Batman

Batman Movies Ranked From Worst to The Best (1966-2019)

After I recently compiled a list of the best movies about Superman, a colleague tells me that he finds it problematic that we don’t have the same list about Batman. As I love Batman more than Superman, I realized the hint and so on – here we are with a list of the best Batman movies ranked.

The Dark Knight, as Batman’s most commonly nicknamed, first appeared in Detective Comics # 27 (March / May 1939), as an idea by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. In 2019 we marked the 80th birthday of The Dark Knight, whose stories revolutionized comic art in many ways and pushed it forward, with one of the epochal editions being the cult comic The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller from 1986, which was even screened. in the form of an excellent, two-part animated film. Batman has often pushed boundaries in his stories and over the course of 80 years has offered us some of the stories that the comic book world will remember forever.

Real name Bruce Wayne, Batman is a superhero alter ego of a billionaire from Gotham City, who protects his hometown from various criminals at night. His story was marked by the mysterious murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, which he witnessed as a boy and after he was raised by a faithful family butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

After he grew up, Bruce Wayne decided to become Batman, inspired by the traumatic experience with bats he had as a boy, convinced that criminals are a “superstitious, cowardly scum” who will fear not only Batman, but what Batman represents, and Batman’s martial arts. Although his opponents were initially “ordinary” criminals, over time a series of supervillains has emerged who are today probably the most recognizable comic book villains in the world.

Batman’s Rogues Gallery thus includes names like Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Ra’s al-Ghul, Bane, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and others, all of which are names that are, more or less, familiar to those who are not avid fans of comics. With the help of James Gordon and extended members of Batman’s family (Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman,…), Batman actively acts as a masked vigilante in Gotham, which he seeks to save from the chaos that constantly threatens it.

As he became popular very early on, Batman, like Superman, received his film and television adaptations, both in feature and animated form. Like Superman, Batman received two “films” in the 1940s made up of about 15 shorter films – Batman (1943) and Batman and Robin (1949) – starring Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowery.

In 1966, Batman: The Movie appeared in theaters, which was the accompanying film to the then hugely popular camp series about the Dark Knight, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Given the cultural significance of that series, it is with this film that we will begin our list, and we will end with one animated adaptation from 2019. But, unlike Superman, whose list contained only feature films and one spin-off, the list of Batman films will, in order to get a larger number of titles, also include some animated films, ie it will contain all those Batman films that are from From 1966 to 2019, they went to the cinema.

This means that there will be no animated direct-to-video works and no films in which Batman only had a cameo performance (like Suicide Squad). Nor will we include that unofficial experimental film Batman Dracula made in 1964 by Andy Warhol. As in Superman’s case, the basic criterion for ranking will be the quality of the film itself, and then the use of Batman’s character, its consistency with (then) comic iterations, and the historical significance of the film itself. Enjoy another top list!

15. Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman & Robin - Batman Movies Ranked

Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Screenplay: Akiva Goldsman
Composer: Elliot Goldenthal
Starring: George Clooney (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Chris O’Donnell (Dick Grayson / Robin), Alicia Silverstone (Barbara Pennyworth / Batgirl), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze), Uma Thurman (Pamela Isley / Poison) Ivy), Robert Swenson (Antonio Diego / Bane), Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth), Pat Hingle (James Gordon)

Rating: 2/10
Explanation: True, most of Schumacher’s films look like they were made by someone on a harder trip, but this crap from the film must have been created by someone pushing Schumacher into an LSD canister, so some of the ideas in this film sounded good. Aside from the fact that the whole scenery looks like a neon swamp, aside from the fact that Clooney for some bizarre reason has nipples on his suit (???), but the whole premise of this film is so stupid that I think even a gardener who happened to watch two episodes of Teen Titans Go! could write a better screenplay.

They say superhero movies are as good as their villains – with Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze, compared to Conan Barbarin, looking like a doctor of science from Harvard, and the somewhat interesting Poison Ivy – Batman & Robin remain not only embarrassing, but also an adaptation that must be buried somewhere deep and forgotten, and saved from one star rating only by Uma Thurman .

14. Batman Forever (1995)

Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Screenplay: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman
Composer: Elliot Goldenthal
Starring: Val Kilmer (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Chris O’Donnell (Dick Grayson / Robin), Jim Carrey (Edward Nygma / Riddler), Tommy Lee Jones (Harvey Dent / Two-Face), Nicole Kidman (Chase Meridian), Pat Hingle (James Gordon), Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth)

Rating: 5/10
Explanation: This film managed to keep just enough Burton not to be a complete disaster, but it still had too many Schumacher to be anything more than one watchable work. Val Kilmer wasn’t a drastically bad replacement for Keaton as Clooney was, and O’Donnell was even a pleasant surprise as Robin.

However, an overly campy style, a significant departure from Burton’s vision that defined Batman in the ’90s, and rather confusing the scenario with Two-Face and Riddler as caricatures of the villains led to Batman Forever being one significant step backward in the development of Batman films.

13. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Directed by: Mike Mitchell
Screenplay: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh
Starring: Chris Pratt (Emmet Brickowski, Rex Dangervest), Will Arnett (Batman), Elizabeth Banks (Lucy), Charlie Day (Benny), Tiffany Haddish (Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi)

Rating: 5.5 / 10
Explanation: While this rating has absolutely nothing to do with the true quality of this film, the fact that we couldn’t avoid the LEGO version of Batman on this list led to such a drastic downgrade. Although the second part of the extremely successful film about LEGO characters was extremely high quality and subversive, the Batman character was very poorly realized, even when one takes the (auto) ironic context of LEGO films.

Compared to the character presented in the LEGO Movie and the LEGO Batman movie, this Batman is unrecognizable. It lost its charm and became a completely vague version of itself which, admittedly, figured in the context of the broader message of the film itself, but in the top list of the best versions of the Dark Knight in the film it ranks only thirteenth with a very low rating.

12. Justice League (2017)

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
Composer: Danny Elfman
Starring: Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry / Aquaman), Ezra Miller (Barry Allen / The Flash), Ray Fisher (Victor Stone / Cyborg), Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf)

Rating: 6/10
Explanation: Everything we said about this film on Superman’s list, we could repeat here so we won’t copy the content. This film, destroyed by Whedon, actually turned out to be very confusing, which affected all the characters, including Batman. On the other hand, Affleck did a great job, but the attempt to add humor to his character, although somewhat effective, is not consistent with modern comic book adaptations, nor Snyder’s original idea, which is why this interpretation took a very low place on this list.

11. The Lego Movie (2014)

Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Screenplay: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh
Starring: Chris Pratt (Emmet Brickowski), Will Arnett (Batman), Elizabeth Banks (Lucy), Charlie Day (Benny), Will Ferrell (Lord Business), Morgan Freeman (Vitruvius), Liam Neeson (Bad Cop / Good Cop)

Rating: 7.5 / 10
Explanation: When the film first came out, I openly said that LEGO Film is an indescribably subversive masterpiece of contemporary animation that will surely go down in the history of animated film. Years later, I still stand by my opinion, but his positioning in such a “bad” place on our list does not mean that he does not deserve a clean ten (or, at least, nine), but that he is simply not such a good film about Batman. Why? Because it’s not a Batman movie, it’s an Emmett movie.

Batman, whose voice was masterfully lent by Will Arnett, was the scene-stealer of this film and it is absolutely commendable how Lord and Miller defined it in the context of this universe, but it was only the beginning of LEGO Batman as a character and, in that context, cannot measure with some other movies from this list.

10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Tom Hardy (Bane), Anne Hathaway (Selina Kyle / Catwoman), Gary Oldman (James Gordon), Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate / Talia al-Ghul), Joseph Gordon Levitt ( Robin John Blake), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox)

Rating: 7.5 / 10
Explanation: While Nolan’s trilogy as a whole is flawless and the best superhero trilogy of all time, The Dark Knight Rises is nonetheless the weakest part of that trilogy. Technically superior again and with a few extremely strong aspects, the last part of Nolan’s trilogy was much more conventional than its predecessors and in that context satisfying, but not a film that would delight.

In addition, the character of Bruce Wayne, or Batman, was written and realized differently compared to the first two films, and in this film, he was even subordinate in quality to some other characters, such as James Gordon (Gary Oldman) or Bane (Tom Hardy). A big minus of this film was the anticlimactic discovery of the villain from the shadows, but also a very stereotypical, although still nice ending, which is why this film deserved only the tenth place on our list.

9. Batman (1966)

Directed by: Leslie H. Martinson
Screenplay: Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
Composer: Nelson Riddle
Starring: Adam West (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Burt Ward (Dick Grayson / Robin), Cesar Romero (Joker), Burgess Meredith (Penguin), Frank Gorshin (Riddler), Lee Meriwether (Catwoman), Alan Napier (Alfred Pennyworth) ), Neil Hamilton (James Gordon)

Rating: 7.5 / 10
Explanation: Although perhaps incomprehensible to modern audiences, this film spin-off of the space-popular Batman 60s series with Adam West and Burt Ward is one truly unpolished gem and an important lesson in the history of superhero movies. Although overly campy in style for today’s taste and completely incompatible with the contemporary interpretation of these characters and genres, 1966’s Batman is nonetheless a hilarious and witty film showing the Zeitgeist era in which it originated, an era in which superheroes were different and more relaxed. Adam West in his iconic role offers enough entertainment to make this film occupy the middle of our top list.

8. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Directed by: Chris McKay
Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Composer: Lorne Balfe
Starring: Will Arnett (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth), Michael Cera (Dick Grayson / Robin), Zach Galifianakis (Joker), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl)

Rating: 8.5 / 10
Explanation: Will Arnett finally got his solo LEGO Batman movie in 2017 and it turned out to be a full hit. Upgrading the version presented in the LEGO Film, the LEGO Batman film offered extraordinary fun and creativity in creating this LEGO animated world. Although this is a completely caricatured adaptation of Batman, it is extremely likable and effective and has gained a considerable reputation among fans, which is why it is in the middle of our top list.

7. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

Directed by: Sam Liu
Screenplay: Brian Azzarello
Composer: Christopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis
Starring: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), Tara Strong (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Ray Wise (James Gordon), Brian George (Alfred Pennyworth)

Rating: 9/10
Explanation: Despite all the controversy this adaptation has caused (Moore probably wouldn’t have been happy with it, but Moore was never happy!), As someone who read the original comic and watched the film, I can say that Brian Azzarello made one bold but ingenious movie that is good and controversial (as it should be when it comes to Moore) complemented the original story.

The essence of this Moore’s cult comic is retained in this film, where the voice roles of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill once again showed why the two are often cited as the best Batman and Joker, but also how two voice interpretations can make one film almost a masterpiece work.

6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Screenplay: Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer
Composer: Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL
Starring: Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman) )

Rating: 9/10
Explanation: A film that received a slightly worse rating on the Superman list because Superman’s character is somewhat less used, here it gets such a high placement and a high rating here because in its narrative ambition it hit the ambiance of Batman’s world. Along with the powerful Ben Affleck in one of the better roles of his career, Batman came to prominence in Snyder’s dark world where “The Bat of Gotham” fights the Man of Steel.

The dark atmosphere of the film and the heavy plot were more in line with the proverbially darker Batman character, and this film in its subversiveness and overlooked genius is actually one of the better films about the Caped Crusader, despite all the other shortcomings.

5. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Directed by: Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm
Screenplay: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko, Michael Reaves
Composer: Shirley Walker
Starring: Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Mark Hamill (Joker), Dana Delany (Andrea Beaumont / Phantasm), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth), Bob Hastings (James Gordon), Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock)

Rating: 9/10
Explanation: Although I would have preferred to put the beautiful Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, due to the fact that he was a direct-to-video work, as a representative of the animated Batman from the 90s, enters this film. Dini rewrote one good, compelling and dark story that figured as the first film spin-off of the cult Batman: The Animated Series, by many the best animated series of all time.

Mask of the Phantasm had that tragic note that Dini loved so much and presented so beautifully in the series, and with the unique vocal interpretations of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, he deserved this place on the top list, not perhaps because of his specific quality, but as a dedication to a truly wonderful and quality series that, along with Burton, defined the modern Batman.

4. Batman Begins (2005)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard / Ra’s al-Ghul), Cillian Murphy (Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow), Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), Gary Oldman (James Gordon), Michael Caine Alfred Pennyworth), Tom Wilkinson (Carmine Falcone), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox)

Rating: 9.5 / 10
Explanation: Nolan’s Batman Begins is a film that raised the standard of superhero films and showed that they can not only be realistic but also have depth. The excellent Christian Bale as the young Batman, the masterful and irreplaceable Liam Neeson as one of Batman’s most dangerous opponents, and Cillian Murphy as the creepy Scarecrow perfectly complemented all the technical superiority of Nolan’s work to create a film that would be practically perfect had it not been for his 2008 sequel.

This is a film that is just as good quality as the next film on the list, but which ranked fourth because of the greater historical significance of Burton’s film.

3. Batman (1989)

Directed by: Tim Burton
Screenplay: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren
Composer: Danny Elfman
Starring: Michael Keaton (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Jack Nicholson (Jack Napier / Joker), Jack Pallance (Carl Grissom), Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale), Billy Dee Williams (Harvey Dent), Pat Hingle (James Gordon), Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth)

Rating: 9.5 / 10
Explanation: Similar to positions two and three on the Superman list, this film ended up ahead of its predecessor solely because of its historical and cultural significance. Burton’s Batman was the first contemporary Batman in film and marked a significant turning point in the development of this character in film art.

Michael Keaton masterfully laid the foundations for a role that would make him famous, while Nicholson was the ideal blend of danger and weirdness as the main villain in the film. This film justifiably deserves its place on this list because the whole of modern Batman to one degree or another stemmed from this unique vision of the genius of Tim Burton.

2. Batman Returns (1992)

Directed by: Tim Burton
Screenplay: Daniel Waters
Composer: Danny Elfman
Starring: Michael Keaton (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Danny DeVito (Oswald Cobblepot / Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Selina Kyle / Catwoman), Christopher Walken (Max Schreck), Pat Hingle (James Gordon), Michael Gough (Alfred Pennyworth)

Rating: 10/10
Explanation: Batman Returns is the culmination of an initial, four-part series about Batman, started three years earlier by Tim Burton and completed by Joel Schumacher. Although he was very campy in many ways, this weirdness suited both Burton’s masterful style and Elfman’s musical interpretation that marked Batman in the 1990s. In addition to being consistent with many aspects of the 90s Batman character, Batman Returns broke its own boundaries because of the very dark tone and depressing, almost melancholic character that Burton managed to elevate to the level of his own work of art.

Along with the seductive Michelle Pfeiffer, the wacky Christopher Walken, the excellent and inimitable Michael Keaton, this film also offered the maestro Danny DeVito in the role of the tragically interpreted Penguin, as striking for his time as the Ledger Joker was 15 years later. and high artistic sophistication that could only be presented by Tim Burton.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne / Batman), Heath Ledger (Joker), Gary Oldman (James Gordon), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent / Two-Face), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox)

Rating: 10/10
Explanation: Without any dilemma, Nolan’s The Dark Knight is not only the best Batman movie we’ve had a chance to see, but also the best superhero movie ever made. With impeccable technical realization, an excellent script by the Nolan brothers, and the unforgettable music of Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight offered us a masterpiece of art that the superhero genre was not worthy of at that time, because who could imagine a superhero, and yet almost art film?

The film won two Oscars, and Heath Ledger was and still is the only Oscar winner to receive an award (for a supporting role) for one comic book role, that of Batman’s biggest opponent – the Joker. With an unforgettable Ledger performance and extremely strong, theatrically precise performances of the entire team, Nolan not only raised the bar cosmically high, not only made a masterpiece of art from a highly commercial genre but also created a film that for all its objective and subjective elements, despite genre dimensions, deserves a place as one of the most important and best films in history.

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