2019 has marked a couple of big anniversaries for the Caped Crusader, including 80 years of existence (celebrated on “Batman Day” last weekend) and 30 years of the Tim Burton-directed cinematic blockbuster, titled simply Batman. In commemoration of these marks in the Dark Knight’s illustrious career, every big screen outing for the hero is ranked and reviewed below in easy to swallow capsules.
9. Batman & Robin (1997) – 1/10
Clooney isn’t bad as Bruce Wayne, but unfortunately, that’s about the only positive thing that can be said of this big budget camp fest.
8. Batman Forever (1995) – 2/10
Gone is the shadowed, adult-oriented tone of the previous installments, and in it’s place sits a 90s rendition of the 1960s series’ spoofiness, resulting in an over-blown, ludicrous adventure for the Cape Crusader.
7. Batman v Superman (2016) – 2/10
Attempts at realism and thematic depth play as unnecessary grimness and surface philosophical musings, while the plot and action sequences flow as a series of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” ideas kicked around among comic book super-fans over pizza.
6. Batman Returns (1992) – 6/10
Though unbridled Burton allows his weirder sensibilities a little too much latitude, the first Bat-sequel is at least passable, if not good.
5. Batman (1966) – 8/10
Young viewers can be enjoy it as a colorful action/adventure, while more mature audience members can guffaw at the farce it actually is.
4. The Dark Knight Rises – 8/10
Though not quite as good as its predecessor,The Dark Knight Rises is nevertheless a compelling picture and a fitting closer to one of the greatest cinematic trilogies in history.
3. Batman Begins – 9/10
Director Christopher Nolan strips away the goofiness associated with the superhero genre and delivers the darkest, grittiest, most realistic comic book origin tale to date.
2. Batman (1989) – 10/10
Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson are superb as Batman and Joker respectively, while director Tim Burton proves a darker, more adult take on superheroes can work just fine.
1. The Dark Knight – 10/10
Featuring breathtaking sequences, a stellar ensemble cast, an intelligent script, and Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn as The Joker, The Dark Knight is not only the best super hero film of all time but also an exceptional crime-thriller.