How Many Batman Movies Are There? Here's Where You Can Watch Them Right Now

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DC Comics was founded in 1935 and from its inception, it took just five years for Bob Kane and Bill Finger to create Batman. The success of Superman was something to capitalize off and Kane came up with a character called Batman which was very much like Superman in many ways. Batman had red tights, wings, and a domino mask. Finger came in and suggested the cape, black and grey color scheme, and provided the first story. Given his popularity and presence in comics, television, video games, and films, you've probably wondered how many Batman movies are there.

Batman has been a staple of DC Comics and superheroes, in general, The most recent of course is Matt Reeves’ The Batman which stars Robert Pattinson in the lead role. Fans are enjoying the new film but for many, especially younger fans, it begs the question of just how many Batman movies there are and how they interact with each other.

Below, we’ve outlined all of the Batman films ever made and where you can check them out. 

How many Batman movies are there?

Though this is a simple question, the answer isn’t necessarily as straightforward. That’s largely because a “Batman movie” can be defined in a few ways. There have been a bunch of movies over the years where Batman is the protagonist, but he’s also appeared alongside fellow DC superheroes over the years in films that are unmissable if you’re following Batman’s story.

There are ten live-action films where Batman or just one other superhero are the protagonists of the movie, but there are also other films like Suicide Squad and Justice League which he appears in. If you’re into it, there’s also The Lego Batman Movie and the animated movies that were released over the years as part of Warner Bros. Animation’s DC Universe Animated Original Movies, which some feel are even better than many of the live-action films.

All in all, with everything considered, we have 14 films on this list and a few which might surprise you.

What order to watch the Batman movies in (and where to stream them)

1. Batman: The Movie

  • Release year: 1966
  • Actor: Adam West

In hindsight, Adam West’s interpretation of Batman is neither particularly true to the comics, nor did it inspire what the superhero turned out to be today. For that reason, it could easily get shunned, but the Adam West version of Batman from this film and the television series is beloved by fans for great reason. The goofy characteristics of Gotham’s protector meant that it was great for the whole family to watch and this film was bold in featuring not one, not two, not three, but four main villains in Catwoman, Joker, Penguin, and Riddler.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

2. Batman

  • Release year: 1989
  • Actor: Michael Keaton

The second live-action Batman film ever produced came over two decades after the first. In 1989, Michael Keaton took on the role for an iteration of the character the modern-day fans will immediately recognize as the masked man that we all love. This version of the character in Tim Burton’s film is far more serious than Adam West’s Batman and the dark and spooky version of Gotham that we see undoubtedly paved the way for the darker turn of the character in the last couple of decades. This film is worth seeing for Jack Nicholson’s Joker alone.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

3. Batman Returns

  • Release year: 1992
  • Actor: Michael Keaton

Three years after Batman, its sequel was released. After taking on Jack Nicholson’s Joker in the first film, this time, Danny DeVito’s Penguin was the foe. If you haven’t seen his rendition of the villain, you’d be forgiven for being skeptical, but it’s an iconic performance. Alongside him is Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) and on Batman’s side is Catwoman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. This film really gave credence to the idea that Batman could be a real franchise that could be taken seriously by avid moviegoers. Unfortunately, a trilogy with Michael Keaton was not meant to be.

Watch now on Hulu

4. Batman Forever

  • Release year: 1995
  • Actor: Val Kilmer

In a recent interview, Val Kilmer talked about showing his kids his Batman film and them walking out by the 20th minute. Kilmer stated that the film was “so bad it’s almost good”, but by most accounts, that’s a little harsh. Batman Forever is nowhere near the best Batman movie ever made, but it’s a decent superhero movie with some flaws. Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Riddler is the highlight. If you’re into comic books and prefer Batman with a lighter tone, you might still enjoy this one. It was directed by the late Joel Schumacher, who despite the mixed reviews of Batman Forever, was rushed into another Batman movie…

Watch now on Amazon Prime

5. Batman and Robin

  • Release year: 1997
  • Actor: George Clooney

In 2017, twenty years after the release of Batman & Robin, Joel Schumacher apologized for the poor quality of Batman & Robin, which will tell you most of what you need to know about this movie. Val Kilmer’s Batman wasn’t taking himself seriously in Batman Forever and George Clooney's rendition of the character takes that to a new height. This film was intentionally made light-hearted so that it would appeal to children and sell merchandise, the former of which it somewhat did and the latter of which it failed to hit the mark on. This film was panned so much that Schumacher’s proposed trilogy film, Batman Unchained, was scrapped.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

6. Batman Begins

  • Release year: 2005
  • Actor: Christian Bale

After three Batman films were released in the 1990s, it took until the mid-2000s for another one to be released, perhaps due to the perceived damage that Batman & Robin did to the franchise. Never fear though, because the 2005 effort was Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. We’d seen the key parts of Batman’s origin story on screen before, but it had never been done like this. The story was dark and gave Batman an edge and layers we’d never seen before. Bale’s portrayals of both Bruce Wayne and Batman were stellar and gave the character legs as it had never had before. This film often gets overlooked due to the success of the film that succeeded it, but Batman Begins is arguably the best Batman film that was ever made.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

7. The Dark Knight

  • Release year: 2008
  • Actor: Christian Bale

There’s really no need to mince words here: The Dark Knight is probably the best superhero film ever made. It supersedes every expectation you ever had about a superhero movie and outdoes it all, putting itself right there in the conversation for the great movies of all time. Of course, this is largely due to the late legend Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Joker, which ironically, many were skeptical about due to the greatness of Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the DC villain. Heath’s performance is outstanding to this day and won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2008, unfortunately after his tragic passing. The dynamic between Batman and Joker stands out and the twists that come along the way are brilliant.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

8. The Dark Knight Rises

  • Release year: 2012
  • Actor: Christian Bale

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy came to an end with The Dark Knight Rises, in which Bane, played by Tom Hardy, is the villain. Coming off of the success and acclaim of The Dark Knight, this film had a lot of expectations and in hindsight, although it isn’t remembered as the standout of the trilogy, it did an incredible job of coming anywhere near those standards. Bane is a menacing opponent for Batman and seems like a genuine threat to the entirety of Gotham. The ending, though we won’t spoil it here, is pretty conclusive for Batman and closed most of the doors that were opened in the past couple of films. However you feel about this film, it did a great job of closing out the best superhero trilogy ever made.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

9. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Release year: 2016

Actor: Ben Affleck

This film and Affleck’s Batman, in general, are quite polarizing. Coming off of Nolan’s trifecta and arguably the best Batman in Christian Bale, whoever played him next was going to have a tough time regardless. In comes this film, which pits Batman and Superman against each other. It’s set a year and a half after the events of 2013’s Man of Steel film in a world where Batman has been fighting crime for a couple of decades already. Batman is concerned with Superman’s abilities and views him as a threat. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor looms in the background and is many people’s favorite part of this movie.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

10. Suicide Squad

  • Release year: 2016
  • Actor: Ben Affleck

Admittedly, this is hardly a Batman movie because he is reduced to just an uncredited cameo here, but following Batman vs. Superman and considering Justice League which comes a year later, it’s well worth watching this even if you’re just interested in following Batman’s arc. This film didn’t get rave reviews from critics, but was enjoyed by some fans and is considered a pleasant surprise after some skepticism.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

11. Justice League

  • Release year: 2017
  • Actor: Ben Affleck

The events of the DC films in the years prior to 2017 all culminated with Justice League, where Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman form a team to fight the evil in front of them. This film has a dark cloud that hangs over it in the form of the issues with its directors. It was originally directed by Zack Snyder who eventually had to step down due to the tragic death of his daughter. Joss Whedon took over and chose to go for a lighter tone, which didn’t sit well with fans.

Once the film was out, interest was expressed about a cut faithful to Snyder’s vision being released and though many felt it was unlikely, in 2021, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released on HBO. It sits at four hours and while it’s certainly bloated at that length, many feel that it’s the way the story should have gone.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

12. The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Release year: 2017
  • Actor: Will Arnett

Before you turn your nose up at this movie and deny that it counts as a Batman movie, know that it’s genuinely one of the more revered Batman films ever made. Following the controversy of many of the past entries, a truly fun entry in the series was necessary. This is a spinoff of The LEGO Movie and it doesn’t take itself seriously, of course. It’s not made purely to appeal to a younger audience either. There are multiple references to other Batman movies that only those who are familiar with the old films will truly understand. A sequel focusing on Batman’s relationship with the Justice League was in the works for this year until Universal Pictures acquired the film rights to The LEGO Movie and effectively canceled it.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

13. Joker

  • Release year: 2019
  • Actor: N/A

Okay, technically Batman doesn’t appear in this film, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a Batman film. Dante Pereira-Olson makes an appearance as a young version of Bruce Wayne and the death of his parents is covered, but other than that, the full focus is on Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Just like the casting choice of Heath Ledger was criticized due to the greatness of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, many weren’t sure how another portrayal of the villain would work out. But just like Heath Ledger, Phoenix knocked it out of the park and if anything, solidified Joker as one of the greatest superhero villains of all time. Joker conveys the character’s descent into madness, with an interesting emphasis on his Pseudobulbar affect. When this film was made, it was meant to be a standalone separate from the DC universe, but who knows if its success could change those plans.

Watch now on Amazon Prime

14. The Batman

Release year: 2022

Actor: Robert Pattinson

Speaking of being separate from the DC universe, here we are with the Batman entry, Matt Reeves’ The Batman. You’d have thought that fans would have learned by now not to doubt casting choices when it comes to Batman films, but as is often the case, Robert Pattinson was criticized before he even got a chance to step into the suit. The film is still fresh off the press, but the general consensus is that it’s a top-three Batman film of all time. The Riddler serves as the villain here and the film puts a spin on what we know about the character, taking it back to some of its detective roots.

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