All Batman Films Ranked & Where To Watch Them Before ‘The Batman’ Hits Theatres

"I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!"

The Batman, coming to Australian cinemas next week on the 3rd of March, will follow Bruce Wayne in his second year of being the crime-fighting vigilante Batman.

Robert Pattinson, of Tenet, Water For Elephants, Remember Me, and the Twilight saga fame, stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman and the film will focus on Batman making new allies, including Catwoman and James Gordon, so he can take down The Riddler; a serial killer who live-streams his murders of Gotham City’s elite citizens.

If you’re as excited as we are for The Batman’s release, make sure you get in the DC mood by watching a few (or all) previous Batman films for the next week. Not sure where to start? We’ve ranked every live-action Batman film and listed where you’ll be able to watch them in Australia.

13. Suicide Squad

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

5.9 IMDb score, stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie & Viola Davis, Action, Adventure & Fantasy, released in 2016

This movie is ranked last because Batman is hardly in it and it isn’t that great of a film. Suicide Squad follows a super-secret government agency as it recruits dangerous, incarcerated supervillains to protect the world.

Suicide Squad leaves a lot to be desired, plus Batman, played by Ben Affleck, only appears in a few brief scenes.

Where To Watch: Netflix Australia, Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

12. Joker

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

8.4 IMDb score, stars Joaquin Phoenix & Robert De Niro, Crime, Drama & Thriller, released in 2019

Joker is an origin story for Batman’s greatest nemesis in the comics, The Joker. Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck and the film follows how Arthur, an aspiring stand-up comedian with mental health issues, becomes The Joker.

This film is a must-watch for die-hard Batman fans as it’s well-written and Phoenix’s performance is phenomenal but Joker ranks low on this list because Batman never technically appears; however, there is a brief scene featuring Bruce Wayne as a child.

Where To Watch: Netflix Australia.

11. Justice League

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

6.1 IMDb score, stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher & Henry Cavill, Action, Adventure & Fantasy, released in 2017

Bruce Wayne/Batman, played by Affleck, teams up with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg to protect the Earth from a deadly threat. Essentially, this is the DC version of the Marvel film The Avengers but it just pales in comparison.

Affleck is not a good Batman in terms of performance but he’s not entirely to blame; the film’s thin plot didn’t really give him much to work with. The film’s somewhat enjoyable but you’ll probably check Insta a few times while ‘watching’ it.

Where To Watch: Stan, Binge and Foxtel Now.

10. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

8.1 IMDb score, stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher & Henry Cavill, Action, Adventure & Fantasy, released in 2021

Ever since Justice League was released there were rumours that a better version of the film existed called the ‘Snyder Cut’ (this is because Snyder stepped down from Justice League during production due to the death of his daughter and Joss Whedon took over; arguably why Justice League was tonally a mess). In 2021, Warner Bros. was pressured to release Snyder’s original cut of the film.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is better than the 2016 version but only slightly. It’s way too long and, again, Affleck is just not the best Batman.

Where To Watch: Binge and Foxtel Now.

9. Batman & Robin

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

3.8 IMDb score, stars George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman & Alicia Silverstone, Action & Sci-Fi, released in 1997

Look, I understand ranking this hot mess of a film higher than the two Justice League films may annoy some Batman fans but I’m sorry this movie is so bad, it’s good. Camp and over-the-top, you’ll laugh so hard at Batman & Robin (despite it not being a comedy).

Honestly, if you have a few beers or glasses of wine and then watch Batman & Robin with your mates, I guarantee you’ll have a good time.

Where To Watch: Netflix Australia, Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

8. Batman Forever

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

5.4 IMDb score, stars Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman & Chris O’Donnell, Action & Adventure, released in 1995

Batman, played by Kilmer, teams up with a young circus acrobat, Robin to fight and protect Gotham City from Two-Face and The Riddler. Again, this film is camp, over-the-top, and almost comical but it’s still an enjoyable film!

Despite being slightly better than Batman & Robin, you’ll probably still need a few beers and your mates to have a good time while watching Batman Forever.

Where To Watch: Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

7. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

6.4 IMDb score, stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams & Jesse Eisenberg, Action, Adventure & Sci-Fi, released in 2016

Batman and Superman battle in this film as, thanks to a few misunderstandings, they don’t realise that they’re both good guys. That’s a super simplistic summary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but the plot really is that simple; including the ridiculous ‘Martha’ solution (if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about).

Don’t get me wrong, the movie does have some great moments and this is the film where Affleck gives his best Batman performance (although it’s still not as good as Christian Bale’s or Michael Keaton’s).

Where To Watch: Netflix Australia, Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

6. Batman: The Movie

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

6.5 IMDb score, stars Adam West, Action, Adventure & Comedy, released in 1966

Batman: The Movie was the first-ever full-length Batman theatrical film. Based on the TV series that also starred West as Batman, the movie follows Batman and his faithful sidekick, Robin take on four supervillains to save the world.

Sure, Batman: The Movie is exaggerated and lighthearted but it’s intended to be that way; you’ll thoroughly enjoy Batman: The Movie for nostalgia reasons.

Where To Watch: Batman: The Movie is only available to rent or purchase but you can do so on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, the Microsoft Store and YouTube.

5. The Dark Knight Rises

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

8.4 IMDb score, stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman & Michael Caine, directed by Christopher Nolan, Action, Crime & Drama, released in 2012

The last film in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is a fantastic film but just (in my opinion) not as good as the first two. The film sees Gotham City terrorised by Bane and Batman decides to come out of retirement to intervene.

As grounded and gritty as the first two in Nolan’s trilogy and with a well-written plot, daring action scenes and excellent performances from the entire cast (except for Cotillard’s infamous death scene; sorry for the spoiler) The Dark Knight Rises truly is a great Batman film.

Where To Watch: Paramount+.

4. Batman Begins

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

8.2 IMDb score, stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman & Morgan Freeman, directed by Christopher Nolan, Action, Crime, Drama, released in 2005

Batman Begins provides us with a dark, grounded origin story for Batman. Through Nolan’s skilful direction and well-written story, we see how and why Bruce Wayne became the beloved crime-fighting superhero. Bale as well as everyone else in the stellar cast provides excellent performances too.

Batman Begins breathed new life into the Batman character and not only is it a good film, but it also pays a great homage to the comics.

Where To Watch: Batman Begins is only available to rent or purchase but you can do so on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, the Microsoft Store, YouTube, and Fetch TV.

3. Batman

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

7.5 IMDb score, stars Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson & Kim Basinger, directed by Tim Burton, Action & Adventure, released in 1989

Keaton truly was an excellent Batman. The actor’s performance is compelling and is highly enhanced by Nicholson’s fantastic performance as The Joker. Burton paved the way for comic book films to be darker and grittier with Batman, and while at times the plot is a tad lacklustre, it’s still one of the best comic book film adaptations of all time.

However, Batman hasn’t aged as well; it’s very clearly a product of the 80s, hence it’s ranking here.

Where To Watch: Netflix Australia, Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

2. Batman Returns

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

7.0 IMDb score, stars Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer & Christopher Walken, directed by Tim Burton, Action, Crime & Fantasy, released in 1992

It’s rare for a sequel to be better than the original, however, the two best Batman films are both sequels. In Batman Returns, Keaton’s Batman must face businessman Max Shreck and the Penguin, who team up to tarnish Batman’s image and take over Gotham. Plus, Batman encounters the mysterious Catwoman.

DeVito and Pfeiffer really shine in Batman Returns thanks to their excellent performances and, just like in the first film, Keaton is a great Batman. Plus, Burton is in full control of his dark and haunting vision. Overall, Batman Returns is an outstanding Batman film and came extremely close to ranking number one…

Where To Watch: Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

1. The Dark Knight

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

9.0 IMDb score, stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman & Morgan Freeman, directed by Christopher Nolan, Action, Crime & Drama, released in 2008

Are you really surprised? Of course, The Dark Knight is the best Batman film!

Dark, gritty and grounded in reality, The Dark Knight has a wonderfully complex story, flawless cinematography and direction, awesome action scenes, and superb performances from the entire cast; especially from Ledger, whose iconic performance as The Joker will go down in history as the best film iteration of the villain.

Where To Watch: Stan, Binge, Paramount+ and Foxtel Now.

Only time will tell whether The Batman, in cinemas on March 3rd, will be as good as The Dark Knight.

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