Who is the Best Batman

Em Eades, Staff Writer

Over 80 years of stories have made Batman one of the most enduring characters in pop culture history. In that time, the Dark Knight has also been the subject of more big-screen adaptations than any other superhero to date, starring in 11 live-action movies and counting. The Batman is the latest take on the character, with 2023’s The Flash set to bring back two other Caped Crusaders for a time-shattering adventure through the multiverse that will then lead into HBO Max’s Batgirl, where the Dark Knight will play a supporting role.

As much as we love seeing Batman in theaters, not all of these movies have been entirely successful. The same goes for the actors who’ve starred in these films. Every Batman fan has a favorite big-screen Dark Knight, one performer who they feel perfectly encapsulates all of the qualities that make the World’s Greatest Detective such a great character.

But who is the best live-action movie Batman of all time? I polled BHS students to get their opinions before getting my list together. But before we jump in, a little housekeeping: to keep things tidy, I only considered those actors who have played Batman in live-action, full-length theatrical films.

7: George Clooney

In all honesty, he was not that bad, but he was also given a terrible script. The original four Batman movies were a relatively great set, but after Batman Returns, the movies went downhill. Tim Burton leaving as a director really took a toll, and Batman and Robin really proves it.

6: Ben Affleck

He had the cards stacked against him from the very start, but he did well in his role. He played past his prime Batman, and wasn’t really given a chance in a solo movie. Maybe if he was given a better script, he could have proved us all wrong, but sadly, that will never be.

5: Adam West

He is the Batman that will be in everyone’s hearts, as he really brought a Batman in the world with love and life. He did well for a goofy Batman, and he will forever be our first Batman. But he portrayed him with not nearly as much depth as Batman truly has.

4: Val Kilmer

After Michael Keaton stepped down, Val Had some big shoes to fill. He did a great job, nevertheless. He was a cooler, smoother Batman, and really brought a great Bruce Wayne, and with the introduction of Robin, he did wonderfully for Batman Forever. It was a little campy, but it’s a great mix of dark and light that we all love.

3: Christian Bale

Everyone has at least tried to do the “I’m Batman” once. Christian Bale is a wonderful actor, and really gets into every role he plays, and this is no exception. He really did his homework, and thus created one of the most iconic Batman’s ever. He was excellent, and did what was asked of him and more, but he isn’t the best. He would be the best if it wasn’t for the next two actors knocking it out of the park.

2: Michael Keaton

He was the first movie Batman, and rocked the Hell out of it. He was criticized as a pick when announced because his roles before Batman were usually just comedy. He did play an amusing Bruce Wayne, and a lovely Batman, and he was number one for a long time, until one movie came out that changed everything.

1: Robert Pattinson

The Batman is a 3-hour masterpiece that really encompasses Batman at heart. Robert Pattinson studied Batman and made him the hero he really was when he began. A shy billionaire by day, and a vigilante trying to get his bearings by night. He wasn’t the smartest, fastest, greatest hero yet–he was still beginning. And having this in mind, this makes him TRUELY the best Batman.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Conroy

Probably the most iconic portrayal of Batman ever, and he didn’t have to dress up. Kevin voiced Batman in multiple animated series, and even voiced Batman in the Arkham Video Game series. His voice is iconic and will forever be a staple in the DC Universe.