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How to watch DC movies in order

The Flash, Wonder Woman, Batman, Cyborg and Aquaman in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which has an odd place in the DC movies in order
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Watching the DC movies in order is as easier than leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. And while most of them stick in their same place, giving you no need to stream them faster than a speeding bullet or live in your personal Bat-Cave watching them all out of fear they'll be taken, one has flown the coop. And while we just got the Black Adam trailer, there's no idea what point that movie is set in the DECU, just that it's going to mostly take place in modern times.

While most of the DCEU movies with Batman, Superman, Wonder Man and the rest can currently found in the same location (HBO Max), sometimes things change and they're not all there. It's not as easy as watching the Marvel movies in order, which is a breeze thanks to Disney Plus. At least the upcoming The Flash movie will eventually head to HBO Max after playing in theaters first. 

Watching DC movies in release order is a pretty straightforward process, but things get a bit more complicated if you want to see them in chronological order. 

Latest DC Movies news (updated June 15)

• The first Black Adam trailer is here!
Joker teased for The Batman 2.
• Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash have been pushed to 2023.

For this guide, we're focusing on the DC Extended Universe movies, which began with 2013's Man of Steel. But there are a ton of prior films adapted from DC Comics, beginning in 1951 with Superman and the Mole Men. So, this list does not include any of those titles, nor recent movies like 2019's Joker with Joaquin Phoenix or The Batman with Robert Pattinson. 

DC and its sibling studio Warner Bros. have been making various Batman and Superman movies for decades, but the DCEU is the first shared cinematic universe spanning multiple superhero characters. 

DC movies in order — release order

As of January 2022, there are 11 DC movies that take place in the extended universe. 

The lead characters include Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Zachary Levi as Shazam and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Here are the DC movies in release order, along with where you can find them streaming online.

1. Man of Steel (2013)
Cast: Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Russell Crowe as Jor-El
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman in Man of Steel, the first DC movie in order of release

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Cast: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

3. Suicide Squad (2016)
Cast: Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

4. Wonder Woman (2017)
Cast: Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope and David Thewlis as Ares
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman, the fourth DC movie in order of release

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

5. Justice League (2017)
Cast: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

6. Aquaman (2018)
Cast: Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

7. Shazam! (2019)
Cast: Zachary Levi as Shazam, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Silvana, Jack Dylan as Freddy Freeman and Djimon Hounsou as Shazam
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

8. Birds of Prey (2020)
Cast: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Dinah Lance/Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz and Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis / Black Mask:
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Margot Robie, Ella Jay Basco and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Birds of Prey, the eighth DC movie in order of release

(Image credit: Claudette Barius)

9. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Cast: Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as General Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

10. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lanee, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab) (along with the black and white "Justice Is Gray" edition)

11. The Suicide Squad (2021)
Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi
Streaming on HBO Max (opens in new tab)

DC movies in order — sorted by chronological events

If you want to watch the DC movies in chronological order, you'll find it's very different than the release order. You start with ...

1. Wonder Woman
Set mostly 1918 during World War I; flashbacks to ancient era of the gods

2. Wonder Woman 1984
Set in 1984; prologue during indeterminate time period on the island of Themyscira

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 1984 the second DC movie in order of chronology

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

3. Man of Steel
Set circa 2013; prologue on Krypton about 20 years prior; flashbacks to Clark Kent's childhood in Smallville

4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Set circa 2015, about 18 months after Man of Steel; flashbacks to Bruce Wayne's childhood in 1981; flashforwards to post-apocalyptic Earth

Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice, the fourth DC movie in order of story

(Image credit: Warner Bro.)

5. Suicide Squad
Set circa 2016, about a year after Batman v Superman; flashbacks to events pre-Man of Steel 

6a. Justice League
Set circa 2017, about two years after Batman v Superman and a year after Suicide Squad; flashback of Steppenwolf's takeover attempt thousands of years prior

6b. Zack Snyder's Justice League
Director's cut and alternate version of the film

7. Aquaman
Set circa 2017, several months after Justice League; flashbacks to 1985 and Arthur Curry's childhood

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman in a poster for Aquaman, the seventh DC movie in order of story

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

8. Shazam!
Set during Christmas 2018; flashback to 1974 of Thaddeus Sivana's origin story

9. Birds of Prey
Set circa 2020, about four years after Suicide Squad

10. The Suicide Squad
Set in 2021, confirmed by director James Gunn.

DC movies in order: Coming soon

Here are the next few DCEU movies hitting theaters. Check out our full list of upcoming DC movies for more:

Black Adam (October 21, 2022)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Cast: Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodg as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Marwan Kenzari

The Flash (Nov. 4, 2022)
Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Sasha Calle as Supergirl

Aquaman 2 (Dec. 16, 2022)
Director: TBD
Cast: Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (June 2, 2023)
Director: TBD
Cast: Zachary Levi as Shazam, Michelle Borth as Mary Marvel

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.