Not all the Batman movies because I’ve no idea how many early movie serials there were prior to the 60’s or how many feature length animated Batman direct-to-videos there may have been.
Why am I even ranking Batman movies? Because I had a bad night’s sleep and rather than worrying about stuff I decided to rank Batman movies. The trick, so I’m told, for falling back to sleep is losing your train of thought.
1 to 3: Good films that I like to see again. 4 to 7: Films that I enjoyed but which I wouldn’t rush to watch again. 8 to 10: Time I could have spent doing something else.
- Batman Returns 1992 Michael Keaton. There’s a lot to like about this weird film. Mainly penguins and Cat Woman, but also the weird story and Danny DeVito. It isn’t a funny film but it likes being absurd. Seriously silly, the film accepts that a man dressing as a bat is not a serious concept and hence plunges Batman into a world that is sinister and far more strange than dressing up as a bat. Also: penguins.
- The Dark Knight 2008 Christian Bale. The super-serious take on Batman has a super-serious take on the Joker. While the other Nolan Batman films can feel a bit dry, this one gets the contrast right. It works not by making Batman plausible directly but by making the Joker both plausible and very strange.
- The Lego Batman Movie 2017 Will Arnett. By using Lego the film allows Batman to be played for laughs AND respect the history.
- Batman Begins 2005 Christian Bale. It’s OK. It goes on a bit. It’s interesting because it is an essay on how it might be possible to make a film in which Batman is a serious concept set in a non-fantasy world.
- Batman 1989 Michael Keaton. Tough to balance this one against Batman Begins. Both films are more notable than really enjoyable. The plot of this first Batman film wanders around too much.
- Batman 1966 Adam West. The movie version of the TV show. Silly and great for sight gags and deadpan humour.
- The Dark Knight Rises 2012 Christian Bale. The story doesn’t make a lot of sense and the cracks in the suspension of disbelief required start showing.
- Batman v Superman 2016 Ben Affleck. Affleck is a plausible Batman, maybe even the most like the Frank Miller Batman. However, the film is a mess and only enjoyable in fragments.
- Batman Forever 1995 Val Kilmer. It was a film with Batman in it.
- Batman & Robin 1997 George Clooney. It was a worse film with Batman in it. I think the idea of George Clooney as Bruce Wayne makes a lot of sense and Clooney has the range from comedy to seriousness to be a plausible pick for Batman but…well the film was just not worth the time anybody spent on it.
As for the insomnia, I ended up typing a list of Batman films in the dark.