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All The ‘Batman’ Films: Ranked

Robert Pattinson is the latest superstar actor to portray the heroic yet brooding Batman. As The Batman plays in theaters worldwide, we are reminded of the pop culture icon’s impact. Since Batman’s creation in 1939, the character has taken over the film industry with numerous movie adaptations. It begs the question: which Batman film is the best?

Starting from the first full-length feature Batman film in 1966 to Justice League in 2017, here is our ranking of the Batman movies from worst to best— taking inspiration from critic reviews and fans like you!

#12 Batman & Robin (1997)

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The first film (and the worst) on this list is Batman & Robin. George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell star as Batman and Robin, as the 2 battle new villains like Mr. Freeze (Arnold  Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). A third hero named Batgirl, played by Alicia Silverstone, joins Batman and Robin during their crime-fighting shenanigans. 

The film tanked at the box office when it premiered in theaters in 1997, earning $238.2 million worldwide with a production budget of $160 million. In an archival article from Empire in 2010, 

titled “The 50 Worst Movies Ever,” Batman & Robin took the #1 spot. 

The movie received unfavorable reviews from critics. In a 1997 review from The Washington Post, critic Desson Howe calls Batman & Robin a “winged defeat.”  

Fans of the Batman franchise still share their distaste for the film on social media more than 20 years later.

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Though there are some fans of this installment!

#11 Batman Forever (1995)

While Batman Forever did not receive the level of hatred that Batman & Robin had, it still falls flat for many viewers and critics. The third installment to Warner Bros.’s original Batman series follows Val Kimer as he replaces Michael Keaton as Batman. In this film, Batman fights Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey) while pursuing a romantic relationship with psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman).

In Variety’s 1995 review, critic Brian Lowry says the movie does well in some areas but comes “up short” in others. “Val Kilmer seamlessly slides into the Dark Knight’s cape and the film boasts considerable action and visual splendor,” he writes. “In the negative column, that action isn’t as involving as it should be, and there are so many characters the movie can’t adequately service them all.”

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Audiences have mixed opinions about the film. Is it a movie marketing gold mine or a subpar flop?

#10 Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Ben Affleck takes over as Batman in this superhero crossover film Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The movie begins 2 years after Superman’s (Henry Cavill) battle with supervillain Zod (Michael Shannon) destroyed the city of Metropolis. While people deal with the aftermath, Batman sets on a mission to kill Superman, believing he is dangerous to mankind.

Slate’s Jonathan L. Fischer gives his honest opinion and strong dislike for this movie. “Batman V. Superman should be the nail in the coffin of an entire industry strategy, in which each superhero film’s primary job is to lay breadcrumbs leading toward the next one,” he writes.

While the critic reviews aren’t as “harsh” as the 2 films before on the list, audiences ripped Batman V. Superman to shreds.

However, there are some fans out there that stand by the movie.

#9 Batman (1966)

The original Batman film is a campy look at the character based on the 1960s TV series. Adam West and Burt Ward star as Batman and Robin as they battle Catwoman, The Joker, and The Riddler. While it doesn’t have the star power of Michael Keaton and Christian Bale in later films, critics agree that it’s a blast to watch.

“For any true fan of Batman cinema, there will always be a place for 1966’s Batman: The Movie nearest and dearest to their heart,” writes critic Scott Lowe in his IGN review. “It may not be the most accurate, well produced, or entirely awe-inspiring film adaptation of the caped crusader, but it is certainly the most amusing.”

Fans share their undying love watching this film.

#8 Batman (1989)

Michael Keaton stars as Batman in Warner Bros.’s first installment of the DC Comic series. Directed by Tim Burton, this film follows Batman in his early days of crime-fighting as he battles deformed madman, the Joker (Jack Nicholson), and protects his lover, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger).

This movie is the first time audiences saw Batman in a darker light, which established the character as a deeper and more complex individual. “The film may be disappointing to those expecting a campy cartoon, however, although the more dramatic stylization of this version is its strongest asset,” writes Ron Pennington of The Hollywood Reporter.

Like other Batman films on the list, people either love this movie or aren’t crazy about it.

#7 Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

For this one, we’re talking about Zack Snyder’s 4-hour director’s cut, which received positive reviews from fans and not the 2017 film. Following the events of Batman V. Superman, Batman (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to create a team to battle an incoming enemy.

Critics aren’t entirely convinced that the 4-hour cut was necessary, but they understand the hype from fans. “Does all this make Zack Snyder’s Justice League necessary viewing?,” writes Melanie McFarland in Salon. “Not really, unless you’re a sucker for redemption stories and vindication arcs. You know, two of the reasons people love comic books.

Fans went crazy for the film when it dropped.

#6 Batman Returns (1992)

This sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman provides more entertainment to both critics and fans. Batman (played onced again by Michael Keaton) must battle with the monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito) and businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), all while