The proverbial yin to Marvel’s yang, DC Comics has itself inspired no shortage of classic film adaptations. Long before the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was even a thing, efforts such as 1978’s “Superman” were redefining the entire concept of a comic book movie. In fact, one could make the argument that a number of the best DC films were released prior to or outside of the DCEU, such as Christopher Nolan’s iconic “Dark Knight” trilogy. (Here are all the “Batman” actors ranked from worst to best.)
On a related note, 2002’s “Road to Perdition” and David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence” were both based on DC properties – a fact perhaps not generally known. Meanwhile, recent classics such as 2019’s “The Joker” and 2022’s “The Batman” are not technically considered to be part of the DCEU. As it just so happens, they’re also some of the most beloved DC-based films of the last decade. Does anyone notice a trend here? (These are 20 graphic novels that were made into really good movies.)
To spell it out, it would appear that most of the best DC efforts are the ones that don’t try to take on the MCU directly. The few exceptions would be 2017’s “Wonder Woman” and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” the latter of which may or may not be as good as its devoted fan base would have one believe. Otherwise, the DCEU has consistently struggled to land emotional punches or tell gripping stories without resorting to overwrought melodrama. Compare that to the MCU, which balances comedy and drama while generating genuine pathos for its myriad of characters.
But we digress. After all, is there a Marvel film or even a Marvel-adjacent film held in the same regard as something like “The Dark Knight?” Yin and yang, indeed.
To determine the best DC Movies of all time, 24/7 Tempo created an index of average user ratings on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and average audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, scaled to take into account the varying number of votes across the movies in our database. This combined rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating to obtain each film’s 24/7 Tempo index score. The rankings included all animated and live-action feature films based on DC Comics publications, including DC imprints.
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