But what if you want something that is a little more mature? Well, then you need to check out one of the seven Batman films listed below.
These movies are perfect for audiences who want something a little more thought provoking or serious. These are the best Batman films for adults.
First up is arguably the most adult Batman movie of them all – yet it doesn’t feature Batman. The movie is Todd Phillips’ Joker origin story, which is appropriately titled, Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix takes on the title role in a hard, brutal study of a man who becomes a clown. The film is serious and certainly not designed for younger audiences, so keep this one for you rather than the youngest members of the family.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Nowhere near as serious as Joker, but still a Batman movie with a tough exterior – and this time it DOES feature Batman. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is a show-stopping finale to the epic Dark Knight trilogy and is perfect for those who want a well-thought-out Batman film.
Bane (actor Tom Hardy) is the star of this picture. Not only does he take over the whole movie, he stands out as one of the best Batman villains committed to film.
The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012) / Part 2 (2013)
A slight cheat here as I am listing two movies together:
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2
There is a reason for linking these two movies – they are best viewed back-to-back, either as a double-bill or watched over consecutive nights, so make sure you watch them both!
So, what are The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 & Part 2?
Great adaptations of Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel of the same name, of course!
If you want serious Batman stories then these two are worth your time. Batman, Superman, Two-Face and the Joker all feature in this epic storyline.
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
This Batman tale takes place in the past – Victorian era Gotham to be exact. A ripper is on the loose and it is up to the Caped Crusader to take down this mysterious killer.
Gotham by Gaslight is unlike any other movie on this list and highlights what it is like being a Dark Knight in a different time period. The film is rated 15 in the UK (an R rating in the US) for its use of violence and strong language – so expect something a little harder than your standard animated feature.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Another Joker origin tale, but this time via the animated story, Batman: The Killing Joke. In this film, the audience is treated to a (possible) Joker backstory, in a game of cat and mouse between the Clown Prince of Crime and the World’s Greatest Detective.
Oh, and once again, this is a hard movie with a 15 certificate in the UK and an R rating in the US. No kids allowed!
Batman Returns (1992)
And finally, if you want dark, macabre and a little bit weird, then head straight for Batman Returns. The film deals with kink, corruption and bile-spewing politicians – all adult themes, right?!
Michelle Pfeiffer kills it as Catwoman and Michael Keaton proves how good he is as Batman. Batman Returns is the Caped Crusader through a very dark, twisted lens.
The seven best Batman movies for adults are:
- Joker (2019)
- The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
- The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 (2012)
- The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 (2013)
- Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)
- Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
- Batman Returns (1992)
And now for some additional recommendations. If you’re after further Batman movies that are suitable for adults, why not check out the following:
- Batman: Year One (2011)
- Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
- Batman: Hush (2019)
These additional titles are great movies, with compelling stories and are all worth a watch.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Batman movies. Should you want further information about the Batman movie series, be sure to check out one of the recommended pages below.
- Batman animated movies: What you need to know
- The one Batman movie to add to your Dark Knight trilogy viewing
- What Batman movie should I watch next?