A week after its release in theaters, the debate over Justice League is still raging. From the troubled production to the final Frankenstein mess of the theatrical cut, Justice League has, unfortunately, continued the divisive tradition of DC Extended Universe films.
While we all discuss and argue about Justice League's merits and shortcomings, there is another debate that inevitably needs to be had, as is now custom with every new superhero movie universe release: How does this latest installment compare to the rest of the franchise?
Using our own Comicbook.com Composite Scores as a guideline, Here are all the DCEU movies ranked worst to best:
Composite Score: 56.13 / 100
No surprise, the bottom of the list is occupied by Suicide Squad, the DCEU film that fans generally agree was a big misfire. While there were some standout characters (Harley Quinn, Deadshot), the storyline and villain were complete messes, while the highly-anticipated DCEU version of The Joker was a letdown, and the third act climax was one of the worst we've seen.
Composite Score: 62.98 / 100
Justice League went through a troubled production that saw skepticism and doubt hanging over it before it ever had a chance to release in theaters. In the end, the film has suffered a lot of backlash for the way it "butchers" Zack Snyder's vision and tries to infuse the movie with a lighter Joss Whedon tone; neither filmmaker is bad at their respective interpretations, it's just an uneven mixing styles. As such, Justice League hasn't fared much better with general audiences and critics than BvS, and has actually managed to alienate a lot of the DCEU die-hards that enjoyed BvS, landing in a proverbial middleground of pleasing almost no one, while trying to please everyone. That's why Justice League holds the esteemed dishonor of being the lowest-earning DCEU movie on opening weekend.
Composite Score: 67.61/100
This is where we lose favor with quite a few readers: yes, we're ranking Batman v Superman higher than Justice League. Both films suffer from the same plight: massive studio interference that resulted in a hacked up version of what Zack Snyder intended. However, we know have the Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition out in the world, which gives us a complete look at Snyder's vision for the film.
We've already broken down why Snyder's director's cut Batman v Superman is a much smarter film than it gets credit for; considering the socio-political turns in the world since the movie's release, Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio now seem even more insightful and intelligent with the story they tried to tell. Too bad it wasn't more "fun" about predicting how dark the world would get....
Composite Score: 67.94 / 100
Zack Snyder's modern vision of Superman was a bold departure from any version of Superman the world had known before, and back in 2013, the world wasn't entirely ready for it. Yet, since its incredibly divisive beginning, Man of Steel has managed to stand the test of time like a fine wine. Once fans experienced Batman v Superman, Man of Steel suddenly looked better by comparison. And now that we've had a chance to see what Snyder intended from his entire DCEU trilogy, Man of Steel earns extra points for being a strong foundation for the larger DCEU to come.
Composite Score: 84.36 / 100
No surprise that the record-breaking critical and box office hit Wonder Woman is also the top-ranking movie in the entire DCEU. Aside from getting the most universal love of any film in the franchise, Wonder Woman was a superhero film that actually inspired viewers in a way that many compared to Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. That alone is a feat that no other DCEU movie can hope to claim.
Justice League is now in theaters; Aquaman arrives on December 21, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Wonder Woman 2 on November 1st, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.