1. Batman Begins
Hands-down one of the greatest origin stories ever made. It works as a Batman movie. It works as a standalone movie. It just works. It's proof you don't need to rely heavily on CGI, an over-the-top villain, and can focus more on character, not costume, and yet still make a fantastic superhero film.
2. The Dark Knight
Remove Heath's incredible performance, and this one probably wouldn't make my list. It had it's good moments, maybe a tad too dark in places, but it was Heath who took it to the next level.
3. Batman (1989)
To me, it's more of a Joker origin story than a Batman movie. A darn good Joker origin story at that. They could've called it: "The Joker Rises", or just "Joker", and it still would've fit. This was Jack Nicholson's movie. The Bat was just supplemental to the development of the notorious villain. A little quirky at times, but in my book, the only one from that 80's/90's series worth watching.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
Fell short of Begins and TDK (imo), but the positives outweighed the negatives, and it wrapped-up that trilogy very nicely.
Batman 89 is my favorite by far. I like the Nolan trilogy as well. But Batman 89 just has that comic book vibe that the others don't. I loved Keaton as Bruce and I still think the 89 suit and batmobile are the best. And Nicholsons joker is also my favorite. I really would have loved for them to have brought Keaton back to do a continuation as an older Batman.
I voted for Batman Forever and all its rubber nippled greatness. I look back at my childhood and even to this day, it’s a very entertaining and exceptional film. Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey all in one film, it’s awesome. Many memorable moments.
Batman Returns all the way! It is dark and over top but Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman- wow. Talk about a performance (and quite hot). =) I loved her evolution and the dance scene with Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton as Bruce and Selina when they realize who they both are but still keep dancing is one of my favorite scenes of any movie. Just superb acting by both....
For #2 and #3 I would actually go animated (both should be on this list)- "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" is must see for any Batman film. It is SUPERB. And Mark Hamill as the voice of the joker is what legends are made of. It was made during the Batman: The Animated Series reign on tv and that depiction still reigns supreme for me. I also love Lego Batman as my #2 (too funny).
3. Dark Knight- I was very skeptical about Heath Ledger as Joker but he defined the role. It is a bit long and needed some editing.
4. Batman Begins
5. Batman Forever- silly and campy but fun
6. Batman and Robin
7. The Dark Knight Rises- such a waste. You could not understand Bane. Who wants to watch Batman broken in the bottom of a well? I love Anne Hathaway but she was wasted. She did not represent Catwoman to me in any manner.
8. Batman- I just find it horribly boring. Jack Nicholson is talented but I feel like he is just playing himself. Watching it recently I just couldn't stay awake. Soooooo slow.