Live Action Batman Actors Rated by The Flash

The Flash hits theaters this week, which means we’re getting another dose of Michael Keaton’s Batman. After almost 35 years, Keaton returns to don the famous cloak and robe to fight and spark debate about Gotham’s evildoers the best live action batman actors.

The Flash hits theaters this week, which means we’re getting another dose of Michael Keaton’s Batman. After almost 35 years, Keaton returns to don the famous cloak and robe to fight and spark debate about Gotham’s evildoers the best live action batman actors.

Notably, since Keaton first sported the pointy ears, we’ve seen no fewer than five actors take on that role on the big screen in live action. In comparison, we only had two new Supermen – not counting the numerous TV interpretations.

But which Batman did it best? I’m glad you asked because I’ve put together a nifty list for you to check out and discuss. Give it a try (ranked from worst to best) and then let us know your list! Up, up and away – or something like that.

6) George Clooney – Batman and Robin (1997)

Clooney almost doomed his budding film career when he starred in Joel Schumacher’s 1997 turkey film Batman and Robin. While his portrayal of Bruce Wayne works reasonably well, this Bats spends way too much time rattling off cheesy one-liners and not enough time brooding or kicking ass. To be fair, after the shocked response to Batman Returns, WB and Schumacher opted for something more Adam West-tinged, amplifying the splashy, neon-lit madness that audiences seemed to enjoy in Batman Forever, with disastrous results . No, really, by the time Bats produces his own personalized credit card, this silly two-hour toy commercial has literally jumped the proverbial shark and morphed into something resembling trash art.

Luckily, Clooney is caught up in the joke, often poking fun at his portrayal as a Crusader on various talk shows. He also appears at the end of “The Flash” in a funny cameo that wowed my audience. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing him play older, grizzled Bruce Wayne in future Flash films, but I doubt anyone would want to see Clooney don his cloak and robes again.

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5) Adam West – Batman: The Movie (1966)

Before Tim Burton came along and rescued the character from oblivion, this was the only live-action Batman we had. Sure, there’s a certain charm to the crazy shenanigans on display here. Everyone involved is having a great time, including the amazing Cesar Romero and West’s trusty sidekick Burt Ward. I like Batman: The Movie for its serious charm, but it still underperforms the character no matter how cool his Batmobile is.

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4) Val Kilmer – Batman Forever (1995)

In an alternate reality, Val Kilmer took on a more serious take on the Caped Crusader and became the greatest Batman of them all. Unfortunately, like Clooney, his solid performance in Schumacher’s ambitious but ultimately inconsistent Batman Forever is lost under a pile of cheesy nonsense. It begins in the opening scene, where we see Batman, lit in dark shadows that don’t deviate too far from Burton’s style and tone, step into the frame and deliver his opening sentence: “I’m going to drive through.” Oh dear. How can you take a hero seriously who spouts phrases like “That’s why Superman works alone”? Answer: That is not possible. Kilmer is clearly brave and looks great in a suit, but unfortunately the staging (and Jim Carrey’s maniacal performance) let him down. Even Nicole Kidman couldn’t keep this bloated product from going haywire.

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3) Michael Keaton – Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)

Look, I grew up watching Michael Keaton’s Batman. The man is a legend and I will fight for Tim Burton’s original blockbuster any day. After all these years, it’s still an exciting, stylish piece of filmmaking, with solid production values ​​and a handful of iconic performances from Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Likewise, Batman Returns offers morbid entertainment and functions like a bizarre Burton comedy, aided by incredible production design (better suited to another film) and Danny Elfman’s magnetic score.

Still, I’d have a hard time calling Keaton the best Bats because, well, he’s hardly a character. His entire storyline in Batman revolves around revenge, and he takes a backseat to Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns. Simply put, Keaton’s Batman/Bruce Wayne doesn’t have much to offer. He resembles more of a James Bond than a street ninja and relies on gimmicks more than his wits to get the job done. For a while, Keaton was the only Batman until Christopher Nolan came along and gave us the hero we deserved.

After watching The Flash, my opinion of Keaton hasn’t changed. His Batman certainly has more action in his third theatrical release and has some incredible fight sequences, but his role doesn’t add much to the story and acts primarily as hollow fanservice. Honestly, I wish they had cut the lengthy first act of The Flash by about 30 minutes and devoted more screen time to Keaton’s character. Even at 71, he still looks great in a suit!

Ben Affleck is considering playing Batman, his role in The Flash

2) Ben Affleck – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Aside from the disaster that 2017’s Justice League unleashed, Ben Affleck’s take on the Dark Knight is the stuff of comic book dreams. Styled in Frank Miller’s vein – read: dour, brooding, and violent – Affleck’s Batman marks the first time we’ve seen an overpowered take on the character on the big screen. This fellow knocks Saint Bejesus out of all the bad guys, stands at eye level with the Man of Steel, and doesn’t bat an eyelid when confronted with literal gods from other dimensions.

Honestly, the only thing keeping Affleck from the top spot is the lack of a solo film. While he enjoys a satisfying character arc through BvS and ZSJL, transforming from an angry, vengeful man into a hopeful, spirited hero, his Batman still feels frustratingly incomplete. Oh what adventures we could have had with the big one. Unfortunately, we’ll always have the famous warehouse scene – arguably the best Batman sequence ever seen on screen.

On the negative side, his cameo in The Flash leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve delved into his motorcycle chase and the various gadgets and gizmos he uses to thwart a truckload of baddies. But holy hell, his suit sucks! Especially in broad daylight. To make matters worse, director Andy Muschietti takes his cues from 2017’s Justice League and makes Affleck’s Batman a walking joke. The lasso of truth is hard to see. I understand WB’s desire to lighten the mood after audiences were unhappy with the Snyderverse, but (as usual) the studio over-corrects, resulting in a disappointing Batfleck departure.

Live Action Batman Actors

1) Christian Bale – Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Was there ever a doubt? From start to finish, Christian Bale’s interpretation of the Caped Crusader is perfect. Yes, down to his rough voice. Of everyone on this list, his Batman/Bruce Wayne is the only one to enjoy a full story arc in which he overcomes his inner demons to find some happiness at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. It helps to star in the best Batman (and comic book) movie of all time, 2008’s brilliant The Dark Knight, where he dutifully pulls off a performance overlooked by criminals and more than holds his own against Heath Ledger’s awesome Joker . Also, kudos to Christopher Nolan for finally making Batman’s friggin’ head spin.

The Dark Knight series is something special, folks – a masterful trilogy that stretches beyond its comic book roots to deliver the kind of cinematic magic that only comes along once in a while, and Bale’s Batman is the glue that holds it all together. As such, he claims the cake and remains our greatest Dark Knight until someone pushes him from his seat.