5 Tim Burton Films That Wasted Their Potential

An ode to what could have been.

johnny depp tim burton

With a career spanning four decades, amounting an impressive filmography of eighteen varying movies, Tim Burton is one of the most unique and creative talents to emerge in Hollywood in the past thirty years.

Possessing a rich background as an artist and animator, his gothic visual sensibilities, preference for quirky stories and overall originality has resulted in mass appeal as a filmmaker. A true auteur, Burton utilizes an eccentric, striking and now unmistakable dark style, while intertwining it with an array of reoccurring themes and motifs; not limited to isolation, suburbia, loneliness, stripy patterns and Tom Jones music.

A common criticism of Burton though, is that he is only as good as the scripts he receives; that the material can only be elevated by his keen visual sense, rather than any distinct skill as a storyteller.

While there are indeed a number of perfect ventures in his eclectic body of work (Batman, Ed Wood), there are a handful of other films that, in a varying number of ways, arguably squander their brilliance.

This is applicable to the following films on this list. While a fine director, Burton is frustrating in the sense that so many of his projects excel in some areas, but woefully falter in others. It should be stressed that none of these films are bad, but were (irritatingly) only a few shades away from being great, or at the very least more interesting.


Ben Aldis enjoys filming, writing and watching things.