What are the ten best Batman movies? In this post I take a look at ten movies which showcase the best of the best when it comes to the Caped Crusader.
This list mixes both live-action and animated movies together to provide a variety of Dark Knight adventures. So, whether you are new to Batman movies or you are at least familiar with Batman’s work, you will find ten movies below that won’t disappoint you if you choose to watch them.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm appears on a lot of ‘best of’ lists and there is a reason for its success – it is a great film! Not only does it look good, it also packs quite a punch in the story department.
The film focuses on Batman’s origin, as well as a long-lost love interest. The story is told largely through flashback, touching upon key moments in Batman’s early career.
Batman Begins (2005)
Speaking of Batman’s early career, no list of best Batman movies would be anything without the inclusion of the live-action movie, Batman Begins. The film – directed by Christopher Nolan – tells the Caped Crusader’s origin through strong storytelling and fantastic action scenes.
Christian Bale plays the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside a cast that boasts Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy. Batman Begins is simply a stunning movie from start to finish.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Sticking with the Christopher Nolan-directed era of Batman films brings this list onto The Dark Knight – the second entry in The Dark Knight trilogy. In this film, the Caped Crusader comes face-to-face with the Joker in an incredible movie that is not just a brilliant Batman film, but also a brilliant movie in its own right.
Heath Ledger plays the Joker, while Christian Bale returns to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This truly is an excellent movie that will forever appear on ‘best of’ lists.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Rounding out The Dark Knight trilogy is The Dark Knight Rises – yet another Christopher Nolan directed Batman movie that deserves its place on this list. The film not only caps off an amazing trilogy, but also brings something new to the table – Bane!
Tom Hardy plays the strategic bad guy in a show-stopping turn. It simply cannot be missed.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
Back to animation now for another feature-length tale that appears on many ‘best of’ lists – Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The film is a spin-off of the Batman Beyond TV series, but if you have never watched an episode, don’t worry you can still watch this movie without any major problems.
In this film, the Joker has seemingly returned from beyond the grave, leaving Bruce Wayne and new Batman, Terry McGinnis, to try and work out how he came back and why?! Mark Hamill voices the Clown Prince of Crime in the ultimate battle between Batman and the Joker.
Sticking with the Joker, but switching back to live-action for the Todd Phillips-directed movie, Joker. The film provides an origin story for Batman’s most famous foe, in what is a dark insight into the Joker’s mind.
Joaquin Phoenix takes on the lead role in a story that needs to be seen. It is a different kind of Batman movie, but it is one that every Batfan should watch.
Batman: Hush (2019)
This animated adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s best-selling comic, Hush is great. Not only does it boast superb animation and strong voice acting – with Jason O’Mara on fine form as Batman – but it also makes changes to the original story.
Think you know Hush? Well, if you have only ever read the original comic you also need to check out the animated movie – you might be surprised.
Batman Returns (1992)
Dark, macabre, gothic – these are all ways to describe Batman Returns. They are all correct terms, but ‘awesome’ can also be thrown into the mix too.
Michael Keaton plays the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, alongside a superb cast that includes Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. Tim Burton directs, while the villains steal the show.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Hilarious from start to finish, The Lego Batman Movie is completely different to every other film on this list. But different is good.
Will Arnett voices Batman in a tale about family, friendship and trust. The movie is suitable for all ages, yet never talks down to the audience, and rewards long-time Batfans.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
And finally, if you want to get a true flavour of Batman – and the different ways in which he can be interpreted by different fans/audiences – then you need to check out Batman: Gotham Knight. This movie is composed of six interlocking stories, all utilising different animation styles, and shows how great the Dark Knight can look in animation.
Kevin Conroy voices Batman in this anime-inspired film which is beautiful to look at.
If you would like more information about the Batman movies, please take a look around this blog where you will find discussions about the Caped Crusader. Alternatively, I recommend you check out one of the links below.
Thanks for stopping by!
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- Batman animated movies: What you need to know
- The one Batman movie to add to your Dark Knight trilogy viewing