There is no debate on a favorite superhero but when it comes to a character that has stood the test of time as a single pillar, we have to give it up to Batman. It’s been over 50 glorious years of the Caped Crusader and the character has aged like fine wine. From adapting to the 21st-century storylines to blending with some realistic plots, all Batman movies have stood the test of time.
It all started with comics and then escalated to movie adaptations and series. So what’s in store for the future of Gotham City’s protector? Batman has taken over the DCU and the franchise has announced the upcoming Batman movie titled The Brave and the Bold.
How to Watch Batman Movies In Order
Given that the first Batman series was released in 1943 starring Lewis Wilson as the first ever Batman in motion, it might look like we have a lot to catch up on. But here we will discuss only the Batman movies and the movies the character has been a part of. This brings down the number to 15, that sounds pretty doable, right?
One factor that makes Batman movies different from other superhero movies is that you don’t have to worry about the story being connected to each other and missing out on something significant. During the several decades, many actors have played Batman, and many directors gave their own color to the story. It is interesting to follow the journey of our favorite superhero through time and different universes, hence we recommend watching the Batman movies in order of release date.
Batman: The Movie (1966)
The very first Batman movie starred Adam West as the Caped Crusader. Though the movie was supposed to be the first on-screen adaptation of the comic character, due to certain reasons was released after the first season of the Batman TV show.
But there is no denying that Adam West’s Batman will always have a special place in our hearts. You might find the movie funny and silly, especially after the several adaptations of the character but trust me it’s worth watching the movie for a goofy Batman. The movie was strictly kid-oriented and unlike the modern Batman, it showcases his more polite and careful side. The costume and the action scenes will make it hard to believe his powers but feels like a treat when you get a sneak peek down the timeline of a legacy.
|IMDb Rating: 6.5/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%|
Enjoy the trailer for Batman: The Movie
After more than two decades, Warner Bros decides to revive the Batman movie. Batman starring Michael Keaton was released in 1989 and marked the first in the series of Batman movies by Warner Bros. The movie drastically escalated the benchmark for superhero movies. If you do not belong to that generation it’s hard to put into words the impact of this Tim Burton directorial on the generations that followed. It is safe to say that Tim Burton’s Batman paved the way for superhero movies.
The movie starred Jack Nicholson as the villainous Joker who tries to poison the whole city of Gotham with Smylex gas. Of course, our Batman can’t let the city perish and steps in as the savior. The casting of Keaton was a topic of discussion as the audience had only seen him in comic roles but defying all odds the movie became one of the highest-grossing films during the time.
|IMDb Rating: 7.5/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 76%|
Watch the trailer for Batman:
Batman Returns (1992)
After the massive success of 1989 Batman Tim Burton and Warner Bros released Batman Returns in 1992 with Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman. But this time the villains have changed and he has to fight two of them to save the Gotham City. The movie maintained the gothic vibe and proved its potential to be a franchise.
The movie starred Danny DeVito as Oswald, aka Penguin, who is abandoned by his parents due to his deformity which makes him look like a penguin. To avenge his miserable life he decides to kidnap all the firstborn children in the city with the help of Catwomen, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. The evil duo wants to rile over the city but is it possible under the watch of Batman?
|IMDb Rating: 7.1/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%|
Here is the trailer for Batman Returns:
Batman Forever (1995)
Unfortunately, Tim Burton did not return as a director for Batman Forever and Keaton was gone too. The movie did show some signs of a lack of expertise but was a box office success. The movie starred Val Kilmer as the new Batman and Nicole Kidman as Chase Meridian, a psychologist.
When Bruce develops feelings for Chase, he decides to lead a normal life and leave his superhero life behind. But when Chase is kidnapped by Riddler he comes to a realization that he can never have an identity separate from Batman. To save his love interest, he has to wear the cape and cowl once again, or maybe forever.
|IMDb Rating: 5.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 39%|
Check out the trailer for Batman Forever:
Batman and Robin (1997)
The final installment in the Batman series, Batman and Robin starred George Clooney as the new Batman with Robin, played by Chris O’Donnell, making a comeback. The makers tried to attract the audience by introducing Batgirl this time, played by Alicia Silverstone. But nothing seemed to work out as the movie is still considered one of the worst superhero movies to date. But before you jump to a judgment give the movie a chance, also did we tell you it’s filled with ice puns?
The trio of ‘good guys’ have to fight against Dr. Freeze and Poison Ivy played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman. The cast is hands down the best possible ensemble. The movie is fun to watch with Dr. Freeze’s puns and Ivy’s superpower to make literally anyone fall madly in love with her.
|IMDb Rating: 3.8/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%|
Trailer for the movie Batman and Robin:
Batman Begins (2005)
After a hiatus of eight years, Batman was revived by none other than Christopher Nolan. Batman Begins saw the ultimate modernization of Batman and marks the first in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Christian Bale played Nolan’s Batman and was loved by the audience and critics equally. This time our superhero has to fight a mind-altering villain, Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy. His role as Scarecrow is one of the best roles of Cillian Murphy.
Among all Batman movies, this is the first time we get to know the origin story of Batman. The billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne relocates to Asia after the murder of his parents only to return back home after learning about the corrupt criminals in Gotham. The movie was like an upgradation of Batman as everything from costume to action scenes to the storyline was visibly improvised.
|IMDb Rating: 8.2/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 84%|
Watch the trailer for Batman Begins:
The Dark Knight (2008)
Nolan put every effort into making The Dark Knight truly a dark gothic movie. This one is among the rare movies where the villain stole the show. Our generation will never forget Heath Ledger’s performance as the iconic Joker that left everyone speechless. Unfortunately, the actor died the same year when he was at the peak of his career.
The plot begins when Gotham City has a new villain to fear, infamously known as ‘The Joker.’ The psychopathic villain makes it hard for Batman to bring him down as in the process he starts questioning himself and will have to stay mentally strong as well.
|IMDb Rating: 90/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94%|
Here is the trailer for The Dark Knight:
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
This marks the last installation in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. After the demise of Ledger fans were curious and confused about how the story will continue but Nolan did a satisfactory job in wrapping up the trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises.
The movie shows the entire city living under the terror of a diabolical masked villain who has implanted nuclear bombs underneath the city as a result the citizens are held hostage with no escape route. But this time the saviour of the city is struggling with his deteriorating physical health and has been on a break from his superhero life for eight years.
|IMDb Rating: 8.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%|
Enjoy the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises:
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
The movie created a wave in the fandom although it did not last long as the movie was criticized for its plot. Batman vs Superman is set in the newly created DCEU where Bruce Wayne feels Superman is a threat to humankind and hence is looking for ways to destroy him. The 2016 reboot version starred Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman.
The villain, Lux Luthor, tries to cause conflict between Batman and Superman but soon both of them join hands for a fight against Luthor. While Superman sacrifices himself for the sake of saving the city, a guilt-ridden Bruce Wayne decides to compromise on his no-kill policy to avenge the death of his dear friend.
|IMDb Rating: 6.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 29%|
Check out the trailer for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice
Suicide Squad (2016)
After the death of Superman, the government intelligence agency comes up with a plan to form a special task force of deadly villains known as ‘Task Force X.’ The Caped Crusader appears on-screen for a few minutes as a cameo appearance. Despite the massive negative reviews, there were some good parts in the movie. Ben Affleck’s Batman was surely a treat for the fans.
|IMDb Rating: 5.9/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 26%|
Trailer for the movie Suicide Squad:
Justice League (2017)
The movie is set after 2 years of Superman’s death and the world is still recovering from the loss. Fans were excited to watch Zack Synder’s directorial but due to certain conflicts within the production, Joss Whedon took his place in the middle of the project.
Batman and Wonder Woman are finding ways to cope with loss and simultaneously struggling to keep mankind safe with their limited powers. They have to form a team of meta-humans to fight against upcoming threats. But can they successfully form a team before the danger reaches mankind?
|IMDb Rating: 6.1/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 39%|
Watch the trailer for Justice League:
Zack Synder’s Justice League (2021)
After facing disappointment from fans across the globe, makers decided to bring back Zack Synder’s version in 2021. The movie definitely restored the reputation of the franchise and became a box-office success. The movie also explored the individual stories of some other characters as well like Aquaman and The Flash.
|IMDb Rating: 7.9/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 72%|
Check out the trailer for Zack Synder’s Justice League:
What makes a hero a superhero? No superhero movie is complete without an equally strong villain. The 2019 released Joker tells the story of Batman’s biggest enemy, Joker. We are listing the movie here even though it did not feature Batman as it is equally important to know about our superhero’s main villain.
Joaquin Phoenix played the psychotic villain character of Joker and was appreciated by fans and critics. The movie was nominated for numerous accolades and the actor also won awards including an AARP Award in the best actor category.
|IMDb Rating: 8.4/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 69%|
Here is the trailer for the movie Joker:
The Batman (2022)
A long list of actors have donned the black cape and cowl, the latest addition to the list being Robert Pattinson. Directed by Matt Reeves, revamped Gotham City into a dark gothic city with the villain Riddler played by Paul Dano, and Zoe Kravitz starred opposite Pattinson as Catwoman.
In The Batman, Bruce Wayne has to find ways to live as a nocturnal animal while also learning ways to safe keep Gotham City and its people. He has to deal with his biggest and most powerful enemy to date, Riddler, to make sure his people are sound and safe. The movie explored the detective side of Batman with a more realistic storyline making it a box-office success.
|IMDb Rating: 7.8/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85%|
Enjoy the trailer for The Batman:
The Flash (2023)
If you haven’t watched the movie already, this might be a spoiler for you. The Flash features not just one but three Batman. Through Flash’s time travel, we get to see Michael Keaton in the Batman costume once again. The actor is now old and fitted well with the storyline.
Some fans might argue that George Clooney is not necessarily the most memorable Batman, but for us 90s kids he is part of our happy memories. Though the movie only had a cameo of George Clooney as Batman, the movie bought back some warm memories. The movie also paid tribute to the very first Batman, Adam West, by including clips from Batman: The Movie as part of Flash’s time travel shenanigans.
|IMDb Rating: 6.9/10||Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%|
Check out the trailer for The Flash:
The Batman 2 (2025)
Warner Bros has announced Batman 2 with Matt Reeves will have Robert Pattinson reprise his role for Batman. The movie will have its theatrical release on October 3, 2025. But before the movie, Reeves has to work on one more directorial project, The Penguin, a series focusing on the titular villainous character of Gotham City.
List of Batman Series in Order of Release Date
Not just the movies, Batman fever has also dominated the world of live-action series for years. After comics, Batman was first introduced to the audience in 1943 via a theatrically released series with 15 chapters. Since then Batman has ruled the world of TV series with his huge fan base. Each series can be watched as a standalone as the storyline are not connected with each other.
- The Batman, 1943 (Theatrical Release)
- Batman and Robin, 1949 (Theatrical Release)
- Batman, 1966 (TV Series)
- Gotham, 2014 (TV Series)
- Titans, 2018 (TV Series)
- Pennyworth, 2019 (TV Series)
- Batwoman, 2019 (TV Series)
List of Original Animated Batman Movies by DC
There is no denying that animated action-hero movies have a fan base of their own. There is something about the graphic world that just can’t be captured in live-action scenarios. Here is a list of all animated Batman movies in order of release date.
- Batman: Gotham Knight, 2008
- Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, 2009
- Batman Under the Red Hood, 2010
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, 2010
- Batman: Year One, 2011
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 1), 2012
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 2), 2013
- Son of Batman, 2014
- Batman: Assault on Arkham, 2014
- Batman vs Robin, 2015
- Batman: Bad Blood, 2016
- Batman: The Killing Joke, 2016
- Batman and Harley Quinn, 2017
- Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, 2018
- Batman: Hush, 2019
- Batman: The Long Halloween (Part 1 & 2), 2021
- Batman: Soul of the Dragon, 2021
- Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, 2022
- Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, 2023
Some movies are more than just a 2-3 hour show, franchises like Batman are legacies that have been passed onto generations. It’s always fun going back to our fond memories of childhood and we hope this list of Batman movies in order brings back some warm memories.