So with DC going out all guns blazing in order to catch up to Marvel, it came as no surprise when they announced a solo Batman film will be released pretty soon. The movie will be directed by Ben Affleck, who will also star as the Dark Knight. It will be the 28th Batman movie to this date. Just so you know, I am also counting the animated movies here. So, while I was super hyped about this movie, I decided to re-watch all the Batman movies released till now. And boy, I can say that it was a worthwhile decision for the majority part.
So here are the top 5 Batman movies of all time for me. This list includes both live action and animated films. Now before I begin, I would like to say that this list is purely my perspective. You can have a completely different point of view. For all I care, your favorite Batman movie can be Batman and Robin. But what I would like to say is that if you haven’t watched even a single movie on this list, then you are missing out on a lot.
These are some movies that I believe are good, but they are not good enough to make the cut for the top 5. However, these movies are super enjoyable and a treat to watch. So here are my picks-
- BATMAN (1966)-
Released in 1966, it introduced us to the character of Batman on the big screen. It starred Adam West as the first ever Batman. The movie was a comedy with the typical humor and gags of the 60s.
- BATMAN BEGINS (2005)-
No matter what you say, for me this was the best introduction to a realistic Batman. The movie was great, it featured one of the best Batman early year montages ever. The character development and plot were great, the background score amazing. It perfectly set up the The Dark Knight trilogy.
So with those out of the way, let us get down to buisness.
5) BATMAN by TIM BURTON-
Released in 1989, this movie was a piece of art. It set the tone for future Batman films to follow. It portrayed a much darker version of the Caped Crusader. The way the movie captured all the things we love about him was simply enthralling. Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker set a new standard for future actors taking up their roles. The origin stories, the ending and everything in between was stunning. This is the movie that started it all for me.
4) UNDER THE RED HOOD-
Released in 2010, it was a gem of a movie in the DC animated movie verse. The movie showcases the journey of Jason Todd, from the 3rd Robin to the Red Hood. The movie captures every conflicting emotion of Jason and Batman almost perfectly. The voice acting was superb and so was the animation. It is the perfect tale of conflicting emotions and moral values.
3) THE MASK OF PHANTASM-
Released in 1993, it was the movie that defined the animated genre for DC. The origin story it portrayed was the best ever portrayal ever for me. The plot was dark and intense. The characters unforgettable. Put in the brilliant voice acting of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammil and you have an amazing movie. The movie showed the three-way struggle between Batman’s thirst for justice, Joker’s love of chaos and the Angle of Death’s need for revenge. Boy was this movie amazing.
So before I name my top two picks, I would like to say something. It was extremely hard for me to rank the two because both were amazing to say the least. At the end, it came down to which movie I could watch more. So here are my top 2 Batman movies and please don’t hate me for this.
2) THE DARK KNIGHT-
Ok, I know most of you would be enraged by this, but here is the thing. I love this movie. I think it is the best comic book movie ever as a live action film. But, I feel that I can’t put it on Number 1 spot because I enjoyed the next movie even more and it would be unfair to it. Released in 2008, this movie simply blew my mind. It is one of my most favorite thriller films of all time. Christopher Nolan gave us a gem, an absolute gem. The man set up this movie in Batman Begins and then he simply goes all guns out, right from the start.
The actors were terrific. Heath Ledger completely nailed his role. The Joker he portrayed was a once in a lifetime performance for me. I feel so sad about the fact that he passed away, but the villain he gave us, no other villain even comes close to it. This movie deserved every award it got. The moral conflicts, the psychological games, the messing around with human nature and that intense interrogation scene. This movie had it all. It is not a movie, it is an experience.
1) THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: PART 1&2-
These are the two best movies ever made by DC. Now some of you may say that these are two different movies, but they are not. One movie cannot be viewed without viewing the other. It is essentially a two and a half hour movie broken down into two parts. The movie has everything a Batman movie should have. This is basically the animated version of The Dark Knight with everything amped up. The plot follows a retired Bruce Wayne, who returns to his crime fighting ways after a series of events. His return starts a chain of events which eventually leads to a fatal confrontation with the Joker and a final showdown with Superman.
This movie had everything I could ask for. It had a Batman in his old age, a female Robin, a death match with Superman, a final showdown with the Joker. To this add suspense, thrill, moral and psychological dilemmas with a subtle humane touch. A superb voice cast perfectly supports the plot. It is helped even more with great screenplay and animation. The movie perfectly adapts Frank Miller’s, arguably, greatest work ever. No words in my vocabulary can do justice to this movie. I have watched it like 50 times already and it still keeps me hooked. The final fight between Batman and Superman is what we wanted and should’ve gotten. Not the stupid fight in BvS, but this. To summarize my thoughts on this movie, I would use the words of one of the characters of this movie. “Too big to be put down”
So these are my thoughts on what are the greatest Batman movies ever. Did I miss any of your favorites? Are you satisfied with this list? Do let us know in the comments section below.