Ranking the Live Action Batman Movies

I ranked the live action Batman movies (as you do when you’ve wasted a lifetime on comics). I did not include the early serials as quite frankly, I haven’t watched them.

There’s a lot of reading to this, I could have written an essay on each one, you don’t have to read it…

Keep your protests and outrage civil please…

The Dark Knight - yes it’s the obvious choice and yes it’s got flaws but grounding of Batman in the “real” world is the perfect tone for him, and never has their been a better Joker interpretation. Sending Batman to Hong Kong, that cityscape fits the character perfectly, Oldman’s Jim Gordon is the hero we all need, more than any other actor Bale understands the Wayne facade/Batman/real Wayne role better than anyone. Zimmers’ soundtrack is phenomenal. It also opened many eyes to the type of movie possible that could come from a comic book.

Batman Begins - I think a very overlooked movie, establishing everything that’s fleshed out in Dark Knight. It’s lean and draws you in immediately. Has the balls not to introduce Batman for the 1st hour and carries it. The first real movie about Bruce Wayne. Great interpretations of Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow.

Batman - Tim Burtons’ original is still a lot of fun, and has a wonderful style, with Gothamites still wearing hats and suits. Nicholson is great as the Joker, Keaton plays a terrific Batman and the whole thing is a carried with a wink and does a wonderful job of setting a darker tone for a character most people still associated with the 60’s show.

Batman Returns - Nice to see a bit more of Batman in this one, Pieffers Catwoman is “cracking” and DeVito’s Penguin grotesque. All gets a bit silly at the end with the penguins with missiles on their backs and not as good as the Burton original.

Batman (1966) - This movie is just too much fun. It’s nonsensical and stupid and a great laugh and trip down memory lane for fans of the 60’s show. It gave us bat shark repellant and “sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb”.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - I gotta say I find this movie a compelling curiosity. The choice to make Batman “older” I always felt was a strange choice (Zak, if you just wanted to make The Dark Knight Returns go make it) and Batman killing just makes him a nut. Henry Cavill is a little less wooden as Clark/Superman than Man of Steel but it’s a movie my that badly needs an injection of humor and fun, a sense of exciting adventure to see these characters in one movie. Affleck handles the role well, the Knightmare scene is fab.

Justice League- like the prior movie on this list, I don’t hate it. It’s a fun movie and the characters carry it well. I like Affleck’s interpretation less in this (is that a wig he’s wearing? It’s just weird) and the movie has its obvious flaws, but it’s a movie I can throw on and watch and escape with the world when I don’t need to be challenged mentally.

Batman Forever - I’ll admit I loved this movie when it came out. Never crazy about Kilmer, but it had some comic book “colour” and elaborate traps I appreciated, Batman smiling, which was refreshing and him being witty “it’s the car, chicks dig the car” “try firemen, less to take off”. We get Robin. And my favourite Batman villain, Riddler. It’s aged horribly.

Batman & Robin - it’s an awful movie. George I still think could have been a better Batman in a better movie. As terrible as it is I still have fun watching the silliness and it does have a bit of heart and a lovely moment between Bruce and Alfred “I love you old man” “And I love you, son”.

The Dark Knight Rises - I have not given this movie a 2nd chance. Not only do I think it’s Chris Nolan’s worst Batman movie, I believe it’s Chris Nolan’s worst movie, period. It’s not a Batman movie, it’s Die Hard in Gotham. Batman is hardly in it for crying out loud. I have no idea why you’re in this movie Matthew Modine or why we need your character. I never got on board with Bruce Wayne giving up the Batman mantle and a being a broke down recluse. The characters of Wayne and Gordon that were established in the prior 2 movies are completely undone and I feel horribly betrayed. As an invested audience member, I felt betrayed. Bane becomes a parody of the weird voice Tom Hardy chose and carries no where near the sense of threat that Joker does. He’s a boring character. They obviously couldn’t get enough extras for the “Battle of Gotham”. How does Gotham avoid being covered in nuclear radiation? This movie still makes me angry (as you can tell). Anne Hathaway is surprisingly great.

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My rankings are pretty similar to yours, but w/ 1 slight change…

  1. The Dark Knight Rises
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Batman Returns
  5. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
  6. Batman (1989)
  7. Justice League
  8. Batman (1966)
  9. Batman Forever
  10. Batman and Robin

Edit: If we’re including Suicide Squad, I’d throw that between Batman (1989) and Justice League. I haven’t seen the '40s serials, so I can’t rank them

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Wow, your response the DKR is very different to mine. Good list

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I know it’s an extremely unpopular opinion, but I’ve never really cared. I loved TDKR from the moment I first saw it and that’s still the case to this day

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  1. Dark Knight
  2. BvS
  3. Dark Knight Rises
  4. Batman Begins
  5. Batman Returns
  6. Batman (1989)
  7. Batman Forever
  8. Batman '66
  9. Suicide Squad
  10. Justice League
  11. Batman and Robin
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  1. Batman (1989)
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Batman Returns
  4. Batman v Superman
  5. Suicide Squad
  6. The Dark Knight Rises
  7. Batman Forever
  8. Batman Begins
  9. Batman (1966)
  10. Justice League
  11. Batman & Robin (1997)
  12. Batman (1943)
  13. Batman & Robin (1949)
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  1. The Dark Knight (flat out, one of the greatest American films of all-time)
  2. Batman (1989)
  3. Batman Returns
  4. Batman Begins
  5. The Dark Knight Rises
  6. Batman v Superman
  7. Batman (1966)
    Forever, Batman and Robin, Justice League, Suicide Squad are crap and don’t belong on the same list with the above.
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Saw it the week of my wedding with the majority of my wedding entourage. Was sooooo disappointed. Didn’t work for me at all​:pensive:.

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Dark Knight
Batman Begins
Dark Knight Rises
Batman 89
BVS
Batman Forever
Justice League
Batman Returns
Suicide Squad
Batman and Robin

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Batman Returns

The Dark Knight Rises

Batman

The Dark Knight

Batman Forever (cinematography and production design are top notch)

Batman Begins

Justice League

Batman 66

Batman V. Superman

Suicide Squad

Batman & Robin

Writing this is depressing and I realize I’ve truly liked three Batman movies.

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I just kept missing heath. :frowning:…Even though I’m a Hardy fan no doubt. But I wonder what kind Catwoman we would have gotten, in Gotham with the Joker. Higher stakes ya know…Cause I felt she was wasted in TDKR. Well, balls in your court. Now kravitz.

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Ok. Let’s see…

  1. Batman Returns, hands down. But hey I’m a freak. Haha. (Great production design, inventive origins, and iconic character villain portrayals)

  2. The Dark Knight. Just. a total :100: … And a solid crime drama for ALL movie types. My only regret was, that Heath did not get to feel the recognition he immediately gained and so deserved. All those broke-bat haters man, just. BAM, instantly shut down, the second that bank preview dropped. R.I.P Heath :raised_hands:t4:

  3. Batman Forever. 90’s Jim Carrey bruh. Was he really right for the riddler, of course not, haha. But, was he classic Jim, heck yeah! (and we got kiss from a Rose man haha)

  4. Batman Begins. ( that Scarecrow imagery was everything)

  5. The Dark Knight Rises (Hardy did what he could, some amazing action sequences, and Anne Hathaway y’all. Cmonnnn, she’s just great in general, and I dug both hers and Banes costume designs)

  6. Batman (Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman)

  7. Batman & Robin (the worst of them all, gave us the ultimate drinking game)

  8. Batman Vs Superman ( I really need to go back and watch this, Henry Cavil, you will be missed :blue_heart::heart::100:)

  9. Justice League ( The world is introduced to Wonder Woman, but above all Gal Gadot :100::yellow_heart::heart::blue_heart::raised_hands:t4:)

  10. Batman 66 (only cause my crackhead millennial brain, needs more stimulation, though, Shark spray, I meaannnn, what not to love)

I think there’s all of them right

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Mine are…

  1. Batman 89.
  2. BVS
  3. The Dark Knight
  4. Batman Begins
  5. Justice League
  6. Batman 66
  7. Batman Returns
  8. The Dark Knight Rises
  9. Batman Forever
  10. Batman And Robin
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Folks are coming up with some pretty great rankings! Personally, here’s how I would rank the live action Bat movies:

  1. Dark Knight
  2. Batman '66
  3. Dark Knight Rises
  4. Batman Begins
  5. Batman '89
  6. Batman Returns
  7. Batman Forever
  8. BVS
  9. Batman and Robin
  10. Justice League

For the record, I definitely was not objective as I was in making this list :sweat_smile: For the most part, I came up with this ranking based on my personal experience with the movies and how much I liked the Batman in each of them. I say this mostly as a justification for my high ranking of Batman '66 (a movie I’ve been watching since I was 4 and absolutely adore) and relatively low ranking of '89 and Returns.

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The Dark Knight
Batman Begins
Batman Returns
Dark Knight Rises
BVS
Batman 89
Batman Forever
Suicide Squad
Justice League
Batman and Robin

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1: Batman Begins
2: Dark Knight
3: Batman 89
4: Batman Forever
5 Dark Knight Rises (Would be #1 if they didn’t betray the class war premise with Bane)
6. Batman Returns
7. Justice League
8. Batman and Robin
9. Batman V Superman (though admittedly the director’s cut is slightly better ranking 7 on my list)

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I love how you felt the need to defend Batman 66. :smile: Hey a Batman movie with the most dedicated shark known to film. :joy: Id’ say no explanation needed whatsoever. :+1:t4: Haha

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To be honest, I wouldn’t have felt compelled to justify had it not been for the number of times I’ve seen it get flack for being completely ridiculous :sweat_smile:

I mean, sure it’s ridiculous, but I’ll always consider it one of the best Batman movies to date​:+1:t2:

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  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Batman Returns
  3. Batman (1989)
  4. Justice League
  5. BvS
  6. The Dark Knight Rises
  7. Batman Begins
  8. Batman Forever
  9. Batman and Robin

I’ve never seen Batman (1966). I haven’t had the chance. Also it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen some of these movies so my judgment may not be fully accurate.

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Been waiting to weigh in on this top 10 list. So glad you upped this post @DCGF12. :grinning: :+1: :batman_hv_1:

  1. Joker (both thumbs way, way up for this at #1)
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Batman 89
  4. Batman Begins
  5. The Dark Knight Rises
  6. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
  7. Batman Forever
  8. Batman Returns
  9. Batman 66
  10. Justice League
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