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Batman first hit the silver screen in 1943,
and in the decades since, he’s been one of Hollywood’s most accomplished heroes. In a dozen feature films, we’ve seen a truly
incredible roster of Caped Crusaders and Dark Knights taking the character in plenty of
different directions. As prominent as he’s been in film, though,
not all Batmen are created equal. Here’s our ranking of every movie Batman,
from worst to best. Batman, 1943 The thing you really have to understand about
the original Batman serial is that it’s bad, even by the standards of the time. With 15 parts, it’s three and a half hours
of the worst version of Batman to ever hit the silver screen. Batman and Robin, played by Lewis Wilson and
Douglas Croft, are recast here as government agents tasked with stopping the villainous
Dr. Daka from building a death ray and creating an army of zombies. “I have converted him into a zombie. He can only act as I direct.” That might sound exciting, but it’s atrocious
and repetitive, with awful special effects, hilariously awkward costumes, unconvincing
fights, and let’s not forget, America was at war with Japan at the time so they played
up the Japanese bad guy as you’d expect. This Batman is definitely best left forgotten. Batman and Robin, 1949 The only good thing you can say about the
second Batman serial is that it’s not as offensive as its predecessor. It’s still bad, though. The bumbling, barely present Batman is trapped
in an awful plot that stretches out even longer than the first serial, with Robert Lowery’s
Batman stumbling from one goofy cliffhanger to the next in an attempt to unmask a mad
scientist called the Wizard. After four hours, surprise! He turns out to be exactly the guy you thought
he was the whole time. The worst part, though, is the costume: a
straight up sweatsuit capped off with an ill-fitting cowl that makes him look more like floppy-eared
bunny rabbit man. Batman Forever, 1995 In a movie that’s soaked in lime green neon
and hot pink leopard print, Val Kilmer’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader is… well, the kindest
way to put it would be “reserved.” Kilmer, only two years removed from a charismatic,
scene-stealing turn as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, drifts through Batman Forever with the screen
presence of a cardboard cutout. To be fair, there was a good reason for Kilmer
to make that choice. Director Joel Schumacher was clearly drawing
his inspiration from the 1966 television show, and with Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones chewing
their way through every available bit of scenery, replicating Adam West’s stentorian straight
man probably seemed like the best way to go. Fully interactive holograms only a high frequency
carrier wave beamed directly into the brain could create such images.” There are parts where it works, but when it
comes to actually being Batman, his Adam West impression just doesn’t land. It’s especially rough in his tepid romance
with Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, the worst-named love interest in the franchise. “…And what a grand pursuit you must be.” Batman and Robin, 1997 To say Batman and Robin has a bad reputation
is putting it lightly. It’s commonly regarded as one of the worst
superhero movies of all time, with a bloated cast of villains and sidekicks sprawling out
into a plot that starts off silly and ends up full-on ludicrous. It’s so bad that both Joel Schumacher and
George Clooney have apologized for it, and it was credited with nearly killing the franchise
until it returned with a darker direction under Christopher Nolan. “Alright everyone… CHILL! Chill. Chill.” But as controversial as it might sound, Clooney
himself is not actually that bad. His effortless charm doesn’t really work for
Batman, but it actually does work pretty well for Bruce Wayne. If you can get past the toy-friendly suits
and their marble statue anatomy, Clooney’s best work comes when he’s out of the costume,
sweeping around Wayne Manor and dealing with Alfred’s not-quite-fatal illness. Plus, let’s be real here: even if Clooney
was as bad as the movie’s reputation would lead you to believe, he’d still score bonus
points for the way he refers to Dick Grayson when he gets mad. “She’s infected us with some kind of pheromone
extract. Oh is that what it is Bruce? Some kind of magic spell? She wants to kill you, Dick.” Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice
League, 2016 – 2017 Much of director Zack Snyder’s inspiration
for Batman v. Superman came from Frank Miller’s landmark comic story The Dark Knight Returns. Unfortunately, while the movie definitely
lifted entire scenes wholesale from the comics in an effort to please hardcore fans, they’re
all separated from their original context. Ben Affleck’s Batman is a ludicrously violent
murderer who is easily manipulated into a fistfight with another superhero which ends
when the person he’s fighting reminds him that other people also have moms. “WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME! It’s his mother’s name!” Despite the movie’s silly plot coincidences,
Affleck’s Batman has some noteworthy fight sequences, even if by this point the character
apparently gave up trying to uphold his no-kill rule. The LEGO Batman Movie, 2017 The LEGO version of Batman is the rarest kind
of satire: a parody of something that actually does a great job at being the thing that it’s
parodying. Will Arnett voices Batman as a full on comedy
character. He’s got an obsession with darkness, and
Arnett ramps up his naturally gravelly voice into a spoof of Christian Bale’s. At the same time, though, he’s very rarely
presented as anything other than extremely good at what he does, an ultra-competent superhero
who really does act heroically… most of the time. Either way, it works while other portrayals
might do their best to move away from the inherent silliness of a guy dressed as a bat
who primarily fights murder-clowns, embracing it gives the Lego version a flavor that helps
him rival even the best of his big-screen contemporaries. As funny as he might be, he’s still Batman,
in one of his purest forms. The Dark Knight Trilogy, 2005 – 2012 There’s a moment in Batman Begins where
a crooked cop gets snared by the ankle and hauled up five stories in the middle of a
thunderstorm so that a vigilante who looks like Satan himself can scream in his face. “I don’t know, I swear to God …SWEAR TO
ME!” So yeah: when you’re describing Christian
Bale’s performance, the word you want is “intense.” Bale’s Batman brings that level of intensity
to everything he does, showing an emotional range that stretches from the righteous fury
of Batman to the aimless pain of the orphaned Bruce Wayne who was denied his vengeance,
and even the quippy sarcasm of his exchanges with Alfred. It’s a powerful portrayal that’s only ever
matched when he goes up against Heath Ledger’s Joker, one of the best performances in the
genre. Batman/Batman Returns, 1989 – 1992 Here’s the thing about Tim Burton’s Batman
movies: they’re great Tim Burton movies. They have an incredible visual style, especially
when it comes to Gotham City. It’s a hellish industrial urban sprawl slammed
against retro Art Deco, where everyone still dresses like it’s 1940 and where purple knockout
gas is a deadly threat against a monochromatic cityscape. They’re full of great bits of satire, beautiful
cinematography, and the casting is amazingly offbeat, pitting our hero against Jack Nicholson,
Michelle Pfeiffer, Jack Palance, and Christopher Walken. The problem is that DC and Warner Brothers
were still trying to figure out what Batman and Bruce Wayne should be like in the modern
era. The result was some awkward exchanges between
Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale, as we see Batman’s human side struggle. No one really captures that disconnect more
than Michael Keaton did when he put on the cape and cowl. He’s actually kind of perfect for the kind
of remote, mysterious weirdo who sleeps upside down because he wants to be more like a bat. “You wanna get nuts? Come on! Let’s get nuts!” But there’s a difference between the stylized
goofiness that Burton explored in movies like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, and
the ’80s action movie aesthetic that saw Keaton’s Batman blowing up buildings full of criminals. Batman’s actions are mostly portrayed as
a personal quest for vengeance that only incidentally winds up saving a city, and that’s a shame. Bruce Wayne’s borderline psycho exchanges
aside, Michael Keaton ultimately nails the dark, almost spectral version of Batman that
terrifies most of Gotham’s criminals. “I want you to tell all your friends about
me. What are you? I’m Batman.” Batman: The Movie, 1966 The best thing about Adam West’s performance
in Batman ’66 is that it can mean completely different things depending when you watch
it. As a child, it’s easy to buy West’s Batman
as completely genuine, and as an adult, once you’re in on the joke, the fact that he was
able to play the perfect straight man for a wild cast of villains is every bit as astonishing
as those surface-level comic book thrills. The movie, released on the big screen in 1966
between the first two seasons of the show, has everything, in a very literal sense. The arch-villains this time around are four
of his greatest foes brought together as the United Underworld, revealed with a sequence
in which Batman and Robin identify their enemies through profound leaps of logic. “You mean where there’s a fish there could
be a Penguin. But wait! It happened at sea… see? C for Catwoman!” At the same time, it’s easy to forget that
West is actually really good as Batman, particularly when he goes undercover as Bruce Wayne to
save his love interest, Miss Kitka. The lengths he’s willing to go, and the
heartbreak in his eyes when he discovers that she was Catwoman all along? Even if you’re watching it with a healthy
level of irony, it’s a powerful moment. No actor has ever been as strongly identified
with the role of Batman as Adam West, and this movie shows exactly why. His performance walks a delicate balance between
full-hearted adventure and witty satire, and the end result is perfect. He is and always will be the Batman who won’t
even risk hurting a bunch of baby ducks. “Some days you just can’t get rid of a
bomb!” Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, 1993 Okay, we’ll admit that this one is a bit of
a cheat. Kevin Conroy has, after all, been the most
prominent Batman actor for more than 25 years, making his debut on Batman: The Animated Series
and staying in the role all the way through the Arkham video games. But there’s a good reason for that: Conroy
is an amazing Batman, and everything that makes him great is on display in Mask of the
Phantasm. The film is the first time that the Animated
Series really dug into Batman’s origin story, and Conroy’s performance sold it beautifully. The scene when he’s pleading with his parents’
graves, telling them he doesn’t want to fight crime because he’s finally found happiness
is devastatingly emotional. “I know I made a promise, but I didn’t see
this coming. I didn’t count on being happy” Even better is when that happiness is taken
away and Bruce gives himself over to his mission entirely. For a generation of Batman fans, Conroy’s
is the voice they hear in their heads when they read comics, and that alone should show
just how great he was in the role. It takes an incredible amount of talent to
redefine the character but that’s exactly what Kevin
Conroy did, in a way that no other Batman could.

100 thoughts on “Every Movie Version Of Batman Ranked Worst To Best

  1. I think you can swap "Batman & Robin" with "Batman Forever". Batman The Movie, the cheesy silly one, was better that Tim Burton's versions? Yeah, ok.

  2. If you are looking at the more serious Batman, with the darker tone then I say a Michael Keaton. If we are looking at a campier, cheesy Batman, by far Adam West.

  3. Nolan Batman is the worst.
    He's not a detective. He doesn't build any of his own tech. His voice sounds terrible. His Bruce Wayne has no personality. Dumb looking Batmobile.

  4. Batman didnt originally have a no kill rule. He used to use guns and killed criminals all the time. And afleck had some noteworthy fight scenes? Are you kidding? Aflecks portrayal of batman is by far the best to date. His script and direction sucked,but he nailed batman all the way. Afleck IS batman. Or he always will be as far as im concerned. Looke who the hell they picked now,robert pattinson!

  5. Although I would've ordered this differently, I thank you that now I have an idea about the pioneer Batman movies, and yes, for me, Kevin Conroy's voice portrayal of Batman is the best. Thanks for uploading ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Omg how is Adam westโ€™s batman above Christian bale. And I love Michael Keaton but itโ€™s not as good as the dark knight trilogy and for god sake a god damn cartoon is better that all of them, just no !

  7. Sorry I have to disagree with the low ranking of Batman v Superman and the Dark Knight Trilogy as these were DARKER, more realistic versions of what Batman should REALLY be…..The 1966 movie was a fun-filled, campy effort, worth watching and so was Tim Burton's / Keaton's movie

  8. To claim that Adam West is a better Batman than Michael Keaton is a worst leap of logic than that scene you chose to make your argument sir

  9. I think a lot of it depends on how old you are, and what you saw and felt when you saw it. I would put Adam West as #1 and Michael Keaton as #2. Part of the character is that it's played both straight and for laughs, and that Batman has serious internal conflicts. I'll take Adam West (God rest his soul) over any of the others, although they all presented different and unique portrayals of a tortured character.

  10. The whole concept of "Batman" IS PATHETIC, and so are all the fans, taking this farce all sooo seriously, discussing the different itteration's "merits", GET A LIFE and go help someone, THAT would be heroic. (SOMEONE had to say it)

  11. Batman and Robin is the Superman 4 of Batman if Disney had bought Superman and did to his series what they did to Star Wars.

  12. The two Tim Burton films are the only Batmans that truly matter, especially the 1989 film, everything and everyone else who attempted the characters, whether it be Batman himself, the Joker, etc. never got it right. Though in all fairness to the 1966 film, I would consider it appropriate for the times.

  13. Dude, do not judge old Batman movies by 21st century standards. To me, 1940s Batman was appropriate for that time period. This is the same with Schumacher's Batman.

  14. The best Batman's are probably old Batmans, because every modern Batman sucks lol
    I mean, who, honestly, watches any of Nolan's Batman movies for Batman? The Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Catwoman…no one cares for Batman lol

  15. Are you serious!? Your putting "Batman and robin"on top of "batman forever"? Dude you need to do that research again. George clooney was the worst batman and worst movie ever… lol"

  16. I like how you went with and against the grain in very creative ways for interesting reasons. This list is, as the crowd has decided, about 70% right.

  17. Personally think the Nolan Trilogy is the best Batman, especially with the incredible unmatched performances of Heath Ledgers joker which is also the best

  18. This list is a joke, so there's almost no point in commenting but I feel like people don't realize that Batman killing in BvS was kinda the point… He was broken and realized this at the end when Superman sacrifices himself. His whole speech at the end about "We can be better" is about himself.

  19. Lego Batman ahead from Ben Affleck??? WHAT A JOKE LIST this is ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  20. Batman (1989)
    Batman Returns
    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
    Batman Dark Knight Trilogy

    Are my fav Batman movies โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

  21. Just dont agree to the notions about Affleck's Batman….he was the perfect blend of a detective and a hand to hand fighter who is ready to kill just because "the times have changed"…

  22. Any one commenting that the Nolan trilogy is the best, I urge you to watch the two Tim Burton before coming to a conclusion.

  23. Maybe if Batman used his cape like a Roman gladiator used a net he would not be laughed at, not just something people can grab or can get tangled in things such as a counterfeiters press, or other large machine.

  24. What was better Dick Tracy 1937 serial set in the future of that time, or Dick Tracy 1990 set in the past, the comic stripe was set in the future as they had wrist radio, later wrist TV and Moon maids in the comic stripe.

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