10 Worst Scenes In DC’s Best Movies

Summary

  • Even the greatest DC movies have a comparatively weak scene.
  • Many DC movies have reached immense critical acclaim, changing the perception of superhero cinema.
  • However, even these feature some lackluster delivery, anticlimactic scenes, or clunky exposition,

The DC Universe boasts some of the most successful comic book movies ever made, but even these movies featured some comparatively less favorable scenes. The DCU is littered with incredible, groundbreaking movies, from the early days of Superman to the critically acclaimed blockbuster epics of the DCEU timeline. However, even these revered examples have weak points, whether it’s through flat performances, awkward moments, or anticlimactic scenes that somewhat tarnish an otherwise perfect reputation.

The very best DCU movies are a mix of nuanced character portrayals and nail-biting action. Though some of these have proven themselves divisive, they have each been celebrated for leaving an indelible mark on the superhero genre. Even the very worst scenes in these movies are perhaps not as awful as some other infamous DCU moments, but they struggle to match the rest of the movie.

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10 The Catwoman Epilogue

Batman Returns

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The worst scene in Batman Returns is undoubtedly the epilogue where Catwoman is revealed to be alive, looking up at the Bat-Signal illuminated against the moonlit sky. This scene undermines the ambiguity of the previous climactic moments, where Selina Kyle’s fate was left uncertain after her confrontation with Max Shreck. The uncertainty lent a poignant and haunting quality to her character arc, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions about her ultimate fate.

By resurrecting Catwoman in the epilogue, Batman Returns weakened its ending. This epilogue was added to Batman Returns to tease a potential Catwoman movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer, a project that sadly never materialized despite Pfeiffer’s captivating performance that had enthralled audiences. The unfulfilled promise of a Pfeiffer-led Catwoman film, which could have been an amazing exploration of one of DC’s most complex antiheroes, makes this epilogue even more frustrating.

Batman Returns Movie Poster Batman Returns PG-13 Where to Watch

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Batman Returns sees the return of Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne after his victory over the Joker. This time, the Dark Knight faces a new threat in the form of The Penguin, an outcast who wants revenge on Gotham City. Featuring Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman, and Christopher Walken as Max Schreck, Batman Returns is Tim Burton’s second and final movie based on the iconic DC comics character.

Director Tim Burton Release Date June 19, 1992 Runtime 126minutes

9 The Dress Shopping Scene

Wonder Woman

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In an otherwise powerful and inspiring film, the shopping scene in Wonder Woman stands out as a misstep. Amid the riveting action sequences and poignant character moments, this scene feels out of place and unnecessary. Taking place after Diana and Steve Trevor arrive in London, the scene drags as it shows Diana trying on various outfits to blend in with early 20th-century society. While it aims to provide some comic relief and highlight Diana’s unfamiliarity with the world outside Themyscira, the execution falls flat.

With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the detour into lighthearted wardrobe trials seems trivial and out of sync with the film’s overall tone. It fails to contribute significantly to character development or plot progression, rendering it mostly pointless. Given Wonder Woman’s strength, this scene feels like an unnecessary filler, detracting from the momentum built up by the preceding and subsequent scenes.

Wonder Woman Comic-Con Poster Wonder Woman PG-13 Where to Watch

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Wonder Woman is the first film in DC’s series focusing on Diana Prince. Gal Gadot reprises her role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and, this time, must stop the villainous Ares with the help of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). The film received generally positive reviews upon release and was followed by Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020. 

Director Patty Jenkins Release Date June 2, 2017 Runtime 141 Mins

8 The Thinker Dies

The Suicide Squad

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James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is a standout film in the DCU. However, the Thinker’s death scene felt extremely anticlimactic. The Thinker is a fascinating and sinister villain, whose intelligence and manipulation skills add a unique dynamic to the narrative. The Thinker’s death occurs during the climactic battle at Jotunheim, where he meets his end at the hands of Starro the Conqueror.

Instead of a memorable showdown or a clever twist befitting his character, the Thinker is unceremoniously killed, almost as an afterthought. This abrupt and unimpressive ending is disappointing, given the build-up of his character throughout The Suicide Squad. It lacks the dramatic weight and impact that a villain of his caliber deserves. In a movie known for its bold and unexpected moments, the Thinker’s death stands out as a missed opportunity, undermining what could have been a more satisfying resolution for the character.

The-Suicide-Squad-Movie-Poster-1 The Suicide Squad R Where to Watch

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James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad acts as a soft reboot for David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is again recruiting a group of superheroes for a dangerous mission, this time pairing Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Savant (Michael Rooker), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), and Javelin (Flula Borg).

Director James Gunn Release Date August 5, 2021 Runtime 132 minutes

7 “Let’s Get Nuts!”

Batman

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Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) remains a seminal film in the superhero genre blemished by the infamous “Let’s get nuts!” scene. In this scene, Bruce Wayne confronts the Joker in Vicki Vale’s apartment, delivering the now-infamous line with a sudden burst of manic energy. This moment feels clunky and out of character for the typically composed Bruce Wayne, making the scene more cringe-worthy than compelling.

The abrupt shift in tone disrupts the scene’s tension, leaving audiences bewildered rather than impressed. The scene was intended to tease the idea that the Joker killed Batman’s parents, but it just became distracting, rendering it more of an oddity than a pivotal moment. The scene has gained notoriety over the years and was referenced when Michael Keaton reprised his role as Batman in The Flash. Regardless, it stands out as a rare misstep in an otherwise excellent movie.

Batman 1989 Poster Batman (1989) PG-13 Where to Watch

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Batman is a 1989 superhero movie directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne. The film features Jack Nicholson’s chilling portrayal as Jack Napier, who turns into the Joker and reigns terror on Gotham. Kim Basinger also stars in the film as Vicki Vale, along with Michael Gough as Bruce’s trusty butler named Alfred.

Director Tim Burton Release Date June 23, 1989 Runtime 126 Minutes

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6 Turning Back Time

Superman (1978)

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Superman (1978) is a groundbreaking film that set the standard for superhero movies, with Christopher Reeve’s iconic portrayal of the Man of Steel. The film’s ending, on the other hand, where Superman flies around the Earth to reverse time and save Lois Lane, stands out as a major flaw. This scene, intended to showcase Superman’s love and desperation, instead comes off as ridiculous and scientifically implausible. The concept of reversing time by altering the planet’s rotation defies even the most basic understanding of physics, stretching the suspension of disbelief too far.

This deus ex machina solution feels lazy and undermines the film’s carefully built narrative tension. Rather than relying on Superman’s strength, intelligence, or other abilities, the film opts for an easy fix that lacks coherence within its established universe. Despite its intent to deliver an emotionally charged climax, this ending detracts from Superman’s overall impact.

Superman 1978 Poster Superman PG Where to Watch

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Richard Donner’s Superman brought DC’s Man of Steel to the big screen, making millions believe that a man could fly. Christopher Reeves plays Clark Kent, the alter-ego of Kal-El, the famous alien orphan sent to Earth as his home planet is destoryed. Raised in Smallville, Kansas by Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark grows up and must balance his life as a Daily Planet journalist with his superhero duties, as villainous mastermind Lex Luthor threatens both him and millions of US citizens.

Director Richard Donner Release Date December 13, 1978 Runtime 127 Mins

5 The Joker Flashforward

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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The Knightmare scene at the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League had the potential to be an intriguing and powerful glimpse into a dystopian future, setting the stage for future conflicts. This post-apocalyptic vision, featuring Batman in an uneasy alliance with Jared Leto’s Joker, was intended to heighten the film’s dramatic tension and expand its narrative scope. However, the scene is marred by the Joker’s cringe-worthy “reach around” joke, which significantly undermines its impact.

Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker has always been polarizing, but in this particular scene, his attempt at dark humor falls flat. The “reach around” joke feels out of place and inappropriately timed, breaking the serious and tense atmosphere that the Knightmare sequence aims to create. Instead of contributing to the menacing and unpredictable nature of the Joker, it comes off as forced and juvenile, diminishing the overall gravitas of the moment.

ZackSnydersJusticeLeague Movie Poster Zack Snyder’s Justice League PG-13 Where to Watch

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Director Zack Snyder’s initial vision for Justice League follows Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as they battle to prevent the forces of New God Steppenwolf from conquering Earth. The Snyder cut of the film differs significantly from the theatrically released original, including numerous additional story elements and sequences that were later cut from the film. 

Director Zack Snyder Release Date March 18, 2021 Runtime 242 Minutes

4 Training With Ra’s Al Ghul

Batman Begins

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Batman Begins revitalized the Batman franchise with its gritty realism and compelling origin story. Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman and the movie’s intricate narrative earned it notable acclaim. However, the training sequence featuring Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul is perhaps the film’s weakest point. The training sequence is crucial to the narrative in Batman Begins, as it shapes Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman.

It is meant to be intense and enlightening, revealing the philosophies and skills that define the Caped Crusader. Unfortunately, Neeson’s portrayal of Ra’s al Ghul lacks the charisma and gravitas expected from such a pivotal character. His delivery is often flat, failing to convey the depth and complexity of a mentor who profoundly influenced Bruce Wayne’s path. This lackluster performance diminishes the impact of the training scenes, making them less engaging and memorable compared to the rest of Batman Begins.

Batman Begins Flying Poster Batman Begins PG-13 Where to Watch

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Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman’s origin story sees Christian Bale take up the mantle of the Caped Crusader. Batman Begins follows young Bruce Wayne who, reeling from the murder of his wealthy parents, decides to become a vigilante in order to save Gotham City. This pits him against the mysterious League of Shadows, an organization intent on destroying Gotham with the help of the villainous Scarecrow and his powerful fear toxin.  

Director Christopher Nolan Release Date June 15, 2005 Runtime 140 Minutes

3 Meeting Bruce Wayne

Joker (2019)

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Todd Phillip’s Joker is a haunting and intense character study, with Joaquin Phoenix delivering a tour-de-force performance as Arthur Fleck. The scene where Arthur meets a young Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, feels a bit pointless. This encounter, taking place at Wayne Manor, is mostly unnecessary to the plot, detracting from the film’s otherwise tightly woven narrative. It serves no essential purpose in Arthur’s journey or the development of his character.

Instead, it feels like a contrived attempt to tie the Joker’s story more directly to Batman, which ultimately weakens the film’s standalone strength. Moreover, this interaction undermines the scene where Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered during the Joker riots. The scene was less surprising and compelling after the Wayne Manor scene, and the ending would have been more shocking if it had been omitted.

Joker Movie Poster Joker (2019) R Where to Watch

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Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker is an origin story for Batman’s most iconic villain. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a down-on-his-luck clown who is trying to become a successful stand-up comedian. When things don’t go according to plan, and Arthur feels Gotham is oppressing him and others with mental illness, Arthur sparks a violent revolution within the city.

Release Date October 2, 2019 Runtime 122 minutes

2 Talia’s Death Scene

The Dark Knight Rises

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The Dark Knight Rises is a strong conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and is the most financially successful Batman movie ever. Talia al Ghul’s death, on the other hand, is a notable low point. After the grandeur and complexity of her schemes, Talia’s quick and anticlimactic demise feels jarring and unsatisfying. Talia is revealed as the mastermind behind Bane’s plan, inheriting her father’s vision for Gotham’s destruction. Her character is built up throughout the film, making her sudden and unceremonious death feel incongruous.

Talia’s final moments in The Dark Knight Rises, where she slumps awkwardly in the driver’s seat, come off as unintentionally silly rather than poignant or dramatic. The reaction shot of Batman, Catwoman, and Commissioner Gordon witnessing her death adds to the awkwardness. Their expressions are meant to convey shock and relief but appear almost comedically mismatched with the gravity of the situation.

The Dark Knight Rises Poster The Dark Knight Rises 13+ Where to Watch

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The Dark Knight Rises is the final chapter in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, with Christian Bale donning the cape and cowl once more to save Gotham City from certain destruction. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Batman has left the public eye after taking the fall for the crimes committed by a twisted Harvey Dent. However, he is called back into action when a mysterious villain named Bane arrives to bring disorder to Gotham, forcing him to confront deeper, darker recesses of his past to be able to face a challenge he may not be ready for.

Director Christopher Nolan Release Date August 16, 2012 Runtime 2h 45m

1 The Boat Scene

The Dark Knight

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The Dark Knight is widely regarded as a masterpiece of superhero cinema, anchored by Heath Ledger’s mesmerizing performance as the Joker. The boat scene, where the Joker has planted bombs on two ferries filled with civilians and prisoners, stands out as a slightly ineffective moment in an otherwise flawless film. Compared to the Joker’s earlier acts of chaos and psychological warfare, the boat scene lacks the same level of tension and dramatic payoff.

The moral dilemma presented to the passengers of both boats – whether to detonate the other boat to save themselves – ultimately resolves in a somewhat predictable and anticlimactic manner. While it explores themes of human nature and moral choices, it pales in comparison to the intensity and unpredictability of the Joker’s earlier schemes. Despite this, The Dark Knight remains a landmark achievement in filmmaking, delivering an unforgettable cinematic experience and the best DC movie ever.

The Dark Knight Poster The Dark Knight PG-13 Where to Watch

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Christian Bale once again embodies the man behind the mask in The Dark Knight, reuniting Bale with Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman has been making headway against local crime—until a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker unleashes a fresh reign of chaos across Gotham City. To stop this devious new menace—Batman’s most personal and vicious enemy yet—he will have to use every high-tech weapon in his arsenal and confront his beliefs if he hopes to stand a chance against the Clown Prince of Crime.

Director Christopher Nolan Release Date July 18, 2008 Runtime 152 Minutes

Upcoming DC Movies

Release Date

Joker: Folie à Deux

October 4, 2024

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July 11, 2025

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June 26, 2026

The Batman – Part II

October 2, 2026

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