All Blumhouse Horror Movies Ranked

For some movies, the hype building up to their release isn’t based on its stars or director or plot, but by the boutique company putting it out to the public. Think A24. Think Laika. Think Blumhouse, the production org that’s become synonymous in horror with low budgets, big returns, and bigger thrills.

Over the past two decades, magnate of monstrosity Jason Blum — who has also produced plenty of “normal” movies — has banked his legacy on reinventing how horror scripts are discovered and made, keeping the genre from going stale, like it infamously did in the ’90s. After all, blood dries quickly; gotta keep it fresh. Look to franchises like The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and Insidious: when you watch one Blumhouse horror movie, you’re probably gonna seek out what else they’re up to.

And now Blum’s back this week with Us. It’s not strictly Blumhouse (credit that to Monkeypaw Productions), but it is built off the groundbreaking, Best Picture-nominated Get Out, and represents a stunning continuation of writer/director Jordan Peele’s mission to infuse horror with brash brains. And that’s Mr. Blum in the producer credits. Now, we’re ranking every Blumhouse horror movie by Tomatometer!

#75
#75
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An acting student encounters a malevolent spirit after participating in a viral challenge.... [More]
Directed By: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing

#74

The Darkness (2016)
3%

#74
Adjusted Score: 3262%
Critics Consensus: The Darkness clumsily relies on an assortment of genre tropes, leaving only the decidedly non-frightening ghost of superior horror films in its wake.
Synopsis: Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#73

Ouija (2014)
6%

#73
Adjusted Score: 8180%
Critics Consensus: Slowly, steadily, although no one seems to be moving it in that direction, the Ouija planchette points to NO.
Synopsis: Following the sudden death of her best friend, Debbie, Laine finds an antique Ouija board in Debbie's room and tries... [More]
Directed By: Stiles White

#72
Adjusted Score: 15087%
Critics Consensus: Fantasy Island tries to show audiences the dark side of wish fulfillment, but mainly serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of exhuming long-dead franchises.
Synopsis: The enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his guests come true at a luxurious tropical resort. But when... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow

#71

Martyrs (2015)
9%

#71
Adjusted Score: 10194%
Critics Consensus: Martyrs flays off everything that gave the original its icy horrific beauty, leaving us an empty, pointless remake.
Synopsis: With help from a friend (Bailey Noble), a tormented woman (Troian Bellisario) tracks down the family that imprisoned and tortured... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz

#70

Prey (2019)
13%

#70
Adjusted Score: 6302%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bloodthirsty jungle creature terrorizes a young man and a mysterious woman on a seemingly idyllic island.... [More]
Directed By: Franck Khalfoun

#69

Area 51 (2015)
14%

#69
Adjusted Score: 4393%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Obsessed with UFOs, a man (Reid Warner) and two friends find evidence of an alien presence at Area 51 in... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#68
Adjusted Score: 16452%
Critics Consensus: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension ties up some of the franchise's lingering questions, but six films into the series, the thrills are mostly gone.
Synopsis: Ryan Fleege (Chris J. Murray), his wife Emily (Brit Shaw) and their 7-year-old daughter Leila (Ivy George) are preparing for... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Plotkin

#67

The Gallows (2015)
14%

#67
Adjusted Score: 18336%
Critics Consensus: Narratively contrived and visually a mess, The Gallows sends viewers on a shaky tumble to the bottom of the found-footage horror barrel.
Synopsis: In 1993, a freak accident involving a noose kills teenager Charlie Grimille during a high-school production of "The Gallows." Twenty... [More]
Directed By: Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff

#66

Sinister 2 (2015)
15%

#66
Adjusted Score: 18079%
Critics Consensus: Sinister 2 has a few ingredients that will be familiar to fans of the original; unfortunately, in this slapdash second installment, none of them are scary anymore.
Synopsis: Hiding from her abusive, estranged husband, Courtney Collins lives in a rural house with her 9-year-old twins, Dylan and Zach.... [More]
Directed By: Ciarán Foy

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 24410%
Critics Consensus: Truth or Dare's slick presentation isn't enough to make this mediocre horror outing much more frightening than an average round of the real-life game.
Synopsis: Olivia, Lucas and a group of their college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation. While there,... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 18887%
Critics Consensus: The Lazarus Effect has a talented cast and the glimmer of an interesting idea, but wastes it all on insipid characters and dull, recycled plot points.
Synopsis: Medical researcher Frank (Mark Duplass), his fiancee Zoe (Olivia Wilde) and their team have achieved the impossible: they have found... [More]
Directed By: David Gelb

#63

Incarnate (2016)
17%

#63
Adjusted Score: 18328%
Critics Consensus: Incarnate can't be accused of lack of ideas -- if only any of them made sense or coalesced in any meaningful or scary way.
Synopsis: After a single mother witnesses terrifying symptoms of demonic possession in her 11-year-old son (David Mazouz), a Vatican representative calls... [More]
Directed By: Brad Peyton

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 27274%
Critics Consensus: While it does manage to wring a few more screams out of the franchise's surprisingly durable premise, Paranormal Activity 4 provides fans of the series with dismayingly diminishing returns.
Synopsis: It has been five years since Katie (Katie Featherston) murdered her sister and disappeared with her infant nephew, Hunter, in... [More]

#61

Visions (2015)
24%

#61
Adjusted Score: 17527%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After moving to a vineyard with her family, a pregnant woman experiences horrifying visions.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Greutert

#60

Jessabelle (2014)
28%

#60
Adjusted Score: 27614%
Critics Consensus: Jessabelle hints at a bright future for star Sarah Snook, but clouds her performance with a cliched -- and tasteless -- storyline.
Synopsis: A young woman (Sarah Snook) returns to her childhood home to recuperate from a car accident and encounters a long-tormented... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Greutert

#59
#59
Adjusted Score: 30570%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When some footage dating back to 1976 is discovered, the case of the haunted house in Amityville is reopened. An... [More]
Directed By: Franck Khalfoun

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 39196%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: The Last Key offers franchise star Lin Shaye another welcome opportunity to take the lead, but her efforts aren't enough to rescue this uninspired sequel.
Synopsis: Brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even... [More]
Directed By: Adam Robitel

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 41484%
Critics Consensus: The Green Inferno may not win writer-director Eli Roth many new converts, but fans of his flair for gory spectacle should find it a suitably gruesome diversion.
Synopsis: New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a lawyer's daughter, meets a student activist named Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#56
Adjusted Score: 40898%
Critics Consensus: A change of setting breathes some new life into the franchise, but Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones fails to provide enough consistent thrills to justify a fifth film in the series.
Synopsis: Teenagers Jesse and Hector look forward to a carefree summer, but the murder of a neighbor leads to a terrifying... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#55

Black Christmas (2019)
39%

#55
Adjusted Score: 45354%
Critics Consensus: Better than the 2006 remake yet not as sharp as the original, this Black Christmas stabs at timely feminist themes but mostly hits on familiar pulp.
Synopsis: Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays as students travel home to spend time with their families. But as... [More]
Directed By: Sophia Takal

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 42776%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 2 is decidedly short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling.
Synopsis: Soon after their showdown with evil spirits that possessed their son, the Lamberts, Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson),... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#53

The Purge (2013)
39%

#53
Adjusted Score: 44985%
Critics Consensus: Half social allegory, half home-invasion thriller, The Purge attempts to make an intelligent point, but ultimately devolves into numbing violence and tired clichés.
Synopsis: In an America ravaged by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#52

Halloween Kills (2021)
40%

#52
Adjusted Score: 53819%
Critics Consensus: Halloween Kills should satisfy fans in search of brute slasher thrills, but in terms of advancing the franchise, it's a bit less than the sum of its bloody parts.
Synopsis: Minutes after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#51

Thriller (2018)
40%

#51
Adjusted Score: 40642%
Critics Consensus: Thriller has an appealing cast and a fresh perspective on its genre, but those elements aren't enough to outweigh a bland and predictable story.
Synopsis: Years after a childhood prank goes horribly wrong, some South Central Los Angeles teens find themselves terrorized during homecoming weekend... [More]
Directed By: Dallas Jackson

#50

Dark Skies (2013)
41%

#50
Adjusted Score: 44209%
Critics Consensus: Dark Skies writer director Scott Stewart has a solid cast, an interesting premise, and some admirable ambitions, but he can't figure out what to do with any of them, and the result is a dull, muddled effort that will bore all but the most devoted horror buffs.
Synopsis: Lacy (Keri Russell) and Daniel Barrett (Josh Hamilton) share a peaceful life in the suburbs with their sons, Jesse (Dakota... [More]
Directed By: Scott Stewart

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 47162%
Critics Consensus: You Should Have Left hints at a genuinely creepy experience, but never quite manages to distill its intriguing ingredients into a consistently satisfying whole.
Synopsis: Strange events plague a couple and their young daughter when they rent a secluded countryside house that has a dark... [More]
Directed By: David Koepp

#48

The Lie (2018)
43%

#48
Adjusted Score: 46713%
Critics Consensus: Queasily compelling without ever truly coming together, The Lie won't fool many viewers seeking worthwhile horror fare.
Synopsis: A man and his wife fall into a web of lies and deceit when they try to cover up their... [More]
Directed By: Veena Sud

#47

Don't Let Go (2019)
43%

#47
Adjusted Score: 48105%
Critics Consensus: While admirably intelligent and well-cast, Don't Let Go suffers from a formulaic approach compounded by its uneven writing and an awkward tonal balance.
Synopsis: Detective Jack Radcliff gets a shocking phone call from his recently murdered niece Ashley. Working together across time, they race... [More]
Directed By: Jacob Aaron Estes

#46

Evil Eye (2020)
44%

#46
Adjusted Score: 47008%
Critics Consensus: With Evil Eye, directors Elan and Rajeev Dassani spy a premise that has no shortage of potential, but despite the efforts of a game cast, it remains tantalizingly unfulfilled.
Synopsis: A seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a woman becomes convinced that her daughter's new boyfriend has a... [More]

#45

Mercy Black (2019)
45%

#45
Adjusted Score: 32499%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure a phantom known as Mercy Black, a woman is released from psychiatric... [More]
Directed By: Owen Egerton

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 47955%
Critics Consensus: The Lords of Salem has lots of atmospheric portent, but it's unfortunately short on scares.
Synopsis: A radio DJ (Sheri Moon Zombie) in Salem, Mass., is plagued by nightmarish visions of vengeful witches after she plays... [More]
Directed By: Rob Zombie

#43
#43
Adjusted Score: 54463%
Critics Consensus: Although director Zoe Lister-Jones has forged a new path for the weirdos of today, The Craft: Legacy's spells may only enchant fans of the original.
Synopsis: An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.... [More]
Directed By: Zoe Lister-Jones

#42

Bloodline (2018)
50%

#42
Adjusted Score: 50313%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Haunted by dark memories of childhood abuse, Evan, a social worker and first-time dad, struggles to keep his need for... [More]
Directed By: Henry Jacobson

#41
#41
Adjusted Score: 57971%
Critics Consensus: The Forever Purge fails to fully engage with its most frighteningly timely themes, but the franchise remains largely -- albeit bluntly -- effective.
Synopsis: Adela (Ana de la Reguera, Cowboys & Aliens) and her husband Juan (Tenoch Huerta, Days of Grace) live in Texas,... [More]
Directed By: Everardo Gout

#40

Viral (2016)
53%

#40
Adjusted Score: 52871%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Separated from their father (Michael Kelly), two teenage sisters (Sofia Black-D'Elia, Analeigh Tipton) try to survive an apocalyptic viral outbreak... [More]

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 61401%
Critics Consensus: The Belko Experiment offers a few moments of lurid fun for genre enthusiasts, but lacks enough subversive smarts to consistently engage once the carnage kicks in.
Synopsis: An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn,... [More]
Directed By: Greg McLean

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 64838%
Critics Consensus: It isn't particularly subtle, but The Purge: Election Year's blend of potent jolts and timely themes still add up to a nastily effective diversion.
Synopsis: As a young woman, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#37

The First Purge (2018)
56%

#37
Adjusted Score: 65179%
Critics Consensus: The First Purge should satisfy fans of the franchise and filmgoers in the mood for violent vicarious thrills, even if its subtextual reach exceeds its grasp.
Synopsis: To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America... [More]
Directed By: Gerard McMurray

#36

Ma (2019)
56%

#36
Adjusted Score: 67914%
Critics Consensus: Octavia Spencer's performance overpowers many of Ma's flaws, but uneven pacing and a labored story keep this thriller from fully realizing its unhinged potential.
Synopsis: A lonely middle-aged woman befriends some teenagers and decides to let them party in the basement of her home. But... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 62717%
Critics Consensus: Gritty, grisly, and uncommonly ambitious, The Purge: Anarchy represents a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it's still never as smart or resonant as it tries to be.
Synopsis: One night per year, the government sanctions a 12-hour period in which citizens can commit any crime they wish --... [More]
Directed By: James DeMonaco

#34

The Hunt (2020)
57%

#34
Adjusted Score: 75885%
Critics Consensus: The Hunt is successful enough as a darkly humorous action thriller, but it shoots wide of the mark when it aims for timely social satire.
Synopsis: Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are -- or how they got there. In... [More]
Directed By: Craig Zobel

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 61828%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 3 isn't as terrifying as the original, although it boasts surprising thematic depth and is enlivened by another fine performance from Lin Shaye.
Synopsis: When teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, she seeks help from... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 61815%
Critics Consensus: Paranormal Activity 2 doesn't cover any new ground, but its premise is still scary -- and in some respects, it's a better film than the original.
Synopsis: When the Reys move into their new Southern California home, little do they realize that the house is already occupied.... [More]
Directed By: Tod Williams

#31

Madres (2021)
67%

#31
Adjusted Score: 66060%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Beto (Tenoch Huerta) and Diana (Ariana Guerra), a young Mexican-American couple expecting their first child, move to a small town... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Zaragoza

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 65646%
Critics Consensus: Unfriended: Dark Web is more interested in chills than an exploration of its timely themes, but horror fans should still find this sequel to be steadily, undeniably effective.
Synopsis: After finding a laptop, a young man goes online to play a game with five of his good friends. He... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Susco

#29

Nocturne (2020)
62%

#29
Adjusted Score: 65306%
Critics Consensus: Nocturne's thought-provoking themes find themselves at odds with its genre ingredients, resulting in a mild blend that isn't quite pulpy enough.
Synopsis: Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing... [More]
Directed By: Zu Quirke

#28

Unfriended (2014)
62%

#28
Adjusted Score: 68338%
Critics Consensus: Unfriended subverts found-footage horror clichés to deliver a surprisingly scary entry in the teen slasher genre with a technological twist.
Synopsis: One night, while teenagers Blaire, Mitch, Jess, Adam Ken and Val take part in an online group chat session, they... [More]
Directed By: Leo Gabriadze

#27

Bingo Hell (2021)
62%

#27
Adjusted Score: 62003%
Critics Consensus: Although its card is far from full, Bingo Hell delivers moderately effective socially conscious horror while suggesting greater things for director Gigi Saul Guerrero.
Synopsis: When a sinister figure threatens the residents of a low-income community, a feisty senior citizen tries to stop him in... [More]
Directed By: Gigi Saul Guerrero

#26

Sinister (2012)
63%

#26
Adjusted Score: 69299%
Critics Consensus: Its plot hinges on typically implausible horror-movie behavior and recycles countless genre cliches, but Sinister delivers a surprising number of fresh, diabolical twists.
Synopsis: True-crime writer Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) is in a slump; he hasn't had a best seller in more than 10... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#25

The Manor (2021)
62%

#25
Adjusted Score: 62708%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A malevolent force preys upon the residents of a sleepy nursing home in The Manor, a gothic tale of terror... [More]
Directed By: Axelle Carolyn

#24

13 Sins (2014)
65%

#24
Adjusted Score: 66021%
Critics Consensus: 13 Sins may be derivative of other horror films that made their moral points with more finesse, but it atones with a grim sense of humor and sleek style.
Synopsis: A desperate, debt-ridden salesman agrees to perform an increasingly hideous set of tasks in order to win millions of dollars.... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Stamm

#23
Adjusted Score: 65300%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A masked maniac terrorizes the same small community where a murderer known as the Phantom Killer struck decades earlier.... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 70385%
Critics Consensus: While the jolts and thrills are undeniably subject to the diminishing returns that plague most horror sequels, Paranormal Activity 3 is a surprisingly spine-tingling treat.
Synopsis: In 1988 sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) seem to be enjoying a normal, happy childhood at... [More]

#21

Insidious (2010)
66%

#21
Adjusted Score: 72625%
Critics Consensus: Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride.
Synopsis: Parents (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) take drastic measures when it seems their new home is haunted and their comatose son... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#20

The Visit (2015)
68%

#20
Adjusted Score: 76310%
Critics Consensus: The Visit provides horror fans with a satisfying blend of thrills and laughs -- and also signals a welcome return to form for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan.
Synopsis: Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) say goodbye to their mother as they board a train and... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#19

Black Box (2020)
70%

#19
Adjusted Score: 73970%
Critics Consensus: An intriguing debut for writer-director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Black Box compensates for a lack of surprises with strong performances and an emotionally rewarding story.
Synopsis: After losing his wife and memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes... [More]
Directed By: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 83720%
Critics Consensus: A funnier follow-up with a sci-fi bent, Happy Death Day 2U isn't as fiendishly fresh as its predecessor, but fans of the original may still find this a sequel worth celebrating.
Synopsis: Collegian Tree Gelbman wakes up in horror to learn that she's stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter is... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#17

Black as Night (2021)
70%

#17
Adjusted Score: 69943%
Critics Consensus: It may not be particularly scary, but Black as Night has just enough bite to satisfy audiences in the mood for dark, teen-focused supernatural drama.
Synopsis: A resourceful teenage girl leaves childhood behind when she battles a group of deadly vampires in Black as Night, an... [More]
Directed By: Maritte Lee Go

#16

Happy Death Day (2017)
71%

#16
Adjusted Score: 82561%
Critics Consensus: Happy Death Day puts a darkly humorous sci-fi spin on slasher conventions, with added edge courtesy of a starmaking performance from Jessica Rothe.
Synopsis: Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#15

Oculus (2013)
74%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80324%
Critics Consensus: With an emphasis on dread over gore and an ending that leaves the door wide open for sequels, Oculus could be just the first spine-tingling chapter in a new franchise for discerning horror fans.
Synopsis: Haunted by the violent demise of their parents 10 years earlier, adult siblings Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim (Brenton Thwaites)... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#14

The Bay (2012)
76%

#14
Adjusted Score: 78806%
Critics Consensus: Barry Levinson's eco-horror flick cleverly utilizes familiar found-footage methods in service of a gruesome yet atmospheric chiller.
Synopsis: The residents of a seaside Maryland community become the unfortunate hosts of mutant, waterborne parasites that take control of their... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#13

Split (2016)
77%

#13
Adjusted Score: 100178%
Critics Consensus: Split serves as a dramatic tour de force for James McAvoy in multiple roles -- and finds writer-director M. Night Shyamalan returning resoundingly to thrilling form.
Synopsis: Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#12

Halloween (2018)
79%

#12
Adjusted Score: 101736%
Critics Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic - yet still effective - ingredients.
Synopsis: It's been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 89311%
Critics Consensus: Ouija: Origin of Evil swerves its franchise's planchette unexpectedly to YES with a surprisingly scary and dramatically satisfying follow-up to its lackluster predecessor.
Synopsis: In 1967 Los Angeles, widowed mother Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) unwittingly invites authentic evil into her home by adding a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 91421%
Critics Consensus: Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.
Synopsis: Soon after moving into a suburban tract home, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) become increasingly disturbed by what... [More]
Directed By: Oren Peli

#9

Freaky (2020)
83%

#9
Adjusted Score: 98884%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining slasher with a gender-bending, body-swapping twist, this horror-comedy juggles genres with Freaky fun results.
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. But... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Landon

#8

Creep (2014)
90%

#8
Adjusted Score: 90390%
Critics Consensus: A smart, oddball take on found-footage horror, Creep is clever and well-acted enough to keep viewers on the edges of their seats.
Synopsis: Aaron answers an online ad and drives to a stranger's house to film him for the day. The man wants... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Brice

#7

The Vigil (2019)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95613%
Critics Consensus: Consistently clever and creepy, The Vigil mines richly atmospheric supernatural horror from a deep well of religious traditions.
Synopsis: Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, THE VIGIL is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a... [More]
Directed By: Keith Thomas

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 120570%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and above all scary, The Invisible Man proves that sometimes, the classic source material for a fresh reboot can be hiding in plain sight.
Synopsis: After staging his own suicide, a crazed scientist uses his power to become invisible to stalk and terrorize his ex-girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

#5

Hush (2016)
93%

#5
Adjusted Score: 95376%
Critics Consensus: Hush navigates the bloody waters of home invasion thrillers and incisive slashers for a contemporary horror puree.
Synopsis: A deaf woman is stalked by a killer in her home.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Flanagan

#4

Cam (2018)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98553%
Critics Consensus: Smart and suspenseful, CAM is a techno-thriller that's far more than the sum of its salacious parts -- and an outstanding showcase for Madeline Brewer in the leading role.
Synopsis: A camgirl has her principles, until a mysterious woman who looks just like her takes over her channel.... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Goldhaber

#3

Sweetheart (2019)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 95559%
Critics Consensus: Carried by Kiersey Clemons' performance, Sweetheart balances smart subtext and social commentary against effective genre thrills.
Synopsis: A shipwreck survivor on an uninhabited island must fend off a malevolent force that surfaces each night.... [More]
Directed By: J.D. Dillard

#2

Get Out (2017)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 128243%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#1

Creep 2 (2017)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101041%
Critics Consensus: Creep 2 has everything that made the original work and more -- more laughs, more awkwardness, more unsettling terror.
Synopsis: A video artist quickly realizes she has made a mistake when she meets a serial killer in a cabin.... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Brice

35 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of ballpark franks, and we’re not just talking of the Thomas variety. At Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve cleared the benches and rushed the field with the best-reviewed baseball movies of all time!

From sentimental favorites (Field of Dreams, The Natural) to inside documentaries (Ballplayer: Pelotero) to wild comedies (The Sandlot, A League of Their Own) we’ve got a murderer’s row of heavy hitters. And because we know baseball fans trend towards being stat geeks, here’s ours: We picked only Fresh movies before sorting them using our ranking formula, which takes into account factors like year of release and number of overall reviews. The latter is important to the non-theatrical films (like 61* or The Battered Bastards of Baseball) to keep that playing field grass nice and even.

Batter up! It’s time to go to bat with the best baseball movies ever!

#35
Adjusted Score: 38993%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jewish baseball players take on the world.... [More]
Starring:

#34

Game 6 (2005)
62%

#34
Adjusted Score: 61877%
Critics Consensus: Though packed with Don DeLillo's witty dialogue and bolstered by strong performances, particularly by lead Michael Keaton, Game 6 also suffers from uneven direction and overwrought symbolism.
Synopsis: It's 1986, and New York playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton) faces a series of fears, but none more frightening than... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 57346%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a successful baseball career in college and as a coach in the military, Jackie Robinson (playing himself) attracts the... [More]
Directed By: Alfred E. Green

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 64241%
Critics Consensus: The Broken Hearts Club often feels like an amalgam of 70s sitcoms -- though a hunky lead and a sweet central romance provide soapy delights.
Synopsis: A fresh, funny, real story about a group of gay men in Hollywood, their lovers and friends, and the often... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#31
Adjusted Score: 100064%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1973, baseball lover and actor Bing Russell, father of Kurt Russell, starts an independent, single-A team composed of players... [More]
Directed By: Chapman Way, Maclain Way

#30

Off the Black (2006)
66%

#30
Adjusted Score: 66105%
Critics Consensus: Nick Nolte shines in his role as an irascible high school umpire, imbuing this indie coming-of-age dramedy with heft and true-to-life warmth.
Synopsis: After his baseball team loses a game due to a call by umpire Ray Cook (Nick Nolte), Dave Tibbel (Trevor... [More]
Directed By: James Ponsoldt

#29

Cobb (1994)
65%

#29
Adjusted Score: 66800%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.
Synopsis: Baseball legend Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) pressures biographer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) to whitewash the sordid details of his... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#28

The Sandlot (1993)
64%

#28
Adjusted Score: 68717%
Critics Consensus: It may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but The Sandlot is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.
Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids... [More]
Directed By: David Mickey Evans

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 70003%
Critics Consensus: Pleasant to a fault, Million Dollar Arm is a middle-of-the-plate pitch that coasts on Jon Hamm's considerable charm without adding any truly original curves to Disney's inspirational sports formula.
Synopsis: In a last-ditch effort to save his career, sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) plans to find baseball's next star... [More]
Directed By: Craig Gillespie

#26

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#26
Adjusted Score: 71760%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#25

Damn Yankees (1958)
78%

#25
Adjusted Score: 78460%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe Boyd, an aging Washington Senators fan, would sell his soul for the Senators to beat the New York Yankees... [More]

#24

The Phenom (2016)
79%

#24
Adjusted Score: 80125%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and emotionally affecting, The Phenom proves a baseball movie can step away from the mound and still deliver a heater down the middle.
Synopsis: A sports therapist (Paul Giamatti) tries to help a troubled rookie pitcher (Johnny Simmons) who grew up with an abusive... [More]
Directed By: Noah Buschel

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 85167%
Critics Consensus: Sentimental and light, but still thoroughly charming, A League of Their Own is buoyed by solid performances from a wonderful cast.
Synopsis: As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#22

61 (2001)
86%

#22
Adjusted Score: 85256%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home... [More]
Directed By: Billy Crystal

#21

The Natural (1984)
82%

#21
Adjusted Score: 85275%
Critics Consensus: Though heavy with sentiment, The Natural is an irresistible classic, and a sincere testament to America's national pastime.
Synopsis: On the way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs, young baseball phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is shot by... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#20

Major League (1989)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 84879%
Critics Consensus: Major League may be predictable and formulaic, but buoyed by the script's light, silly humor -- not to mention the well-built sports action sequences and funny performances.
Synopsis: The new owner of the Cleveland Indians, former showgirl Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), has a sweetheart deal to move the... [More]
Directed By: David S. Ward

#19

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
83%

#19
Adjusted Score: 85261%
Critics Consensus: Based on the true story of troubled baseball star Jimmy Piersall, Fear Strikes Out is an emotionally compelling drama featuring excellent performances from Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden.
Synopsis: Ever since Jimmy Piersall (Anthony Perkins) was a boy, his baseball-obsessed father (Karl Malden) has pushed the sport on him.... [More]
Directed By: Robert Mulligan

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 85230%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A college chemistry professor, Vernon Simpson (Ray Milland), invents a substance that keeps insects away from wood. But after a... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

#17

Pelotero (2011)
86%

#17
Adjusted Score: 85318%
Critics Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.
Synopsis: Two Dominican baseball players face challenges as they try to make it to the Major Leagues.... [More]

#16

The Rookie (2002)
84%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87877%
Critics Consensus: A heart-warming sports flick, The Rookie greatly benefits from understated direction and the emotional honesty Dennis Quaid brings to the role of Jim Morris.
Synopsis: A true story about a coach who discovers that it's never too late for dreams to come true. Jim Morris... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#15

42 (2013)
81%

#15
Adjusted Score: 87776%
Critics Consensus: 42 is an earnest, inspirational, and respectfully told biography of an influential American sports icon, though it might be a little too safe and old-fashioned for some.
Synopsis: In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... [More]
Directed By: Brian Helgeland

#14

Eight Men Out (1988)
86%

#14
Adjusted Score: 89569%
Critics Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.
Synopsis: The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 88581%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This fact-based sports drama chronicles the life of famous pitcher Monty Stratton. Stratton (James Stewart), a star athlete, loses his... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#12
Adjusted Score: 75830%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Top baseball pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) is fed up with how his Negro League team owner treats him,... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#11

Field of Dreams (1989)
87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 92109%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it,... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#10

Up for Grabs (2004)
92%

#10
Adjusted Score: 92144%
Critics Consensus: You don't have to be a baseball fan to be entertained by the absurdities, obsessions, and greed on display in this documentary.
Synopsis: During the final leg of Major League Baseball's 2001 season, Giants batter Barry Bonds scores a historic 73rd home run... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Michael Wranovics

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 95212%
Critics Consensus: Bang the Drum Slowly is a touching melodrama that explores the inner workings of a baseball club and its players' personalities with remarkable depth.
Synopsis: When hotshot pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) is signed to the New York Mammoths, his confident ways quickly win over... [More]
Directed By: John D. Hancock

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 95938%
Critics Consensus: Nostalgic in the best sense, Everybody Wants Some!! finds Richard Linklater ambling through the past with a talented cast, a sweetly meandering story, and a killer classic rock soundtrack.
Synopsis: In 1980 Texas, a college freshman (Blake Jenner) meets his new baseball teammates (Will Brittain, Ryan Guzman), an unruly group... [More]
Directed By: Richard Linklater

#7

Sugar (2008)
92%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97281%
Critics Consensus: Sugar is an exceptionally-crafted film -- part sports flick, part immigrant tale -- with touching and poignant drama highlighted by splendid performances.
Synopsis: Like many young men in the Dominican Republic, 19-year-old Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) dreams of winning a slot... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#6
Adjusted Score: 96338%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Despite being key players for the Wolves, baseball players Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) and Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) harbor a... [More]
Directed By: Busby Berkeley

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 96296%
Critics Consensus: The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankee's first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.
Synopsis: This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake... [More]
Directed By: Sam Wood

#4
Adjusted Score: 98342%
Critics Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.
Synopsis: "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" is a humorous and nostalgic documentary about an extraordinary baseball player who transcended... [More]
Directed By: Aviva Kempner

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 98704%
Critics Consensus: The Bad News Bears is rude, profane, and cynical, but shot through with honest, unforced humor, and held together by a deft, understated performance from Walter Matthau.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, ex-minor-league hopeful Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) grumpily agrees to coach a Little League team at the behest of lawyer-councilman... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#2

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102352%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#1

Moneyball (2011)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104502%
Critics Consensus: Director Bennett Miller, along with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, take a niche subject and turn it into a sharp, funny, and touching portrait worthy of baseball lore.
Synopsis: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all... [More]
Directed By: Bennett Miller

(Photo by Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Collection)

All DC Comics Movies Ranked

Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. These are some of the staple titans of DC Comics the world has come to adore over the past 80 years, especially as they made the leap from page panel to silver screen and TV in the ’50s and ’60s. (And well before those upstart punks Marvel Comics to boot!) You’ll find them all in in our guide to every DC Comics movie ranked by Tomatometer, along with other significant greats like Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, and Shazam.

But the world of comic book publishing is nothing if not vast, a constellation of multiverses, retcons, annuals, and imprints. Moving beyond the strictly superhero element of DC Comics, this guide will also feature the adapated works from DC imprints Vertigo (V for Vendetta, The Losers), Paradox Press (Road to Perdition, A History of Violence), and WildStorm (Red, Red 2).

We’ve limited the movies to theatrical releases only, which does keep out the home animated fare that’s been giving DC adaptations a good name whenever the DCEU stumbled. But to that end, you will find The Killing Joke and Return of the Caped Crusaders here, both of which got a one-day theatrical release.

Great leaping catfish! This introduction is now over! Hurry, to Rotten Tomatoes and the list of every DC movie ranked by Tomatometer!

#47

Supergirl (1984)
9%

#47
Adjusted Score: 10233%
Critics Consensus: The effects are cheesy and Supergirl's wide-eyed, cheery heroine simply isn't interesting to watch for an hour and a half.
Synopsis: Kara (Helen Slater) of Argo City poses as Clark Kent's cousin, Linda Lee, to recover the Omegahedron from a witch... [More]
Directed By: Jeannot Szwarc

#46

Catwoman (2004)
9%

#46
Adjusted Score: 15185%
Critics Consensus: Halle Berry is the lone bright spot, but even she can't save this laughable action thriller.
Synopsis: "Catwoman" is the story of shy, sensitive artist Patience Philips (Halle Berry), a woman who can't seem to stop apologizing... [More]
Directed By: Pitof

#45
Adjusted Score: 13609%
Critics Consensus: The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot's going.
Synopsis: Seeing the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a nuclear arms race that could lead to Earth's destruction,... [More]
Directed By: Sidney J. Furie

#44

Steel (1997)
12%

#44
Adjusted Score: 11944%
Critics Consensus: Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.
Synopsis: Former Army scientists (Shaquille O'Neal, Annabeth Gish), one in a steel suit, team up in Los Angeles against another (Judd... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Johnson

#43

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#43
Adjusted Score: 17028%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#42

Jonah Hex (2010)
12%

#42
Adjusted Score: 16503%
Critics Consensus: Josh Brolin gives it his best shot, but he can't keep the short, unfocused Jonah Hex from collapsing on the screen.
Synopsis: Having cheated death, gunslinger and bounty hunter Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) has one foot in the natural world and one... [More]
Directed By: Jimmy Hayward

#41

The Kitchen (2019)
23%

#41
Adjusted Score: 37096%
Critics Consensus: With three talented leads struggling to prop up a sagging story, The Kitchen is a jumbled crime thriller in urgent need of some heavy-duty renovation.
Synopsis: Between 8th Ave. and the Hudson River, the Irish mafia runs 20 blocks of a tough New York City neighborhood... [More]
Directed By: Andrea Berloff

#40

Green Lantern (2011)
26%

#40
Adjusted Score: 34641%
Critics Consensus: Noisy, overproduced, and thinly written, Green Lantern squanders an impressive budget and decades of comics mythology.
Synopsis: Sworn to preserve intergalactic order, the Green Lantern Corps has existed for centuries. Its newest recruit, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds),... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#39

Suicide Squad (2016)
26%

#39
Adjusted Score: 50737%
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Synopsis: Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#38
Adjusted Score: 56055%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Synopsis: It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis.... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#37

Superman III (1983)
29%

#37
Adjusted Score: 30620%
Critics Consensus: When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.
Synopsis: Computer programmer Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) is hired by financial tycoon Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) to seize control of a... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#36

Batman Forever (1995)
38%

#36
Adjusted Score: 42282%
Critics Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.
Synopsis: Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against two foes: the schizophrenic, horribly scarred former District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 40726%
Critics Consensus: This stilted retelling of the Joker's origin adds little to its iconic source material, further diminished by some questionable story additions that will have fans demanding justice for Barbara Gordon.
Synopsis: Batman (Kevin Conroy) must save Commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise) from the Joker's (Mark Hamill) twisted quest to drive him insane.... [More]
Directed By: Sam Liu

#34

Justice League (2017)
40%

#34
Adjusted Score: 69874%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 38399%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A mad scientist's (Louis Jourdan) vegetarian stepdaughter (Heather Locklear) falls in love with one of his leafy failures.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Wynorski

#32

Red 2 (2013)
44%

#32
Adjusted Score: 49895%
Critics Consensus: While it's still hard to argue with its impeccable cast or the fun they often seem to be having, Red 2 replaces much of the goofy fun of its predecessor with empty, over-the-top bombast.
Synopsis: Former CIA black-ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his old partner, Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), are caught in the... [More]
Directed By: Dean Parisot

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 38857%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Batman and Nightwing join forces with Harley Quinn to stop a global threat brought about by Poison Ivy and the... [More]
Directed By: Sam Liu

#30

Constantine (2005)
46%

#30
Adjusted Score: 55279%
Critics Consensus: Despite solid production values and an intriguing premise, Constantine lacks the focus of another spiritual shoot-em-up: The Matrix.
Synopsis: As a suicide survivor, demon hunter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has literally been to hell and back -- and he... [More]
Directed By: Francis Lawrence

#29

The Losers (2010)
48%

#29
Adjusted Score: 54141%
Critics Consensus: The Losers is loud, fast, and unrelentingly violent -- but it's also funny and well-acted, which will make all the difference for some action fans.
Synopsis: On a mission deep in the Bolivian jungle, a team of elite commandos (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans) finds itself... [More]
Directed By: Sylvain White

#28

Man of Steel (2013)
56%

#28
Adjusted Score: 70179%
Critics Consensus: Man of Steel's exhilarating action and spectacle can't fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.
Synopsis: With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 89359%
Critics Consensus: Wonder Woman 1984 struggles with sequel overload, but still offers enough vibrant escapism to satisfy fans of the franchise and its classic central character.
Synopsis: Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s -- an era of excess driven by the pursuit... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#26

Swamp Thing (1982)
62%

#26
Adjusted Score: 63954%
Critics Consensus: Unabashedly campy -- often to its detriment -- Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.
Synopsis: On the verge of a breakthrough in his quest to wipe out world hunger, altruistic botanist Dr. Alec Holland (Ray... [More]
Directed By: Wes Craven

#25

Watchmen (2009)
65%

#25
Adjusted Score: 77200%
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.
Synopsis: In an alternate 1985 America, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered,... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#24

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#24
Adjusted Score: 90344%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#23

Joker (2019)
68%

#23
Adjusted Score: 105599%
Critics Consensus: Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star -- and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
Synopsis: Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#22

Batman (1989)
71%

#22
Adjusted Score: 77466%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#21
Adjusted Score: 86820%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#20

Red (2010)
72%

#20
Adjusted Score: 78999%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke

#19

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#19
Adjusted Score: 84199%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#18

Superman Returns (2006)
75%

#18
Adjusted Score: 85723%
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer's reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.
Synopsis: While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#17

Batman (1966)
79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 81680%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form -- and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Synopsis: Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Watch Batman (Adam West) and... [More]
Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson

#16
Adjusted Score: 108906%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

#15

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#15
Adjusted Score: 87234%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 87151%
Critics Consensus: Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.
Synopsis: Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for powerful Depression-era Midwestern mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#13
Adjusted Score: 86101%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Eric Radomski

#12

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#12
Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#11

Superman II (1980)
85%

#11
Adjusted Score: 88551%
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Superman (Christopher Reeve) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb's shock... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 95698%
Critics Consensus: A History of Violence raises compelling and thoughtful questions about the nature of violence, while representing a return to form for director David Cronenberg in one of his more uncharacteristic pieces.
Synopsis: When a pair of petty criminals attempt to rob his small-town diner, Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) quickly and easily kills... [More]
Directed By: David Cronenberg

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 112573%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#7

Shazam! (2019)
90%

#7
Adjusted Score: 115111%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Sandberg

#6
Adjusted Score: 97545%
Critics Consensus: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies distills the enduring appeal of its colorful characters into a charmingly light-hearted adventure whose wacky humor fuels its infectious fun -- and belies a surprising level of intelligence.
Synopsis: It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies -- all but the Teen... [More]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 110304%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#4

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#4
Adjusted Score: 128059%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#3
Adjusted Score: 94197%
Critics Consensus: Adam West's groovy interpretation of the The Caped Crusader returns in a new medium, popping in the realm of animation with the irascible energy of an exclamation-accented onomatopoeia.
Synopsis: Batman and Robin have their hands full when Penguin, The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman combine their nefarious talents to threaten... [More]
Directed By: Rick Morales

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 101349%
Critics Consensus: Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.
Synopsis: Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#1

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

75 Best Superhero Movies of All Time

Friends of the super variety, we’ve collected every Fresh and Certified Fresh superhero movie with at least 20 reviews to assemble our guide to the 75 best superhero movies ever, ranked by Tomatometer!

It’s been a decades-long battle towards the top in pop culture for superhero movies, and we’re featuring here all the goods, the greats, and the masterpieces made along the way. Everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers) to DCEU (Aquaman, Wonder Woman), animated fare (The Incredibles, Megamind) to live-action spoofs (The Toxic Avenger, Mystery Men), comedies (Deadpool) and the super serious (The Dark Knight), and then throwing in some originals made just for the big screen (The Rocketeer, Darkman, Unbreakable).

Great leaping buggaboos! This introduction is now over! Throw up the cape, slip on that cowl (but leave the whip at home, unless you’re looking for the erotic films list…), and hop into the Tomatomobile: We ride for to the 75 best superhero movies of all time!

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 64867%
Critics Consensus: It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun.
Synopsis: Based on the hit animated television series, this feature film adaptation tells the story of how Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup... [More]
Directed By: Craig McCracken

#74

Spider-Man 3 (2007)
63%

#74
Adjusted Score: 73584%
Critics Consensus: Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn't quite as refined as the first two.
Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on the right track in their complicated relationship,... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#73

Watchmen (2009)
65%

#73
Adjusted Score: 77200%
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.
Synopsis: In an alternate 1985 America, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered,... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#72

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#72
Adjusted Score: 90344%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#71

The Rocketeer (1991)
66%

#71
Adjusted Score: 70819%
Critics Consensus: An action-packed, if anachronistic, look back at pulp matinee serials, The Rocketeer may ring hollow with viewers expecting more than simple fun and gee-whiz special effects.
Synopsis: Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) is a cocky stunt pilot in love with a beautiful actress, Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly). When... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 77761%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#69
Adjusted Score: 26320%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The mutant superhero (David Mattey) rises from the sludge to save a group of students held hostage in Tromaville.... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 75671%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 70949%
Critics Consensus: A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.
Synopsis: A 98-pound nerd (Mark Torgl) from New Jersey lands in a vat of toxic waste and becomes a benevolent monster... [More]
Directed By: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil

#66

Unbreakable (2000)
70%

#66
Adjusted Score: 76710%
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#65

Batman (1989)
71%

#65
Adjusted Score: 77466%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#64

The Wolverine (2013)
71%

#64
Adjusted Score: 81596%
Critics Consensus: Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.
Synopsis: Lured to a Japan he hasn't seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#63
Adjusted Score: 86820%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#62

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#62
Adjusted Score: 83904%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 85826%
Critics Consensus: A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002's Spider-Man.
Synopsis: Abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt and uncle, teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), AKA Spider-Man, is trying... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#60

Megamind (2010)
72%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78768%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#59

Sky High (2005)
73%

#59
Adjusted Score: 77855%
Critics Consensus: This highly derivative superhero coming-of-age flick is moderately entertaining, family-friendly fluff.
Synopsis: At a school in the sky where teens learn how to be superheroes, Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) lands in a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#58

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#58
Adjusted Score: 84199%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#57

Defendor (2009)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 73047%
Critics Consensus: Defendor's reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but this unique take on the superhero genre is held together by Woody Harrelson's solid performance.
Synopsis: An everyday guy (Woody Harrelson) believes he is a superhero and befriends a teenager while seeing a psychiatrist.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Stebbings

#56

Superman Returns (2006)
75%

#56
Adjusted Score: 85723%
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer's reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.
Synopsis: While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#55

Kick-Ass (2010)
76%

#55
Adjusted Score: 86376%
Critics Consensus: Not for the faint of heart, Kick-Ass takes the comic adaptation genre to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity.
Synopsis: Using his love for comics as inspiration, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to reinvent himself as a superhero --... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 90810%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#53

Thor (2011)
77%

#53
Adjusted Score: 87536%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#52

The Mask (1994)
79%

#52
Adjusted Score: 82196%
Critics Consensus: It misses perhaps as often as it hits, but Jim Carrey's manic bombast, Cameron Diaz' blowsy appeal, and the film's overall cartoony bombast keep The Mask afloat.
Synopsis: When timid bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) discovers a magical mask containing the spirit of the Norse god Loki,... [More]
Directed By: Charles Russell

#51

Batman (1966)
79%

#51
Adjusted Score: 81680%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form -- and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Synopsis: Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Watch Batman (Adam West) and... [More]
Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson

#50

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#50
Adjusted Score: 92731%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#49
Adjusted Score: 108906%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

#48

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#48
Adjusted Score: 113649%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#47

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#47
Adjusted Score: 87234%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#46
Adjusted Score: 89804%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#45

Hellboy (2004)
81%

#45
Adjusted Score: 88433%
Critics Consensus: With wit, humor and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic visuals, the entertaining Hellboy transcends the derivative nature of the genre.
Synopsis: At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#44

Black Widow (2021)
79%

#44
Adjusted Score: 103849%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her... [More]
Directed By: Cate Shortland

#43

X-Men (2000)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 87754%
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.
Synopsis: They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#42

Darkman (1990)
83%

#42
Adjusted Score: 87217%
Critics Consensus: Gruesome and deliciously broad, Sam Raimi's Darkman bears the haunted soulfulness of gothic tragedy while packing the stylistic verve of onomatopoeia springing off a comic strip page.
Synopsis: When thugs employed by a crime boss lead a vicious assault on Dr. Peyton Wilder (Liam Neeson), leaving him literally... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#41

The Crow (1994)
83%

#41
Adjusted Score: 86750%
Critics Consensus: Filled with style and dark, lurid energy, The Crow is an action-packed visual feast that also has a soul in the performance of the late Brandon Lee.
Synopsis: The night before his wedding, musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are brutally murdered by members of a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#40

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96062%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#39
Adjusted Score: 86101%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Eric Radomski

#38

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#38
Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#37

Deadpool 2 (2018)
84%

#37
Adjusted Score: 108986%
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.
Synopsis: Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#36

X2 (2003)
85%

#36
Adjusted Score: 92699%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
Synopsis: Stryker (Brian Cox), a villianous former Army commander, holds the key to Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) past and the future of... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#35

Deadpool (2016)
85%

#35
Adjusted Score: 106209%
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.
Synopsis: Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Tim Miller

#34
Adjusted Score: 116205%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 114161%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#32

Superman II (1980)
85%

#32
Adjusted Score: 88551%
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Superman (Christopher Reeve) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb's shock... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#31
Adjusted Score: 96254%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Synopsis: Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), face their biggest battle... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 96838%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#29
Adjusted Score: 95756%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 105679%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#26

Doctor Strange (2016)
89%

#26
Adjusted Score: 112600%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#25

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97290%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 112573%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#23
Adjusted Score: 102467%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#22

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#22
Adjusted Score: 98662%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams

#21
Adjusted Score: 104547%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: Convinced that mutants pose a threat to humanity, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) develops the Sentinels, enormous robotic weapons that... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#20

Shazam! (2019)
90%

#20
Adjusted Score: 115111%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Sandberg

#19
Adjusted Score: 117397%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 118741%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#17
Adjusted Score: 97545%
Critics Consensus: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies distills the enduring appeal of its colorful characters into a charmingly light-hearted adventure whose wacky humor fuels its infectious fun -- and belies a surprising level of intelligence.
Synopsis: It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies -- all but the Teen... [More]

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 110304%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 106046%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 105688%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 121011%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#12

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 103410%
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
Synopsis: When a failed nuclear fusion experiment results in an explosion that kills his wife, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#11

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 116866%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#10

Logan (2017)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 125287%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman makes the most of his final outing as Wolverine with a gritty, nuanced performance in a violent but surprisingly thoughtful superhero action film that defies genre conventions.
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#9

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 126308%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#8

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 128059%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 101349%
Critics Consensus: Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.
Synopsis: Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104599%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#5

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 127908%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#3

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 128731%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#2

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106293%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1
Adjusted Score: 121248%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

All Tim Burton Movies Ranked

Born in the morbid, decaying wonderland known as Burbank, California, visionary director Tim Burton showed a propensity for the dark arts from a young age, guiding him into a CalArts education, and then the prestigious honor of getting fired from Disney in the mid-’80s. The reasoning: Wasting company money animating things too scary to show kids. This only gave Burton the opportunity to let his imagination run unfettered on the big screen and, with the help of some choice partners-in-crime, produced one deranged hit after another: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, two Michael Keaton Batman movies, Edward Scissorhands. (And if you’re later wondering why Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t on this list, though he’s often associated with the role, Burton is not credited as director on the film.)

After perhaps his finest hour — turning the cultural tide on the worst director ever with Ed Wood — Burton has oscillated between pet project curios (Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows) and bombastic blockbusters, such as Alice in Wonderland, which made a lot of money for, appropriately enough, Disney. And with Edward Scissorhands celebrating its 30th anniversary, we’re ranking all Tim Burton movies by Tomatometer!

#19

Dark Shadows (2012)
35%

#19
Adjusted Score: 46243%
Critics Consensus: The visuals are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with less success than other Johnny Depp collaborations.
Synopsis: In 18th-century Maine, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) presides over the town of Collinsport. A rich and powerful playboy, Barnabas seals... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 50178%
Critics Consensus: This remake of Planet of the Apes can't compare to the original in some critics' mind, but the striking visuals and B-movie charms may win you over.
Synopsis: Director Tim Burton ("Batman") reinvents one of the most acclaimed and beloved works of science fiction, Pierre Boulle's classic novel... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#17

Dumbo (2019)
46%

#17
Adjusted Score: 68157%
Critics Consensus: Dumbo is held partly aloft by Tim Burton's visual flair, but a crowded canvas and overstretched story leave this live-action remake more workmanlike than wondrous.
Synopsis: Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 61839%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence -- and much of its heart -- but it's an undeniable visual treat.
Synopsis: A young girl when she first visited magical Underland, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a teenager with no memory... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#15

Mars Attacks! (1996)
55%

#15
Adjusted Score: 60084%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's alien invasion spoof faithfully recreates the wooden characters and schlocky story of cheesy '50s sci-fi and Ed Wood movies -- perhaps a little too faithfully for audiences.
Synopsis: A fleet of Martian spacecraft surrounds the world's major cities and all of humanity waits to see if the extraterrestrial... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#14
Adjusted Score: 79954%
Critics Consensus: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burton's distinctive style, even if it's on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one.
Synopsis: When his beloved grandfather leaves Jake clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds a magical... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#13

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
69%

#13
Adjusted Score: 74375%
Critics Consensus: It isn't Tim Burton's best work, but Sleepy Hollow entertains with its stunning visuals and creepy atmosphere.
Synopsis: Set in 1799, "Sleepy Hollow" is based on Washington Irving's classic tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Faithful to the... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#12

Batman (1989)
71%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77466%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#11

Big Eyes (2014)
72%

#11
Adjusted Score: 78786%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary.
Synopsis: In the late 1950s and early '60s, artist Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) achieves unbelievable fame and success with portraits of... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#10

Big Fish (2003)
76%

#10
Adjusted Score: 82678%
Critics Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes, Big Fish is an impressive catch.
Synopsis: When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#9

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#9
Adjusted Score: 87234%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8
Adjusted Score: 91324%
Critics Consensus: Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark.
Synopsis: Based on the beloved Roald Dahl tale, this comedic and fantastical film follows young Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) and his... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#7
Adjusted Score: 91849%
Critics Consensus: As can be expected from a Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride is whimsically macabre, visually imaginative, and emotionally bittersweet.
Synopsis: Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria's (Emily Watson) families have arranged their marriage. Though they like each other, Victor is nervous... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

#6

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 89469%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#5
Adjusted Score: 95101%
Critics Consensus: Full of pith and Grand Guignol grossness, this macabre musical is perfectly helmed and highly entertaining. Tim Burton masterfully stages the musical in a way that will make you think he has done this many times before.
Synopsis: Evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) lusts for the beautiful wife of a London barber (Johnny Depp) and transports him to... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 89483%
Critics Consensus: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages.
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#3

Frankenweenie (2012)
87%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96453%
Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.
Synopsis: Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend:... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 94201%
Critics Consensus: The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center.
Synopsis: A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#1

Ed Wood (1994)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96146%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up to fete the life and work of cult hero Ed Wood, with typically strange and wonderful results.
Synopsis: Because of his eccentric habits and bafflingly strange films, director Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) is a Hollywood outcast. Nevertheless, with... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

(Photo by Warner Bros/Everett Collection)

All Batman Movies Ranked

A Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, ol’ Boogaloo Bats. There is a Batman for all seasons. But whatever you call him, he’s known far and wide as a comic book hero who’s managed to keep relevant in entertainment for decades, re-invented time and time again to answer a nation’s distress Bat-signal all. It was camp colors and biffbangpow for the 1960s (the Batman TV show). The ’80s found a taste for blockbuster art deco madness (Tim Burton’s Batman). The ’90s got the best of it (Mask of the Phantasm) and the worst (Batman & Robin). The world of the 2000s demanded realism and it got Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. These days he’s playing nice with the Justice League, while awaiting transformation as Robert Pattinson slips on the cowl for 2021’s The Batman.

Holy review aggregates! Now we’ve gathered all the theatrical Batman movies in one list (including the one night stand of The Killing Joke), ranked by Tomatometer! (And see all things Batsy on film and television with our Batman franchise page.)

#14

Batman & Robin (1997)
12%

#14
Adjusted Score: 17028%
Critics Consensus: Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for.
Synopsis: This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#13
Adjusted Score: 56055%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Synopsis: It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis.... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#12

Batman Forever (1995)
38%

#12
Adjusted Score: 42282%
Critics Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.
Synopsis: Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against two foes: the schizophrenic, horribly scarred former District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 40726%
Critics Consensus: This stilted retelling of the Joker's origin adds little to its iconic source material, further diminished by some questionable story additions that will have fans demanding justice for Barbara Gordon.
Synopsis: Batman (Kevin Conroy) must save Commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise) from the Joker's (Mark Hamill) twisted quest to drive him insane.... [More]
Directed By: Sam Liu

#10

Justice League (2017)
40%

#10
Adjusted Score: 69874%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#9

Batman (1989)
71%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77466%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#8
Adjusted Score: 86820%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#7

Batman (1966)
79%

#7
Adjusted Score: 81680%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form -- and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Synopsis: Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Watch Batman (Adam West) and... [More]
Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson

#6

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#6
Adjusted Score: 87234%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#5
Adjusted Score: 86101%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Eric Radomski

#4

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#4
Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 112573%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#1

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

With Justice League hitting theaters this Friday, we explore DC’s long history at the movies by ranking their 29 theatrical superhero films best to worst by Tomatometer!

Roughly 75 years after she made her comics debut, Wonder Woman’s finally getting her shot at solo big-screen glory — and if the early reviews are any indication, the Amazonian’s self-titled debut is not only a much-needed shot in the arm for the DC Extended Universe, but a whooping good time for action fans of all ages. Of course, decades before the Wonder Woman movie, the character had her own TV series, which got us thinking about all the other superheroes who started out in live action on the small screen before making the jump into theaters. Grab your decoder rings, true believers… it’s time for Total Recall!


Click the up and down arrows to vote on the shows!

As Wonder Woman gets added to the heap of superhero movies from DC and Warner Bros. throughout the years, here’s your chance to rank them as you see fit from the list below, which featuring each theatrical movie’s Tomatometer score, audience rating, and critics consensus!

The Masked Manhunter. The Caped Crusader. Bats. You know who we’re talking about, film fans, and chances are you were anticipating The LEGO Batman Movie ever since Warner Bros. announced Will Arnett’s version of the character would be getting his own spinoff. In honor of this momentous occasion, we decided to take a (mostly) fond look back at the Bat in all of his cinematic guises, from the worst to the best, and now that The LEGO Batman Movie has premiered, you can find out where it ranks with the others. With the Bat-signal blazing, it’s time for Total Recall!


12. Batman & Robin (1997) 12%

BatmanAndRobin

One of the least-loved blockbusters of recent years, Batman & Robin brought the Batman 1.0 franchise to a screeching halt. Unlike the earlier installments, which returned the Caped Crusader to his brooding noir roots, Batman & Robin was a veritable camp-o-rama, closer in spirit to the 1960s TV series. Utilizing punny dialogue to a jaw-dropping degree were villains Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze (“Ice to see you!”) and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy (“My garden needs tending”). Even George Clooney made little impression as Batman, and his sidekicks (Chris O’Donnell as Robin, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl) failed to drum up much audience or critical enthusiasm. As a result, a planned fifth sequel, Batman Triumphant, which would have pitted our heroes against the Scarecrow, never materialized, so it was left to Christopher Nolan to resurrect the series. “Fans of the movie series will be shocked at the shortage of original thought put into this project,” wrote John Paul Powell of Jam! Movies.

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11. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 29%

The established rules of superhero films require at least one blockbuster battle by the final act — the catastrophic damage from which is typically largely forgotten by the time the curtain rises on the inevitable sequel. Credit Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then, for trying to take a more thoughtful approach, and using the aftershocks from Man of Steel‘s climactic orgy of violence to establish the titular conflict between two iconic superheroes. Unfortunately, director Zack Snyder was also tasked with setting up a slew of future films in the burgeoning DC Extended Universe, and the result was a sequel that juggles an unwieldy array of characters and storylines while trying to grapple with serious questions — and in spite of Batman v Superman‘s super-sized running time, many critics felt the whole thing was even more of a muddled mess than the much-maligned Man of Steel. Still, the CG-enhanced action was enough for some scribes, including Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, who admitted the movie was “kind of dopey” but shrugged, “It largely kept me entertained for two and a half hours, which is not nothing.”

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10. Batman Forever (1995) 38%

BatmanForever

One can draw a fairly direct line from the 1966 Batman to Joel Schumacher’s mid-series reboot: Garish colors. Some tongue-in-cheek dialogue. The presence of Robin to draw in the young’uns. This may not be a great Batman movie, but it is a successful one — drawing in a legion of new viewers while shifting the series away from the twisted mindscape of Tim Burton (whose movies weren’t totally representative of the comics anyway). And if you were at the right age, there was nothing more fun in 1995 than this (except perhaps getting a PlayStation). It’s “a free-form playground for its various masquerading stars,” wrote Janet Maslin for The New York Times.

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9. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) 39%

Batman’s film history is fairly distinguished in its own right at this point, but he’ll always have his roots in the comics — and one of his most widely acclaimed stories, the 1988 Alan Moore graphic novel The Killing Joke, got its big-screen due with this 2016 animated effort. Aside from the acclaimed source material, in which the Joker puts Commissioner Gordon and his family through a particularly grueling ordeal, Killing had a lot going for it, including years of pent-up fan demand and the return of Mark Hamill as the Joker’s voice. Unfortunately, it didn’t add up to one of the better entries in the Batman filmography; critics were split more or less evenly over whether it did its inspiration justice — or whether its story was ultimately too misogynistic to deserve the treatment. “Alan Moore probably wouldn’t appreciate us saying it, but The Killing Joke story itself feels made for the screen,” observed SciFiNow’s Steve Wright. “It’s hard to truly critique something when it takes its cues from a truly excellent comic-book storyline.”

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8. Batman (1989) 71%

Batman1989

One of the most hyped movies in Hollywood history, and one of the finest examples of movie tie-ins and cross-promotion (so successful it made t-shirt bootleggers filthy rich), Batman is also one of the weirdest event pictures of all time. Director Tim Burton jettisoned the plots (if not the dark tone) of Bob Kane’s original comics, and came up with set designs reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and freakish, brooding characters similar to… well, a Tim Burton movie. Particularly compelling is Jack Nicholson as the Joker, who gleefully relishes his plan to kill the citizens of Gotham City with lethal gas. Michael Keaton makes for a subdued Dark Knight, a hero who dispenses vigilante justice while living a morose existence in Wayne Manor. A precursor to more complex comic book adaptations, Batman made piles of money, and the bat-logo was ubiquitous in the summer of 1989. “Burton brings back film noir elements to the new Batman, elevating it to a dark, demented opera,” wrote Jeffrey Anderson of Combustible Celluloid.

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7. Batman (1966) 79%

BatmanTheMovie

For a Batman interpretation frequently derided for its campiness, Batman: The Movie has a surprisingly high number of quotable lines and memorable scenes. Remember how the dynamic duo deduce that all their archenemies — Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Joker — are working together to take over the world? Or the insane logic Robin consistently applies to Riddler’s questions, only to be right every time? But the best bit has to be the one involving bat ladders, shark repellent Bat-spray, and a high seas encounter with an exploding Megalodon. “Holy Cornball Camp, Batman!” exclaims Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic.com, “This movie’s a hoot!”

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6. Batman Returns (1992) 80%

BatmanReturns

Tim Burton has said he always sympathized with monsters, and so, for his sequel to Batman, he gave audiences not one, but two empathetic, pitiable villains. The Penguin (Danny DeVito) is a deformed orphan who leads an army of aquatic, flightless birds from the bowels of Gotham City. The Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a frumpy secretary who is killed by her boss (Christopher Walken) after she learns of his evil schemes but is brought back to life by a group of cats. Teaming up against Batman, the pair plan an assault on the city above. Batman Returns is so cold and dark it makes the first installment look like Amelie by comparison, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it still made a killing at the box office, and was Burton’s favorite of the two Batman movies he helmed. “Of all the Batman pictures, this is the most striking, atmospheric and effective,” wrote David Keyes of Cinemaphile.org.

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5. Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (1993) 84%

MaskOfThePhantasm

Before the Nolan Batman movies, Mask of the Phantasm offered the most articulate exploration of the Bruce Wayne character. While the movie takes the action that made The Animated Series such great afternoon fun and expands it (but avoiding cheap, empty thrills that having a big budget can afford you), it also showers loving detail on a pivotal romance in Bruce’s life and an affecting scene of Bruce begging for release at his parents’ gravestone. It’s the rare movie that shows its protagonist for what he is: essentially insane. “[Mask of the Phantasm] managed to soar above the theatrical Batman adaptation,” states Kevin Carr of 7M Pictures, “And would remain the best Bat Movie to hit the big screens until Batman Begins shook things up in 2005.”

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4. Batman Begins (2005) 84%

BatmanBegins2

With his lack of superpowers and a vast fortune at his disposal, Batman was always the most plausible of heroes. With Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan shucked off the direction of the previous big-screen incarnations and boiled the Batman mythos down to its essence, resulting in one of the most realistic superhero movies ever. Thankfully, Nolan didn’t skimp on action-packed pyrotechnics, and as the suitably suave and tortured Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale added a greater emotional heft to the Caped Crusader (he was also ably abetted by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, and Gary Oldman). Batman Begins signaled a bold new beginning for the franchise, and was a huge hit with audiences and pundits alike. “It’s a wake-up call to the people who keep giving us cute capers about men in tights,” wrote Kyle Smith of the New York Post. “It wipes the smirk off the face of the superhero movie.”

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3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%

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After two critically acclaimed and commercially successful Batman films, it was up to Christopher Nolan to deliver the final chapter in similarly rousing fashion. And while it would have been difficult for anyone to replicate the phenomenal success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, Nolan came pretty close, picking up eight years after TDK and focusing on a half-broken Bruce Wayne who sees a chance for redemption when a new enemy disrupts the economy and takes the entire city hostage. Reliable supporting players Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman reprised their roles, while Nolan filled out the rest of the cast with similarly high profile talent like Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anne Hathaway, who slipped into Catwoman’s black leather as Selina Kyle. Thoughtful, explosive, and grounded in Nolan’s dark Gotham reality, the resulting film served as a satisfying conclusion to one of the most successful blockbuster franchises in recent memory. As the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr enthused, “This is what a superhero movie is supposed to look like.”

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2. The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) 90%

We’ve grown accustomed in recent years to the idea of Batman as a perpetually dour figure whose good works are only accomplished through his inability to shed a crippling survivor’s guilt and thirst for vengeance, but during his long decades as a cornerstone of the DC media empire, he’s been through a lot of incarnations, some goofier than others — all of which is why Will Arnett’s doofus Dark Knight in The LEGO Movie was a nod to the character’s colorfully complex history as well as a refreshing surprise. Spinoffs are obviously far from a sure bet on the big screen, but Arnett’s scene-stealing LEGO Movie turn laid a solid foundation for a standalone adventure — and it paid deliriously entertaining dividends with The LEGO Batman Movie, which delivered on that promise and then some. “Basically,” argued the Globe and Mail’s Barry Hertz, “it’s a standard-issue Batman narrative — arguably better than 50 percent of history’s other Batman films — that just happens to take place in a Lego-fied world.”

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1. The Dark Knight (2008) 94%

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Having already brought an end to the candy-colored, Schumacher-wrought nightmare that gripped the Batman franchise in the late 1990s, Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale had fans primed for a successful second act — but even after the smashing success of Batman Begins, few could have guessed just how popular The Dark Knight would be in the summer of 2008. A sprawling superhero epic that somehow managed to make room for jaw-dropping visuals, a compelling storyline, and stellar performances, Knight climbed out from under months of intense speculation — not to mention the shadow cast by Heath Ledger’s shocking death — with a worldwide gross in excess of $1 billion, a towering stack of positive reviews, and a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Ledger. Richard Roeper joined the chorus of near-universal critical praise, calling it “a rich, complex, visually thrilling piece of pop entertainment, as strong as any superhero epic we’ve ever seen.”

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Lastly, vote for your favorite movie Batman in the poll below!

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Holy online polls, Batman! Will Arnett voices a snarkier, slightly more self-obsessed version of the Caped Crusader in this week’s Lego Batman Movie, which got us thinking: Who played the Dark Knight the best? Whether you’re into the campy hijinks of Adam West, the unhinged antics of Michael Keaton, the super-serious pathos of Ben Affleck, or one of the other memorable actors to play — or voice — the role, see if your favorite is the same as everyone else’s by voting below!


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DC’s Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad weren’t received as disappointments so much as they were greeted as unforgivable insults to the general public. They inspired a lot of wailing, complaining, rending of garments, and insane over-reactions.

A moviegoing audience pathologically obsessed with superheroes responded to these movies with a world-wide gasp of shock and disappointment. It was as if they imagined that if they just tried hard enough, they could will different, better versions of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad into existence, and then they wouldn’t have to feel silly about being so emotionally invested in the box office and critical consensus of movies about weirdos in crazy costumes.

One segment of the public began weeping uncontrollably while screeching, “No! A silly superhero/super-villain team-up movie I was looking forward to wasn’t as good as I thought it could/should/would be! We can’t let such an abomination stand. We demand justice! We demand revenge!” Another antithetical yet curiously similar group, meanwhile, hollered, “No! A silly superhero/super-villain team up movie isn’t being treated by critics with the hushed reverence it’s due! That’s not fair! We demand justice! We demand revenge!”

Yes, the strange, overheated overreaction to Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad’s negative reviews is silly and ridiculous. But unlike the 1966 film version of Batman, it’s not silly and ridiculous in a fun, self-aware, campy fashion. No, the hallmark of these online complainers is that they take themselves way too seriously, whereas the defining feature of Adam West’s 1960s Batman is that it does not take itself seriously at all.

In its 1960s incarnation, Batman never stopped winking at audiences to let them know that it was in on the joke. The show and its spin-off movie reveled in artificiality. They set out to make a live-action superhero extravaganza that was more cartoonish than actual cartoons and more of a comic book than actual comic books.

The 1960s Batman was as much a parody of its source material as a straight adaptation.

Like the recent film versions of 21 Jump Street, the 1960s Batman was as much a parody of its source material as a straight adaptation. Unlike the Batman reboots that followed, the show and movies did not aim for realism or grit. The show didn’t just acknowledge the absurdity of a rich middle-aged man dressing up in a silly costume to fight evildoers in equally silly costumes, it ratcheted up that absurdity to delirious satirical levels.

I suspect the makers of the 1966 Batman film would have found the notion that subsequent filmmakers would treat the character as a tormented figure of infinite darkness who inhabits a gloomy world full of moral ambiguity both preposterous and a huge joke. As played by Adam West in the role that made him a trash-culture icon, Batman is less the living personification of the psychological costs of vengeance and humanity’s dark side than a clean-cut, wholesome do-gooder beloved by everybody other than the cartoonish criminals.

The 1966 Batman pits West’s Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward’s Dick Grayson/Robin against a felonious foursome of the TV show’s most popular and prolific villains. There’s Catwoman (Lee Meriwether, who is great but will never be able to compete with Eartha Kitt’s even greater interpretation of the role), a conniving super-villain who attempts to seduce Bruce Wayne in her alter-ego as a beautiful Russian. Batman may be the world’s greatest detective, but he’s somehow not sharp enough to figure out that his new Russian crush bears a distinct resemblance to one of his greatest (and certainly sexiest) foes.

Then there’s the gloriously redundant twosome of the Joker (Cesar Romero) and the Riddler (Frank Gorshin). True, jokes and riddles are different, but by including both of these gentlemen in the same story, it becomes clear that the show returned to the “mirthful supervillain” well at least once too often. The film clumsily and amusingly acknowledges this weird redundancy by having characters state repeatedly that Batman and Robin must wrestle with crazy hybrids like “a riddle in the form of a joke” as well as “joking riddles.” Finally, we have Burgess Meredith as the Penguin, who is old, short, and weak but smart enough to rent a submarine — where part of the film takes place — under the clever pseudonym P.N. Guin.

This not-so-fabulous foursome has joined forces to steal a miraculous invention able to “dehydrate” and then “re-hydrate” human beings. They plan to blackmail the nations of the world with this ridiculous contraption, which is really nothing more than a MacGuffin. But four villains means four times the frenzied over-acting. The Riddler, Penguin, and Joker all have a tendency to shout their comic book banter while mugging deliriously in ways that make them seem more hyper than scary. The four “super” villains here don’t seem capable of hurting Batman’s feelings, let alone cause him physical harm. By contrast, Nolan’s Batman films had terrifying villains: Scarecrow, the Joker, and Bane all seemed capable of killing Batman.

The four “super” villains here don’t seem capable of hurting Batman’s feelings, let alone cause him physical harm.

On television, Batman defined camp better than anyone this side of Susan Sontag. That extends to this faithful adaptation, but in addition to the film’s refreshing acknowledgment of its inherent ridiculousness, there are some sharp, memorable gags that score big laughs. Early in the film, for example, Batman and Robin are out in their Bat-Copter when Batman rappels down via rope ladder and spends what feels like a solid fifteen minutes engaged in a one-sided boxing match with a rubber shark so hilariously phony it suggests that “punching the shark” should join “jumping the shark” as a pop-culture cliche. One of the film’s other signature set-pieces finds Batman/Bruce Wayne desperate to get rid of a wonderfully fake-looking bomb but unable to find a place to toss it where it won’t cause major harm. An overwhelmed Batman then issues one of the film’s signature pieces of dialogue: “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”

Batman is also full of inspired running jokes, and one of my favorites is its obsession with sticking a “Bat” into the name of everything, even if it just makes things confusing. When preparing to battle the aforementioned pesky shark, for example, Batman makes sure to specifically request “shark-repellent bat-spray” from Robin. This is, of course, a shark repellent spray used by the Batman, but it’s confusingly worded enough that it sounds like it might be a shark repellent that also repels bats, or possibly Batman, or Batmen in general. Regardless, it’s all very silly.

In another standout scene that similarly belongs in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, Batman and Robin are scaling a wall — something they did all the time in the TV show, which frequently felt incredibly, deliberately fake — and Robin expresses shock and horror that some ne’er-do-wells drink so excessively they see things that aren’t there. Batman explains that they’re in a tough neighborhood full of “rumpots” and, as if on cue, one such rumpot pokes his head out his window just long enough to see what he naturally assumes is an alcohol-induced hallucination of a pair of men in outrageous tights scaling his building.

Batman is a product of the go-go mid-1960s. It’s got an unmistakable groovy bachelor pad vibe. West’s Batman is the only one who seems to prefer the millionaire bachelor side of his persona to the one who dresses up like an angel of vengeance to beat up bad guys. Christian Bale acted as if Bruce Wayne was in physical pain every time he was in a tuxedo at a fancy party, but West’s Batman seems like he could probably let go of the whole “crime fighting” thing without much concern. There are no stakes here, no real danger, just a bunch of silly heroes in Halloween costumes battling equally silly villains in Halloween costumes.

West’s Batman is the only one who seems to prefer the millionaire bachelor side of his persona to the one who dresses up like an angel of vengeance.

When Batman squares off against the film’s quartet of All-Star Super-Villains in an amusingly amateurish battle royale late in the film, it becomes apparent just how hilariously unthreatening his foes really are. The Joker, Riddler and Penguin all come off as frail men in their fifties who would probably lose a physical altercation with a toddler. They’re almost impressively unimpressive in their old, sad, weak physicality.

In an attempt to make it more of a fair fight, Catwoman tosses a cat to Batman, who then must physically battle his geriatric foes without dropping the cat. It’s a brilliant sight gag, and it’s also far more impressive than anything in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Let’s see Christian Bale’s Batman spend five fighting minutes fighting Bane without dropping an enormous tabby.

I loved the Batman TV show as a kid, and I responded just as strongly to it as an adult. That’s because the show operates on multiple levels. The black and white morality, goofy banter, crazy sound effects rendered both visually and sonically, outsized villains, and cool gadgets all appeal to kids and emotionally stunted adults. But the film’s winking, ironic tone, self-reflectiveness, meta elements, and breezy, campy humor make it just as appealing to grown-ups.

While there’s no reason a trifle like this needs to be any longer than 85 minutes (it could stand to trim 20 minutes or so), Batman holds up surprisingly well as an entertaining, hilarious lark. It’s also a much different film than the Batman movies that would follow. True, Joel Schumacher tried to channel some of the show’s campy spirit with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, but there’s a difference between being in on the joke, as West’s Batman clearly is, and being the joke itself, like Batman & Robin. The 1960s Batman was a smart, hip show playing at being silly and dumb, but Schumacher’s films are genuinely stupid.

Obviously, no one wants a return to the Schumacher era of Batman, but I think the gloomy Guses behind the new DC Universe films would be smart to take another look at this particular incarnation. There are elements of it DC might want to consider employing in subsequent films involving Bruce Wayne and his costumed alter-ego, such as being “fun” and “enjoyable” rather than a dreary, mournful slog.


Original Certification: N/A
Tomatometer: 80 percent
Re-Certification: Fresh


Nathan Rabin if a freelance writer, columnist, the first head writer of The A.V. Club and the author of four books, most recently Weird Al: The Book (with “Weird Al” Yankovic) and You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me.

Follow Nathan on Twitter: @NathanRabin

This weekend’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brings DC‘s heaviest hitters face-to-face for their first live-action throwdown on the big screen — and gives us our first glimpse of the new Wonder Woman in the bargain. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’re serving up a supersized Total Recall overview of all the times the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel starred in movies of their own.


Batman & Robin (1997) 12%

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One of the least-loved blockbusters of recent years, Batman & Robin brought the Batman 1.0 franchise to a screeching halt. Unlike the earlier installments, which returned the Caped Crusader to his brooding noir roots, Batman & Robin was a veritable camp-o-rama, closer in spirit to the 1960s TV series. Utilizing punny dialogue to a jaw-dropping degree were villains Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze (“Ice to see you!”) and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy (“My garden needs tending”). Even George Clooney made little impression as Batman, and his sidekicks (Chris O’Donnell as Robin, Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl) failed to drum up much audience or critical enthusiasm. As a result, a planned fifth sequel, Batman Triumphant, which would have pitted our heroes against the Scarecrow, never materialized, so it was left to Christopher Nolan to resurrect the series. “Fans of the movie series will be shocked at the shortage of original thought put into this project,” wrote John Paul Powell of Jam! Movies.

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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) 10%

With Gene Hackman back in the cast and a four-year break to cleanse filmgoers’ palates after the unpleasantness of Superman III, 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace seemed to have everything going for it at first — including a smartly topical storyline that put the Man of Steel in the middle of the Cold War (and doing battle with a nuclear-powered Superclone designed by Lex Luthor). Unfortunately, when money started to run tight at Cannon Films, director Sidney J. Furie found himself forced to cut corners in every direction; the result, according to most critics, was a disjointed, cheap-looking mess, further hampered by dejected-seeming performances from a cast that appeared to know exactly how much of a mistake they were making. (In fact, Jon Cryer — who played Luthor’s nephew Lenny — alleges that Christopher Reeve told him the movie was “an absolute mess.”) It all added up to the original franchise’s critical and commercial nadir, a dud so resounding that it sent the franchise into limbo for nearly 20 years. Calling it “More sluggish than a funeral barge, cheaper than a sale at K mart,” the Washington Post’s Desson Thomson warned, “it’s a nerd, it’s a shame, it’s Superman IV.”

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Superman III (1983) 29%

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The first two Superman movies boasted an impressive narrative scope, state-of-the-art special effects, and layered performances that made it possible for the story to move gracefully between action, drama, and comedy, sometimes within the space of a single scene. They were a tough act to follow, in other words — which might explain why 1983’s Superman III didn’t really bother attempting to build on their success, instead opting to take the franchise in an altogether sillier direction by pitting the Man of Steel against a power-mad CEO (Robert Vaughn) who blackmails an unscrupulous computer programmer (Richard Pryor) into using his know-how to help him achieve world domination. Aside from the typically techno-ignorant screenplay, which imagines weather satellites capable of creating tornados and supercomputers that achieve sentience after being attacked with an axe, III earned fans’ and critics’ ire by ignoring any semblance of character development in favor of director Richard Lester’s fondness for oddball humor and silly sight gags. Under different circumstances, Pryor could have been a worthy addition to a Superman movie — and the storyline, which sent Clark Kent back to Smallville for a high school reunion that reconnected him with childhood crush Lana Lang (Annette O’Toole), certainly had possibilities, as did a subplot that found Superman’s personality slowly being altered due to artificial Kryptonite poisoning. Ultimately, however, Superman III was less than the sum of its parts; as Variety argued, “Putting its emphasis on broad comedy at the expense of ingenious plotting and technical wizardry, it has virtually none of the mythic or cosmic sensibility that marked its predecessors.”

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 29%

The established rules of superhero films require at least one blockbuster battle by the final act — the catastrophic damage from which is typically largely forgotten by the time the curtain rises on the inevitable sequel. Credit Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then, for trying to take a more thoughtful approach, and using the aftershocks from Man of Steel‘s climactic orgy of violence to establish the titular conflict between two iconic superheroes.

Unfortunately, director Zack Snyder was also tasked with setting up a slew of future films in the burgeoning DC Extended Universe, and the result was a sequel that juggles an unwieldy array of characters and storylines while trying to grapple with serious questions — and in spite of Batman v Superman‘s super-sized running time, many critics felt the whole thing was even more of a muddled mess than the much-maligned Man of Steel. Still, the CG-enhanced action was enough for some scribes, including Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, who admitted the movie was “kind of dopey” but shrugged, “It largely kept me entertained for two and a half hours, which is not nothing.”

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Batman Forever (1995) 38%

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One can draw a fairly direct line from the 1966 Batman to Joel Schumacher’s mid-series reboot: Garish colors; some tongue-in-cheek dialogue; the presence of Robin to draw in the young’uns. This may not be a great Batman movie, but it is a successful one — drawing in a legion of new viewers while shifting the series away from the twisted mindscape of Tim Burton (whose movies weren’t totally representative of the comics anyway). And if you were the at the right age, there was nothing more fun in 1995 than this (except perhaps getting a PlayStation). It’s “Bigger, battier and better,” wrote Susan Wloszczyna for USA Today.

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Man of Steel (2013) 56%

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After coming down from the nostalgic rush of Superman Returns, studio execs decided that instead of a sequel, yet another reboot was in order, and they handed the reins to Watchmen director Zack Snyder to make it happen. The result was 2013’s Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill as the latest take on the broad-shouldered Kryptonian orphan and Michael Shannon as his first nemesis, the villainous General Zod. Snyder’s revisionist take on the Superman mythology definitely had a special effects advantage over its predecessors, but a large number of critics took issue with other aspects of the movie, particularly what many saw as a rather cavalier approach to violence — summed up by Superman’s decision to commit murder in the final act. Still, even if few would argue that Man of Steel was an entirely successful attempt to apply a dark layer of post-Nolan grit to the franchise, plenty of writers appreciated seeing a fresh spin on a familiar character. “If Man of Steel is Snyder at his most conventional,” mused Mick LaSalle for the San Francisco Chronicle, “he’s still more inspired and innovative than his competition.”

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Batman (1989) 71%

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One of the most hyped movies in Hollywood history, and one of the finest examples of movie tie-ins and cross-promotion (so successful it made t-shirt bootleggers filthy rich), Batman is also one of the weirdest event pictures of all time. Director Tim Burton jettisoned the plots (if not the dark tone) of Bob Kane’s original comics, and came up with a picture with set designs reminiscent of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and freakish, brooding characters similar to… well, a Tim Burton movie. Particularly compelling is Jack Nicholson as the Joker, who gleefully relishes his plan to kill the citizens of Gotham City with lethal gas. Michael Keaton makes for a subdued Dark Knight, a hero who dispenses vigilante justice while living a morose existence in Wayne Manor. A precursor to more complex comic book adaptations, Batman made piles of money, and the bat-logo was ubiquitous in the summer of 1989. “Burton brings back film noir elements to the new Batman, elevating it to a dark, demented opera,” wrote Jeffrey Anderson of Combustible Celluloid.

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Superman Returns (2006) 75%

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If you’re any kind of film buff, you’re already familiar with many of the twists and turns that Superman endured at Warner Bros. during the ‘80s and ‘90s — heck, they’ve even inspired their own documentary — so suffice it to say that after Superman IV tanked, the franchise was more or less frozen at a crossroads for years. Talk of another Reeve-led sequel stopped after the 1995 horseriding accident that left him paralyzed, and despite the best efforts of a long succession of screenwriters, directors, and would-be stars, our Kryptonian hero spent the better part of 20 years waiting for a hero of his own to rescue him from development hell. Help finally arrived in the form of director Bryan Singer, who was handed the keys to the franchise after proving his superhero mettle with X-Men and its first sequel; in the summer of 2006, Superman Returns rebooted the story, with newcomer Brandon Routh wearing the cape, Kate Bosworth playing Lois Lane, and Kevin Spacey chewing up the scenery as Lex Luthor. Despite solid reviews, a $200 million gross, and a properly reverent tone —  including a storyline that paid homage to the first two Superman movies while pretending the missteps of III and IV never happened — Superman Returns was ultimately regarded as something of a disappointment; plans for a sequel never materialized, much to the chagrin of the AP’s Christy Lemire, who wondered, “Does the world really need Superman? Maybe not everyone. But people who love movies do.”

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Batman (1966) 79%

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For a Batman interpretation frequently derided for its campiness, Batman: The Movie has a surprisingly high number of quotable lines and memorable scenes. Remember how the dynamic duo deduce that all their archenemies — Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Joker — are working together to take over the world? Or the insane logic Robin consistently applies to Riddler’s questions that always turns out to be right? But the best bit has to be the one that involves bat ladders, shark repellent Bat-spray, and a high seas encounter with an exploding Megalodon. “Holy Cornball Camp, Batman!” exclaimed Scott Weinberg, “This movie’s a hoot!”

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Batman Returns (1992) 80%

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Tim Burton has said he always sympathized with monsters, and so, for his sequel to Batman, he gave audiences not one, but two empathetic, pitiable villains. The Penguin (Danny DeVito) is a deformed orphan who leads an army of aquatic, flightless birds from the bowels of Gotham City. The Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a frumpy secretary who is killed by her boss (Christopher Walken) after she learns of his evil schemes, but is brought back to life by a group of cats. Teaming up against Batman, the pair plans an assault on the city above. Batman Returns is so cold and dark it makes the first installment look like Amelie by comparison, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it still made a killing at the box office, and was Burton’s favorite of the two Batman movies he helmed. “Of all the Batman pictures, this is the most striking, atmospheric and effective,” wrote David Keyes of Cinemaphile.org.

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Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (1993) 84%

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Before the Nolan Batman movies, Mask of the Phantasm offered the most articulate exploration of the Bruce Wayne character. While the movie takes the action that made The Animated Series such great afternoon fun and expands it (but avoids the cheap, empty thrills that having a big budget can afford you), it also showers loving detail on a pivotal romance in Bruce’s life and an affecting scene of Bruce begging for release at his parents’ gravestone. It’s the rare movie that shows its protagonist for what he is: essentially insane. “[Mask of the Phantasm] managed to soar above the theatrical Batman adaptation,” states Kevin Carr of 7M Pictures, “And would remain the best Bat Movie to hit the big screens until Batman Begins shook things up in 2005.”

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Batman Begins (2005) 84%

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With his lack of superpowers and a vast fortune at his disposal, Batman was always the most plausible of heroes. With Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan shucked off the direction of the previous big-screen incarnations and boiled the Batman mythos down to its essence, resulting in one of the most realistic superhero movies ever. Thankfully, Nolan didn’t skimp on action-paced pyrotechnics, and as the suitably suave and tortured Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale added a greater emotional heft to the Caped Crusader (he was also ably abetted by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, and Gary Oldman). Batman Begins signaled a bold new beginning for the franchise, and was a huge hit with audiences and pundits alike. “It’s a wake-up call to the people who keep giving us cute capers about men in tights,” wrote Kyle Smith of the New York Post. “It wipes the smirk off the face of the superhero movie.”

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%

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With 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan was faced with the task of coming up with a compelling closing chapter to a blockbuster trilogy — the first two entries of which ranked among the best-reviewed superhero movies of all time. Under all that pressure, it’s commendable that Nolan emerged with something as solid as Rises: even if it didn’t quite reach the same lofty heights achieved by its predecessor, it offered Christian Bale’s Batman one last round of hard-hitting action before wrapping up this era of the franchise, with a bit of socioeconomic subtext woven into the plot for good measure. For some, just being forced to say goodbye to Nolan’s vision of the series was an untenable disappointment — to say nothing of any of the nits worth picking with a storyline that saw Batman being driven to the brink of destruction in an epic confrontation with the fearsome revolutionary known as Bane (Tom Hardy). Yet for most others, The Dark Knight Rises proved a perfectly fitting farewell — like Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, who called it “Arguably the biggest, darkest, most thrilling and disturbing and utterly balls-out spectacle ever created for the screen.”

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Superman II (1980) 85%

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After putting together what seemed like a foolproof plan for a speedy Superman follow-up — hiring director Richard Donner to shoot much of the sequel concurrently with the first film — Warner Bros. watched with growing dismay as production slowed to a crawl, finally coming to a halt when Donner’s feuds with producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind led to his firing from the project. Things grew more complicated when new director Richard Lester came on board, and — needing to film at least 51 percent of the movie in order to obtain a director’s credit — reshot many scenes from a movie that had already been substantially filmed. Those are just a few of the many challenges Superman II needed to overcome before it finally arrived in theaters in 1981; amazingly, all that behind-the-scenes chaos didn’t have much of an adverse impact on the original theatrical cut, which broke the $100 million barrier at the box office while enjoying almost as many positive reviews as its predecessor. It certainly helped that the screenplay gave Superman (Christopher Reeve) the most formidable villains he’d face in the original trilogy: Kryptonian criminals Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O’Halloran), sent into exile just before the planet’s destruction by Superman’s father Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and freed by the blast from a bomb Superman threw into space. Add in a subplot involving our hero opting to give up his powers in order to pursue domestic bliss with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and it isn’t hard to see why many fans consider this the best of the Reeve-era Superman movies (or why enough of them clamored for the release of Donner’s cut that it finally saw the official light of day in 2006). “Superman II,” sighed an appreciative Janet Maslin for the New York Times, “is a marvelous toy.”

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Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

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“You’ll believe a man can fly,” promised the posters for 1978’s Superman, and they were right in more ways than one. The special effects were impressive for the era, but more importantly, the movie benefited from a talented director in Richard Donner, a solid screenplay derived from a story by Godfather author Mario Puzo, and a great cast anchored by Christopher Reeve, whose looming physique and chiseled good looks combined with his Juilliard-trained acting chops to help create the most perfect Superman ever to grace the screen (so far). While Gene Hackman’s rather ineffective Lex Luthor (coupled with the buffoonish Otis, played by Ned Beatty) was far from the most imposing foe our hero would face, the movie didn’t lack for dramatic stakes — and with Margot Kidder playing Lois Lane, it even managed to mix a little feminism in with its romance. “The audience finds itself pleasantly surprised, and taken a little off guard,” observed an appreciative Roger Ebert. “The movie’s tremendously exciting in a comic book sort of way (kids will go ape for it), but at the same time it has a sly sophistication, a kidding insight into the material, that makes it, amazingly, a refreshingly offbeat comedy.”

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The Dark Knight (2008) 94%<