Jack Nicholson: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

5 Awesome Performances...

5. The Joker - Batman

Batman The Joker Jack Nicholson
Warner Bros.

Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Batman's greatest nemesis, The Joker, has been overshadowed somewhat by the sheer amount of praise and accolade that has fallen upon Heath Ledger's take on the character in The Dark Knight.

That's not to say that Ledger didn't deserve all the applause that his performance received; he successfully rebranded the character for 21st century movie-goers, injecting him with a grit and edginess that was less apparent in Nicholson's own. That said, Jack Nicholson pretty much nailed The Joker back in 1989.

If people now cite Ledger as the definitive Joker, fair enough - but to look past Nicholson's performance in Tim Burton's Batman is a huge mistake, given how the actor somehow managed to pull off the arduous task of playing a comic book villain as exactly that: a comic book villain. Nicholson plunges himself into the role, ensuring his Joker as what is arguably his most crazed character of all time. He mesmerises in every scene, switching effortlessly between downright insane to downright terrifying at the drop of a hat.


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.