Batman Movies: Ranking Best To Worst

7. The Dark Knight (2008)

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight was, and still is, a complete game changer; not just for future comic adaptations on the big screen but also for film storytelling in general. Anyone who has seen the recent, and brilliant, James Bond movie Skyfall, will agree that Sam Mendes and his team clearly took inspiration from Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer's writing. The Dark Knight managed to shed any comic tones of Nolan's first installment Batman Begins and evolved into a realistic, urban crime saga, holding striking parallels to Michael Mann's film Heat (1995). Not only did the film successfully embrace modernity but the characters and aesthetics also did the same. Christian Bale managed to portray Batman and Bruce Wayne with the pathos, confusion and the sense of heroic sacrifice like no other actor had managed to achieve with the two characters yet. The city of Gotham was explored and transformed under contemporary visions. Some might argue Burton's vision of Gotham was far more visionary and I actually agree, but this was not Burton's vision; this was Nolan's and the city complemented the overall contemporary tone of what his Batman reinventions were aiming for. And of course, the man of the show, Heath Ledger with his mesmorising and haunting portrayal of the Joker. Ledger took a method actor's approach to the anarchist; spending weeks in a hotel room alone, he fully immersed himself into the role. It was daring to tackle the villain, whom was still dwelling in Jack Nicholson's shoes and our very own memories. However, Ledger showed his professionalism and his acting not only won him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but his performance also still stands as a shining reminder to my belief that the villains within the Batman comics are by far the most tragically human souls to exist in any comic universe. Like I said, a complete game changer for future, on-screen comic book adaptations and film storytelling. Why The Dark Knight succeeds as the best of all Batman films is not just because of the stellar cast and the crew involved within the film-making itself, but because it was the first to highlight the importance of Batman's sacrifice and the emotions that came with his duty.
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