Top 10 Best Batman Movies of All Time

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For a long time, Batman has secured his position as one of the most popular superheroes of all time. The epic stories about his adventures and self-discoveries ... read more...

  1. The Dark Knight is a definitive Caped Crusader film, and a foregone conclusion for the top spot. Indeed, Christopher Nolan's sequel to Batman Begins marked a significant leap forward in creative ambition. Gotham feels and looks considerably different in this masterpiece - most of its outside shots clearly depict Chicago - prompting several parallel comparisons to renowned crime movies like Heat. Nolan capitalizes on this inspiration to produce a superhero film unlike any other.


    DA Harvey Dent (played by Aaron Eckhart) tackled Gotham's long-lasting criminal element in The Dark Knight. However, Heath Ledger's Joker arrives - an enigmatic and deadly person who upends Gotham's established underworld. He regards Batman (by Christian Bale) as his deranged equal.


    The Joker's assault on Gotham is not just about wreaking havoc; it is also about him establishing a point about the city's residents. Bale is probably the film's third lead, behind Eckhart and Ledger. The film boasts one of the finest automobile chase scenes ever shot.


    Release year: 2018

    Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger

    IMDB Score: 9.1/10

    Source: Polygon
    Source: Polygon
    Source: GQ
    Source: GQ

  2. To some Batman fans, it is weird to separate the finest two movies in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy in this list. However, if any movie should earn the second spot, it is definitely Matt Reeves' first portrayal of DC's legendary vigilante - and with good reasons. The Batman (starring Robert Pattinson) is a meticulously paced noir film that mainly emphasizes the character's investigative aspect. With a near three-hour duration, it's a slower burn than previous Batman movies. Yet, it's no less fascinating, dramatic, and scary than those released before.


    All of the elements that make a successful Batman film are present here: a grimy Gotham, morally dubious people, a gripping narrative, as well as plenty of class A action. What actually distinguishes The Batman as a fantastic work, however, is the method in which it is presented, as well as the unique analysis of the film's colorful cast of characters.


    Batman and the Riddler are developed in ways that very few (if any) other live-action or animated films have done. Meanwhile, Catwoman Selina Kyle also has unique character arcs. If it weren't for The Dark Knight, The Batman would undoubtedly be at the top of this list.


    Release year: 2022

    Stars: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz

    IMDB Score: 8.7/10

    Source: Batman-News.com
    Source: Batman-News.com
    Source: Variety
    Source: Variety
  3. Christopher Nolan's final Batman film is wildly inconsistent. Its first act is fantastic, leading to a terrible moment in which Bane (Tom Hardy) broke Batman's spine as he seized control of Gotham City. Bane comes across as a genuine (though nonsensical) danger, while an outmatched Bruce Wayne is clearly out of depth.


    Sadly, The Dark Knight Rises just gets weirder from there. In Gotham, we get lengthy, tedious scenes in which Bane waits months for a bomb to detonate, while Bruce Wayne's injured spine is cured by a guy hitting him in the back as he hangs from a rope. Also, it’s such a pity that you only saw one film with Selina Kyle (by Anne Hathaway), since she makes an excellent contrast against Bruce, and their chemistry is fantastic.


    Although Nolan did not conclude the trilogy as powerfully as we would have hoped, The Dark Knight Rises still remains the third greatest Batman film.


    Release year: 2012

    Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway

    IMDB Score: 8.4/10

    Source: Letterboxd
    Source: Letterboxd
    Source: WIRED
    Source: WIRED
  4. After the failure of “Batman and Robin”, the famous DC hero remained on the backburner for a few years. Many creators approached the character with lots of fresh ideas; and Christopher Nolan - the mastermind behind gloomy crime movies such as Memento and Insomnia - emerged victorious. He brought about a stripped-down take on Batman that drew inspiration from classic graphic books such as Batman: Year One.


    This is not new information. However, it's worth noting how revolutionary Batman Begins was at the time. It handled superhero fiction seriously, without detracting from the character's pleasure and universe - a mistake that other grim comic book films usually do.


    Batman Begins is diametrically opposed to Nolan's two subsequent Dark Knight films. It is structurally similar to Nolan's Memento and The Prestige, as it incorporates flashbacks throughout the narrative. In terms of tone, it's really closer to the comic books – notably in its third act of Gotham sequences – than the other two films of the Dark Knight Trilogy. All in all, this is still the best origin tale for Batman on the silver screen.


    Release year: 2005

    Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    IMDB Score: 8.3/10

    Source: IMDB
    Source: IMDB
    Source: IMDB
    Source: IMDB
  5. Fans of the original "Batman" TV series will undoubtedly like Batman (1966), which includes most of the story’s core characters. Batman (by Adam West) and Robin (by Burt Ward) team up for the first time in a feature-length film, embarking on their quests to take down some of Gotham's most powerful villains. These baddies are the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), and the Joker (Cesar Romero). The movie was released after the conclusion of the show’s first season. It served to promote the show while satiating fans' appetites during the hiatus.


    While Batman (1966) is entertaining and filled with funny moments - like the notorious shark assault on Batman - it is mostly just rehashed material from the television program. There is no genuine narrative and no meaningful repercussions for the antagonists, who would return in season 2 and 3 of the TV series without facing any penalties for their actions in the film. Also, Meriwether, who replaced Julie Newmar, was the weakest Catwoman on-screen, which doesn't help improve things.


    Release year: 1966

    Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward

    IMDB Score: 7.6/10

    Source: Letterboxd
    Source: Letterboxd
    Source: IGN
    Source: IGN
  6. Prior to this 1989 masterpiece, the Batman character was struggling a little bit against the popular series Adam West, which had thrown a huge shadow over him. Even though comics like The Dark Knight Returns have made some impacts, it was quite clear at the time that Batman’s number 1 spot as the most beloved hero was in danger. He reclaimed his throne when Batman (1989) was launched.


    Although Batman (1989) brought about an unfamiliar change in the visual aesthetic of Dark Knight brand (the Gotham City was created by production design expert Anton Furst) it is still a highly enjoyable film. Director Tim Burton was clearly in love with the 1960s comic books, but he still wanted to produce something new and different.


    Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne is a charming but quirky millionaire. Meanwhile, the Joker, as portrayed by the magnificent Jack Nicholson, is hysterically theatrical. Keaton matches Nicholson's quiet portrayal, despite the latter's obvious star power at the time. Hence, it is no surprise that fans still enjoy Keaton's Batman decades later. This 1989 film launched a wave of “Batmanmania” years later, cementing the Dark Knight's status as one of Hollywood's most significant fictional characters.


    Release year: 1989

    Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson

    IMDB Score: 7.5/10

    Source: Tunefind
    Source: Tunefind
    Source: Digital Arts
    Source: Digital Arts
  7. If there is one lesson to be learned from Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton's artistically successful Batman pictures, it is that these movies are at their finest when filmmakers are given the freedom to imbue the character with their own tone. This also applies to Batman comics - not every interpretation must be the same; what matters is that it excites the viewer.


    That is why Batman Returns arrives at number seven. It's half a Batman villains film and half a Tim Burton gloomy fairy tale. The backgrounds of Catwoman and the Penguin are more akin to Edward Scissorhands’ style than a true comic book adaptation - which is precisely what makes this masterpiece so brilliant. The adversaries completely dominate the film, though, led by Devito's Oswald Cooblepot and Michelle Pfeiffer's Selina Kyle. Keaton’s Batman ended up being the third lead.


    Batman Returns brilliantly conveys the notion that the hero's greatest adversaries are always underdogs of some kind. However, at the time, this movie was criticized for being too dark, which resulted in two substandard sequels that shamelessly pandered to the younger demographic.


    Release year: 1992

    Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny Devito

    IMDB Score: 7.1/10

    Source: IMDB
    Source: IMDB
    Source: WBUR
    Source: WBUR
  8. Snyder's second DC film (not including Watchmen) has its supporters. But there are also a sizable number of haters as well. That very much sums up the general reaction to Snyder's superhero films - it is polarized between a group of fans who obviously connect with his interpretation of these characters, and others who dismiss it outright.


    It's difficult to say that Batman v Superman is a good film, regardless of how you look at it. Yes, the film's pivotal moment – when Bruce Wayne chooses not to murder Superman after discovering they both share a mother named Martha - has been heavily criticized multiple times by critics. It is such a feeble, unconvincing climax in an excessively lengthy film, that it brings down the last act entirely.


    Nonetheless, there is plenty to admire here: Ben Affleck is an excellent Batman, Jesse Eisenberg is a memorable Lex Luthor, and the cinematography is visually stunning. All in all, Batman v Superman is mainly fragmented; however, the “Ultimate Edition”, which was released sometime later, did extend Henry Cavill's screen time and filled up a few story gaps. Still, when compared to most of the other films on this list, it's difficult to claim that Batman v Superman is nearly as exciting.


    Release year: 2016

    Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill

    IMDB Score: 6.5/10

    Source: Observer
    Source: Observer
    Source: Screen Rant
    Source: Screen Rant
  9. Joel Schumacher's first Batman film got rid of the fairytale-infused heinousness of Batman Returns. Instead, it opted for a more traditional type of 1990s blockbuster. All in all, It's not that terrible, even if Batman (by Kilmer) is lifeless and Dick Grayson (portrayed by Chris O'Donnell) is a bland addition. This is because Tommy Lee Jones (as Two-Face) and Jim Carrey as the Riddler provide pantomime-style performances that make Batman Forever rather enjoyable to watch.


    The weak connections in Batman Forever do not just end with Kilmer and O'Donnell. Dr Chase Meridian (by Nicole Kidman) exudes big CD-ROM game vitality but contributes nothing to the picture. Batman Forever is not terrific in general, but it narrowly avoids being the campy mess that "Batman and Robin" is. Apart from that, can we really hold a grudge against the film that brought us the famous song 'Kiss From A Rose' performed by Seal?


    Release year: 1995

    Stars: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey

    IMDB Score: 5.4/10

    Source: Forbes
    Source: Forbes
    Source: Batman on Film
    Source: Batman on Film
  10. Batman and Robin does seem like it would turn out well in theory: George Clooney took on the role of Bruce Wayne, before he established himself as a red-hot respectable performer a few years later. Alicia Silverstone played Batgirl following her stellar performances in Clueless. Lastly, Uma Thurman and the megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger also made an appearance. This should be a formula for success.


    Unfortunately, the movie has the tone of a poor Power Rangers episode. The end result is a hot mess plainly intended to market goods and toys to children. Apart from the jokes and memes about the nips on Batman and Robin outfits, this whole film is as dull as a Batman narrative could get, clocking up at an absurdly lengthy 125 minutes. Even 90 minutes would have been too much. How could Tim Burton's original concept of Gotham become this horrible in just 8 years?


    Nonetheless, without this bad film, you'd almost certainly never have seen Christopher Nolan's interpretation of the character. Thus, maybe we should express gratitude to Schumacher.


    Release year: 1997

    Stars: George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger

    IMDB Score: 3.7/10

    Source: The Verge
    Source: The Verge
    Source: Screen Rant
    Source: Screen Rant



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