10 Best Batman Movies to Watch on Batman Day
Batman is almost as old as DC Comics itself. As iconic as he is, it’s no surprise that in 2014, Batman Day was created to celebrate the indefatigable hero. It’s become a day to remember how the character has been a prominent figure in pop culture over the decades. Although comics are where he thrived the most, the big screen only helped make him even more popular with the general public.
Batman’s character changes over time. From a gun-toting vigilante to a jovial crusader to the Dark Knight, he has always inspired fans. To celebrate Batman Day on September 17, fans are gearing up to reflect on some of their favorite moments from their favorite movie character.
10 The Bat-Family expands in Batman: Bad Blood
Part of the DC animated film universe, Batman: Bad Blood was released in 2016. The animated film, directed by Jay Oliva and written by JM DeMatteis, follows members of the Bat-Family as Bruce Wayne goes missing. To find him, Nightwing, Robin and several new allies team up to save Batman. Ultimately, Batman works with all of them to fight against a looming threat to Gotham.
Batman: Bad Blood is well written and gives a fun look at how the bat family develops in DCAMU. The film also features an openly gay Batwoman and Luke Fox, one of Gotham’s few black costumed characters.
9 Batman Returns is perfect for the holiday season
While Tim Burton’s Batman is iconic and helped give the character a more serious tone, the sequel eclipses the original film in almost every way. Batman is back features Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in an already iconic interpretation. In a snowy Gotham City, Batman battles the Penguin as he rises in political power. He and Catwoman also trade blows while making the movie before he realizes that Selina Kyle and Catwoman are the same.
Batman is back is tragic and moving and delves deep into how lonely the holiday season can be. The acting is great and the sets are fantastic. Overall, it’s a memorable and compelling look at Batman and his goons.
8 A new Batman takes on the Joker in Batman Beyond: Return Of the Joker
Batman Beyond: The Joker Returns is a film made for Batman Beyond Television series. This 2000 film focuses on the new Batman, Terry McGuinness, who fights crime in a futuristic Gotham City with the support of an older Bruce Wayne. In the film, the Joker makes a dramatic return and details Bruce’s final battle with the Clown Prince of Crime.
Writer Paul Dini has never shied away from adult themes in his DC projects, but this film is particularly heavy. This version of the Joker may be the most deranged and dangerous yet. With stellar action sequences and fantastic voice acting, it’s no secret why this movie is so loved by fans.
7 Batman: The Long Halloween is a brutal detective story
Based on one of the character’s most exciting detective stories, Batman: The Long Halloween parts one and two successfully adapt the classic story. As a serial killer works in Gotham’s criminal underworld, Batman questions alliances and battles old enemies as he tries to stop the murders. The films feature some of Batman’s most famous villains such as Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, Two-Face and The Joker.
While the late Tim Sale’s artwork cannot be overshadowed, the animation is beautiful. The films also featured talented voice actors such as Troy Baker and Jensen Ackles, who had starred in Batman projects before.
6 The Dark Knight Returns is a perfect adaptation
While some fans hate grit Batman v Superman film about the depiction of the caped crusader, the film’s inspiration still endures. The Dark Knight is back is based on a comic book of the same name written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley. In it, the elderly Bruce Wayne sees his city fall. He dons the cape and hood again and fights to save Gotham from a new brand of criminals.
With appearances from Two-Face, Joker, Selina Kyle and Commissioner Gordon, the story never feels too far from its roots. The battle between Batman and Superman is more complete and dramatic. The movie makes one thing clear: Gotham needs Batman.
5 Batman: Under the Red Riding Hood is an action-packed tragedy
Jason Todd’s journey in comics has been long, but Batman: Under the Red Riding Hood sums it up wonderfully in an intense thrill of a film. Years after his protégé’s death, a masked vigilante appears in Gotham, taunting Batman and terrorizing criminals like Black Mask. Through it all, the dramatic conclusion between Batman, Red Hood and the Joker is tragic and brutal.
Based on the comic book by Judd Winnick, Doug Manke, Eric Battle and Shane Davis, the film condenses the story to its core. Complimented by John DiMaggio’s chilling performance as the Joker, this film is undoubtedly one to remember.
4 The Dark Knight is iconic
Probably the most iconic Batman movie of all time, the black Knight is one of the most critically acclaimed of all Batman film appearances. Christopher Nolan’s film sees Batman facing off against the Joker as he wreaks havoc on Gotham, drawing some of Batman’s closest friends into the crossfire.
The film became a cultural phenomenon, as did the other two entries in the The Dark Knight Trilogy. With captivating performances from the late Heath Ledger, as well as Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart and Michael Caine, it’s no secret why this film became an Oscar contender. Mostly it shows how far Bruce is willing to go to protect his city.
3 Gotham has never felt more alive in Batman
To Matt Reeve The Batman is nothing short of masterful. Following Batman just two years into his crime-fighting career, the film challenges what it means to be Batman and the effect he has on his city. As he battles the film’s main antagonist, The Riddler, he is forced to come to terms with family secrets and his own sense of justice.
Acting in The Batman is superb. The chemistry between Robert Pattinson’s Batman and Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle is adorable. Gotham has never felt more alive. The action never feels stale. The cinematography is one of the best for the comic book genre. There really is something for everyone in this movie.
2 The Lego Batman Movie is fun for all ages
Continuation of the extremely successful 2014 The Lego Movie, this family adventure can be appreciated by all viewers, regardless of age. in The Lego Batman Movie, Batman deals with the fact that despite his heroism as Batman, he is alone. After adopting Dick Grayson, the two struggle to prove that Gotham needs Batman.
The story is unexpectedly heartfelt and forces Bruce to accept family back into his life. The Lego Batman Movie explores themes of loneliness, loss and unrequited love while never failing to make audiences laugh. While some prefer a dark and gritty Batman, this film turns Batman into a comedic character without sacrificing his core values and the things that audiences loved about him.
1 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm gives Batman a tragic origin
It’s safe to say that one can’t really understand Batman without watching Batman: The Animated Series. When the show first aired in 1992, it changed the game for animated children’s shows. The show was hailed as the most definitive version of Batman to hit the small screen. Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm only further proves that the show was in the right creative hands.
When a new vigilante appears in Gotham, Bruce is forced to revisit his past as he reconnects with an old flame and remembers why he became Batman in the first place. Accompanied by the iconic voices of Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm became an instant classic and has stood the test of time as one of the greatest Batman stories ever told.
NEXT: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman (1989)