Today, there are so many superheroes coming out on mainstream media because of the rise of the popularity of superhero films. Even superheroes many haven’t heard of are getting their rightful exposure. However, there are those superheroes that will always be considered the big and OG ones. These include none other than Batman. In fact, there are so many Batman movies right now that each of them has extremely different tones and approaches to the character. Since we are also celebrating International Bat Appreciation Day this month, it’s a great excuse for us to binge-watch these movies. So here are all the Batman movies ranked from worst to best.
13. Batman & Robin (1997)
I’ve got to say that I enjoyed this movie despite its bad reviews, saying it was TOO jokey. I guess the silliness of the majority of the scenes made it hard to take this Batman movie seriously. But when you have the likes of George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Uma Thurman in one film, their performances make it worth the watch. Oh, and Alicia Silverstone makes a cameo too!
12. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
This film interestingly features a very different Batman who is at a stage in his life where he’s tired of doing the right thing. He also shares the limelight with another OG superhero Superman AND Wonder Woman! This film could have had a lot of potential, but there were too many ideas playing out that it couldn’t get a coherent theme. Plus, this film was waay too serious that it kind of dragged on until the end.
11. Batman Forever (1995)
Described as loud, excessively busy, and often boring, this Batman film also makes it at the bottom of this list. One of its redeeming factors is the performance of its cast which includes Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones.
10. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
This animated Batman film centers on follows the Joker’s shenanigans and Batman’s desperate attempts to stop him. However, its retelling of the Joker’s origin didn’t really add anything new to what we already knew, deeming it almost unnecessary.
9. Justice League (2017)
Watching this film definitely made me think of the age-old debate on how superhero crossovers should be made – the Marvel way or the DC way. I’m still a fan of both universes, but I think Justice League lacked the “it” factor and chemistry that the Avengers had. Justice League failed to connect to viewers, producing a chaotic film that lacked conviction.
8. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
This film is a powerful and thought-provoking conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Christian Bale plays a terrific Batman, complemented by Anne Hathaway’s stellar portrayal of Catwoman. The ending may seem a bit rushed and open-ended with its time jump, but it’s a fitting end to the franchise.
7. Batman (1989)
This film was the turning point of the Batman character from a funny and campy superhero to a darker, more grounded one. Thanks to Tim Burton’s vision, the Batman we know today probably wouldn’t even exist. This film definitely succeeds in introducing a new Batman.
6. Batman: The Movie (1966)
This Batman features a superhero that’s just inherently and earnestly good – not silly nor dark and brooding. Just good. And this is why this film stands out. For once, we have the perfect balance of a heartfelt, witty, funny, and entertaining Batman film.
5. Batman Returns (1992)
Tim Burton’s Batman Returns definitely makes up for the first film. Described as extremely fun and thought-provoking, this film shows a more confident and spirited Batman, exploring the duality of the superhero’s character. Might I add, it also features some iconic performances from Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer as Penguin and Catwoman.
4. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
This animated cult hit gives a genuinely awesome Batman story, giving viewers a great detective angle that the live-action films failed to execute. This must-watch stays true to its source material, giving us an authentic interpretation of our favorite bat.
3. Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins is the perfect start to what would become one of the most iconic trilogies ever. Christopher Nolan definitely took a risk by turning away from the crazy bouts of action one would expect from a superhero movie, and it paid off. This film gives us a chance to really understand what goes on inside Batman’s head.
2. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Deemed the funniest Batman movie ever made, this film must not be missed! For an animated film, this one digs into Batman’s humanity in a way that hasn’t been done before. It’s also pretty honest in showing his cocky side.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
Nolan’s epic sequel to Batman Begins takes the top spot for so many reasons. One of which is Heath Ledger’s brilliant and unforgettable performance as the Joker. Another is the character development of Batman, Gordon, and Harvey Dent. The complex and coherent storytelling makes this not only the best Batman film, but one of the best superhero films ever.