Over 80 years in comics and almost 70 on the big screen, there are thankfully more good Batman films than there are bad. The caped crusader’s potential for high-quality filmmaking shows no sign of slowing down, with 2022’s The Batman being DC’s most successful film in years, along with a sequel officially on the way. That said, this still begs the question “which Batman movie is the best?”. Well, here’s the top 10 Batman movies ranked from worst to best. Although in this case, “worst” just means “the least amazing”.
Also, check out our list of live-action Batman actors ranked from worst to best.
10. The LEGO Batman Movie
Transcending his fantastic addition to the LEGO movie, the Batman spin-off puts the Dark Knight in centre stage with hilarious yet heartwarming results. Whilst being a honed parody of the Batman character throughout the years, the LEGO Batman movie also works brilliantly as both a breakdown and tribute to the caped crusader.
Will Arnett returns to bring that tongue-in-cheek mix of a dark and buffoon-ish Bruce Wayne, but never goes so far as to take away what we love about Batman over the many decades we’ve known him.
9. Batman Returns
After the success of 1989’s Batman, Tim Burton was given permission to go full, well, Burton, for the sequel. While Batman Returns’ dark and twisted adult charms made Warner Bros recede into overly family friendly affairs for the third and fourth films, it’s also what makes it stand to hold a special place in the Batman mythos. Danny DeVito’s brilliantly horrifying penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer’s iconic over-the-top Catwoman, and Keaton’s second stellar take on Bruce Wayne still makes Batman Returns unforgettable to this day.
8. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
The only entry to mostly feature an alternate Batman behind the cowl, Return of the Joker holds an interesting spot. Part of the futuristic Beyond sequel to Batman: The Animated Series, the 2000 animated feature excels at utilising its premise, showcasing the long-term psychological trauma that contending with a villain like the Joker can bring. With Will Friedle, Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy returning as Batman, Joker and an older Bruce Wayne respectively, the film’s spectacular voice performances go even further in what could only be described as some of DC’s darkest moments – with Hamill’s stints as the clown prince becoming more chilling every time we hear him.
Beyond being a fun sci-fi action adventure with Terry McGuiness holding the mantle of the Bat, Return of the Joker becomes more profound the deeper under the surface you go.
7. The Dark Knight Rises
Being the lesser of the Christoper Nolan trilogy doesn’t mean The Dark Knight Rises is any less spectacular than what we’d expect from the director. Bringing a monstrous physicality to the villain role, Tom Hardy’s Bane works as a great antithesis to Bale’s Batman, the latter of which needs to bring himself back up from physical and mental disarray to save his city one last time.
Minor plot holes about a magically healing back and instant fast travel to Gotham aside, The Dark Knight Rises ties a poignant bow around the stellar trilogy which brought Batman back into the mainstream.
Click next to read the best of our top Batman movies ranked!