To tie a neat little bow on my Batman month, here is a quick ranking of all the current theatrical Batman movies from my own personal least favorite to my absolute favorite. Sense I’ve reviewed these movies in full, I’ll keep the explanations short.
#11 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) - My personal score is 4/10
While there are undeniably worthwhile highlights, this clash between two titan superheroes is unfortunately bogged down by an unfocused narrative, to many dangling plot threads, a noticeable lack of villains, and a formidable length.
#10 Batman Returns (1992) - My personal score is 5/10
A truly haunting spectacle, but this entry in the Batman cannon still struggles with a boring plot and a hero who gets shamefully side-lined in favor of three mediocre villains.
#9 Batman & Robin (1997) - My personal score is 5/10
What once had character depth and darkly stylish atmosphere is now replaced with childish puns, a bombastic color scheme and some painfully over the top gimmicks, yet by sinking to new lows it somehow achieves new highs as one of the greatest terrible movies ever made, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze can be very amusing in his own loony way.
#8 Batman: The Movie (1966) - My Personal score is 7/10
Campy comic book storytelling and silly hummer is taken to an artistic level, although weather you find it appealing or not depends on how much of the silliness makes you smile or cringe.
#7 Batman Forever (1995) - My personal score is 8/10
"Batman Forever" may be just a little too loud and bombastic for some viewers, but with just enough kernels of character depth, a talented ensemble cast, and no shortage of eye candy, this is one entertaining comic-book movie that literally leaps from page to screen.
#6 Batman (1989) - My personal score is 8/10
The story may be second rate, but Tim Burton’s artistic direction, a captivating comic-book atmosphere and Michal Keaton's performance as the struggling hero make this a classic in it’s own right.
#5 Batman Begins (2005) - My personal score is 8/10
Character driven, expertly crafted and thrilling to the end, "Batman Begins" suggested a bright new future for one of cinemas most iconic hero’s, and it was right.
#4 The Lego Batman Movie (2017) - My personal score is 9/10
Bursting with delightfully colorful mayhem, and no shortage of comedy, “The Lego Batman Movie” celebrates everything that is “BATMAN” and surprisingly understands the deeper humanity of the hero more than most other incarnations.
#3 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - My personal score is 9/10
While some plot details could have been touched up on, Batman's closing arc is still strong and “Rises” is without a doubt a powerful, action packed and poignant finale to this epic superhero trilogy.
#2 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) - My personal score is 10/10
A dark and stylish spectacle that combines a beautifully Gothic love story with a hero’s origin, an exciting action mystery and ultimately succeeds where many live action Batman movies have failed.
#1 The Dark Knight (2008) - My personal score is 10/10
Dark, riveting, compelling, powerfully acted, and unforgettable, "The Dark Knight" takes the comic book genera to immaculate new heights while infusing it’s thrilling crime story with themes, ideas, morality and captivating character arcs.