7. Batman and Robin
As awful as this Batman film is, it’s entertaining as hell to watch. But just because it’s hilariously, it doesn’t make it a good movie. Joel Schumacher’s neon Adam West style of Batman is such a turnoff, especially when they added nipples to our hero’s suits. All of the actors were horribly miscast and the story was nonsensical. However, this is a much needed film because without it we wouldn’t have gotten Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman. And Arnold Schwarzenegger, WOW! Let’s just say this wasn’t his best role.
6. Batman Forever
Another Joel Schumacher Batman film, this one isn’t as bad as “Batman and Robin,” but it started the turn which made Batman feel like a cartoon character. The villains were horribly laughable and although Jim Carrey did a fine job playing The Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones was horribly miscast as Harvey Dent. Chris O’Donnell is fine here playing Robin but the chemistry between him and Val Kilmer was stale. Val Kilmer was a decent Batman and Bruce Wayne and I appreciated some of the darker elements of this film that explored Batman’s psyche. It just didn’t mesh with the rest of the cartoonish elements.
The first live screen adaptation of the character, Tim Burton based his first Batman film on the darkness of the Frank Miller graphic novels. Michael Keaton played a wonderfully dark Batman and Jack Nicholson was phenomenal as the Joker. Batman and the Joker’s chemistry was flawless here and although I love this film to death, it hasn’t aged too well after recently re-watching it. The original Batman film is edgy, dark and a lot of fun while also staying true to the comic while Tim Burton’s style comes alive.
4. Batman Returns
“Batman Returns” will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first Batman film that I ever saw and it was my first exposure to the character. Tim Burton’s sequel was darker than the first and utilizes weird fanboy fetishes concerning Catwoman and The Penguin. Michael Keaton was great again as Batman, and Michelle Pfeiffer was great as Catwoman. Danny Devito was brilliant as The Penguin and Christopher Walken was amazing as Max Schreck. “Batman Returns” is a bizarre take on the character but it holds up better than Burton’s first film.
3. Batman Begins
“Batman Begins” was the first reboot of the character directed by auteur filmmaker Christopher Nolan. “Batman Begins” shows a more reality-based version of the character living in a modern world. “Batman Begins” not only was an amazing film, but the themes and ideas behind it showed why Batman is truly one of the best superheroes in history. Christian Bale was great as the Caped Crusader while Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman were great in supporting roles. As much as I love “Batman Begins,” some of the special effects haven’t aged well but it’s easily forgivable.
2. The Dark Knight Rises
“The Dark Knight Rises” is the final installment of the Nolan trilogy and although the film had a ton of detractors, I loved the film and thought it ended the saga beautifully. The action was epic and top notch and I thought Tom Hardy as Bane was brutal and calculating. The film isn’t perfect but the pure spectacle of the action makes “The Dark Knight Rises” a cinematic comic book feast. Nolan really took advantage of Batman’s best villains and he really gave them justice. “The Dark Knight Rises” comes full circle with “Batman Begins” and delivers an emotional ending to The Dark Knight.
1. The Dark Knight
Arguably the best comic book film of all-time, “The Dark Knight” is more gangster film than comic book and the amazing turn of Heath Ledger as the Joker is unparalleled. “The Dark Knight” is smart, genius, and expertly written with action sequences never before seen in this type of genre. “The Dark Knight” easily stands on its own as a standalone Batman story but when combined with the other two it makes it all the more juicy. “The Dark Knight” is a masterful film with outstanding performances with a tightly knit script by Christopher Nolan’s writing partner and brother Jonathan Nolan. “The Dark Knight” as of now is the best Batman film to date and since its release, superhero films have tried to emulate the darkness and the success of this brilliant mind bender of a flick.
So that’s it for us. What did you guys think of these rankings? Do you agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments and let us know which Batman films are the best and which ones are steaming piles of shit.