12 DC movies coming to Netflix this December — what to stream and what to skip

Robert Pattinson as Batman, in a room filled with images and likely evidence in the film The Batman
(Image credit: Jonathan Olley & © DC Comics; Warner Bros. Entertainment)

When it comes to watching DC superhero movies — commonly known as the DCEU — you typically need to head over to Max. But starting December 1, Max won’t be your only option among the best streaming services to watch Superman, Batman and many other DC Universe characters.

That’s because starting next month 12 DCEU movies will be available to stream on Netflix. There is a notable absence — no Aquaman, which has a sequel arriving in December — but there are quite a few movies here for comic book nerds and casual viewers alike to enjoy. The biggest highlight is probably last year’s The Batman, which was one of my favorite movies last year, but others such as Wonder Woman are also great.

Unfortunately, as with Marvel movies, some of these superhero movies are not worth your time. And unlike Marvel, some of these are truly awful. In fact, one of them is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. So let’s get into what DC movies you need to stream and what DC movies you need to skip once they arrive on Netflix on December 1. 

DC movies on Netflix: Stream these

Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel was Zack Snyder’s first entry into the DCEU. It not only rebooted the Superman character but kicked off what became known as the “Snyderverse,” which culminated with Justice League. Starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, a.k.a Superman, this movie is perfectly fine superhero fare and a solid way to spend a weekend afternoon. I fall much more in line with the audience consensus of 3.9 out of 5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes than the harsher critical consensus.

Watch the trailer 

Wonder Woman (2017) 

While Man of Steel is perfectly adequate, Wonder Woman is actually really good. Starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, this is an enjoyable origin story as well as a solid World War I period piece. Plus, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and his on-screen chemistry with Gadot are worth watching. If you liked Captain America: The First Avenger, you’ll almost certainly like Wonder Woman. 

Shazam! (2019)

If you want something fun to watch from the DC Universe, these next two movies are at the top of the list. But unlike Birds of Prey, Shazam is more appropriate if you’re looking for a family movie night option. Starring Zachary Levi as the adult superhero Shazam and Asher Angel as his 14-year-old alter ego, Shazam is admittedly yet another origin story but it manages a different tone from the rest of the DCEU that’s frankly refreshing.

Watch the trailer 

Birds of Prey (2020) 

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is both an origin story and not all at the same time. We already met Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the Joker’s counterpart in Suicide Squad, but Birds of Prey has her breaking out of her shell and making new friends. It’s fun and wild and has an excellent cast. No, it’s not Citizen Kane, but it’s still worth watching while it’s on Netflix.

Watch the trailer 

The Suicide Squad (2021) 

Don’t confuse this James Gunn-directed DC film with the 2016 offering from David Ayer. if you do, you may regret having watched the wrong movie. Provided you picked the right one though, be warned — this movie is violent. That being said, it’s probably my second favorite movie on this list. And, while technically a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad, you don’t need to have seen the first movie to enjoy this one. 

Watch the trailer

The Batman (2022) 

The Batman was my favorite movie for the first few months of 2022. It’s early Batman but not an origin story, and Robert Pattinson’s dark, brooding portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman manages to be something new compared to other dark, brooding portrayals of Bruce Wayne/Batman. It’s definitely a little too long, but as long as you pause for a bathroom break, you should have a good time. 

DC League of Super-Pets (2022) 

Yes, I saw this movie, and only mostly because it had Keanu Reeves as the voice of Batman. But this animated adventure isn’t about the superheroes of the DC Universe — it’s about their pets. It also features an absolutely unhinged performance by Kate McKinnon as Lulu, an evil hairless guinea pig. I would put this at the bottom of the DC movies you should stream, but it's an enjoyable family-friendly option if you need it.

Watch the trailer 

DC movies on Netflix: Skip these

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 

This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen and I saw Chernobyl Diaries. The story falls flat and the acting is even worse, particularly in the climactic scenes. I’ve heard that the Ultimate Edition that came out later was a bit better, but since this is the theatrical release, you don’t even get that benefit. I implore you to not spend 152 minutes of your life watching this movie.

Watch the trailer 

Suicide Squad (2016) 

Unlike the sequel, the original Suicide Squad is not worth your time. While it seemed like an interesting turn for the DCEU to take prior to its release, once people saw the finished product most were left disappointed, including me. In short, this movie is boring, and the longer version of that opinion is that it's a boring mess. Skip this, and watch the James Gunn-directed sequel instead.

Watch the trailer 

Justice League (2017) 

In another case of a movie that needed a director’s cut to improve it, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a skip for me. I know that some fans liked it, but I side with the critics on this one. It’s too slow at times and yet doesn’t do enough for you to care about what happens to any of its characters. And like with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Netflix is getting the theatrical release, so this isn’t even the better version of what was still a bad movie. 

Wonder Woman: 1984 (2020) 

Wonder Woman: 1984 is nowhere near as bad as the previous three movies we’ve discussed, but it’s honestly the most disappointing of the lot. It fails to live up to the promise of the first movie and even Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s on-screen chemistry falls a bit flat. It’s often slow and boring and the ending doesn’t do enough to make the journey worthwhile. Again, this isn’t an awful movie, but you can still skip it.

Watch the trailer 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) 

Okay, this is the lone movie on this list I haven’t seen, and frankly, it’s because I no longer have the patience for mediocre superhero movies. And from everything I’ve read or been told, Shazam! Fury of the Gods falls firmly in the camp of mediocrity. While it maintains some of the first Shazam movie’s charms most critics describe it as less satisfying than its predecessor. 

Like with Wonder Woman: 1984, I think this movie is a case of a sequel getting lazy and failing to build on the more original and engaging first movie. It’s not bad per se, but it’s not worth your time either. 

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.