As I understand it, The Flash merges content from both the DCEU and some older movies such as the Michael Keaton Batman movies.

What movies or TV shows should one watch prior to seeing The Flash?

  • 1
    I'm ideally looking for an answer from someone who has actually watched the movie, not just from marketing materials and interviews.
    – ibid
    Jun 14, 2023 at 18:34
  • 10
    I'd advise that you watch Schindler's List and The Shawshank Redemeption before you watch The Flash. Then at least you'll have seen two films that aren't awful.
    – Valorum
    Jun 14, 2023 at 20:03
  • Citizen Kane is highly regarded, Jun 19, 2023 at 3:08
  • I have seen The Flash and I confirm that you do not need to watch any other DC movie before.
    – Stef
    Jun 19, 2023 at 9:02
  • @ClintEastwood - And while that's true, only time will tell whether critics will hold The Flash in such high esteem.
    – Valorum
    Jun 19, 2023 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


The AV Club has recently published an article on this very question.

For what it's worth, these are their suggestions...


  • Batman (1989)
  • Man of Steel (2013)
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) - i.e. "The Snyder cut"

For the completist:

  • Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Extra credit:

  • Back To The Future (1985)
  • An Evening With Kevin Smith (2002) - I think this is in relation to a specific cameo in The Flash, based on an unmade project of the late 1990s, which is discussed here

Although if you're going to count Back to the Future as a prerequisite, I guess you could also watch Birdman (2014), since it provides some meta-commentary on Michael Keaton playing Batman again!

  • 3
    I think one is better off just watching Birdman and ignoring all the rest, Flash itself in particular ;>
    – Mithoron
    Jun 15, 2023 at 14:01
  • The original Batman for sure, but Man of Steel? Ugh. Jun 15, 2023 at 21:11
  • I'm quite puzzled about the last two. Perhaps I'll have to have a look at the article for the reasons.
    – Clockwork
    Jun 18, 2023 at 12:03
  • I found it quite funny when Michael Keaton played the Vulture in Spider-Man, only three years after Birdman; and now he's back to play Batman, it was even more fun recognising him.
    – Stef
    Jun 19, 2023 at 9:06

I watched the movie a couple days ago. You don't need to see any other movies before this one. That being said, I basically agree with JayFor's answer. The Flash is a continuation of the story from Justice League, but the plot is not dependent on that movie or any others. It does feature characters and events from other DC movies:

  • Batman (1989)
  • Batman & Robin

  • Man of Steel
  • Justice League
  • Aquaman

  • Wonder Woman

The Flash does in fact contain a reference to Back to the Future. The only thing you need to know about BttF is that it starred Michael J. Fox. I've never seen An Evening with Kevin Smith, but I believe I know which scene in The Flash referenced it.

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