With the release of “The Batman” on March 4, the Caped Crusader has another movie to notch onto his already-impressive belt
It's not a stretch to say that Batman has more movies than he does gadgets. With so much out there, it can be difficult to determine what’s worth giving a watch and what isn’t. With that in mind, here’s SCO’s ranking of the 11 most well-known Batman movies (note: this will not include any of the DC Animated Universe films, though many of those are also worth checking out).
11. “Batman and Robin” (1997)
“Batman and Robin” is sure to be at the bottom of any Batman movie ranking, and for good reason. It’s bad, being simultaneously campy, cringeworthy and utterly laughable (for example: Arnold Schwarznegger in silver face paint). But these are also its greatest assets. Accepting and embracing the absurdity, chaos and stupidity lets “Batman and Robin” stop being a Batman movie and start being what it truly is: a great bad movie.
10. “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2015)
The film’s lengthy title is an excellent metaphor for this film as a whole: there’s just too much. The film attempts to tell a cohesive story and kickstart a cinematic universe at the same time, creating a clumsy, overstuffed mess. Batfleck’s action scenes and suit are excellent, though a Batman who breaks his no-kill rule will never be top-tier.
9. “Batman Forever” (1995)
Making a return to the campiness of the 60s, “Batman Forever” is often too silly for its own good. While Jim Carrey does put his heart and soul into his iteration of The Riddler, it doesn’t mean that the iteration makes sense, or that anyone else’s characters are anywhere near as memorable. Plus, it introduced the world to “Batnipples.”
8. “Batman Returns” (1992)
A decent flick with a legendary turn by Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, but Tim Burton’s direction turns from dark to darkly (and sometimes plainly) bizarre. This one does have Danny Devito though, who is always a plus.
7. “Batman” (1966)
While far from the greatest Batman movie, this one will forever remain iconic due to the performance from the late, great Adam West and Burt Ward. It’s a time capsule to the simpler days of superhero movie-ing, when “POWs!” appeared on screen, villains’ floorplans were as twisted as their souls and sometimes it was darn near impossible to get rid of a bomb.
6. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
A fitting and well-deserved end to Nolan’s epic “Dark Knight” trilogy with great performances by Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman, this one just didn’t have enough Batman to justify its 165-minute runtime.
5. “The Lego Batman Movie” (2017)
While Batman movies have often become more dark and depressing, “The Lego Batman Movie” chooses to set itself apart by acting as a self-aware satire of its main character. Will Arnett’s Batman voice should rank amongst the all-time greats, perfectly mocking and embodying Christian Bale’s Batvoice (or more fittingly, Batgrowl) that has become synonymous with the character. Additionally, it tells a story that challenges and pushes Batman towards emotional growth, accomplishing a feat many other films on this list haven’t.
4. “Batman” (1989)
The effects of Tim Burton’s “Batman” on Batman media cannot be understated. Sure, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson gave the world performances as Batman and The Joker, respectively, more edgy and unhinged than ever, but the real impact lies elsewhere. It’s in Gotham’s gothic, cluttered architecture, the costume design by Bob Ringwood and his team, and Danny Elfman’s phenomenal soundtrack. To this day, this film has defined Batman comics, games, shows and movies.
3. “Batman Begins” (2005)
8-years after the failure of “Batman and Robin,” director Christopher Nolan brought Batman films back into high esteem with his grounded vision for the character’s beginnings. Nolan’s interpretation of Batman (played by Christian Bale) strays far from the fantastical gothicism or campiness that defined the character in the 90’s, opting for realism to provide fans an engaging Batman origin tailored for the 21st century.
2. “The Batman” (2022)
“The Batman” had a tall order ahead of it to be good enough to justify another Batman reboot in a world that’s feeling some batigue. And prove they were right to cast Robert Pattinson, “the hot guy from the ‘Twilight’ movies, as the World’s Greatest Detective. Luckily, it did just that.
“The Batman” is one of the best superhero movies to come out of the past 10 years, due to a combination of fantastic costume design by David Crossman and Oscar-winner Glyn Dillon, superb cinematography by Greig Fraser, a script that brilliantly develops Batman’s character and a phenomenal cast. Zoe Kravitz and Colin Ferrell shine in their definitive takes on Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin). And Pattinson (with his jawline) proves the haters wrong, providing the greatest cinematic portrayal of Batman. Long live Battinson.
1. “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Of course “The Dark Knight” is the greatest Batman movie of all time. Arguably it’s the greatest superhero movie of all time, and one of the best films to come from the 21st Century. Instead of focusing strictly on Batman or Bruce Wayne, it shifts towards Gotham City as a whole. It’s a modern-day crime-epic brilliantly disguised as an action movie. And though everyone in “The Dark Knight” iss flawless, any description of “The Dark Knight’s” greatness would be incomplete without discussing Heath Ledger’s flawless and infinitely captivating portrayal of The Joker, one so extraordinarily twisted that it has gone down in history as one of the all-time greatest movie villains.
Luke Sanelli. Hi, I'm Luke Sanelli, and I'm the News and Co-Entertainment editor for Silver Chips Online. In my free time I enjoy to draw, watch TV with my family, play video games in my free time. Also, I love to wear hats. More »