danny Elfman score!
6: Road to Perdition
Did you think all comic book movies had to be about superheroes? Well, Road to Perdition is an Oscar winning mobster film starring Tom Hanks and directed by Sam Mendes, the man behind Skyfall and Spectre. Road to Perdition is ultimately a story of father and son bonding with the backdrop of a 1930s mobster revenge tale. Mendes' cinematography is stunning, and Tom Hanks' performance is reliably exceptional as expected. If you like crime dramas and want to see one of the more unique comic book films, give Road to Perdition a watch.
Are these any of your favorites? Please comment below and let me know!
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