Movies Like 'Black Adam' to Watch Next

Catch up on some modern classic antihero films after you check out 'Black Adam.'
by Taylor Freitas — 

Dwayne Johnson in 'Black Adam'


Based on the DC Comics character, Dwayne Johnson's superhero — or rather, antihero — debut, Black Adam, hit theaters this weekend. In it, Johnson plays a reborn version of Black Adam (actual name: Teth-Adam), who died in the fictional country of Kahndaq and was later re-born with god-like powers.

However, after abusing his powers, Adam was sentenced to 5,000 years of imprisonment. Now free, he's ready to return to present-day Kahndaq and avenge the deaths of his son and his enslaved countrymen. But unfortunately for Adam, his awakening attracts the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a prominent figure in the U.S. government, who orders a team to apprehend him.

Known as the Justice Society of America (or JSA), this superhero team consists of Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). The JSA tries to negotiate a peaceful surrender with Adam, but he refuses and is left to decide whether he'll use his powers for good or evil.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam marks an interesting departure for Johnson, who's earned a reputation for playing the "good guy" in previous films. If you enjoy these darker antihero-type characters, then you should find plenty to love on the following list of movies like Black Adam.

Each film on our list centers around a complex, multi-faceted character with charms and flaws. Like Black Adam, several of the picks come from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), but there are also Marvel antiheroes and non-superhero movies as well.

Here, Metacritic offers 10 movies like Black Adam to check out next, ranked by Metascore.


Tom Hardy in 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Mad Max: Fury Road

Metascore: 90
Best for: Fans of fast-paced action flicks complete with stunning visuals
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 120 minutes

Like Black Adam, the antihero in George Miller's 2015 film (Tom Hardy's Max Rockatansky) has a tragic backstory that includes the loss of his close family. Now, Max must fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where resources are scarce, and the threat of death is constant. With few remaining options, Max reluctantly teams up with the fiercely powerful Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who's on the run from the villainous warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Together, they lead a group of Joe's formerly enslaved wives across the desert in search of a safe place to call home.

"Miller orchestrates the rubber-burning pandemonium with the illicit smirk of someone who knows he's giving us exactly what we want." — Eric Henderson, Slant


Clint Eastwood in 'Dirty Harry'

Warner Bros. Pictures

Dirty Harry 

Metascore: 87
Best for: Fans of harrowing and violent dramas about corrupt cops
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Runtime: 102 minutes

Released in 1971, Dirty Harry is the classic cop thriller about Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), a San Francisco detective who plays by his own rules. The film — and the other four movies in the Dirty Harry franchise — depicts Harry's tense encounters with some of the city's most ruthless criminals, including snipers and bank robbers. Unfortunately for these crooks, Harry isn't afraid to turn their violent tactics back on them – and he often does. Both Johnson and Collet-Serra have drawn parallels between Harry and Black Adam, with the director even calling Johnson's character "the Dirty Harry of superheroes."

"As suspense craftsmanship, the picture is trim, brutal and exciting." — Pauline Kael, The New Yorker


Heath Ledger in 'The Dark Knight'

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight 

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of dark and gritty superhero movies
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Runtime: 152 minutes

Christian Bale plays billionaire Bruce Wayne — also known as Batman, the caped crusader who frequently crosses the line between vigilante and antihero — in Christopher Nolan's 2008 action-drama The Dark Knight. As Gotham descends into chaos at the hands of the Joker (Heath Ledger), Batman steps into action, teaming up with some of the city's most influential figures, including Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). After some back and forth, it starts to seem that Batman and his allies have foiled the Joker's devious plans, but of course things take a deadly turn.

"Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times


Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in 'Logan'

20th Century Fox


Metascore: 77 
Best for: Fans of X-Men films and surprisingly sentimental superhero stories
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Runtime: 137 minutes

Another movie based on a comic book character, 2017's Logan is the final film in Marvel's Wolverine trilogy. In it, Hugh Jackman plays an older version of his antihero titular character, who has been assigned to care for aging X-Men founder Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). One day, Logan agrees to help a mutant girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) find refuge across the country. In the process, he notices that her powers are quite similar to his — revealing a surprising connection between the pair.

"It broods and growls, lashes out and swears, and Jackman is magnificent at every one of those." — Roger Moore, Movie Nation


Margot Robbie in 'The Suicide Squad'

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Suicide Squad 

Metascore: 72 
Best for: Fans of comic book adaptations with a twisted sense of humor
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Runtime: 132 minutes

Like Black Adam, DC Comics' The Suicide Squad throws the saves-the-day superhero trope out the window, replacing it with dark characters who don't shy away from violence. Written and directed by James Gunn and released in 2021, the movie revolves around a group of imprisoned supervillains who agree to work with the U.S. government in exchange for an early release. With their lives on the line, the squad is sent to a remote island in enemy territory as part of the mysterious Task Force X program overseen by intelligence agent Waller — who also appears in Black Adam.

"A showcase for what can happen when a superhero movie is allowed to be sprightly, self-aware, and sardonic while also indulging in hard-R violence, gore, and language." — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap


Zachary Levi in 'Shazam!'

Warner Bros. Pictures


Metascore: 71 
Best for: Fans of superhero comedies with a feel-good message
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Runtime: 132 minutes

Directed by David F. Sandberg, this 2019 action comedy tells the story of 14-year-old orphan Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who can morph into an adult superhero named Shazam (Zachary Levi) — just by saying the superhero's name. But as Billy explores his new powers, he attracts the attention of Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), a villain who has been on a decades-long quest to gain Shazam's powers for himself. According to Johnson, there were talks of Black Adam appearing in Shazam!, but he wanted the characters to receive their own origin films (although he is open to an eventual crossover).

"Shazam! is sensitive, imaginative and funny, with a good story and a smart premise." — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle


Keanu Reeves in 'John Wick'


John Wick 

Metascore: 68 
Best for: Fans of vengeance-fueled action thrillers
Where to watch:

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Runtime: 101 minutes

At a basic level, both John Wick and Black Adam follow a similar premise: a man seeks revenge after the deaths of his family members. Keanu Reeves plays the eponymous antihero in 2014's John Wick, the story of an ex-hitman who returns to his former career to hunt down the people who stole his vintage car and killed his dog (a gift from his late wife). With nothing left to lose, John infiltrates New York's criminal underworld, coming face-to-face with some of the most dangerous criminals in the Russian mafia, who have put a bounty on his head. This is just the first in a franchise.

"If you can stomach the setup, then the rest is pure revenge-movie gold, as Reeves reminds what a compelling action star he can be." — Peter Debruge, Variety



20th Century Fox


Metascore: 65 
Best for: Fans of black comedy and quirky superhero origin stories
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Runtime: 108 minutes

Based on the Marvel Comics character, 2016's Deadpool follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), a former Special Forces operative who's the victim of an experimental medical procedure gone wrong. As a result, he ends up scarred and disfigured but also develops ultra-fast healing abilities and a crude sense of humor, prompting him to wear a mask and superhero-style costume and adopt a new antihero alter ego called Deadpool. Reynolds debuted the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009, seven years before Deadpool premiered. Since then, the franchise has added a sequel (Deadpool 2), with a third movie on the way.

"If only Deadpool were as clever, dark and funny as it believes itself to be." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


'V for Vendetta'

Warner Bros. Pictures

V for Vendetta 

Metascore: 62 
Best for: Fans of politically driven action thrillers with a hint of science fiction
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Runtime: 132 minutes

Inspired by the DC Comics series from the 1980s, V for Vendetta takes place in a futuristic version of Great Britain, which is now ruled by a fascist regime. The 2006 movie follows a young woman named Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman), who is the only living member of her family after her parents died in prison. She finds herself at the mercy of the brutal police force until she's rescued by a mysterious masked man named "V" (Hugo Weaving). Evey soon joins V on his mission, and the pair fight boldly in the face of almost-certain death.

"It's the strangest comic-book superhero movie you're likely to see this year." — William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer



Warner Bros. Pictures


Metascore: 56 
Best for: Fans of '80s comic books and gloomy superhero stories
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Runtime: 162 minutes

If you prefer dark and dreary-looking superhero movies (like Black Adam), there's a good chance that you'll enjoy 2009's Watchmen. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film exists in an alternate reality where superheroes are a normal part of American life — until a new federal law makes vigilantism illegal. It's not long before one of these former crime fighters is murdered, which inspires another ex-superhero, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), to investigate the circumstances around his former colleague's death. What he uncovers is a deeply troubling conspiracy with potentially dire implications.

"Watchmen is neither desecratory disaster nor total triumph." — J. Hoberman, The Village Voice