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DAR Films: Ranking The Batman Movies

By @TrueGodImmortal




For DC Comics, Batman has become their most successful character over the years. From the inception of the character to today, there's nothing that can rival Batman in true popularity. For all the comics, the cartoons, the shows, and various forms of media that we consume of Batman, the best portrayals come in film (the worst portrayals too). With that being said, today we wanted to look at the Batman filmography and rank them from best to worst. Not included in this list? Some of the early 1940 films and the Lego Batman movie, as they don't fit the actual criteria for the list. Still, there are plenty of films to rank and discuss, so let's get into it.

9. Batman and Robin (1997)



-There is no film that's attached to the Batman brand that's as horrible as this one. It's beyond terrible. The villains are awful. The heroes are awful. The jokes are awful. The story is awful. The casting is awful. Who came up with the idea to make George Clooney, who was mostly known from ER fame at the time, Batman? To make matters worse, the awful villains of Mr. Freeze and Bane just don't work here. The less said about this movie the better, but if you're new to Batman films, or if you haven't watched this yet, avoid this at all costs. ALL COSTS.

8. Batman: The Movie (1966)



-I've only watched this movie twice and I am not really a big fan of it, but there is nothing worse than the awful Batman and Robin film. It's the most disrespectful film in the entire Batman universe, but the 1966 movie was NOT much better. Adam West was a hilarious Batman, glaringly campy and very colorful, which was not like the origin of the character. I'm not a big fan of the film, and I don't have much to say about it minus the fact that Adam West was a great Batman for a different era. This movie could have been much better however.

7. Batman Forever (1995)



-Val Kilmer as Batman wasn't the best idea. He didn't fit. However, for whatever reason we have him in this role and while I could do without him in the role, he tries to do the best he can. Joel Schumacher steps in here as director, and he did nothing to make this movie series better. Tim Burton could have probably made this movie better and Michael Keaton as Batman could have very well added more life. The film is executed in an interesting way, with Jim Carrey as the villainous Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones as the infamous Two-Face. The truth be told, the acting is what makes this film a bit cringeworthy, as Kilmer never settles in as Batman, and Two-Face and Riddler are a bit too over the top. Batman Forever had potential, it just never lived up to it.

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



-I was unsure about this movie from the start. There were so many unanswered questions about the film going into it that we really didn't know what to expect. How would Ben Affleck do as Batman? How would the appearance of Wonder Woman play out? Would the villain in this film really do it justice? While the Wonder Woman appearance was great and Affleck was an acceptable Batman, there was something missing from the film, which is the case for most of the DC Universe films it seems. The action was fun, but the story drags a bit, falling right into that middle territory of the filmography. It has enough to keep you engaged throughout, but not enough to make you excited or as interested as the other films in the Batman history honestly.

5. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)



-There was once a time where I thought this film was right there as the best, but repeat watches weren't so great. It's not a bad movie by any stretch, and it's enjoyable for the most part, with a great performance by Tom Hardy as the diabolical villain Bane. Aside from a brutal beatdown from Bane to Batman and some amazing quotes during evil moments from Bane, the film is honestly by the numbers to me. I wasn't a fan of Anne Hathaway in the role as Catwoman, or the random love interest placed for Bruce Wayne, but the truth of the matter is that this film was extremely ambitious and attempted to be the most artistic of the Nolan series. It works in a lot of ways, but missed in a few others, which is why it is ranked here.

4. Batman Begins (2005)



-The beginning of the new series for Batman is extremely good and very underrated in its own right. The beginning of Christian Bale in his role as Batman is one of the best things to happen in comic film history, as he stepped into the role comfortably. The villain in this film is not really my favorite, as I was never that big of a fan of Scarecrow, but it still worked better than I expected, And he served as just the right amount of sinister to the movie. This was well done, introduced us to a new spin on the Batman character, and it's as good as any Batman could be honestly.

3. Batman (1989)



-This is where my appreciation for Batman began. I was really young when I watched this movie on VHS, and although it had been out for a few years at that time, it was new to me. Michael Keaton as Batman was one of my favorite portrayals of any superhero, and Jack Nicholson as The Joker is beyond superb. The cartoon like aspect of the film works here very well and allows for The Joker to walk the line between sadistic and hilarious, a line that Jack walked perfectly in this film. The first Batman of the modern era was the trendsetter for all Batman movies and it is definitely a top 3 film in the catalog.

2. Batman Returns (1992)



-I almost thought of putting this at the no. 1 spot. It's that great. It has everything you can want in a Batman film and it tends to show how the series of films work. The original Tim Burton film was the 2nd best in the first round of Batman films and the original Christopher Nolan movie was the 2nd best in his trilogy. The 2nd movie in each series is cinematic perfection and much credit for that has to go to the vision that Burton had for the film and the performances. Michael Keaton is great as Batman once again, Danny Devito is great as the Penguin, and Michelle Pfeiffer is great as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. There has been no one who has played Catwoman better than Michelle and it probably never will be. Batman Returns is a classic.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)




-There was no doubt on which movie was the greatest. While some have attempted to downplay the masterful work of Heath Ledger as the Joker, there is no denying this is one of the most amazing villain portrayals of all time in film. Christian Bale is solid once again with his Batman performance, but the star of this film is Ledger. The Joker, much like the first film with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, steals the show and becomes a lasting memory for all moviegoers. Much can also be said for the portrayal of Two-Face, his change, and the way both Batman villains have their stories told. Simply put, The Dark Knight is cinematic genius from the beginning to end.

-True 

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