In lieu of the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film that is coming to theaters on March 25, 2016– I decided to rank the greatest Batman movies of all time.
Number Five: Batman Returns (1992) starred Michael Keaton as Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Danny DeVito as Penguin, and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck. The Tim Burton-directed film was not as good as the 1989 Batman film, but it was a pretty solid sequel. Pfeiffer played a very fierce Catwoman, and her performance was simply brilliant. Keaton allowed Pfeiffer and DeVito to outshine him throughout the film, and it seems he also allowed the entire supporting cast to be the focal point on Batman Returns. Even though there were several exciting moments throughout the movie, Batman Returns lacked the action-packed scenes most audiences associate with superhero movies.
Number Four: Batman Begins (2005) marked the arrival of a new Batman- Christian Bale. Bale portrayed more of a vulnerable character, and it allowed audiences to learn the backstory of how Bruce Wayne became the confident and fearless Batman. The supporting cast included Katie Holmes (Rachel Dawes), Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox). The chemistry between Bale and Holmes was undeniable, and it was obvious that Bale was the best choice to play the new-era Batman character. Batman Begins‘ storyline kept me engaged thought the entire film, and I respected how Bale commanded the screen and he didn’t allow the villains to overshadow his character.
Number Three: Batman (1989) is still one of the greatest films of its time. Led by the extraordinary cast of Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, this film really brought life back into the Batman series. Nicholson gave an Oscar-worthy performance as Joker, and he stole every scene he was filmed in. Keaton played a very sophisticated Batman, and he was really charming onscreen. Prince provided the music for the entire Batman soundtrack, and his music playing throughout the film was perfectly crafted. Overall, the plot and action sequences are the reasons why this film is still so highly regarded.
Number Two: The Dark Knight (2008). When Heath Ledger was cast as Joker, no one expected him to be so exceptional in his portrayal of the villain. Despite Nicholson’s brilliant performance as Joker in Batman (1989), it’s impossible for anyone to top Ledger as Joker. Bale was marvelous in this film too, but Ledger was the focal point in this particular film. It was extremely hard to decide if I should rank this Number 1 because there were many memorable moments in The Dark Knight. Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face added yet another dimension to the storyline. Screenwriters Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan wrote a complex, yet entertaining screenplay, and the story flowed masterfully.
Number One: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is on the Top 10 list of my favorite movies of all time. I still can’t believe Tom Hardy didn’t receive an Academy Award for his portrayal as Bane. Bane had the best villain voice in movie history, and somehow audiences could still sympathize with his character- which is sometimes impossible to do in regards to villains. I was a little skeptical about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, but she proved to be the right choice. This film probably had the most action scenes than any other Batman film, and I liked that the storyline made the audience really pay attention. Sometimes you don’t have to really pay attention while watching a Batman film, but this movie was completely different. I won’t give it away for those who haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises, but the plot twist at the end is why I ranked this movie Number 1.