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Movie Reviews

10 Best DC Animated Movies, Ranked By Letterboxd

Warner Bros. Animation has been releasing DC animated films for decades now with no clear sign of slowing down. Having already released two films this year, a third Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons is on the immediate horizon. Three more films will be released in 2023 as well.

Many of these films have been standalone while others have connected to their shared universes such as the DC Animated Movie Universe and the current Tomorrowverse. Many Letterboxd users are fans of these films and have made it known which ones they think are the best.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War was one of the few R-rated outings for the DC animated movies. This one specifically had the task of ending the current continuity known as the DCAMU. The film focuses heavily on Constantine and his efforts to recruit heroes to stop Darkseid who had invaded the Earth and defeated the Earth’s heroes many years prior.

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Some on Letterboxd talk about how it tries too hard to be edgy in the way it brutally murders many heroes. Users who had been following the series of movies also found it to be a premature ending to a world they grew to love. But many love the film for how dark it is. Talks of excellent action scenes and how it’s almost exactly what fans had been asking for populate the reviews.

Many times, DC chose to adapt a comic into two parts to do true justice to the comic it’s based on. Batman: The Long Halloween introduces audiences to the Batman of the Tomorrowverse, this time voiced by Jensen Ackles. A holiday murderer is on the loose in Gotham and Batman has to figure out who it is before he claims any more victims.

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Batman: The Long Halloween – Part 1 adapts the first half of the seminal Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale comic series and most users felt it did it well. The new art style of the Tomorrowverse creates a fun atmosphere for this story, which Letterboxd users found to be refreshing.

The second part of the two-part adaptation sees Bruce get tricked by Poison I vy which takes Batman out of the game for a while. This opens the door for Harvey Dent to descend further into his Two-Face persona. While Batman is able to break free of Poison Ivy’s control, thanks to Catwoman, the damage done to Gotham is irreparable and things only get worse before they get better.

Seen as a whole, both films work well together and can operate as one long movie. Although the second film is considered to be slightly better despite having the same Letterboxd score as its predecessor. The voice acting from Josh Duhamel is cited as a standout in this part and there’s a post-credits that left people excited about the future of the Tomorrowverse.

The first and, so far, only Batman Beyond film brought back Batman’s most dangerous enemy, the Joker. The Joker has taken control of a small group of Jokerz, a gang that was inspired by the clown prince of crime, and is making them steal high-end tech for some nefarious purpose. Bruce claims that Joker can’t be alive because Batman was there when the Joker died.

Even by the standards of the DCAU, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is a dark film. Letterboxd users have noted how well the film uses Tim Drake’s role to speak to the very nature of childhood trauma and how it can haunt you for the rest of your life. Many feel the movie fires on all cylinders with excellent voice acting and a reveal that is still spoken of to this day.

Mr. Freeze became a stand-out villain for Batman: The Animated Series so it was only natural that he should get the second tie-in film. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero sees Freeze kidnap Barbara Gordon, so he can use her organs to help save Nora Fries’ life. Batman and Robin have to find them in order to save Barbara’s life.

Mr. Freeze’s popularity in the series helps this movie a lot. Letterboxd fans site him as a standout due to how the series reinvented him. The very image of Mr. Freeze walking into a bar with two polar bears in tow is brought up many times as an iconic shot in the film. The film is probably not for Batgirl fans, but it’s a must-watch for Mr. Freeze fans.

Batman: Under the Red Hood sees Batman haunted by the death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker. A new vigilante arrives in Gotham and Batman and Nightwing try to figure out who he is and what he’s trying to do. The Red Hood is trying to clean up crime in Gotham by controlling it and proving Batman has the wrong idea about stopping crime.

The story of Jason Todd’s return from the dead is a classic in Batman’s history and it’s frankly amazing that this movie does it justice. Fans have nothing but praise for Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd and John DiMaggio as the Joker. To many fans, this is one of the best Batman movies ever made.

In order to properly adapt Frank Miller’s seminal Batman story, the decision was made to make it a two-part adaptation. Now a retired hero, Bruce Wayne decides he can’t sit back any longer and becomes Batman once more. A young girl named Carrie Kelly joins him as his new Robin, and together they work to take down the mutant gangs that have plagued the city.

Frank Miller’s work is one of the more revered works in all of DC comics. While there are some on Letterboxd that found this adaptation a bit bland, most find this to be a faithful adaptation that keeps the brutality and depth of the original. Peter Weller shines as an older Bruce Wayne, but sadly he does outshine the rest of the cast.

The comic book event “Flashpoint” has become a default for Warner’s when it comes to deciding to reboot a universe. Barry Allen, the Flash, tries to save his mother from dying at the hands of the Reverse Flash and in doing so breaks the universe. He teams up with Thomas Wayne, the Flashpoint Batman, to try and find a way to fix the universe. Eventually, he manages to do just that and finds himself in a new universe, dubbed the DCAMU.

Something that Letterboxd users love about Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is its brutality. Fans felt the movie effectively adapted the dark and horrible Flashpoint timeline. Some of the deaths are even ranked as the best in the DCAMU. Many also talk about the great animation and solid voice cast that helps the film to be considered one of the best almost 10 years later.

When a new masked vigilante begins stalking the streets of Gotham, Batman is mistaken for this Phantasm. Bruce Wayne also has to deal with an old flame from his past. Batman has to solve a mystery that connects all the way back to his first year as Batman while on the run for the murder of various crime bosses.

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One specific Letterboxd user talks about how Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is probably the best Batman film ever made. The film often surprises fans with how deep and emotional the storytelling is. Fans of this movie won’t stop pointing out how the film elevates the show it’s based on through its animation and voice acting.

After Batman and Robin stopped the Mutant threat, a foe from Batman’s past returns in the form of the Joker. The Joker is very happy to see Batman return, so he enacts a plan that would set horrible things in motion. Joker kills himself and makes it look like Batman did, which makes Batman a wanted man. The government tells Superman to bring him in.

While Peter Weller overshadowed the voice actors in the first film, that’s not the case with the second. Between Superman and Joker, Letterboxd fans were happy that the voice cast became more rounded. Many noticed the animation improves in this film and that the fight between Superman and Batman delivers everything fans wanted.

NEXT: The 10 Most Powerful Characters In Batman: The Animated Series

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