Skip to main content

Like DC’s The Flash? Then watch these great superhero movies

Though it might not be the revolutionary movie for the superhero genre that some were expecting, director Andy Muschietti and DC Studios’ The Flash is a solid, fun adventure and primer for the upcoming DCU that continues the trend of comic book movies playing around with the multiverse concept.

And if fans are still itching to get their sci-fi superhero fix after watching it, there’s a solid catalog of movies to stream. Within the DC Comics corner of the genre, animated gems like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and live-action classics like Batman hold up well. On the other side of the “Big Two,” Marvel’s latest animated blockbuster, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, is another must-watch.

Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as Joker.
Warner Bros.

Among the most relevant movies to The Flash, Tim Burton’s Batman is an excellent complement to DC Studios’ latest blockbuster. Though it’s not exactly reminiscent of the comic book source material — even for the time — it’s a quintessentially Burton take on the Caped Crusader. The director and Michael Keaton’s rendition of the hero effectively revived the Batman brand theatrically, moving on from the goofy campiness of the 1950s and ’60s to a darker version.

Jack Nicholson’s iconic Joker is a major highlight, with his eccentric personality bouncing off the brooding vigilante well. Batman also has all the gothic style and art direction fans of Burton would want and expect. Even after nearly 34 years, it’s still one of the best Batman movies to watch now.

Batman is available to stream now on Max.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

The Flash in promo art for the Flashpoint Paradox.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For a bit more Flash-centric story, the crossover movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is a clear choice after watching the Scarlet Speedster’s (kind of) solo blockbuster. Based on the Flashpoint comic book arc — and the inspiration for The Flash — this animated movie sees the hero nearly ruin the timeline after going back in time to save his mother’s life.

The result is a thrilling semi-Elseworlds tale depicting a dystopian world and alternate versions of classic characters, including Thomas Wayne’s murderous antihero Batman. The animation is smooth and the performances complement a tasteful adaptation of a landmark story. It’s a shame that DC’s animated movies don’t get more recognition, with director Jay Oliva’s epic a highlight.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is available to stream now on Max.

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman aiming his gadget at a henchman in Batman Returns.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Following up on the groundbreaking success of his first effort, Burton got even bolder with 1992’s Batman Returns. While it was controversial at the time due to angry parents surprised at what they saw, the movie was an inventive macabre spin on the Dark Knight’s world. Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito joined the cast for unforgettable versions of Catwoman and Penguin, respectively.

The latter’s take on the Gotham mob boss combined the villain’s general comic book design with a horrific and literal interpretation of his penguin motif. Batman Returns was an inventive pseudo-gothic horror vision of the hero’s world, with the Christmas setting fitting it seamlessly. It was also the last time Batman would thrive in live-action until Christopher Nolan came along, with the disappointments of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin nearly killing it.

Batman Returns is available to stream now on Max.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Cyborg, Flash, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman lined up in ZSJL.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While the now-retired DCEU’s rocky rollout, controversial creative decisions, and studio drama are the collective elephant in the room, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an admirable sendoff. After Batman v Superman and Joss Whedon’s ghost-directed Justice League‘s critical lambasting, this director’s cut more tastefully and cohesively chronicles the team’s face-off against Steppenwolf.

It can admittedly feel a bit self-indulgent with its runtime and pacing, but Zack Snyder’s Justice League arguably succeeds as the first solid live-action Justice League movie. Likewise, it features a touching Cyborg plotline and redeemable Batman, and it’s the next best place in live-action to see the Scarlet Speedster in action.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available to stream now on Max.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse/Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2018/2023)

Miles Morales falls through a multiverse portal in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Sony Pictures Animation

Outside the DC Comics wheelhouse, Sony Animation Pictures and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a fantastic superhero and multiversal-themed crossover movie. Meanwhile, the recently released Across the Spider-Verse builds on its predecessor’s acclaimed foundation.

Both movies are superb showcases of the strengths of animation as a visual medium, and they pay wonderful homage to the aesthetic of the comic book source material. Aside from the striking visuals, though, are a pair of emotionally resonating stories. The coming-of-age theme goes beautifully with the fan service of delving into the myriad of colorful Spider-Verse characters. The Spider-Verse movies are undoubtedly the most topical, but an obvious honorable mention goes to the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is available to stream now on FuboTV, and Across the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters.

DC Studios’ The Flash is now playing in theaters.

Editors' Recommendations

Guillermo Kurten
Freelance Writer, Entertainment
A University of Houston graduate in Print Media Journalism, Guillermo has covered sports entertainment and practically all…
5 superhero movies and TV shows on Max that are perfect to watch in the summer
Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight in red promo art for The Batman.

For the past decade or more, superhero content has been the order of the day, and in that time, few studios have made more of it than Warner Bros. The historical home for characters like Batman and Superman, it has built out quite a roster of great superhero stuff, and much of it is available on Max.

As subscribers likely already know, Max has a roster of great movies and TV shows that have nothing to do with superheroes. Lucky for avid superhero fans, though, it also offers plenty of great stuff that engages directly with the superhero genre.

Read more
8 animated DC films you need to watch now
Batman jumping through the night sky with a lightning bolt next to him in "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns."

DC may have yet to master making live-action films, but it sure knows how to do animation. The House of Batman and Superman has one-upped Marvel by making numerous animated movies over the years, many of which don't get the recognition they deserve.

To put that into perspective, DC has built not one but two cinematic universes following various characters in the past decade. DC fans looking for something better might want to check out these eight animated movies.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020)

Read more
Like Insidious: The Red Door? Then watch these 6 great horror movies just like it
Ty Simpkins stands in a red doorway in Insidious: The Red Door.

The Lambert family embarks on their greatest journey into the Further with Insidious: The Red Door. In the franchise's fifth film, an adult Dalton and his estranged father, Josh, must reconcile and unearth their repressed memories of Further to close the door to the other side once and for all.
Despite premiering with mixed reviews, audiences can agree that Patrick Wilson's directorial debut makes for a touching and terrifying conclusion for the series (for now). To audiences wishing to see more of Daltons and the Further, these five films should present a similar cinema voyage into the supernatural.

Poltergeist (1982)

Read more