Action A Go Go Presents…
The Best of Batman on Film!
(UPDATED WITH DARK KNIGHT RISING! Where does it stand? Find out below!!)

In a precious few hours, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will be unleashed upon this world and will make a metric f*** ton  of money. Truly awe inspiring amounts of cash. But here’s the ultimate question…will it be the best Batman movie? We don’t know yet, but in the meantime we’ve gone ahead and ranked all of the previous Batman films for your reading pleasure. This is from worst to best, based on our incredibly complex (read : drunk) calculations. The top pick will surprise you. It surprised me. But no more blabber…here we go…

Directed by Joel Schumacher, starring George Clooney as the Dark Knight, and possibly one of the worst movies ever made, BATMAN AND ROBIN had some great ingredients. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the height of his powers, playing Mr. Freeze. The timeless Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy. A then Uber famous Alicia Silverstone added to the roster of good guys. Chris O’Donnell back as Robin.
BATMAN FOREVER, while a departure from Burton’s blockbusters, was a huge financial success. So what went wrong in the forth installment in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time? Pretty much everything. Bad dialogue, a weak story, stilted acting, and over the top everything just didn’t work.  Also, another face for BATMAN didn’t help. 
The worst thing you could say is that everyone saw BATMAN FOREVER after seeing the Burtonrun of movies and just didn’t like Joel Schumacher’s vision enough to see it again. 
Also, its failure killed an amazing franchise that dominated the 90’s, which is a shame in itself. And George Clooney makes fun of it himself because it is a big black eye on his strange career. Does it have any redeeming qualities? Yes. But you forget about those after you see….BAT NIPPLES. Legendary for its missteps, its dead last.
Joel Schumacher is not the anti-christ. While his resume includes the God awful BATMAN AND ROBIN, it also includes one of the most action-packed Batman films in the franchise’s history (not to mention the most functional Bat-suit to execute said action), BATMAN FOREVER.
Sure, it comes off like a technicolor acid trip. Certainly, the production and costume designs feels like every gay stereotype imaginable, but if you take issue with that then you might as well take issue with every Batman comic before the 1970s. And it’s still miles ahead of the movie that came immediately after this.
Now, let’s reach back…back…way back in time and explore this little gem from the past.
Directed by Leslie H Martinson and starring Adam West in his most memorable role, this movie set the tone for comic book movies for a generation whether you like it or not.
No one will admit it, but this is much more than a BATMAN movie. This is 60’s camp at its finest. Dripping with style, blessed with over the top performances, and just damn funny, this movie is a cultural milestone, a movie that took everything from the beloved T.V show and amped it up to a 1,000.
Does it have any faults? Yes, it’s 60’s era BATMAN. But when I was a kid I scooped this up like it was ice cream, and for a whole generation this is Batman, no matter how ridiculous. I could just go on and on. It’s colorful, smart, racially progressive (at least the show was), inventive, cinematically dynamic, and a pop culture phenomenon, this slice of American cinema is the best of its class and still entertaining to this day. Why is it only six? Because we’re looking at a bunch of movies that are just that good.


Tim Burton’s sequel to 1989’s BATMAN bares only passing resemblance to it’s predecessor and has even less in common with the comics that spawned them. BATMAN RETURNS is all Tim Burton all the time, and yet, this fetish-y, hypnotic, oddity feels surprisingly at home in GothamCity.
It also features one of the best takes on the Penguin (a hilariously pervy Danny Devito) and our favorite version of Catwoman (played uber-kinky by Michelle Pfeiffer).


Oh wow…what a movie this was. Epic in time and scale, Christopher Nolan tried to bring every weapon he could to this movie but at the end of the day…huh? Now, I liked the movie, loved certain parts, but once this thing get’s going and hit’s the second half everything is smashed into one big mess of a movie. Again, not bad, but not nearly as engrossing as THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) and not nearly as honest as BATMAN BEGINS (2005).  It’s good…it’s just not the best BATMAN movie ever. Read the full review here But for now, it stands tall at number five.

Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader, this was one for the ages.
What can’t be said about this movie that came out just four short years ago? It was epic. It was mind bending. It had the best Joker ever and got Heath Ledger an Oscar. Two Face, played by Aaron Eckhart, was just as twisted. It made incredible amounts of money. It had seamless special effects. 
To me it should be higher on this list, and to most it is, but we had to separate the best from the best here, and this one comes in at #4. Why? The purists say it’s not Batman. The haters say it’s bloated and dumb. True, the ending is bloated and there are some logic holes, and Heath Ledger’s passing did bring in a totally new demographic (read: Chicks) that inflated the gross. But you know what? None of that matters.  This is an awesome Batman film that will stand for the ages as a top class movie that showed the world that comic book movies have grown up. The only question now is will THE DARK KNIGHT RISES put it to shame?
Everyone loves THE DARK KNIGHT and I’m sure everyone will love THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, but Christopher Nolan’s first film feels the most like…well, Batman.
Surprisingly, BATMAN BEGINS marks the first time in the character’s 73 year history that his origin story has been detailed on screen. And what an origin story it is. While most superhero films limit the “how” to their first act, BATMAN BEGINS is entirely about Bruce Wayne’s ascension to Dark Knighthood. Outside of Frank Miller’s BATMAN YEAR ONE (which this film is largely based on), this movie is possibly the most satisfying Batman origin ever told.
2. BATMAN (1989)
Directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight, This is my personal favorite of the bunch. Everybody from my generation grew up on this movie, and for good reason.
Tim Burton has said (supposedly) that he never read comics growing up. Fascinatingly enough, lots of directors of comic book movies say such things. I personally think he is full of bat sh** because his style of movie making fit so well with the character of Batman, and the world of Batman, that it can’t just be a coincidence. The music score (oh God…the amazing, beautiful score!), the tempo, the characters, all meld together so perfectly that it’s hard to imagine anybody else from the era directing a movie this good. 
‘Til this day, I think Tim Burton’s Gotham City is the defacto example of how you should build a setting for your characters. You can practically reach out and touch the stone walls and smell the steam coming up from the streets. Oh, by the way, did you know Jack Nicholson plays an awesome Joker? And that Michael Keaton is a great Bruce Wayne/Batman? Oh, it also inspired BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, which is somewhere on this list. Is there anything bad to say about this movie? Yeah, a bunch of the kids who grew up on this film have started sh***** all over it for reasons that are petty and inconsequential. Besides that it’s a classic that should be enjoyed for what it is, a great movie. 
Like 1989’s BATMAN and 2005’s BATMAN BEGINS, Phantasm adds a new spin on how Bruce Wayne became the dark knight setective. Unlike those films, however, it does so without anchoring itself entirely to BATMAN: YEAR ONE (Frank Miller’s influential comic series) or awkwardly connecting the origin back to Batman’s rouges gallery.
Traditionally, Batman films are more triumphs of design and spectacle than about genuine emotion. With BATMAN: MASK OF PHANTASM, the team responsible for the beloved 90s animated series gives us all the visual flare while dashing expectations of what a Batman film can do dramatically, giving the caped crusader a unique journey that has never been emotionally matched on film.

There! That does it! This is the end all, be all list until 12:01 when THE DARK KNIGHT RISES shows up to shake things up.

Do you disagree with our list? Do think we are full of Bat S**t? Then let us know in the comments!

And above all, enjoy yourselves this weekend! It’s bound to be a good one….

****A Word From the Action A GO GO TEAM : As we all know, on Friday July 20th, minutes after I posted this, a terrible tragedy occurred in a theater in Aurora, Colorado during the screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. As can be seen above, obviously I did not know what was going to occur or how horrible a weekend it would be for the victims of that event. I am not going to change the post because I believe when we change anything because of these maniacs they have somehow won, or affected us, which is what they want. Instead, I am going to leave it as is. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, and I hope we can all learn from this terrible tragedy so that somehow, someway, we can put a stop to this senseless violence and get help to those who need it most.***


Did you like leather? I like leather….

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman

Eartha Kitt
Julie Newmar
Lee Meriwether
And As of Today, The Lovely Ann Hathaway….I think she will do fine……