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Every Batman Movie Ranked By Rotten Tomatoes

Night falls over Gotham City. Somewhere in the city's iconic skyline perches Batman, its dark avenger. Sometimes, he awaits the Bat-Signal's call to action. Other times, he seeks out criminals of his own volition to enact the vigilante justice his crime-riddled city so desperately needs. All the while his alter-ego, wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne, hides in plain sight. 

Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939, Batman made his cinematic debut in 1966's "Batman: The Movie." This campy adaptation features pirate-themed henchmen, a dehydrator capable of turning humans into dust, and a truly noble porpoise. It wasn't until 1989 that film fans encountered a version with grit in Tim Burton's "Batman". His dark take on the man and his city electrified an entirely new generation of fans — and set the stage for many Batman films to follow. Not all of those attempts, however, have been a success. From the rubber suits to the penguin platoons, here is every "Batman" movie ranked by Rotten Tomatoes score. One quick note, though: We're going squarely by the score as-is, even though some movies have far more reviews than others.

37. Batman & Robin (1997)

Coming in last place with a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Batman & Robin" is the critics' choice for worst-ever "Batman" movie. Directed by Joel Schumacher and featuring an all-star cast led George Clooney in his first and only turn as the caped crusader, "Batman & Robin" should have been a success. After all, Schumacher had produced hits before, including "St. Elmo's Fire" and "The Lost Boys." The 1960s series proved that people could love a goofy Batman. What went wrong?

The campy dialogue, for one thing. It could have been great — if all the actors were on the same lighthearted page. Take Chris O'Donnell, who exclaims, "Hole-y rusted metal, Batman!" as he points at steel wreckage riddled with holes. It's a clearly goofy nod to a fondly remembered bit of Batman history, but he says it without any of the wink-wink-nod-nod energy needed. Clooney's wooden response and the flat gaze that follows only makes it worse.

Some actors fare better: Uma Thurman is fabulous as Poison Ivy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is utterly committed to his groan-worthy puns. "But Batman & Robin" still falls flat. "A sniggering, exhausting, overproduced extravaganza that has virtually all of the humanity pounded out of it in the name of an endless parade of stunt sequences," Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune declared at the time of the premiere. A icy take to be sure, but even Mr. Freeze would agree that it is accurate.

36. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Behold the steaming pile of bat guano called "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." It has kryptonite grenade launchers. It has an armored Batman. It has Wonder Woman's cinematic debut. It has a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes. But what is the movie actually about? 

The main conflict involves a young Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg, who thinks he's in "Batman & Robin") who has decided to pit Earth's greatest heroes against each other. Their overlong battle culminates in Batman and Superman discovering their mothers are both named Martha, which ends their fight as unceremoniously as it began. Then they have to fight Zombie General Zod. Then Superman dies. Then it's made clear that he isn't really dead. The end!

It's not that fans weren't up for a dark take on Batman, nor even that they didn't want to see their heroes fight. Heavy-hitter matchups are, after all, a cherished tradition of superhero nerds everywhere. But "Batman v Superman" sands away all the tension and cultural commentary that makes gritty takes on Batman work, while sucking all the fun out of its headlining match. Batman is mostly boring in this film, and when he's not boring, he's kind of a jerk. It's not really Affleck's fault — he was only given so much material to work with — but the fact that the DCEU rebooted Batman entirely is no surprise. At least we got a great meme out of it.

35. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

With a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, it's clear that the animated adaptation of "Batman: The Killing Joke" just isn't worth your time. Sure, it's really great to watch some of the most iconic Batman/Joker moments from the Alan Moore comic book be brought to life, especially with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as these characters, but the rest of the film ... well, let's just say that all the Batgirl stuff (especially her rooftop sex scene with Batman) is completely unnecessary, inconsequential, and detracts from the point of the original story. It certainly doesn't do her (or Batman) any favors.

The Hollywood Outsider said it best: "begin where the comic does, or the joke's on you." While there's a lot of fan debate about whether or not the Batman/Batgirl romance is even something that should be possible (since, you know, she was a teenager when she first put on her cowl), most will agree that the way it was handled here was lacking to say the least. While Conroy and Hamill are incredible as always, even their vocal talents aren't enough to fix this poor adaptation of one of Batman's most compelling comic book stories, which is a real shame since this could have easily been on the same level as their "The Dark Knight Returns" adaptation.

34. Justice League (2017)

Just because you put a group of gorgeous actors together doesn't actually mean you'll end up with a good movie. You'd think DC might have learned this after "Batman v Superman," but no, "Justice League" proved to be more of the same. Batman particularly suffers in this overstuffed snorefest of a film: He's boring, arrogant, and so painfully one-dimensional you wonder why he's been invited to join an elite team of superheroes at all. Oh yeah, that's right. He's got the money and isn't afraid to let everyone know about it as often as he can. It beats character development, eh? 

But Batman isn't the only problem. "Justice League" is at times so boring, one wonders if an editing team was even employed. Brief moments of promise emerge, as when Aquaman accidentally sits on Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth: His resulting monologue recalls the Joss Whedon of 2012's "The Avengers" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." But this is neither of those properties — this is "Justice League," which has a frankly generous 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, a number that does not seem likely to climb higher as the years go by. It's not the worst of the DCEU, at least ... but is that really even a compliment?

33. Batman Forever (1995)

Joel Schumacher's first Batman film fares only slightly better than his second, with "Batman Forever" coming in at 40% on the Rotten Tomatoes. This installment features Val Kilmer as Gotham's vigilante, who goes up against Jim Carrey's Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face. Is it better than "Batman & Robin"? Sort of. Is it good? Absolutely not.

Now, Jim Carrey's Riddler is nearly perfect. Like Thurman's Poison Ivy in "Batman & Robin," he is decadently hammy and totally at home within the cartoonish environs of "Batman Forever." Virtually every other performance, however, is forced. Chris O'Donnell's overwrought earnestness is quickly cloying, and Nicole Kidman's one-note Dr. Chase Meridien spouts psychobabble that has long been debunked. 

As Roger Ebert said in Chicago Sun-Times, the "general irreverence" of "Batman Forever" can be fun. And the soundtrack, featuring Brandy, Nick Cave, and Seal, still totally slaps, all these years later. But it's an overlong slog, insisting upon a "fun" aesthetic while not actually having any real fun. This Batman might indeed last Forever — but only as a joke.

32. Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

The first return to the animation style of "The New Batman Adventures" in nearly two decades, "Batman and Harley Quinn" is well, it's bad. Real bad. Holding a 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, it's been deemed rotten for a reason. While it's certainly not the worst Batman animated feature, that doesn't excuse it for being as unsatisfying as it is. Of course, Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester give incredible-as-always performances as Batman and Nightwing, and seeing Harley Quinn in her iconic outfit is pretty grand, but even that can't stop this Bruce Timm-written feature from being a train wreck.

Whether it's just the messy tone, the bad jokes, or the over-sexualization that does it, something is wrong with "Batman and Harley Quinn," and sadly the nostalgia alone won't save this one in the end. Whether you love or hate Harley Quinn, there's no doubt that the original incarnation of the character from "Batman: The Animated Series" was the best version of her, and this movie all but spits on it. You're better off re-watching old episodes of the animated series, they'll hold up better.

31. Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

"Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman" is just as good as it is bad. With a 60% on the Tomatometer, this "Batman: The Animated Series" continuation is a real mixed bag. The good? Well, the mystery behind the identity of Batwoman is super interesting, with a final twist you definitely won't see coming. Batman's struggle to maintain balance in Gotham, trying to fight crime bosses and supervillains alike, is classic Batman gold, and with the Tim Drake incarnation of Robin by his side, we couldn't be happier with his work. There are certainly worse Batman stories out there.

Where it gets a little iffy is some of Batman's own characterization, which makes him feel a bit more like a playboy in the mask than he does out of it. Watching him interact with Batwoman is a bit odd, but we'll forgive it after the Batman and Catwoman scenes in "The Batman." But to be honest, "Mystery of the Batwoman" just isn't anything all too special. It feels more like a standard episode of "The New Batman Adventures" than it does it's own stand-alone picture — and although the plot is pretty interesting, it drags just a bit too long.

30. Son of Batman (2014)

A direct adaptation of the famous "Batman and Son" story arc by Grant Morrison, "Son of Batman" introduces us to Batman's newest Robin, his biological son Damian Wayne, grandson of the villainous Ra's al Ghul. Holding a steady 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, this one was a bit of a mixed bag. While there's some interesting stuff between Bruce and Damian to be sure (especially since Damian has no problem killing people), the plot can feel a bit rushed, even forced, at times. Though, we will say that the swarm of Man-Bats are pretty cool.

While the film's immediate sequel, "Batman vs. Robin," is definitely the better of the two, "Son of Batman" lays much of the necessary groundwork needed to make the second part (and eventually "Batman: Bad Blood," which is the best of the bunch) interesting. Jason O'Mara's Batman takes a little getting used to here, especially after watching so many Batman films with Kevin Conroy, but he eventually grows on you. The film does struggle a bit tonally, but nothing the Dark Knight can't conquer by the end.

29. Joker (2019)

While Joaquin Phoenix's take on the character has often been praised, "Joker" only received a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. Whether you agree with that rating or not, we can all admit that this was something of an ... odd Joker story. Sure, everyone who's read "The Killing Joke" can get behind Joker having once been a normal person who was down-on-his-luck, but Arthur Fleck is, well, kind of pathetic. If you're a Batman fan who loves the Joker because he's witty, funny, and a constant-but-interesting thorn in Batman's side, then "Joker" is not the movie for you. Not only is there no Batman, but there isn't really a Joker here either.

Fans of "Taxi Driver" and other Martin Scorsese films (not to mention 1970s crime pictures) will definitely enjoy this one, but for classic Batman fans it might be hit-or-miss depending on which version of Joker you prefer. Truthfully, there's not much Batman-related material here other than brief references to Gotham corruption, Thomas Wayne (who is nothing like his comic book counterpart), and a strange interaction between Arthur and a young Bruce Wayne. Oh, and the Wayne murders occur again, but what else is new? If you went into "Joker" expecting to see the definitely portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime, you'll probably be disappointed.

28. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)

For years, we thought that Joss Whedon's abomination was the only version of "Justice League" we'd ever see. Of course, some fans didn't give up and after years of campaigning, Warner Brothers finally allowed Zack Snyder to finish his own cut of the film. "Zack Snyder's Justice League" has a 71% rating on the Tomatometer, and many fans were overjoyed with the results. Snyder's take on the film gives Batman a lot more to do as he assembles his team together to fend off Darkseid's forces. This version of the film sees Batman embrace an altruistic hope for the future, especially upon Superman's return, something that's a bit refreshing compared to "Batman v Superman."

Rather than making the Dark Knight out to be a cartoonish caricature, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" allows Batman to shine as the de facto leader of the Justice League. Honestly, every character has their own moment to shine here (especially the Flash and Cyborg), which makes it all the more worth it. As Common Sense Media put it, it "feels like it's telling more of a complete story, and this results in a more watchable, engaging, and polished production." If Whedon's version of the film turned you off to the idea of superhero team-ups and comic book epics, let "Zack Snyder's Justice League" put you back on track because everyone here, including Batman, get their fair share of greatness.

27. Batman (1989)

Tim Burton's "Batman" scores a well-earned 72% on the Tomatometer, making it the first "fresh" Batman movie. Tim Burton's outsider aesthetic completely revamped the character: Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne is brooding and traumatized, his eyes beneath the mask ever-soulful as he works to avenge the deaths of his parents. The age of Adam West was ended by this portrayal, and the era of the caped crusader begun.

Jack Nicholson's Joker is a big part of the film's success. In many ways, he's as broken as Batman — he just hides it behind a rictus grin, and a never-ending supply of zingers. And while it might be difficult to imagine Kim Basinger's prima donna Vicki Vale as a war zone photographer, she does bring compassion and empathy to the role, even as she's pigeonholed as the damsel in distress. 

But what really sets Burton's "Batman" apart from every other one is its killer music. Danny Elfman's orchestral score would become iconic, especially "The Batman Theme" which lives on in a variety of Bat-related media. Prince's soundtrack, a dizzying delight, was similarly successful: It went double platinum. "Batman" revitalized the character, gave the world "Batdance," and reminded us all to never rub another man's rhubarb. What more could a fan ask for?

26. Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (2018)

A totally different take on Batman than you've probably ever seen before, "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" currently holds a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and there's no doubt about why. Based on the popular graphic novel of the same name, "Gotham by Gaslight" is set in turn-of-the-20th-century Gotham and features a steampunk Batman as he attempts to stop Jack the Ripper from killing any more of Gotham's loveliest ladies. It's definitely different than the Gotham we're used to, with Victorian-era architecture, costuming, and societal norms that feel like a completely different world, and it's pretty great.

As Batman and Selina Kyle team-up to defeat Jack the Ripper (who is not at all who you'd think he is), you'll sit in awe at the beautiful animation, the well-written dialogue, and the fascinating world that the filmmakers have created. With reimagined versions of James Gordon, Hugo Strange, Harvey Dent, and even Leslie Thompkins, there is a lot more to this film than immediately meets the eye. If there's any crime regarding this one (besides, you know, Jack the Ripper's murders), it's that "Gotham by Gaslight" isn't rated any higher. A real shame, because this movie has got real guts — just don't let Jack rip yours out of you.

25. Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Many Batman fans have remarked that the "Batman: Arkham" games are some of the best adaptations of the Dark Knight out there, and we're inclined to agree. An interesting addition to this, normally video game-only, universe is "Batman: Assault on Arkham," which manages to be something of a blend between a Batman movie and a Suicide Squad movie. With a 75% on the Tomatometer, this one is great for die-hard "Arkham" fans, and even those who enjoy stories centered around DC's Task Force X (the official name for the Suicide Squad).

Set after "Arkham Origins" but before "Arkham Asylum," "Assault on Arkham" reunites Kevin Conroy's Batman with Troy Baker's Joker, as well as a host of other characters including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, the Riddler, and even Captain Boomerang. As Task Force X is sent to break into Arkham, Batman (who's actually more of a side-character in this movie) attempts to stop them. This might not be the best example of a stellar Batman animated movie, but it does wonders for the Suicide Squad (and is much better than their 2016 feature film).

24. Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

Originally meant to be a tie-in between "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," "Batman: Gotham Knight" is a collection of six different animated shorts that each tell a different Batman-centered tale. With a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Gotham Knight" is visually stunning. While most animated features retain the same animation style throughout, "Gotham Knight" takes each story very seriously, switching up the animation style for each segment (a lot like the "AniMatrix"). Of course, the one consistent throughout is that Batman is voiced by all-time favorite Kevin Conroy, who delivers whether the visuals do or not.

Each segment is beautifully animated, and each story just as compelling as the last. As Ard Vijn of ScreenAnarchy said, "Most of the segments are really well done though, my personal fave being the gorgeous 'Have I Got a Story For You,' which also has the audacity of being an anthology within an anthology." If anthologies aren't really your thing, or multiple animation styles will bother you, then this might seem like a pass, but in truth "Batman: Gotham Knight" is a must-see for all Bat-fans out there, regardless of what the Tomatometer says.

23. Batman: Death in the Family (2020)

An interactive "spiritual sequel" to "Batman: Under the Red Hood," "Batman: Death in the Family" is the only Batman film of its kind, giving the audience the same choice that comic book readers had in the late 1980s, to either save or kill the second Robin aka Jason Todd. With a 75% on the Tomatometer, "Death in the Family" provides the audience with three different paths: Robin Dies (like the events of "Under the Red Hood"), Robin Cheats Death (where Todd becomes a murderous vigilante similar to Hush), or Batman Saves Robin. The final option, in which Todd adopts the Red Robin moniker, gives viewers the opportunity to either take revenge on the Joker or honor Batman's dying wishes not to, each with their own respective paths. 

Like "Under the Red Hood," Batman is once again voiced by Bruce Greenwood (one of the most underrated Batman actors) and the Joker is played perfectly by John DiMaggio, but, sadly, Jensen Ackles doesn't reprise his role as Jason Todd here. Regardless, if you're looking for a unique Batman movie experience unlike any other, then check out "Batman: Death in the Family."

22. Batman: The Movie (1966)

Holy first movie, Batman! Catapulting off the success of the boisterous "Batman" TV show, the Dynamic Duo arrived onto the big screen in the best way possible. Menaced by legendary villains including Burgess Meredith's Penguin, Cesar Romero's Joker, and Lee Meriwether's Catwoman, this movie ranks seventh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 79% fresh score. How did it achieve such praise?

For one thing, its age helps. While Burton's 1989 "Batman" has over 75 aggregated critics reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, "Batman: The Movie" only has 33, all of which reviewed it years after its debut. But that doesn't mean the merit they find in it isn't real. As Time Out said, "the design still looks sleek today — I'd choose Adam West's Batmobile over Michael Keaton's any day." While some Batman fans might not agree with that sentiment, without "Batman: The Movie," this would be a far shorter list. And though it's attitude towards superheroes is miles away from today's serious-minded cape-and-cowl stories, there is still an enormous amount of fun to be had in its primary-colored universe. Superheroes, after all, are flexible creations, meant to change with their times. If Batman can be the armored jerk of "Batman v Superman," he can be a groovy 1960s swinger as well.

21. Batman Returns (1992)

Burton's "Batman Returns" doesn't just impress — it manages to surpass its era-defining 1989 predecessor. Deepening and darkening Burton's neo-noir vision, the villains of "Batman Returns" are its greatest strength. The Penguin, played by a delightfully disgusting Danny DeVito, and Catwoman, delivered with manic panache by Michelle Pfeiffer, are all-star additions to Batman's rogues gallery. Michael Keaton's Batman is, if anything, the side dish they fight over in this feast of anti-heroism — and somehow, that's not a criticism. It's no wonder this installment clocks in at 80%.

Much of the film's success lies in its embrace of contradiction and extremes. Penguin's creepy coterie of followers are as terrifying as they are hilarious, encompassing animalistic people and, well, real animals. Catwoman's journey from frumpy, frazzled assistant to whip-cracking vixen is as entertainingly bizarre today as it was in 1992. Christopher Walken's villainous Max Schreck is the cherry on top of this demented ice cream sundae — the most low-key of the baddies, but still a perfect coupling of sleaze and style.

While Batman is marginalized in his own film, Keaton still summons the depth he brought to the original Burton film, securing his place as one of the best Batman actors of all time. As Newsweek wrote, "Something about the filmmaker's eccentric, surreal, childlike images seems to strike a deep chord in the mass psyche: He makes nightmares that taste like candy." We love every bite.

20. Batman Ninja (2018)

With a 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Batman Ninja" is one of the strangest Batman animated films on this list, but that's mostly because of it's not your average Batman film. After Gorilla Grodd accidently sends Batman and his rogue's gallery back in time to medieval Japan, the Dark Knight must fight to survive this new landscape after arriving two years later than the rest. Fighting to restore order and send everyone home to the present, Batman and his Bat Clan are forced to fight against samurai, robots, and the Lord Joker himself before they're stuck there forever.

This one definitely gets points for being one of the most original stories on this list, with two different versions of this film making their way into the world (American and Japanese). It's completely your choice how you watch it, but keep in mind that — like all anime — the Japanese version is the better of the two. According to IGN, "DC tried something new by bringing in visionary Japanese animators to offer a refreshing take on one of the company's most beloved characters, and the finished product not only built upon the great adaptations that have come before, but surpassed them." If that high praise doesn't compel you to stop what you're doing and check out "Batman Ninja," then nothing will!

19. Batman Begins (2005)

In "Batman Begins," certified fresh at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, we meet Bruce Wayne as a child. Herein lies the special sauce of the Nolan trilogy: A focus on Batman himself, as he journeys from shattered childhood to hardened, legendary icon. We watch him grow, searching the world for answers, on a path that would eventually lead him back to Gotham as an entirely different man. He isn't the Dark Knight just yet — but he's getting there.

The film is equal parts style, emotion, and terror, especially once the Scarecrow enters the picture and releases all of Arkham's criminally insane patients onto Gotham City's streets. The underworld of Carmine Falcone has a place in this film as well, heralding what Entertainment Weekly called "the dawning of Gotham City's age of greed." "Batman Begins" is exactly what it had to be, to pull off the lofty aims Nolan had in mind: A decisive mission statement about Batman and the world he inhabits. Audiences embraced it, and a new age began for the caped crusader — one that would change the character forever.

18. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

"Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" has a solid 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes — no surprise, given the fact that it's a continuation of the universally beloved "Batman: The Animated Series." "Mask of the Phantasm" follows Batman as he tracks down a mysterious killer, bent on murdering mob bosses. Featuring the inimitable Mark Hamill as the Joker and Dana Delaney as love interest Andrea Beaumont, this iteration of Batman delivers a Bruce Wayne on the edge. While other takes on the character emphasize the "truth" of the Batman persona over the "mask" of Bruce Wayne, "Mask of the Phantasm" accepts both as present in the character. He is a man, and he is a symbol. How he manages the boundary between is the drive of the film.

Between the stellar animation, powerful score, and twisty plot, "Mask of the Phantasm" has earned its place as one of the best Batman films ever made. As The AV Club mused, "The mask of the phantasm is the mask that Bruce Wayne puts on every day, and if he falls into the abyss, he risks a life ... completely alone." That's the character in a nutshell — and the stuff cinematic dreams are made of.

17. The Batman (2022)

Coming in with an 85% on the Tomatometer (and a similar audience score), "The Batman" is the Dark Knight's most recent bout on the big screen. Directed by Matt Reeves, this gritty detective crime drama (a la "Se7en") is everything you could ask for in a Batman movie. With a cryptic mystery surrounding Gotham's criminal underbelly and elites to disturbing revelations about Bruce's own family history, this Batman film proves to be more than just your average superhero production — it's something of a masterpiece. As Batman works with Detective James Gordon to solve each of the Riddler's puzzles before Gotham descends into further chaos, our Dark Knight Detective must come to terms with his own identity as a vigilante, and decide whether or not vengeance is worth living for.

Robert Pattinson's portrayal of Batman is magnificent. Although he might seem a bit dramatic at times, his take on Gotham's Caped Crusader is interesting because there seems to be little distinction between Batman and Bruce Wayne. In "The Batman," the Dark Knight has taken over Bruce's life, leaving no room at all for the Wayne heir to live his life outside of the cowl. Film critic Rendy Jones said that, "Matt Reeves' 'The Batman' is a riveting and passionately crafted film noir that wears its inspiration on its sleeve while bringing Detective Batman to the big screen." While there's a lot more that we could say about this detective story, we can't say it much better than that.

16. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

"The Dark Knight Rises" lands near the top of the Batman heap with an 87% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This concluding chapter of Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy is as dark as it is epic, following masked villain Bane as he attempts to "liberate" Gotham from corporate raiders like Bruce Wayne. Bane's plan is to blow it all up to smithereens to level the playing field once and for all — and he comes darn close to accomplishing just that.

As The Denver Post wrote, "The Dark Knight Rises" "is a feat of painstakingly crafted closure." That closure isn't just successful — it's remarkably quiet for a blockbuster starring Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale. But it is indeed those intimate moments of contemplation that make the film truly special. Bane's traumatic childhood and prison escape as a child, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's first meeting, Bruce's struggle to escape the underground prison — it's a lot less flashy than stadium collapses and motorcycle rockets, but it's what lingers when the film is over. Nolan's finale brought Bruce Wayne's story to a satisfying end — at least, until the DCEU rebooted him.

15. Batman: Year One (2011)

Based on the classic Frank Miller origin story of the same name, "Batman: Year One" is as direct an adaptation as you could ask for. With interesting characters and wonderfully paced suspense, "Year One" almost puts "Batman Begins" to shame. With an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, this animated feature follows Batman during his first nights out patrolling Gotham, while at the same time a young cop named Lt. James Gordon begins to learn the ins-and-outs of the GCPD, and all that that implies. "Year One," like some of the best Batman stories, strips our hero down to the bare-essentials, reminding us that his mission was never to join the JLA or fight deranged clowns, but to take down organized crime in Gotham City.

Speaking of Gotham, "Gotham" star Ben McKenzie (who played Gordon on the series) actually voices Batman here, while Bryan Cranston takes over as James Gordon. The two make a fabulous pair and make us wish this had been made in live-action. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Eliza Dushku also lends her vocal talents to this one as Catwoman, who makes her mark on the film (and Carmine Falcone), and "Longmire" actress Katee Sackhoff plays GCPD Detective Sarah Essen, who puts Gordon more than a few sticky situations. For just his first year on the job, Batman has a lot to tackle here, but he manages to do so in style.

14. Batman: Hush (2019)

Based on the famed Batman comic book of the same name, "Batman: Hush" is an interesting adaptation of the original material that forces itself to fit in the pre-established DC Universe Animated Original Movies universe (say that three times fast), and it works pretty well. With an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Hush" is certainly more loved than hated, even if it makes some substantial changes to Jeph Loeb's original source material — some that work, and some that don't. 

As a direct sequel to fan-favorite "Batman: Bad Blood," with Jason O'Mara returning to voice the Caped Crusader, "Hush" is Bruce Wayne's official return to the cowl and better establishes the will-they, won't-they relationship between the Dark Knight and Catwoman. While not as excellent as the comic book it's based upon, "Batman: Hush" does its best to subvert expectations and tell a story that, while it may feel similar, is original to the world it inhabits. We've gotta give them points for that!

13. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Recent years have seen Batman and his world grow darker as creators strive to make the character impressive, realistic, and above all, cool. But from its inclusion of Condiment King to its disco dress-up parties, "The Lego Batman Movie" embraces silliness with all its heart. Does it pull this off? Take a look at its 90% Rotten Tomatoes score. It's not just a good Batman movie — it's one of the best Batman movies ever made.

A cavalcade of characters burst from its gorgeously animated scenes, from Harley Quinn to Crazy Quilt, not to mention the Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz," the "Jaws" shark, Voldemort from "Harry Potter," Daleks from "Doctor Who," and even the agents from "The Matrix." This could have been overstuffed, but instead, it makes the film a raucous celebration of pop culture far and wide. Because really, Batman is pop culture. He's brooding, he's tragic, he's scary, sure — but he's also on the pajamas of millions of children. "The Lego Batman Movie" embraces this fact with love, rather than embarrassment, and it makes all the difference. Now let's get cracking on a Condiment King movie.

12. Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)

When you think of a late-'90s Batman movie featuring Mr. Freeze, you mind probably goes to the live-action "Batman & Robin" feature starring George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, thankfully, that's not the only Bat-flick to pit Gotham's coldest villain against our beloved Dark Knight Detective. "Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero," which has earned a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, is set in the same world as "Batman: The Animated Series" and follows Batman and Robin as they attempt to rescue a kidnapped Barbara Gordon from the chilled doctor before he can use her to save his dying wife.

Unlike "Batman & Robin," "SubZero" really gets to the heart of Mr. Freeze's villainous plots, and Michael Ansara's portrayal of Victor Fries, much like Frankenstein's Monster, is both frightening and compelling. "SubZero" sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap and isn't considered as excellent as other Batman animated pictures, but in truth, it's got everything you could ask for from a Batman film. The stakes are high, the action is exciting, and the final climax makes the whole thing feel as epic as can be. Plus, making Mr. Freeze look interesting after Joel Schumacher's abomination is no small feat, but "SubZero" manages to pull it off and more.

11. Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)

Do you like both the Dark Knight Detective and Bruce Lee-style 1970s kung-fu movies? Then "Batman: Soul of the Dragon" is the animated motion picture for you! With an amazing cast, a vibrant story, and a unique take on the DC Universe, "Soul of the Dragon" is something of a love-letter to the kind of martial arts films we hardly see nowadays, and it gets everything right. 

Having earned a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, this film unites Batman with his former peers, Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger, and Lady Shiva, as they come together to battle dark forces unleashed by Kobra (no, not the "G.I. Joe" one). Unlike most Batman films that have some clear-cut closure, "Soul of the Dragon" ends with the hopeful promise that there's more out there after the credits roll, and reminds us that Batman is truly one of the most selfless heroes. It's also just a really fun movie with lots of martial art-action to keep you entertained for an hour and a half.

10. The Dark Knight (2008)

"The Dark Knight" is, according to Rotten Tomatoes, the best live action Batman movie of all time. How does it accomplish this? You already know: Heath Ledger's phenomenal performance as the Joker. As in "Batman Returns," Batman himself is overshadowed by Ledger's arch-villain, who skateboards, bombs, slices, dices, and disappears pencils all over the screen in an appearance so legendary he was awarded a posthumous Oscar. As SF Gate wrote, "Christopher Nolan wanted to make an action movie that was different from other action movies—darker, more twisted, more despairing, more bleak— and he has mostly succeeded in this latest Batman installment. He can thank Ledger for a lot of that."

Nolan can also thank Maggie Gyllenhaal, recast as Rachel Dawes, and Aaron Eckhart, who plays Harvey Dent — both provide sterling support, and manage to complete stirring emotional arcs of their own. And beneath it all, there is Bale's Batman, the stoic foundation to the trilogy, faced with evil the likes of which he's never seen. It is a grand sort of movie, with huge ambitions, elaborate action sequences, and portentous dialogue. The fact that it pulls this all off with such aplomb doesn't just make it great — it makes the bona fide best.

9. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)

After nearly 60 years since their "Batman" series aired on television, "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders" saw, well, the return of the 1960s incarnation of the Dynamic Duo played by Adam West and Burt Ward. While not a live-action romp, this animated movie reunited the actors with Julie Newmar (Catwoman) to fight crime in Gotham City once more. 

With a whopping 94% on the Tomatometer, "Return of the Caped Crusaders" is everything "Batman" fans have ever dreamed of since the series ended back in the 60s. With an authentic animation style that does total justice to the original series, and a cast of stellar vocal talents, we're grateful that these two TV Land legends got back together, especially to face off against their most heinous foes. With all the POWs, ZAPs, and WAMs you could ask for, "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders" is an animated triumph and a touching tribute to a bygone era of superhero television.

8. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2012)

With 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" is probably the best Batman two-parter there ever was. Based on the Frank Miller classic of the same name, both parts of this animated feature feel ripped directly from the pages of the original comic book. After Batman pulls himself out of retirement, he takes on Harvey Dent, Gotham's gang of Mutants, the Joker, and even Superman himself in this action-packed final hour. With Peter Weller as the voice of a much older Batman, this Bruce Wayne has been broken for years, but getting back in the crime-fighting game certainly puts him in better spirits.

While some of the titles on this list might not deserve their 100% rating, "The Dark Knight Returns" is not one of them. As one of the greatest Batman stories ever written, it's no wonder that the animated adaptation would be as well. Unlike "The Killing Joke," this one doesn't take as many liberties with the source material, and instead manages to be an incredibly direct adaptation. The fight sequence between Batman and Superman is incredible, as is the brawl between Batman and the Mutant leader, but the real highlight is the dynamic between Batman and his new Robin Carrie Kelly, who brings a much needed levity and flare to this story.

7. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Also earning a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes is "Batman: Under the Red Hood." Retelling the story of how Batman lost his second Robin, Jason Todd, as well as his resurrection, "Under the Red Hood" might be the absolute best that any Batman film has to offer. This heartbreaking tale pits Batman against his former protégé as the Red Hood begins to tear down Gotham's criminal empire. As the body count racks up, Batman is forced to decide whether or not he'll go along with the Red Hood's killing spree, or if he'll have to stop him with force. If anti-heroes are your thing, then this is the Batman movie for you. It's rife with moral ambiguity, grey areas, and characters being forced to decide if they'll cross the line or not.

The vocal talents of Bruce Greenwood as Batman, Jensen Ackles as the Red Hood, and John DiMaggio as the Joker bring a new life to this picture, and to each of these characters as they struggle through a war-torn Gotham City. If you have any doubts about any of the other Batman films on this list, don't think twice about "Under the Hood," which exceeds all expectations and actually manages to be better than the comic book it's based on. Truly, Jensen Ackles was born to play Jason Todd, an anti-hero with attitude that gives him more than enough range to work with. If you came for Batman, you'll stay for the Red Hood.

6. Batman: Bad Blood (2016)

With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, "Batman: Bad Blood" is an original story somewhat based on Grant Morrison's take on Batman that takes place within the share universe of DC Original Animated Movies. "Bad Blood" features a cast of heroes that includes Nightwing, Robin, Batwing, Batwoman and the Dark Knight himself as they take down Robin's evil clone "the Heretic." What makes this film unique among the rest is that it features, at least in part, Dick Grayson aka Nightwing as the Caped Crusader in Bruce Wayne's absence, marking the first time Grayson has been portrayed as Batman in a movie.

"So much is made of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but what DC is doing with these animated features is much more organic." said Aisle Street's Mike McGranaghan in his review of "Batman: Bad Blood," which should only further entice you to check out this animated classic. "Bad Blood" is a prime example that you can tell an exciting and original Batman story without needing to stick directly to the source material. If they'd have done that, ninja nuns might not have made it into the movie, and who doesn't love ninja nuns?

5. Batman vs. Robin (2015)

Another with a 100% on the Tomatometer, "Batman vs. Robin" is the exciting precursor to "Bad Blood" that pits the Dark Knight against his Boy Wonder. Another installment of the DC Original Animated Movieverse, this film is primarily an adaptation of the "Court of Owls" storyline, which deals with a shadowy secret society that has kept their talons hooked into Gotham ever since the city was built. After a new vigilante named Talon rears his hidden head, it becomes clear that he wants to co-opt Robin to his side, turning him into his own assassin/protégé.

The "Court of Owls" story is one of the best in recent Batman history, and "Batman vs. Robin" does it total justice, even if it shakes up a few details along the way. Critic Jeffrey Lyles described the film as "more a mash-up of two of the most highly regarded Batman stories in the last 20 years than its title implies," continuing on to say that the film "stands alongside the best efforts of Warner Bros. Animated." With some flashy action sequences and some compelling father-son drama, "Batman vs. Robin" is exactly as advertised.

4. Batman: The Long Halloween (2021)

While not exactly a direct adaptation of the iconic Batman story of the same name, "Batman: The Long Halloween" will entertain both new and longtime fans as they try to solve the mystery of the Holiday Killer. With a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, each installment of this feature film two-parter is as engaging as the last, and contains just about everything we love about The Dark Knight. 

Speaking of, if "The Long Halloween" feels a bit like Nolan's second critically acclaimed Batman feature, then you're spot on. Both "The Dark Knight" and "The Long Halloween" used elements of the same Batman story (written by Jeph Loeb, with art by Tim Sale) to construct their iconic crime narratives, and both do it exceptionally well. Jensen Ackles, known best for his work on "Supernatural" and for voicing Jason Todd in "Batman: Under the Red Hood," plays Batman here to perfection, and is clearly the right choice for the role post-Kevin Conroy and Jason O'Mara.

3. Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Didn't know there was a Batman/TMNT mashup? Well, if you '90s kids out there had been holding out for a crossover between two of your favorite Saturday morning action heroes, then look no further than "Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!" With a Tomatometer score of 100%, watching Batman, Robin, and Batgirl team-up alongside Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo is everything we could ever hope for, and just as deliciously ridiculous as you could imagine. 

As Ra's al Ghul and Shredder unite to "cleanse" Gotham, the Bat-Family and the Turtles are forced to come together to defeat all of Batman's biggest rogues, as well as the Foot Clan, who are aiding the villains. The tension between the Dark Knight and the TMNT is certainly felt at the beginning, but by the film's end we're holding out hope for a sequel and wondering why we didn't get this crossover sooner.

2. Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

The animated sequel to "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders," which is itself a sequel/revival to the original 1960s "Batman" series, "Batman vs. Two-Face" is everything we could ever hope for from an Adam West/Batman story! Naturally, this cheese-fest earned itself a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and that's in large part due to the addition of William Shatner as Harvey Dent aka Two-Face. Adding Shatner to the '60s "Batman" saga is an inspired casting choice, and one that we're almost upset didn't occur back when the series was airing on television. 

As West's Batman battles for the soul of Shatner's Dent, it's sad to reflect on this being West and Ward's final performances as the Caped Crusaders. Thankfully, "Batman vs. Two-Face" is an excellent "swan song" to these '60s heroes, leaving little else to be desired. If you're a fan of a more comedic take on Batman, or loved the original '60s series, this one is a must watch for you!

1. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

With 100% on the Tomatometer, "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker" is the send-off feature film for the beloved animated series "Batman Beyond." As an elderly Bruce Wayne and the young Batman Terry McGinnis deal with the resurrection of the long-thought-dead Clown Prince of Crime, Terry begins to uncover the history behind the Joker's sudden departure, and why all the other members of the Bat-family slowly left Bruce over the years. Kevin Conroy's Bruce Wayne is as grim and gripping as ever, and Will Friedle's Terry McGinnis/Batman maintains his youthful vigor from the animated series, pulling off a very different version of Batman than we've ever been used to.

Fans of the "Batman Beyond" animated series will love this one, but even if you've never seen a single episode of the cartoon there's still so much to love. Between compelling flashback sequences to Bruce's time as Batman to the final confrontation between Terry's Batman and the reborn Joker, there's plenty of action and excitement for everyone. Plus, unlike most Batman features, there are actually two different versions of "Return of the Joker," the edited version of the film, which was originally released, and the Original Uncut Version, which is just a bit better.