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Top 10 DC Comics Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Ian Astraquillo. These are the best of the best that stemmed from the pages of the DC Universe. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 DC Comics movies. For this list, we’ve chosen a mix of big-screen blockbuster adaptations, full-length animated features, as well as direct-to-video releases that are under the DC banner. We’ve also excluded narratives that don’t center on superheroes, vigilantes, or protagonists with supernatural abilities, so as much as we love films like “Road to Perdition” and “A History of Violence,” they won’t be seen on this list. Special thanks to our users Luis Abreu, sarahjessicaparkerth and EThantv for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Ian Astraquillo.

Top 10 DC Comics Movies


These are the best of the best that stemmed from the pages of the DC Universe. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 DC Comics films.

For this list, we’ve chosen a mix of big-screen blockbuster adaptations, full-length animated features, as well as direct-to-video releases that are under the DC banner. We’ve also excluded narratives that don’t center on superheroes, vigilantes, or protagonists with supernatural abilities, so as much as we love films like “Road to Perdition” and “A History of Violence,” they won’t be seen on this list.

#10: “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” (1993)

In this animated mystery flick based on the classic ‘90s animated series, the Dark Knight is mistaken for a much darker vigilante who has begun systematically murdering Gotham’s criminal giants one at a time. While pursuing this grim and mysterious figure, the neo-noir film also serves up a meshed B-plot and origin story centered on Bruce Wayne’s rekindling of a lost relationship that compelled him to become the caped crusader.

#9: “Superman” (1978)

We all believed that a man could fly with the first full-length release featuring the Man of Steel. Directed by the celebrated Richard Donner, the film traces the life of the Kryptonian refugee from infancy, showcasing his growth and development as the young-adult Clark Kent to the Daily Planet reporter/superhero whose first big trial is to halt a nuclear plot concocted by none-other than his archenemy, Lex Luthor.

#8: “Batman Returns” (1992)

In this dark sequel to Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation, an underground gang-leader abandoned in the sewers as a child known as The Penguin arises under the guise of a hero wishing to reinvent himself as Gotham’s mayor. During his campaign, he devises a plan with the equally deceptive Catwoman to have Gotham’s citizens turn against Batman. However, when his plan fails and the Dark Knight reveals his true nature, the coldblooded Penguin plots a darker revenge scheme to bring the city to an explosive end with the help of the flightless birds that raised him.

#7: “Watchmen” (2009)

In this adaptation of the celebrated graphic novel, Zack Snyder utilizes his slow-motion signature to capture the tensions and turmoil of an alternate history set at the peak of the Cold War. Mostly faithful to its source material, the crime action film shadows a group of former vigilantes resurfacing to investigate the mysterious murder of one of their own while simultaneously attempting to prevent nuclear war. Loaded with brutal visuals, it is one of the few comic-book adaptations to receive an R-rating – not that the story was targeting children to begin with.

#6: “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)

In the epic conclusion of the Christopher Nolan series, the Dark Knight rises from an eight-year absence after Gotham’s peacetime is threatened with the emergence of the brutal and highly intelligent Bane. Successor to the same mentor as Batman, Bane’s mission is to spread the same citywide chaos brought-about by Ra’s al Ghul in the first film, before bringing it to a cataclysmic halt. Loaded with themes challenging society’s boundaries, the film takes many of its moral cues from its predecessors, making it an equally potent and thought-provoking curtain call.

#5: “V for Vendetta” (2006)

In this adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, James McTeigue makes his directorial debut by diving into a dystopian UK where an oppressive government has executed brutal and condemning tactics to maintain absolute power. In one of the rare instances where we get to see him play the hero – albeit arguably - Hugo Weaving gives a brilliant performance as the cunning, strategic, and anonymous V: a freedom fighter attempting to initiate a revolution with some brutal tactics of his own.

#4: “Batman Begins” (2005)

In this reboot that introduced Christopher Nolan to broader audiences, we follow his retelling of a troubled fortune-heir who overcomes his fears and dark memories to become his city’s feared and dark protectorate. In “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne is trained and later pitted against a syndicate of assassins whose ideas of justice conflict greatly with his own. With themes of terror and principle, it is the first of the Batman films to contain darker visuals and mature tones, targeting audiences above and beyond comic-book fan boys.

#3: “Superman II” (1980)

In this sequel to the 1978 phenomenon, Superman returns to face a trio of foes native to his destroyed home planet of Krypton. After being freed from the Phantom Zone space prison, the Kryptonian criminals General Zod, Ursa, and Non garner superhuman capabilities granted to them by the sun. This leads the trio to form an alliance with the Man of Steel’s archenemy with intentions of becoming God-like rulers of Earth, where everyone, including the son of Jor-El, is to kneel before Zod!

#2: “Batman” (1989)

In what started the initial film series for the franchise, Tim Burton showcases his classic dark and fantastic visuals by entering the streets of Gotham with the help of the original Michael-Keaton-Batman and the comically maniacal Jack-Nicholson-Joker. Serving as a stepping-stone for the DC Universe, the film also re-launched Hollywood’s faith in the superhero narrative as a bankable genre, spawning new television shows, full-length animated features, and more live-action blockbusters.

Before we unveil our pick for the best DC film, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” (2012-13)
- “Red” (2010)
- “Man of Steel” (2013)
- “Justice League: Doom” (2012)

#1: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

Taking top honors is the mind-bending second installment of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. In what is dubbed as one of cinema’s greatest sequels, Batman continues the fight against Gotham’s biggest crime lords, who are pushed to join forces with a more menacing and sociopathic depiction of his archenemy, brilliantly captured by the late Heath Ledger. With themes of identity and morality attached, the crime thriller makes the same leap of faith jumped by its predecessor with its deviation from the youth-targeted source material. The result is one of the greatest superhero films ever made.

Do you agree with our list? Which DC Comics film do you think is the best? For more super top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com!
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