One of the greatest strengths about DC’s many live-action movies have been its female characters. At times, these characters form a support network for the hero, helping them in their time of need and providing a reason for the hero to put on their cape and cowl each night. Examples of these characters include Lois Lane, Vicki Vale, and Carol Ferris.
At other times, the women are the ones putting on awesome costumes and helping put the bad guys in their place. Examples of this include Silk Spectre, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn. And while these two groups of women are very different in terms of character, they all share one similar quality: they are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous!
Arguments over which of these captivating female characters is the most beautiful occur each and every day. From teenagers arguing after school to veteran comic fans arguing over long boxes, it seemed like this debate would never end. Fortunately, you no longer have to argue with your friends and family; we’ve compiled a handy list that you can show everybody as rock-solid proof of who is hot enough to make Bane’s fire rise.
Just keep on scrolling to read our guide to the 20 Hottest Women In DC Movies, Ranked!
20. Cara Delevingne
The lovely Cara Delevingne had to play double-duty in the hit movie Suicide Squad. First, we had to buy her performance as June Moon, an archaeologist who uncovers the hidden power of the Enchantress and also falls in love with square-jawed soldier Rick Flag. And when Enchantress takes her over entirely, Delevingne gives another performance entirely as a CGI-augmented baddie who is going to take over the world through a combination of blue energy and bad dancing.
If we’re being honest, the Enchantress was probably the weakest part of Suicide Squad, a movie whose strong character performances often carried it over weak scripts. However, we got almost no time to get to know June Moon or the depth of her relationship with Flag, and as Enchantress, she is buried under weird makeup and weirder dialogue. None of this, though, is enough to hide the otherwordly beauty of Cara Delevingne herself!
19. Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard had to fight the rumor mill almost immediately when she was cast in Dark Knight Rises. She was fresh off of another Christopher Nolan hit, Inception, and fans almost immediately sussed out that she would be playing Talia al Ghul, the devious daughter of Batman’s first true enemy, Ra’s al Ghul. When the movie began, those same fans were surprised to see her as a different character entirely: Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises exec who helps nurture Bruce Wayne even as his world is falling apart.
Her awesome performance carried the late-movie reveal that she really was Talia, the mastermind behind all of the scheming of the villainous Bane. The reveal was impressive in that it surprised both casual fans and those who had been expecting her to be Talia from the beginning of the movie.
The beautiful Mario Cotillard embodies a multitude of roles here, effortlessly transitioning from bossy exec to nurturing girlfriend to scheming villain. Ultimately, she was a femme fatale in the most traditional sense, and we love her for it.
18. Maggie Gyllenhaal
Continuing our theme at the top of the list, Maggie Gyllenhaal was another actor who had multiple duties to attend to when she starred in Dark Knight. First of all, she had to overcome a critical audience, as her character, Rachel Dawes, was previously played by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins. In addition to winning over her haters, Gyllenhaal also had to have great chemistry with both Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart so that we would believe in her intimate relationships with both Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent.
Despite the difficulties set before her, Maggie Gyllenhaal completely owned this role. She was both sexy and smart, often pushing back against the BS she heard from Bruce and Harvey. She embodied the same kind of righteous zeal to fight crime that Batman himself has, and her captivating performance helped us understand that her character’s tragic death meant that neither Bruce nor Harvey would ever be the same.
17. Kim Basinger
For better or for worse, Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie laid the foundation for the modern-day DCEU. While Warner Bros. had previously created a hit Superman movie (followed up by progressively more disappointing sequels), those movies reflected the lightness and hope of Superman himself. By contrast, the Batman movie showed us a gothic fetish world and invited us to fall in love with darkness, which was perfectly embodied by Kim Basinger.
She portrayed Vicki Vale in the movie, and she was a photographer who had fallen in love with the mystery of Batman. Pretty soon, she was caught up in the world of Batman and the Joker, and she enhanced the entire movie: she brought the humanity out of Keaton’s awkward Bruce Wayne and the monster out of Nicholson’s maniacal Joker. For nerds of a certain age, Basinger remains their first superhero movie crush.
16. Kate Bosworth
Superman Returns is a movie that elicits mixed reactions in even the most hardcore Superman fans. At the heart of these mixed reactions is director Bryan Singer’s interesting decision to make the movie a direct sequel to the Richard Donner Superman movies. That meant that the actors involved were not giving their own unique performances so much as they were trying to carry on the legacy of those who came before them. In this case, Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane was very similar to Margot Kidder’s original performance.
To her credit, her performance elevates what might have otherwise felt like a halfhearted retread. Bosworth portrayed a Lois who had lost Superman years ago and learned to move on, going so far as to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning essay about why the world doesn’t actually need Superman. Her bitterness is traced to another big secret: she’s been raising Superman’s son while he was off playing deadbeat dad in space!
15. Karen Fukuhara
To put it mildly, Suicide Squad was a crowded movie. It crammed a few too many bad guys together for everyone to get substantial character development. While we get to learn a lot about Deadshot and Harley Quinn, other characters are reduced to a handful of cool moments. Despite this, Karen Fukuhara’s performance as Katana is as engaging and fascinating as the premise of her character.
Katana’s husband was previously killed by the same blade that she wields. Not just any blade, though—it’s a magical weapon called the Soultaker. She periodically talks to the part of her husband that is permanently trapped in the blade and spends the rest of the time using it to strike down anyone who gets in her way.
14. Nicole Kidman
After the success of the Tim Burton Batman movies, the torch was passed to a new director, Joel Schumacher, for Batman Forever. While Burton’s Batman movies had never been subtle, Schumacher decided to make everything bigger and louder, replacing all subtext with whatever was gaudy and obvious. In many ways, this explains the character of Chase Meridian, played by Nicole Kidman. Her character is a psychologist who is obsessed with Batman, and Bruce Wayne’s love for her is a not-so-subtle representation of his genuine need for some therapy.
Fortunately, Kidman is game for the glittering camp world of Schumacher. She establishes a solid onscreen rapport with Batman, now played by Val Kilmer. And even as she tries to unpack the double life of Batman, we see her own kind of duality in her various interactions: she is a breathy flirt when dealing with Batman, but a seasoned professional when offering therapeutic advice to Bruce Wayne.
13. Amy Adams
While Kate Bosworth had previously had the challenge of channeling Margot Kidder’s performance in Superman Returns, Amy Adams had an entirely different challenge: she had to establish the definitive Lois Lane for Warner Bros.’s DC Extended Universe. Thus, she had to incorporate everything that fans love about Lois Lane in Man of Steel while finding a way to make the performance uniquely her own.
While Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, it was Amy Adams who hit the ground running with this role. In our first glimpse of Lois, she is taking absolutely no crap from gruff military officials as she gets to the bottom of a mysterious project, ultimately discovering Clark Kent and his superpowers.
She ends up being as helpful and supportive of Clark (helping conceal his identity and land him a job) as she is tough and fearless on her assignments (nearly getting killed getting to the bottom of everything), and it’s immediately endearing.
12. Malin Akerman
There are few superhero films quite as divisive as Watchmen. Many fans felt it was impossible to adapt Alan Moore’s classic comics into a movie because we would lose much of the nuance and subtlety. Others felt the work should be turned into a TV adaptation instead, a project that HBO has now started. However, Zach Snyder delivered an ultra-violent, high-energy adaptation with an amazing cast, and none of them were as captivating as Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre.
She represents a character that is caught between multiple worlds. For instance, she tries to balance a normal, retired life with her desire to continue being a superhero like her mother. And she balances her desire for her longtime super-powered beau Dr. Manhattan and the down-to-Earth retired Owlman, Dan Dreiberg. She ultimately inspires Dan to get back in the superhero game, and when audiences see her emerge in her outfit, it’s easy to see why he would follow this beautiful woman to the edges of the planet.
11. Tao Okamoto
Hardcore Superman fans were a bit sad to see how small a role the character of Mercy Graves had in Batman v Superman. She does some world-class sub-villain duties for Lex Luthor in a handful of scenes before being ignominiously killed by Lex when he blows up the Senate committee room and everyone inside it. Despite this relatively small appearance, however, Tao Okamoto’s performance as Mercy Graves is completely awesome!
One of the unfortunate characteristics of Lex Luthor’s onscreen henchman is that they are rarely more than annoying lackeys. Some of the best examples of this are the characters of Otis and Eve Teschmacher in the first Superman movie, and they do little but bumble around and grovel to their boss. By contrast, Okamoto’s Mercy Graves is hyper-proficient and coolly professional, projecting a subtle, layered menace that is far bigger than her tiny frame suggests.
10. Margot Kidder
In many ways, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane blazed the trail that all women in superhero films would follow. Director Richard Donner and many others felt the chief challenge of making a Superman movie was going to be special effects that were good enough to make audiences “believe a man can fly.” However, Margot Kidder had the far greater challenge: she had to portray the kind of woman that an all-powerful alien hero would fall in love with.
And man, does Kidder absolutely kill this role. Her vibrant interactions with the late, great Christopher Reeves set a high bar for all superhero films to follow, as they had an onscreen chemistry that could not be denied. She managed to balance the rebellious strength of a liberated, hard-as-nails reporter with the open mind that is ready to appreciate the sheer wonder of Superman and his powers.
9. Blake Lively
Green Lantern is a movie that almost everybody would rather forget. This is especially true of fans of the character, who saw their favorite series turned into a hot CGI mess. And it’s even true of the actors, with Ryan Reynolds later using his character in Deadpool to mockingly reference his time as DC’s ring-slinging hero. However, there are two words that can sum up why we should all remember this movie: Blake Lively!
Blake Lively portrayed Hal Jordan’s girlfriend Carol Ferris, and she did an absolutely amazing job. She had a crackling chemistry with her now-husband Ryan Reynolds that also tugged at the fourth wall a bit by making fun of classic superhero tropes.
In one unforgettable scene, Hal Jordan shows up to talk to her with his mask on and a Bale-worthy gruff voice. She recognizes him almost immediately, which shocks the hero. She points out that she has known him all of her life and seen him naked, so covering up his cheekbones with a mask hardly conceals his identity.
8. Viola Davis
When people discuss the beautiful women of Suicide Squad, they often focus on Margot Robbie. This is understandable, as the movie goes out of its way to sexualize and fetishize the character of Harley Quinn. However, the powerful force that holds the team together is Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis, and she is as beautiful as she is intimidating.
In fact, Davis embodies her character better than most of the actors on this list. From her very first scenes, we see that Davis imbues her character with quiet menace and unquestioned authority. This continues as she rigs the heads of the Squad to explode if they disobey and later kills her own men simply because they didn’t have the clearance to know the truth of what was happening.
In addition to physical beauty, Davis is captivating because she bows down to no one, including Bruce Wayne; instead, she uses their shared scene to remind him that she knows exactly who he really is.
7. Robin Wright
In many ways, Robin Wright’s performance in Wonder Woman was just as iconic as Gal Gadot’s. The actress who once portrayed The Princess Bride was now a kick-butt general leading an entire island of awesome women. Her character not only played a pivotal role in training the future Wonder Woman in how to fight, but also helped to flesh out the essential paradox at the heart of the Wonder Woman character.
As Wonder Woman discovers in the movie, her path is to help teach the world love as an alternative to war. However, she is also the fiercest warrior in the world, and she must sometimes use her power to help humanity overcome great foes. She learns this from Robin Wright’s character, Antiope, who insists on training Wonder Woman from a young age because the world is full of danger.
In addition to being a great teacher, her character’s fight scenes are unforgettably awesome, showing just how terrifying the Amazons really are. Even with only a touch of screen time, her power, beauty, and wisdom move the audience to tears when she is killed by a German soldier.
6. Katie Holmes
Batman Begins was a movie full of surprising casting decisions. No one knew at the time just how thoroughly Christian Bale would come to embody Batman, nor did we know what a great surprise villain Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul would turn out to be. However, most surprising of all was the casting of Katie Holmes as Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Rachel Dawes.
At the time, Holmes was mostly known for her iconic run on Dawson’s Creek and her whirlwind marriage with Tom Cruise, but she managed to add vitality and creativity to a role that would have otherwise been stale.
Holmes does an awesome job playing the girl next door for Bruce Wayne, allowing him to vividly glimpse the kind of normal life that he has lost. At the same time, she is a great audience surrogate who helps us process the mind and motivations of both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Ultimately, Holmes brought a kind of ethereal beauty to the role, and even though Maggie Gylenhaal did a great job portraying the same character, we still really miss the sight of Katie Holmes in Gotham City.
5. Uma Thurman
Batman & Robin isn’t just a bad movie. Instead, it’s the kind of terrible movie that burns bright like the sun, forcing audiences to look away from its kitschy slapstick lest they go completely blind. The movie is chock full of horrible overacting, questionable wardrobe decisions (bat nipples, anyone?), and an incoherent plot. It would be easy to write this movie off entirely, but it can almost be forgiven for giving us Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy.
She is given the same kind of C-grade dialogue as all of the other characters. However, Thurman takes the wooden dialogue and breathes it to sultry life. Part of her character’s power is that she can put men under her thrall, and watching her traipse about in a skimpy green outfit, it’s easy to believe Uma Thurman has those powers in real life, too.
While she will always be known for meatier roles in movies such as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, Uma Thurman gives this movie the kind of beautiful performance we’d whip out the bat credit card to see again.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer
Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie was a hit, and Warner Bros. knew they would have to up the ante with a sequel. In addition to bringing the strange Penguin villain to grotesque life, the studio decided to have Batman run into his opposite number: the slinky and seductive Catwoman. This meant that Michelle Pfeiffer had to be up to the challenge of portraying both Selina Kyle and the leather-suited Catwoman,
Pfeiffer wasn’t just up for it; she completely made this movie hers. While Dannie DeVito gives a great performance as the Penguin, it’s not a coincidence that what everyone remembers from this movie is Catwoman. The actual character of Selina Kyle is highly underwritten, as she goes from flustered secretary to vengeance-seeking vigilante. None of that matters, though, as her Catwoman was the stuff of a fever dream, complete with all-leather outfit and a bullwhip.
3. Anne Hathaway
The character of Selina Kyle is completely re-envisioned when Dark Knight Rises premiered. She was no longer a flustered secretary but a master thief who robs from the rich and powerful in order to give herself a better life. She’s not exactly Catwoman either, choosing to go buy the name “The Cat.” And she doesn’t have a cat-themed suit anymore, opting instead for a simple mask, a leather uniform, and high-tech goggles that suggest cat ears.
Actress Anne Hathaway brings an amazing amount of depth and pathos to the character. She is basically playing several different roles in one film: Selina and The Cat are not entirely the same people, and she adopts a variety of personas in order to con the wealthy out of their money. And through it all, Hathaway conveys a rough and raw strength: as a character, she goes toe-to-toe with Batman and Bane alike, and as an actor, she acts circles around the leading men.
2. Margot Robbie
As mentioned before, Suicide Squad was a movie that divided comic fans and filmgoers alike. However, almost nobody was divided over Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. The frenetic nature of the movie meant that we got little character development for anyone, instead learning more about the Squad through disjoined flashbacks. However, Robbie’s performance gives us a Harley Quinn who was more textured and complex than any we had seen before.
She is no longer just Joker’s lackey. Instead, she’s a one-woman wrecking crew, able to make an entire crew of security guards nervous when she is not even armed. Not that she needs much help, as she spends most of the movie taking on super-powered monsters using nothing more than a baseball bat.
Along the way, we get a genuine arc for the character, tracing her beginnings as a psychologist through her relationship with The Joker and the longing she feels for the life they can never have. Even when the movie was dim, her performance shone bright enough to build a franchise around!
1. Gal Gadot
When you’re making a list of the strongest and most beautiful women in DC’s many movies, there is no way that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman doesn’t top the list. We first glimpsed her character in Batman v Superman, and while that was another DC movie that had extremely mixed reviews, Gadot’s performance as a fearless and immortal Amazon warrior was the highlight.
And she has proven that her fans will follow her wherever she goes. Her solo Wonder Woman movie managed to set multiple box office records, quickly eclipsing the domestic box office of movies such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. As it turns out, fans cannot get enough of seeing this princess kicking butt and bringing common sense into the patriarchal world.
Wonder Woman combines the very best elements of beauty, strength, grace, and love, and has proven to be a genuinely inspirational superhero whose performance we will talk about for the next hundred years!
Want to see what Wonder Woman and the other sizzling ladies of the DC Extended Universe are up to next? Be sure to check out the premiere of the Justice League movie on November 17th, 2017!
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