Batman movies in order to watch

Batman movies in order to watch

Batman movies

So far, Batman has had 9 live-action movies focused on his story, has joined the cast of 3 other major DC productions, and is about to win a new solo movie. Probably one of the characters has had the most different interpreters, not counting the times they retell their origin story in different movie series.

This means that there is no true, infallible chronology to credit the Batman universe. Still, on the contrary, it must be enjoyed as it was produced by the different directors who wanted to give a new life to the Dark Knight. Therefore, seeing them in the order in which they were released can be interesting to understand the trajectory of Batman during his development in the cinema.

Let us begin!

Batman movies in order to watch

1. Batman: The Movie (1966)

Actor: Adam West

Villains: Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman

Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero, Lee Meriwether, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin

Director: Leslie H. Martinson

In 1966, the first Batman movie hit theaters. Adam West and Burt Ward immortalized their performances in the roles of Batman and Robin, respectively. Another great highlight was the work of César Romero, as one of the Jokers who would go down in film history. The film’s plot follows the hero duo trying to save Commodore Schmidlapp, who is in danger aboard a yacht. They arrive at the ship using the Batcopter but discover that it was all an ambush designed by four of Batman’s main enemies.

2. Batman (1989)

Artist: Michael Keaton

Villains: Joker

Starring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough and Jack Palance

Director: Tim Burton

Only 23 years after his first movie, Batman would return to theaters. This was the first production that belonged to a cinematic universe. Batman had the notable direction of Tim Burton and brought Michael Keaton in the title role. With Jack Nicholson making history with his portrayal of the villainous Joker, the film showed the character’s transformation into the criminal clown. In the plot, Batman must stop the Joker’s plan to poison the population of Gotham with a gas that provokes hysterical laughter and leads to death. But the villain keeps another secret that is directly related to the hero.

In addition to becoming a box office success and being critically praised for winning an Oscar, Batman was a major influence on the development techniques of future films in the genre.

3. Batman: The Return (1992)

Cast: Michael Keaton

Villains: Penguin, Catwoman

Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Director: Tim Burton

Once again, with Michael Keaton in the title role and Tim Burton directing, Batman: The Return continued the story we saw in the previous feature film, but this time Bruce Wayne needs to face the dangerous Penguin. The villain came back to life in theaters, this time as Danny Devito. But the Penguin’s macabre plan to kidnap and kill the firstborn of the citizens of Gotham isn’t the only challenge Batman faces in this film. He still needs to try and stop Catwoman’s thirst for revenge, played by Michelle Pfeiffer.

Although the dark tone that Burton brought to the film was criticized at the time, Batman: The Return became a reference for other professionals in the field and was chosen by Empire magazine as the seventh-best superhero film and the second-best film in the category, second only to Batman: The Dark Knight (2008).

4. Batman Forever (1995)

Cast: Val Kilmer

Villains: Riddler and Two-Face

Cast: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, and Pat Hingle

Director: Joel Schumarcher

With Michael Keaton and Tim Burton refusing to return for a third Batman film, Joel Schumacher took over directing the new film and Val Kilmer took on the lead role after many actors were considered for the job. The film also featured Dick Grayson, Robin, played by Chris O’Donnell.

With a production marked by conflicts, the film divided opinions, and the protagonist would change again in the next film. Its plot, however, brought in the iconic villains Two-Face and Riddler, who planned to drain information from the brains of the citizens of Gotham.

5. Batman and Robin (1997)

Cast: George Clooney

Villains: Mr. Cold, Poison Ivy, and Bane

Cast: George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, and Alicia Silverstone

Director: Joel Schumacher

The fourth and final film in The Batman Motion Picture Anthology, Batman and Robin, featured the return of Chris O’Donnell as Batman’s partner, now brought to life thanks to George Cloney. The plot follows Batman, Robin, and newcomer Batgirl battling Mr. Cold, Poison Ivy, and Bane, who teamed up to dominate Gotham.

Often ridiculed for the plot, costumes, and other elements, the film had very negative reviews and box office. Additionally, it was nominated in 11 categories at the Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture. Unfortunately, it’s still considered the character’s worst movie, so Warner Bros. canceled this project, and it would only get close to the character in theaters again in 2005.

6. Batman Begins (2005)

Cast: Christian Bale

Villains: The Scarecrow

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman

Director: Christopher Nolan

Kicking off the franchise that would take Batman movies to a level never before reached, Batman Begins brought Christian Bale shining as Batman. The feature film rebooted the character’s story again, again showing Bruce Wayne’s childhood, the murder of his parents, the training he underwent, and his recruitment into the League of Shadows.

Returning to Gotham, Wayne must face the villainous Scarecrow, who uses a toxin as a weapon that causes terrifying hallucinations in his opponents. With a more political focus, beyond the motivation to dominate the world, the first film of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy brought a dark tone and a more realistic plot that conquered fans and critics.

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

Cast: Christian Bale

Villains: Joker

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal,

Morgan Freeman

Director: Christopher Nolan

Considered to this day the best Batman film ever produced, The Dark Knight made history by receiving 8 Oscar nominations, having won two: Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor. The latter was the posthumous award won by Heath Ledger for his incredible portrayal of the villainous Joker. In the plot, the Joker takes on Gotham’s organized crime and represents one of the greatest challenges Bruce Wayne has ever faced. Sadistic and violent, he tells different origin stories of his criminal identity while mutilating the faces of his victims.

The film also brought the character of Harvey Dent to the big screen, showing his transformation to become the villain Two-Face. Also introduced in the film was a new costume for Batman and the Batpod, a recreation of the Batmoto.

8. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Cast: Christian Bale

Villains: Bane

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman

Director: Christopher Nolan

The third and final film in the Christopher Nolan franchise brought an 8-year time jump. Bruce Wayne remained in seclusion after convincing Commissioner Gordon to blame Batman for the violence inflicted on Harvey Dent. When Bane, a former member of the League of Shadows, arrives in Gotham to implement Ras Al Ghul’s plan to destroy the city, Batman is no longer as fit as before. The film also featured Anne Hathaway in the role of Selina Kyle, Catwoman.

This feature film was favored by fans and critics alike, who praised the direction, script, soundtrack, and cast to conclude the Dark Knight trilogy.

9. Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Cast: Ben Affleck

Villains: Lex Luthor

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter

Director: Zack Snyder

With its plot set 18 months after the Man of Steel movie, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was the second production of the so-called DC Extended Universe. It addressed the deadly conflict between Batman and Superman. Manipulated by Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne views Superman as a threat to Earth, leading the characters into an extremely dangerous showdown, with Batman even creates kryptonite-powered armor.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film divided opinions, received strong criticism for its dark tone and slow pace, and was a major disappointment at the worldwide box office.

10. Suicide Squad (2016)

Cast: Ben Affleck

Villains: Joker, Magic

Cast: Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood

Director: David Ayer

Although the focus of Suicide Squad was not on Batman, the film takes place in the same universe and stars some of the popular villains from the character’s comics and other DC Comics series. Joker, Harley Quinn, Gunman, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Crocodile, Moor, and Magic. Although Jared Leto’s Joker had a mixed reception, it was the first time a movie had addressed the popular (and abusive) relationship between him and Harley Quinn. She, in turn, was favored by audiences with her portrayal of Margot Robbie and starred in the 2020 film Birds of Prey.

Even so, Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was also present in the film, more specifically in the middle credits scene, when Wayne appears talking to Amanda Waller and taking the files of the government metahumans.

11. Justice League (2017 – Joss Whedon Version)

Cast: Ben Affleck

Villains: Steppe Wolf

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams, JK Simmons

Director: Joss Whedon

The film that brought the acclaimed Justice League to theaters ended up having its production shrouded in controversy, the main one being the change of directors, marking the departure of Zack Snyder and the entry of Joss Whedon (and the beginning of a long campaign for DC to release the movie version of Snyder).

The plot followed Batman and Wonder Woman assembling the team of heroes to take on the feared Steppe Wolf, who planned to use the so-called Mother Boxes to destroy Earth. Two years after Superman’s death, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg team up to save the planet.

12. Justice League (2021 – Zack Snyder version)

Cast: Ben Affleck

Villains: Darkseid and Steppe Wolf

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams, JK Simmons

Director: Zack Snyder

After four years of many battles by fans for DC and Warner to launch the so-called Snyder Cut, the studios announced that the director’s cut would arrive on the HBO Max broadcast in 2021, divided into four parts of approximately 1 hour each.

In this version, the common thread of the plot is not Batman and Wonder Woman, but Cyborg. Although it also addresses the Mother Boxes and the confrontation against Steppe Wolf, the film has a prominent place for the famous villain Darkseid, who leads an army that invades Earth searching for the boxes. The Justice League would assemble an army of Amazons, Gods, Humans, Atlanteans, and a member of the Green Lantern Corps to confront him.

The Snyder Cut also has a highly anticipated moment by Justice League fans: Superman in the black uniform. Because it takes place in the same time frame as the plot of Joss Whedon’s version, this is the only movie that doesn’t have a specific order for its release due to its relationship to the previous one. They can be taken as two parallel versions or even parallel universes.

13. Joker (2019)

Cast: Dante Pereira-Olson (Young Bruce Wayne)

Villains: Joker

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen

Director: Todd Phillips

The Joker solo movie hit theaters are making history. Breaking several box office records, the feature film featured a brilliant performance by Joaquin Phoenix, for which he won the Oscar for Best Actor. The plot follows the misfit Arthur Fleck, a simple and suffering man who works as a clown and dreams of becoming a comedian. However, he is not very pleasant with neurological problems and takes medication that he can get from the social service. After being humiliated, assaulted and degraded in different ways, Arthur becomes what we know as the Clown of Crime.

Although the focus here is not on Batman, the film tells yet another story about the origin of his archenemy and features the appearance of a very young Bruce Wayne.

14. The Batman (October 1, 2021)

Cast: Robert Pattinson

Villains: Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, Carmine Falcone

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Jeffrey Wright, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, John Turturro

Director: Matt Reeves

After various complaints about Ben Affleck’s version of Batman, fans are looking forward to director Matt Reeves’ Batman, played by Robert Pattinson. The plot will take place in young Bruce’s second year as Batman and better show the bat detective side of Gotham.

According to the little information published to date and what the trailer revealed, the villain The Riddler is behind a series of mysterious murders and provokes Batman with his riddles. To investigate and prevent the crimes from continuing, Bruce will still have to deal with other classic comic book villains of the character, such as Catwoman, The Penguin, and Carmine Falcone.

Although years pass before the plot of the rest of the films on this list, The Batman will not direct relationship with any of the previous productions, being part of the new DC films that are not part of the DCEU.

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