Every Live-Action Batman Movie Ranked: From ‘The Dark Knight’ To ‘The Batman’

What is the best live-action Batman movie?

Matt Reeves’ The Batman has finally landed in cinemas, with fans and critics raving about the gritty and brutal introduction to Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader. Now that the movie has been released, the whole world is asking one question: how does The Batman compare to every previous live-action Batman outing?

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Now that the Batman has been out for a few days and we here at The Blog That Must Not Be Named have had the chance to see the film more than once, we thought it was time to rank every live-action Batman movie, from Batman (1966) to The Batman (2022). It’s worth noting that when it comes to this ranking, we’ve decided not to include any animated Batman movies or films that don’t include the Caped Crusader like Todd Phillips’ Joker.

Check out our ranking of every live-action Batman movie below:

12. Batman & Robin (1997)

Director: Joel Schumacher

Who’s In The Batsuit: George Clooney

When it comes to ranking every live-action Batman movie, it would be insane to rank anything below Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. George Clooney was miscast as the Dark Knight, the tone was all wrong and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze was perhaps the worst live-action comic-book villain of all-time.

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11. Justice League – Theatrical Cut (2017)

Director: Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon

Who’s In The Batsuit: Ben Affleck

There’s no way around it, the theatrical cut of Justice League is an absolute disaster. With horrific visual effects, misplaced humour and a forgettable narrative, the first live-action Justice League film is a total waste of DC’s greatest team of superheroes.

10. Batman (1966)

Director: Leslie H. Martinson

Who’s In The Batsuit: Adam West

The 1966 Batman movie acts as an extended episode of the Adam West television series, which means it’s a wonderfully campy, undeniably fun adventure with Batman and his most iconic villains. While the tone and style of recent Batman films is more in line with the source material, it’s hard not to look back fondly at Adam Wests time as the Caped Crusader.

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9. Batman Forever (1995)

Director: Joel Schumacher

Who’s In The Batsuit: Val Kilmer

With Val Kilmer in the cape and cowl, taking over from Michael Keaton, director Joel Schumacher was clearly trying to have a bit more fun with the character. The result, however, is a Batman movie that’s overly cheesy, surprisingly boring and overstuffed.

8. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Director: Zack Snyder

Who’s In The Batsuit: Ben Affleck

Despite a stellar performance from Ben Affleck, playing an older, tougher version of the Dark Knight, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice fails to live up to its potential. The first movie to bring Batman and Superman together is at times boring and dull, and it ultimately fails to live up to previous outings.

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7. Batman Returns (1992)

Director: Tim Burton

Who’s In The Batsuit: Michael Keaton

With Tim Burton’s direction and Michael Keaton returning as his dark, brooding version of Batman, Batman Returns is a dark, exciting and outrageously fun superhero movie. Tim Burton goes in a different direction with his second Batman movie, and delivers an incredibly impressive follow-up.

Batman Returns also features two of the best Batman villain portrayals from Danny DeVito (The Penguin) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman).

6. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Director: Zack Snyder

Who’s In The Batsuit: Ben Affleck

While Zack Snyder’s Justice League has a lot in common with the theatrical cut of the film, the end product is a completely different beast. With his version of the movie, Zack Snyder delivers an epic-scale, breathtaking comic-book movie – which features Ben Affleck’s best performance as the Caped Crusader.

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5. Batman (1989)

Director: Tim Burton

Who’s In The Batsuit: Michael Keaton

With his first Batman movie, you can see that Tim Burton was trying to capture the quirky darkness that has always been present in the comic books. Batman (1989) changed the game for Batman movies forever, with Michael Keaton shining as a dark, brooding version of the Dark Knight. The great thing about Batman is that while it worked tirelessly to deliver a darker Batman movie – it still maintains some of the sillier elements from previous Batman outings.

4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Who’s In The Batsuit: Christian Bale

The third instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy might be the weakest, but The Dark Knight Rises is still up there as one of the best comic-book movies ever made. With the closing chapter of his trilogy, Nolan gives fans another masterfully crafted, thoughtful and action-packed Batman blockbuster – which brings a satisfying end to Christian Bale’s arc as the masked vigilante.

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3. Batman Begins (2005)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Who’s In The Batsuit: Christian Bale

Re-creating Batman for a new generation was a near impossible task, but Christopher Nolan delivered one of the best comic-book movies of all-time. Batman Begins does a brilliant job of re-introducing audiences to the Dark Knight, while taking the character in a darker, more realistic direction. Christopher Nolan’s first Batman film is a lot of people’s favourite, and it’s easy to see why.

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Who’s In The Batsuit: Christian Bale

Trust me when I tell you, this was not an easy decision.

Until this week, The Dark Knight was without question my favourite Batman movie and arguably my favourite movie of all-time. With gorgeous visuals, a complex and shocking narrative and one of the greatest villain performances ever captured on film, The Dark Knight is one of only a few movies that I consider to be a masterpiece. The Dark Knight has managed to stay relevant since it’s release in 2008 because it is a masterfully crafted and utterly breathtaking piece of cinema.

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1. The Batman (2022)

Director: Matt Reeves

Who’s In The Batsuit: Robert Pattinson

After multiple viewings of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, I’m ready to declare that it is the greatest Batman movie.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is the Batman film that fans of the comics and graphic novels have always wanted to see, but never dared to believe it would happen. The Batman feels like it was torn straight from a graphic novel, with Reeves crafting a beautiful, complex and gritty re-imagining of the character.

Robert Pattinson offers a beautifully dark, brooding and surprisingly vulnerable version of Batman, with a performance that will shock and delight audiences.


Do you agree with our ranking of every live-action Batman movie? Let us know in the comments section below! We also want to know how you would rank every Batman film, so drop your list in the comments as well.

You can read our full review of The Batman HERE or listen to our audio review in the YouTube player below:

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