Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ranking the Theatrical Batman Movies Best to Worst

I haven’t seen every straight to DVD release but I have seen all the Batman movies that have hit the big screen to date, so here goes:

1.      Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Okay, the villain’s identity might be easy to figure out; still, this movie has a lot of heart, and the best use of Bruce Wayne; sadly the only animated Batman movie to get a theatrical release
2.      Batman Begins: Of all the live action movies, this has the best use of Bruce Wayne; almost epic in its origin story, especially during the first half; some bits with Ra’s al Ghul didn’t click with me but overall a fine movie
3.      The Dark Knight: Heath Ledger provides the most disturbing Joker portrayal to date; loses a few points for shoving Batman a little into the background but still a great psychological thriller
4.      Batman: Jack Nicholson also provides a fun Bruce Wayne; the Bruce Wayne/Vicki Vale stuff is a bit dull, but it’s still a fun movie
5.      Batman Returns: Feels more like a general Tim Burton movie than a Batman movie per se, and the Penguin bits don’t quite work; still the Batman/Catwoman stuff is fun
6.      Batman (first serial): Okay bare bones action movie
7.      Batman & Robin (second serial): Another okay serial, only a little more racist
8.      Batman Forever: The bits with Bruce and a psychiatrist are great; unfortunately Robin’s a little dull and the bits with Riddler and Two-Face are painful
9.      Batman: The Movie: I’m not a big fan of the campy movie, though it’s a polished enough effort on that level
10.  Batman and Robin: One of the worst movies ever made, it part because marketing deals kept interfering with the storytelling (e.g. the bat-credit card); lots of gags that don’t work

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