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All The Major Batman Movies, Ranked (According To Letterboxd)

Batman movies are always so fascinating, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, as the tone can change so drastically. Between a goofy movie made with the sole purpose of selling toys and one of the most celebrated movies of all time, there are clear winners and losers when it comes to Batman films.

RELATED: 10 Best Easter Eggs In The Batman

One of the best places for fans to make clear their Batman opinions is Letterboxd, where the reviews are fairly in line with the general consensus, although there are a couple of surprises.

Updated on March 16th, 2022 by Rhys McGinley: Since 1989, the longest break Batman has taken from big-screen theatrical releases is seven years, something which many fans of the Caped Crusader have reveled in. While there are some undoubted duds in the Batman filmography, some of the greatest films and greatest comic book movies ever have come, thanks to Batman. His most recent outing in The Batman is already getting heralded and is put amongst the best when ranking Batman movies, with that being backed up by Letterboxd, which has many differing opinions on what the correct order is for all the Batman movies ranked from worst to best.

15 Batman & Robin (1997) – 1.8/5

Available on Hulu

Batman & Robin: George Clooney

Batman & Robin is notorious for killing the Batman franchise. Whether it’s because of the batnipples, Mr. Freeze’s cringey puns, or simply being a two-hour toy commercial, the movie was critically scathed. And fans of both Batman and Tim Burton’s gothic depiction of the hero hated the 1997 movie.

However, there are ways that Batman & Robin is underrated, such as George Clooney’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne and the detailed depiction of Gotham City, and it does a great job at world-building too. Realistically, it’s no goofier than 1966’s Batman. So, when taking at face value, it can be a lot of fun.

14 Justice League (2017) – 2.1/5

Available on HBO Max

Batman injured on the ground in Justice League 2017

Whereas The Avengers and its subsequent sequels were huge accomplishments in the bringing together of massive personalities and superheroes to tell an incredible, coherent story, 2017’s Justice League was a failure. The film is just not good.

While there are a couple of positives about the film, they are not enough to save the thin plot, underdeveloped characters, and overall bland story. The film has its fans for sure, but it was unquestionably worse off following Zack Snyder leaving and is not a great outing for Ben Affleck’s underrated Batman.


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13 Batman Forever (1995) – 2.4/5

Available on Hulu

Val Kilmer in the Batsuit surrounded by Riddler's question marks in Batman Forever

Being the first of director Joel Schumacher’s two Batman movies, Batman Forever didn’t overdo it with the campiness, but, in hindsight, the hammy and ham-fisted depictions of Two-Face and the Riddler was a bad sign. In many ways, the film feels like a toned-down version of Burton’s vision, too, as it’s set in the same world as 1989’s Batman and Batman Returns, and the four movies are now considered the “anthology” Batman series.

The film seems like it was going through somewhat of an identity crisis because of studio meddling, as Schumacher planned for the film to be much darker. That has once again led to a ton of fans demanding the world from Warner Bros., campaigning for the “Schumacher Cut.” In fairness, there are tons of amazing Batman Forever deleted scenes that were undeservedly cut.


12 Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) – 2.5/5

Available on HBO Max

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman V Superman

Batman v Superman was a bitter disappointment. The movie’s title built hype, but it resulted in nothing more than a brief and lazy eight-minute fight scene in a 2.5-hour movie. The film has so much baggage, and, if anything, the main title and subtitle should have gotten flipped around, as it focuses too much on setting up the Justice League.

Warner Bros. should have slowed down, as the movie is made up of so many premises that could have easily been their own movies. Between Batman and Superman’s feud, setting up the Justice League, and the death of Superman, there are at least three different potential movies in the 2016 release — not to mention all the movies it hints at, such as a solo Batman movie with Death Stroke as the villain.


11 Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) – 2.7/5

Available on Netflix and HBO Max

The Killing Joke - Batman and the Joker

Batman: The Killing Joke is one of the most iconic graphic novels of all time, known by those who are not even avid comic readers. The theatrically released film adaptation left fans of Alan Moore’s work disappointed and despite having some fantastic elements, is not on the level of other animated Batman content.

The most significant issue most fans have with the film is the Batgirl/Barbara Gordon storyline which is poorly done and serious injustice to Gordon’s character. Rather than be a simple page-to-screen adaptation with minimum changes, this new storyline was an unnecessary weakness of the film.


10 Batman (1966) – 3.3/5

Available on YouTube

Long before the days of gritty, gloomy, and grounded Gotham and its dark, twisted vigilante hero there was 1966’s Batman starring the late, great Adam West. It is a style of comic book film not for everyone, but one whose goofiness has merit and a place in pop culture.

RELATED: The 10 Best Batman Movies, According To Ranker

The slapstick movie is filled with iconic characters from the Batman canon such as Batman himself, his sidekick Robin, his butler Alfred, and four of the most beloved members of the rogue’s gallery, Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Penguin. The movie has so much to love and is such an entertaining watch, especially for those who do are not in the mood for the newer, grounded style of the Caped Crusader.


9 Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) – 3.5/5

Available on HBO Max

Batman looking serious as the sun sets in Zack Snyder's Justice League.

When ranking Batman movies or just comic book movies in general, it would be hard to find many people who place 2017’s Justice League over the long-hoped-for and mysterious Snyder cut, which finally hit the screens in 2021. It is a huge step up.

For those who rallied for the Snyder cut for years, this movie is a great reward, adding depth to the characters offering a more impressive style and overall story with its colossal length. It is a true director’s cut, and while it is unquestionably a long film, it is one whose effort must be applauded.




8 Batman (1989) – 3.6/5

Available on Hulu

Michael Keaton as Batman

Batman was like the Big Bang for superhero movies, and while Superman was released a decade beforehand, this 1989 film was the catalyst that influenced so many studios to turn to comic books to adapt into movies. With his gothic and quirky style, Burton achieved what no director ever had, as not only did he turn in such a unique action movie, but he turned the character into a brand.

Even fans were promoting the movie before its release, as the yellow-and-black Batman logo became a part of fashion at the time, and it was all over T-shirts and belt buckles. Batman is a milestone and deserves to be celebrated, but as the film medium and technology have advanced so much in the 30 years since, it now pales in comparison to more modern Batman movies.


7 Batman Returns (1992) – 3.6/5

Available on Hulu

Batman’s second outing under the direction of Burton was much riskier. For what is essentially a kids’ movie, the film is full of brutal murders, including people getting electrocuted and set on fire. While its darker approach was criticized at the time, audiences have since come around to it, and fans on Letterboxd believe it’s as good as its predecessor.

Thankfully, Batman Returns is finally getting the recognition it deserves. The movie has so much depth, and Danny DeVito’s depiction of the Penguin is so entertaining. Since its release, many fans have pointed out similarities between The Batman and this Tim Burton classic.


6 The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) – 3.6/5

Available on HBO Max

Dick and Bruce in the Lego Batman Movie

Interestingly, in the year that the long-awaited live-action Justice League was released, which promised to be DC’s answer to The Avengers, the best portrayal of Batman that year was a LEGO version. The 2017 movie does such a great job of both making fun of everything Batman-related as well as paying homage to it.

Whether viewers’ favorite Batman is the animated version, the Nolan version, or the 1966 version, there’s so much enjoyment to be had. The Easter eggs in the movie go so deep that there’s even a reference to the shark that Batman fights in the 1966 movie. As self-aware and self-referencing in movie franchises have become a huge trend, The LEGO Batman Movie is one of the best examples of it.


5 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – 3.7/5

Available on HBO Max

Bruce flirts with Selina in The Dark Knight Rises

While The Dark Knight Rises is well-liked by most people, everybody recognizes that it doesn’t hold up when compared to its two predecessors. However, the movie does something that no other Batman movie era ever has, as it wrapped up the series in a satisfying and convincing way.

RELATED: Every Live-Action Catwoman, Ranked

The anthology series was derailed when Batman & Robin was negatively received, and the fifth movie was canceled. Fans will never get closure when it comes to Batfleck. But director Christopher Nolan perfectly wrapped up his Batman trilogy despite facing impossibly high expectations, and it’s one of the ways Dark Knight Rises is the best Nolan-directed film.


4 Batman Begins (2005) – 3.8/5

Available on Netflix and HBO Max

Batman hides in the shadows in Batman Begins

Just like Burton did before him, Nolan changed the landscape of cinema for better and for worse. Batman Begins started the whole trend of dark and gritty reboots, and it encouraged general audiences to start taking comic book movies seriously.

The director grounded the world of Gotham and Batman in reality, making it one of the most interesting depictions of the character ever. The Batman wouldn’t exist without Nolan’s original vision, and it even managed to be compelling without any of the iconic and well-known villains.


3 Batman: The Mask Of Phantasm (1993) – 3.9/5

Available on HBO Max

Joker looking over his shoulder in Mask Of The Phantasm

Though many didn’t see it in the cinema, Batman: The Mask of Phantasm, which is a continuation of Batman: The Animated Series, did get a theatrical release. While many would think that it’s nothing more than a feature-length version of the show, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Even if that was the case, B: TAS isn’t of the same quality as other animated series, as the TV show is one of the most beloved and well-crafted animated series of all time. Phantasm is an emotional rollercoaster, as well as being action-packed, and it isn’t just the best animated Batman movie; it’s one of the best Batman movies ever, period.


2 The Batman (2022) – 4.2/5

Out now in theaters

Robert Pattinson at a crime scene as Batman.

Despite only getting released this year, many fans are already claiming The Batman to be one of the best comic book movies ever, with Letterboxd having it as the second-best Batman movie with a 4.2 rating that is bound to change slightly as the year goes on.

It is full of great performances, stunning visuals, an awesome score, and simply some of the best and most memorable superhero movie scenes ever, including one of the best car chase scenes of recent years. The movie is too long for some people, but the Sevenesque crime thriller is a true achievement, and fans are chomping at the bit to see where Matt Reeves takes Battinson next and if he can continue to produce films that will come near the top of the list of Batman movies ranked by fans and critics alike.


1 The Dark Knight (2008) – 4.4/5

Available on Netflix and HBO Max

Batman beats up the Joker in The Dark Knight

While Letterboxd users and users of other movie aggregate platforms rarely share the same views, there’s one universal truth that no movie or Batman fan can deny: The Dark Knight is by far the greatest Batman movie of all time, and it’s largely because it isn’t just a great Batman movie, but because it’s a great crime thriller too, it almost always comes top of the best Batman movies ranked lists.

The movie sends audiences down a spiral of shocking twists, and Heath Ledger’s depiction of the Joker is a career-defining performance that actors could only dream of. Only time will tell if The Dark Knight will get dethroned by The Batman or its sequels.

NEXT: Every Character In The Batman, Ranked By Comic Book Accuracy

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