Top 5: Worst DC Movies Ever

Sometimes it’s tough being a comic fan. Seeing your favorite hero or heroine get his own movie is a great feeling,  but we’ve all had those times where it hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations. You know the feeling: thirty minutes into the film, you’re in a darkened theatre and the realization hits. Then you’re debating whether to bail or stick it out praying for the finale to save it.

Here’s five movies DC wishes they could re-write history on and forget ever happened.

5. Jonah Hex (2010)

Jonah Hex has experienced a resurgence in comics thanks to the stellar work of Jimmy Palmoitti, Justin Gray and a host of superstar artists, and movie-goers saw the concept as a chance to do a western with some tinges of flashy comics action. But despite a great cast, the 2010 Jonah Hex movie was a steaming pile of cow patties for many reasons. It was a confluence of events from the original directors dropping out before filming to the inane introduction of supernatural and steampunk elements to the story, leading critics and movie-goers to lampoon the movie.

 

4. Steel (1997)

Never hire a basketball player to be the star of a movie. Never hire Judd Nelson as your villain.

 

3. Catwoman (2004)

Halle Berry will forever have a place in comic fans’ minds for her great portrayal of Storm in the X-Men, but she has to share that highlight with the relative black eye she got from her part in 2004’s Catwoman feature. With costumes seemingly borrowed out of a Broadway stage production, the story throws out the history of the character in favor of making the Catwoman moniker a legacy passed down through different women over time.  Berry herself has called it a “piece of shit, god-awful movie,” and she’s right on the money.

 

2. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)

How do you kill one of the biggest superhero movie franchises of all time? This is how. After the original producers sold off rights to the Superman film franchise, a group of penny-pinchers lured Christopher Reeve back into the role with the promise of directing a fifth movie but after this one came out it killed off the franchise for 19 years.

 

1. Batman & Robin (1997)

Warner Brothers and Joel Schumacher should have stopped while they were ahead in Batman Forever, but instead they went back for more. Throwing out the concepts and style set down by Tim Burton, Schumacher and company instead harkened back to the Adam West days and created and Ishtar-scale disaster. Rubber nipples?

 

Comments

  1. Hard to argue with this list. I remember hearing that Brolin was going to be starring as Jonah Hex, thinking “wow, that is really spot-on casting” and being very optimistic (I thought the same thing about Ray Stevenson as the Punisher).

    I actually watched the deleted scenes from Superman IV and, surprisingly enough, it could have been worse.

  2. We’re doing a rewatch of all the Batman films so far in the lead up to Dark Knight Rises (watched the 1966 one the other night – LOVED IT.) Not looking forward to that 4th or 5th movie…but of course, it’s always darkest just before the dawn.

  3. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Wait. Chris. “her great portrayal of Storm in the X-Men”?

    Now, Chris…

    • “You know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.”

    • i was going to point out the exact same thing, only to see that three people have already beaten me to it.

      further evidence: all of halle berry’s awful, awful, awful eulogy for charles xavier in x3.

    • Joss Whedon wrote that awful line.

    • @ResurrectionFlan In his defense, it’s not his fault neither she or Singer had any idea of how to deliver it. That said? Yeah, it’s still not a great line.

  4. Green Lantern is at the door and wants to be let in. Hello? Anybody home….

  5. The heartbreaking thing about Hex is that while Warner Brother’s didn’t have the courage to film a straight forward Western, Paramount (and the Coen Brothers) did and made True Grit. So much lost opportunity!

    • If they were ever, & I mean like it would be a miracle to consider it happening, but if they ever were to reboot it, I would put the Coen Brothers behind the lens. They would make Jonah hex awesome! Even Brolin thought so after the movie tanked.

    • Yeah, Hex was the movie that finally forced home the idea that just because a bad movie has been made, that it doesn’t diminish the quality of the book on the shelf. It does however, I’ve learned, mean you’ll have the same conversation over and over again.

    • It’s actually a shame that Jonah Hex was made first. I think if True Grit came out before Hex was made, then there would have been many changes to make it try and replicate True Grit.

    • @Fett02 Good point. Sadly now, the character has the stink of box office poison on him. On the upside? The movie is easy for a good laugh with friends, then follow up with “But seriously, have you read the comics?”

  6. Its hard to argue this list b/c it really is spot on, but I still can not get over the stench of Green Lantern. I’m not saying its worse than Jonah Hex but if this were a Top 6 GL would be in it for sure.

  7. If you just go by that poster, Clooney looks the most like Batman than anyone who’s played him. but then you remember the rest of the “costume”. And the fact that he didn’t really do any acting in the film. There was no real difference between Batman and Bruce Wayne.

  8. Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

    Superman Redeemed – pretty good fan edit of Superman 3 and 4 into one movie. Gets rid of Pryor and the whole double date thing from part 4.

    Personally, I prefer 4 to 3. Quest for Peace feels like a crappy Bronze Age Superman comic.

    • Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

      And I like crappy Bronze Age Superman!

    • Isn’t 4 the one where Superman fights a dark version of himself. I remember that scene as having some terrific acting by Reeves.

    • Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

      Superman fights a dark version of himself in part 3.
      And he fights a sun creature in part 4.

      The comic book adaptation of part 4 (illustrated by Curt Swan) and some behind-the-scenes photos reveal a whole Bizarro subplot that was cut and is now lost forever.

    • 3 is better than 2 or 1.

      There. I said it.

    • Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

      Wait. So 4 is the best Superman movie?

      haha

      2 and 1 aren’t as good as they used to be, that’s for sure. All of the originals, including Supergirl, are better than the Bryan Singer snoozefest, imo. But someone further up in the comments said that the first season of the George Reeves show is the best live action Superman yet – and I completely agree! Phyllis Coates is the best Lois Lane!

    • Superman 3 is one of my favorite movies ever for so many sentimental reasons. Its so kitschy and cheesy, but also awesome. The scene where the sister gets “Assimilated” by the computer still creeps me out, and everything about it is so fun and stupid. The movie was always on TV when i was growing up (prob cause of Richard Pryor), so i’ve seen it so many times. I don’t know or care if its better than part 1 or 2 but its always a sentimental favorite for me…

    • Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

      Yeah. I don’t really care which is better either, I guess.

      I know that I’m sentimentally attached to 4 and Supergirl, more than to the others. We had the Supergirl tape and my friend had Superman IV on tape – so we’d watch those all the time.

  9. Joel Shumacher apologizes for the film in this behind the scenes documentary about Batman and Robin.

    Very interesting stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF9HJ8YBrAs&feature=related

    • Other than Lost Boys and Falling Down, Shumacher needs to apologize for his entire career. Just watched Blood Creek… I had no idea it was Shumacher until the intro credits… the minute I saw his name I wanted to turn it off… but let it play anyway. It was a mistake. A big mistake.

      Schumacher isn’t as horrible as, say, Uwe Boll… Schumacher just blows on a whole other level.

  10. “…the inane introduction of supernatural and steampunk elements to the story, leading critics and movie-goers to lampoon the movie.”

    Copy and paste this into an overview of Wild Wild West, and you’d still be right on the money. Mechanical spider!

    • I see what you’re getting at and I agree. A Will Smith theme song would have been great for Hex!

  11. If you were going to do a Marvel top 5, how many of the Punisher movies would make the list? You’d also have to qualify it by saying only movies that got theatrical releases — sorry, Dolph Lundgren Punisher, Rodger Corman Fantastic Four, and Matt Salinger Captain America!

    • I think such a list came out around the time of Avengers’ release. Check the site archive.

    • Didn’t see that. I just checked it out. Funny, the three movies that I mentioned made the list. Only one of the movies on the list actually got a theatrical release in US theaters.

  12. I haven’t seen Hex and Catwoman, as I listened to the critics and gave them a wide berth. While I have see the remaining horrors, I don’t think any of them can hold a shitty candle to the Justice League film. I don’t think it ever aired in the States, but over here in the UK we were subjected to it on TV more times than was strictly necessary….Mind you, showing it once is one more than necessary.

  13. Never seen Superman IV or Berry’s Catwoman all the way through. I forgot about Steel, I remember thinking that movie was so cool when it came out (mainly because I had a Reign of the Supermen comic that heavily featured Steel). I tried to watch it a few years ago and couldn’t make it more than 30 minutes into it.

  14. Wade Christian Wade Christian (@capbloggington) says:

    I still find it kind of shocking that they’re using Bane in a Batman movie again, considering how horrible the character’s adaptation was in Batman and Robin. I thought he was kind of ruined forever at that point, from a cinematic standpoint, I mean.

  15. Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

    It’s a little strange to me that Arnold was in a movie featuring Bane and he ended up playing the mad scientist.

  16. Am I the only one with a soft spot for Superman IV?

    • I’d take out Superman IV off the list and dump Superman III in here instead. That movie should be called “Richard Pryor meets Superman” instead.

    • No, you are not the only one.

      Supergirl anyone??

    • I was wondering if Supergirl would make this list. Truthfully, I would dump Steel for Supergirl, only because Supergirl is much more recognizable as a DC Comics movie, while Steel has very little of the comic character behind it besides the character name.

    • i was 6 when superman IV came out. sooo… i loved it!

      and there’s been a lot of dc movies, superman IV and even green lantern isn’t as bad as many of you say. there’s been much, much worse dc films. “stamp day for superman”, “the return of swampthing”, “supergirl”.

  17. wow Rose Colored Glasses much? Halle Berry as Storm is a HIGHLIGHT?! What does that say about the rest of the movie? Do you not remember how terrible she was, her stupid “Lightening Joke”? Storm was always one of the worst parts of those movies.

    Also, Schumacker should have stoped while he was ahead with Batman Forever? He was WAY BEHIND with that movie, not ahead. Atleast Batman and Robin was full on parody, with some funny campy moments. Batman Forever is just straight up awfulness. “Joygasm”.

    • I’ve always thought Halle as Storm was miscast. It should have been someone like Iman, though I suppose she wasn’t the right age.

    • Mickey Mickey (@GeeksOfChrist) says:

      At the time, I thought Nichelle Nichols should’ve been Storm. Regal, elderly, of the old guard.

    • Angela Bassett for Storm. All the way. She could still probably do it if they attempt to make an actual X-Men movie in the next few years.

    • Jim Carrey possibly could have done a great creep Riddler if they hadn’t decided to make him a bad caricature of Frank Gorshin’s Riddler with a little bit of Jervis Tetch thrown in the blender (at least, that’s how I justify the mind-reading/control angle of the movie).

  18. I’m not defending Superman IV or Batman and Robin….

    But they have some campy value to them. Unlike Catwoman. Which is the biggest pile of shit I’ve ever seen be called a super hero movie. It’s appalling on every level.

    Elektra is the Marvel equivalent to Catwoman by the way.

  19. Batman and Robin is one of the worst films ever made. period.

    I would have walked out of it but I was watching it onboard a plane!

  20. I’m surprised Steel is so low on the list.

  21. I’m guessing Return of the Swamp Thing wasn’t mentioned either because no one saw it or remembered it ever existed. You’d be lucky either way.
    Me, I saw it in a theater.

  22. As bad as “Batman and Robin” is – pretty much unwatchable – at least they did a great casting of Bane by getting Jeep Swenson. The fact that Schuhmacher gave him nothing to do can’t be held against him.
    Obviously there is prejudice against Strongman-type actors – even when the role would be perfect for them. “How can they possibly be good actors? Let’s get Tom Hardy instead. He doesn’t look anything like Bane but who cares?”
    I do. Still looking forward to the new movie though.

    • So because that guy looked like Bane, he would be a better choice than Tom Hardy? That’s kinda weak reasoning, ala not liking Emma Stone for Gwen Stacy because she’s not a natural blonde.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Or course, Emma Stone IS a natural blonde, but that’s not the point.

      I dunno. If you look at a movie like BRONSON and someone says that guy’s gonna be Bane…I buy that. And I did.

    • There was that pushback from a few misguided fold about Emma Stone because of that though, right? I’m not imagining that? I know for sure that there was an equally stupid pushback over Amy Adams playing Lois Lane as well.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      True.

    • Hair color is one thing, body type is another…Like casting Angela Basset to play “The Wall”

  23. I’ve made my peace with Batman and Robin. I had to tell myself that without it, we never would have had a reboot, thus no BB, TDK, TDKR. Instead we would have gotten Schumacher’s Batman: Year One that he wanted to do after B&R.
    Plus, some family and I watched it recently but turned it into a drinking game. Shots when Freeze makes a bad pun, a giant naked statue appears, gratuitous body close up, and there might have been others, but I can’t remember. We had to stop taking shots and turn to eating cookies instead, it was just too much.

  24. There are miles and miles and miles between these movies and Green Lantern. While it had its flaws, it doesn’t belong anywhere near this list.

  25. Yeah, I wouldn’t put Green Lantern at No. 6. I think Batman Forever was worse. Green Lantern had flaws, but Batman Forever contained horrible portrayals of Two-Face (as just a generic screaming lunatic) and The Riddler (as simply Movie Jim Carrey in a Riddler costume).

    Also I rewatched Superman Returns recently, and while I really wanted to like it, it did suck. And its problems started with plot choice and the decision to make a sequel to a movie from the ’70s and confuse everyone in the process.

  26. Catwoman is more entertaining than Green Lantern.

  27. I am of the unpopular opinion that “Superman 4” is one of the better movies in the franchise. I put it in the #2 spot, the best, of course, being “Superman: The Movie.”

    It has a LOT of flaws. The villain is lame, and the made up telekinesis powers are corny. But at its heart, the movie is about Superman’s struggle with intervening with human problems. It’s the ONLY movie in the franchise that deals with a real world problem, and not a land grab scheme.

    The highlight of the movie, for me, is when we see Superman address the United Nations. THAT is a great context for Superman, as it’s likely something he would have to do were he to exist. That speech he makes gives me chills every time. He also deals with selling the family farm after both of his parents have passed. Pretty compelling stuff.

    I have a tendency to remember the really good parts of the movie, though. A lot of people remember the terrible goofy stuff between LEx abd his nephew, Lenny, or the cheesy silver finger nails on Nuclear Man. But, he WAS a formidable opponent, and that fight scene on the moon was badass. It also featured a great moment where Superman takes the US flag that had been knocked over in the brawl, and re-plants it firmly into the ground before flying off. That is such a “Superman thing” to do.

    Ok, I’ve said my peace. Let the naysayers begin their assault.

  28. Jonah Hex is my favourite comic book character of all time and I still haven’t seen that movie, nor do I want to.

    But sometimes I relisten to the iFanboy podcast for the film, just for a laugh.

  29. Seeing the list Batman & Robin isn’t that bad. I

    Incredible!

  30. Some random thoughts while reading the article & comments:

    Green Lantern does not belong on this list – inept, yes: puke-inducingly bad, no.
    I simply do not understand the continuing love for the Burton Batman films.
    Catwoman should be at number 1.
    I’ve always thought Superman 2 was much better than Superman.
    I liked Superman Returns a lot more than everybody else, it seems.

    Rant over. Carry on.

    • Tim Burton’s “Batman” was a watershed. In a lot of ways, it did for comics what “Star Wars” did for sci-fi (I would compare “Superman” to “2001” or “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”).

      It established the look, tone, and sound for superhero movies for almost a decade. It was dead serious except for The Joker’s gallows humor and some insane Prince musical set-pieces which frankly I still love wholeheartedly. It’s filled with memorable performances, unforgettable imagery, brilliant production design by the late Anton Furst, and Danny Elfman’s score which, until Hans Zimmer came along, was the template for almost every superhero soundtrack that followed.

      As for “Batman Returns,” it’s wildly imaginative, surreal, tragically beautiful, and again features great performances from the leads. When I was a kid I was turned off a little by its absurdity, but it’s grown on me a lot. Oh and Michelle Pheiffer is brilliant as both Selina Kyle and Catwoman.

      So the reason why people remember them fondly is that in fact they’re pretty damn good.

  31. And Constantine isn’t on the list because the only crime it committed was bad casting?

    • I may be alone here, but I like Constantine. Is it a good Hellblazer movie? Absolutely not. But if you can get past that (and not everyone can) it’s kinda entertaining. It’s got style, and a pretty awesome cast. Reeves is almost never as bad as people like to say he is. It’s just something people think they’re supposed to say.

      I can remember reading that after Dracula, Reeves swore he would never attempt another British accent (probably a good call), and that was part of the reason they made an American Constantine. I can respect that. There’s something to be said for knowing your limits.

    • I’m with WheelHands on Constantine. A good comic book movie? No, a fun ride to watch while it lasts? Sure!

      Same could be said about Avatar, it’s cliché and not good SF, but I bought the blu-ray day 1 and watched it a few times, when you need something pretty to look at and to turn your brain off, it’s ideal! 😉

  32. Superman 4, i remember going to see it full of hope. From the first time you saw him flying up to the Russian space ship it all went. How were the SFX so bad. Also Superman had Brick rejuvenation vision. That was a never mentioned before, don’t know why he never used them again. If he could mend the great wall he could squint and block someone away in an instant prison. Batman and Robin was a crime against everything. Thank God for Nolan, he made it all ok. Can’t argue with this list.

  33. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I still want to see Steel. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

  34. ‘Ishtar-scale’?

    Nice count down, some seriously terrible stuff there

  35. I must be one of like 5 people on the planet that liked Batman and Robin, but that’s probably because I am not such a Bats guy in the first place, and the Adam West Batman was the Batman of my youth. I was always more of a Superman guy (it’s like a Ginger or Mary Ann choice almost.) I would have voted to put Superman Returns on the list. Superkid? Terribly cast Lois? Stabbed by a chunk of kryptonite but then lifts an entire island of kryptonite up up and away… almost as stupid as flying backwards to turn time back… The casting of Lex was about the only thing it had going for it…and the fact that they didn’t even try to replace the already perfect theme music. Hope they note that with this new one…

  36. Why isn’t Waiting for Superman on this list? I sat through the whole film waiting and waiting and wa…