Who's your favorite on-screen Batman? It's not an easy question. Since just 1989, there have been no less than seven Batman movies - not to mention a few animated, a Lego incarnation, and the upcoming Batman v. Superman with Ben Affleck as Caped Crusader.
Perhaps you're a fan of the original Michael Keaton incarnation, if only for the nostalgia factor. Or maybe you prefer the wild card Val Kilmer? Then there's the edgier, troubled laconic Batman of Christian Bale's Dark Knight? Or does your taste go all the way back to the campy Adam West (yes, he made a Batman movie)?
As far as critics go, there are a couple of resounding favorite Batman movies and one or two that seem almost universally despised. Rotten Tomatoes, or the tomatometer, has tracked and consolidated all reputable reviews for each of the Batman movies, and the results may surprise you. Assuming you're a George Clooney fan, that is.
Here are the Batman movies in order of critical acclaim. Of course, the only approval most movies are concerned with is the box office gross, so that's also given a nod here.
8 Batman & Robin (1997)
7 Batman Forever (1995)
6 Batman (1989)
Ever since Frank Miller rebooted the Batman franchise with his graphic novels, fans were scrambling for a movie. Though most were thrilled with the director (Tim Burton) and the villain (Jack Nicholson as The Joker), fans were initially upset with the choice of Michael Keaton as Batman.
5 Batman (1966)
4 Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton returned for this somewhat overstuffed sequel, which featured no less than two villains (The Penguin/Catwoman) not to mention Christopher Walken as the bad guy without a costume.
3 Batman Begins, 2005
2 The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The most ambitious of Nolan’s trio of Batman movies, this flick found our hero battered and bruised from too much nocturnal crime fighting and not enough sleep.
1 1. The Dark Knight (2008)
It took Batman fans a whole movie (Batman Begins) before they warmed to Christopher Nolan’s twisted vision of The Dark Knight. The 2008 movie also had the benefit of the late Heath Ledger, who proved a compulsively watchable and eccentric Joker. He certainly added life to the proceedings opposite Christian Bale’s humourless Batman.
The film was also the first to garner major Oscar attention, with eight nominations and a posthumous trophy for Ledger. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave it an incredible 94% approval rating. At the box office, it became the first superhero movie to clear a billion dollars worldwide.
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