How to watch all of the Batman movies in order

American actor Michael Keaton on the set of Batman Returns, directed by Tim Bruton. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
American actor Michael Keaton on the set of Batman Returns, directed by Tim Bruton. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images) /

There have been plenty of Batman movies over the years, so it can be confusing knowing where to start. But fear not, here are all of the Batman movies in chronological order.

The movies have featured many heroes over the years. Robin Hood, Superman, The Iron Giant, just to name a few. Heck, even in recent years, there are more heroes than ever thanks to the MCU. But perhaps none of those heroes have been quite as larger-than-life as Batman.

The Caped Crusader made his comic book debut in the pages of Detective Comics back in 1939. He has since become a part of the very fabric of pop-culture, appearing in countless movies, TV shows, video games, animated outings, novels, and so much more.

That jump into the mainstream really started with the movies. With that in mind, if you’d like to go back and visit (or revisit) the Dark Knight’s movie history and have no idea where to begin, here’s how you can watch the Batman movies in order.

Batman movies in chronological order

If you’d like to dive into all of the Batman movies and want to begin in chronological order, let’s discuss how you can do that. First thing’s first: You should know that they don’t all take place in the same universe, as the Batman franchise has been known to feature a number of reboots. So the early movies aren’t connected to the more recent ones.

With that in mind, here is a breakdown of all of the movies and which specific saga they belong to:

1940s Movie serials

  • Batman (1943)
  • Batman and Robin (1949)

1966 TV series spinoff movie

  • Batman: The Movie (1966)

The Burton/Schumacher quadrilogy

  • Batman (1989)
  • Batman Returns (1992)
  • Batman Forever (1995)
  • Batman and Robin (1997)

The Dark Knight Trilogy

  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The DCEU Batman movies

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
  • Suicide Squad (2016)
  • Justice League (2017) / Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
  • The Flash (2023)

The Reeves-verse

  • The Batman (2022)
  • The Batman – Part II (2025) – upcoming

The DC Universe

The Brave and the Bold – upcoming

Every Batman movie explained

The 1943 and 1949 movie serials

Batman’s history on the silver screen kicked off with two 15-chapter movie serials. The first one, released in 1943 starred Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft as Batman and Robin, who made history as the first ever actors to portray the Dynamic Duo. It was so successful that a follow-up was released six years later.

Titled Batman and Robin, the 1949 serial saw new actors take on the roles, as Robert Lowery and John Duncan donned the capes in a story that featured a new original villain known as The Wizard.

Both serials were seen as a huge indicator of The Dark Knight’s popularity and they are credited for being the blueprint behind launching the highly-successful 1966 Batman TV series. Speaking of which…

Batman, Adam West
Kino. Batman: The Movie, aka: Batman hält die Welt in Atem, USA, 1967, Regie: Leslie H. Martinson, Darsteller: Adam West. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images) /

Batman: The Movie (1966)

  • Director: Leslie H. Martinson
  • Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton, Stafford Repp, Madge Blake

The very first standalone movie featuring the Caped Crusader came along in 1966 at the height of the popularity of the Batman TV series, which had just completed its first season on ABC. Adam West and Burt Ward reprised their roles as the Dynamic Duo, along with all of the regular supporting actors from the show as well.

The pair went up against the most dastardly collection of villains, with Burgess Meredith returning as The Penguin, Cesar Romero back as The Joker, and Frank Gorshin returning as The Riddler, too. Lee Meriwether stepped in to replace Julie Newmar as Catwoman, as the wicked foursome teamed up to kidnap the members of the United Nations Organization’s security council and hold them for a ransom.

The movie had all of the pows, zaps, and yeeows that made the series such a delight, but with a much bigger budget. It made use of the land, sea, and air, featuring new gadgets, settings, and vehicles just because it could. It’s a sight to behold and a true reminder of just how comic-accurate the saga was at the time. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Batman, Batman actors in order, Every actor to play Batman
Michael Keaton on the set of “Batman”. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Batman (1989)

  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Cast: Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall

Everything changed when Tim Burton’s Batman was released to movie theaters in 1989. Starring Michael Keaton in the title role, it saw the Dark Knight (emphasis on Dark) step out of the shadows to protect Gotham City from the twisted Joker (Jack Nicholson).

This film is credited for changing the way that people view comic book movies. Often referred to as the first modern superhero movie, its mature tone and darker subject matter set it apart from the colorful escapades of Batman’s past, and honestly it’s more of a crime noir movie than a superhero flick. A Gothic crime noir movie, that is.

Keaton’s performance as Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego is considered among the best the genre has ever seen, while Batman has gone down in history as a triumphant reminder that dark days can be good with the right superhero. This was a game-changer, and that’s putting it lightly.

Batman movies in order
American actors Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton on the set of Batman Returns, directed by Tim Bruton. (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Batman Returns (1992)

  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chrstopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Michael Murphy

The success of Batman in 1989 made a sequel inevitable, and it came along in the form of 1992’s Batman Returns. Michael Keaton reprised his role as Gotham’s protector, while Michelle Pfeiffer joined the fray as Catwoman, Danny DeVito as The Penguin, and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck.

Burton had more creative control this time around, so Returns is much gloomier than its predecessor. It’s also much more of a Tim Burton movie, and we say that in the most lovingly of ways, as the film thrives when it’s at its darkest. From The Penguin’s twisted origins to the Gothic visuals throughout the film, the movie has one the most hauntingly beautiful aesthetics cinema has ever seen.

It was a little misunderstood when it was first released, but Batman Returns has stood the test of time as one of the most interesting and unique comic book movies ever made. It’s also one of the best sequels Hollywood has ever seen, with many believing that it even eclipsed its predecessor.

Batman, Batman Forever, Batman ranked, Batman Day, Batwing
Photo: Batman Forever.. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /

Batman Forever (1995)

  • Director: Joel Schumacher
  • Cast: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Drew Barrymore

The third movie in the original quadrilogy of Bat films, Warner Bros. decided to take the franchise in a different direction for Batman Forever, bringing in director Joel Schumacher to help realize that vision. Tim Burton stayed on as producer, but Michael Keaton decided to exit, so Val Kilmer was brought in to replace him as Bruce Wayne.

Forever is much more light-hearted and colorful than its predecessors, as Batman takes on the duo of The Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones). But he finds a way to even the odds as he gains a new partner in Robin (Chris O’Donnell) to help him win the day.

There is still a mature story at the heart of Batman Forever but everything is more cartoonish, covered in spandex, or showered in neon light, giving it a real feeling of a comic book come to life. It is seen as something of a step backwards for the franchise, but there is definitely a lot of charm in this underrated movie.

Batman, Robin, Batman and Robin
Photo: Batman and Robin / Warner Bros. Studios, Image Courtesy Fathom Events Press (Batman 80th Anniversary) /

Batman and Robin (1997)

  • Director: Joel Schumacher
  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Elle Macpherson, Robert Swenson, John Glover

There is an irony in the fact that the most star-studded Batman movie of all is also widely regarded as the most infamous. Batman and Robin was the final film in that original series of movies and it was released in 1997 to overwhelmingly negative reviews (and a surprisingly disappointing box office performance).

What went wrong? Was it the ice puns? The Bat-nipples? The unserious approach to everything? Probably all of the above and a lot more than we can’t get into now. But we will say that even though the movie constantly finds itself on “worst movies ever made” lists, there is a hilariously fun nature to it that isn’t appreciated enough.

If you turn your brain off and enjoy Batman and Robin for what it is, it definitely falls into the “so bad, it’s good” category.

Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, Batman
Photo: Batman Begins.. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /

Batman Begins (2005)

  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, Morgan Freeman

After Batman and Robin brought the franchise to a halt, Warner Bros. tried to get it back on-track for years with sequels and reboots planned. None of them took off until Christopher Nolan came along. In 2005, Batman Begins restored the faith in the Dark Knight, returning the saga to its darker roots.

The film explores the origins of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) as he trains to become a vigilante in his time away from Gotham. When he returns, he unleashes a reign of terror on the criminal underworld as the brooding vigilante Batman. However, he faces pushback from The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and soon realizes that everything he thought he knew isn’t necessarily what it seems.

The 2005 film successfully rebooted the Batman film series, producing its best box-office performance since the 1989 film. But its biggest successes would be yet to come.

Batman, The Dark Knight
Photo: The Dark Knight.. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /

The Dark Knight (2008)

  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

The sequel to Batman Begins came along three years later. Expectations were high, but no one could have been prepared for the absolute majesty that would come their way in The Dark Knight. This time, Bale’s Caped Crusader found himself up against The Joker in a thrilling crime drama that pushed the superhero genre well beyond what anyone thought it was capable of.

The Dark Knight is one of the most influential movies ever made. It constantly finds itself on lists of the greatest movies and sequels of all time, and it deserves its placement on every one of them. It also made history as it was the first comic book movie to receive an Academy Award for acting, with the late, great Heath Ledger posthumously winning for his exquisite performance as The Joker.

Nolan’s groundbreaking sequel brought the franchise its best performance at the box office yet, as The Dark Knight grossed over $1 billion.

The Dark Knight Rises, Batman
PITTSBURGH – JULY 31: Christian Bale, playing Batman, acts in a scene with Tom Hardy, playing Bane, during the filming of the new Batman: Dark Knight Rises movie at the Mellon Institute building in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh on July 31, 2011. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman

The Dark Knight Trilogy concludes with its third and final installment The Dark Knight Rises. Set eight years after its predecessor, the film sees a veteran Batman come out of retirement (or self-imposed exile) when a new evil emerges in Gotham City in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). He must also contend with the possibility of being a defeated man, while struggling to reconcile his past with his present.

The Dark Knight Rises is the biggest of the three movies that Nolan made, but it’s also the most underrated, serving as an effective conclusion to one of cinema’s all-time-greatest movie trilogies. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman is another welcome addition to the Gotham City landscape while the whole ensemble cast delivers one more time.

It’s also one of the many examples of why Christian Bale has earned himself a place near the very top (if not at the very top) of the greatest actors to ever don the cape and cowl.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman
BURBANK, CA – MAY 18: Props from “Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice” on display at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood Launches DC Universe: The Exhibit held at Warner Bros. Studios on May 18, 2016 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot

The DC Extended Universe was kicked into full gear with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Essentially a sequel to Man of Steel, it brought back Henry Cavill as Superman and officially introduced Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman – the DC trinity that were pretty much the main focus of the DCEU.

It revolves around a vengeful Batman who believes that Superman can’t be trusted, particularly because of the destruction his battle with Zod had caused. As a result, the two DC titans square off in an epic showdown that pits mind and muscle against one another. What they don’t realize is that there is a greater evil at work, and the world needs both of them to put their differences aside to stop it (along with the help of Wonder Woman).

Suicide Squad, Batman movies in order
Suicide Squad. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment, HBO Max /

Suicide Squad (2016)

  • Director: David Ayer
  • Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Ben Affleck

Though not technically a Batman movie, Suicide Squad is a part of the DCEU and it does feature some short appearances from Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader, so we’re choosing to include it here.

The movie is particularly notable for introducing us to Margot Robbie’s acclaimed portrayal of Harley Quinn, who joins a star-studded line-up of DC villains, including Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress, who are all among the criminals recruited by Amanda Waller to save the world from a supernatural threat.

It’s also notable for featuring Jared Leto’s unique interpretation of The Joker – which has divided audiences over the years.

Justice League, Batman movies in order
Photo: Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher in Justice League (2017).. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment /

Justice League (2017)

  • Director: Joss Whedon / Zack Snyder
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons

The DCEU reached its endgame when all of its heroes united in Justice League. Unfortunately, that is a sentence that can be interpreted in many ways, because this was the point of no return for the shared universe of DC superheroes, resulting in the need for a major change of, well, everything.

Justice League was to continue the story of the DCEU, with Batman leading a team of super-powered beings (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg) against the mighty Steppenwolf in a bid to honor the legacy of Superman. However, the inconsistent tone, odd writing choices, and poor CGI all resulted in a very negatively received film.

Its biggest issue was that director Joss Whedon, who took over from Zack Snyder after he stepped away, made a very different movie from the one originally envisioned. As you’ll read in a moment, the movie that got made was a highly inferior one.

Zack Snyder's Justice League, DCEU, Injustice, DC characters, Batman movies in order
Ray Fisher (Cyborg / Victor Stone), Ezra Miller (The Flash / Barry Allen), Ben Affleck (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Henry Cavill (Superman / Clark Kent), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman / Arthur Curry) in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max /

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons

After three years of campaigning for the release of the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, DC fans finally had their wish granted when it was confirmed that Zack Snyder’s Justice League would release on HBO Max in 2021. That meant that director Zack Snyder would finally get the chance to show off his original vision to the world.

Much of the story of the director’s cut is the same, but the biggest difference is that it’s a much more competent movie. It’s made with love by Snyder, and you can see, hear, and feel that with its more nuanced scenes, consistent tone, and beautiful score.

Its four-hour runtime might make it a bit off-putting for those hoping to get through the story quicker, but aside from that, critics responded to Zack Snyder’s Justice League much better, with the consensus being that it was a huge upgrade from the 2017 theatrical version of the film. If you want to watch Justice League, you should definitely watch this one.

The Batman, Batman, DC, Catwoman, Gotham City
Zoë Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in The Batman. /

The Batman (2022)

  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell

The World’s Greatest Detective went solo again in Matt Reeves’ The Batman which really was the first real detective story involving the title character on the big screen. The movie was originally planned to be a part of the DCEU and was set to feature Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight but it eventually evolved into a standalone tale set in its own universe.

The Batman sees Robert Pattinson don the cape and cowl in a thrilling mystery all about the rise of The Riddler. It’s a lot darker than the previous Batman movies, and leans into the detective element of the story a lot more too, as the Caped Crusader teams up with Lieutenant Jim Gordon to try and stop The Riddler’s killing spree, all while uncovering the secrets and lies buried within Gotham City’s past.

This is definitely the refresh that the Dark Knight’s cinematic story needed, and it was so successful – grossing nearly $800 million at the box office – that a sequel is in the works for a 2025 release.

The Flash, Batman, Michael Keaton
(L-R) EZRA MILLER as The Flash, MICHAEL KEATON as Batman and EZRA MILLER as The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE FLASH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics. © 2023 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved. TM & © DC /

The Flash (2023)

  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Cast: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton

The Flash was the long-awaited DC movie that felt like it was never going to happen. It features Ezra Miller reprising their role as the Scarlet Speedster, and adapts the legendary Flashpoint storyline, which sees Barry Allen go back in time to save his mother, only to alter the timeline completely. From there, he must put together a new Justice League, featuring a retired Batman and a new Kryptonian (Supergirl) in the hopes of stopping Zod’s invasion of Earth.

Ben Affleck reprises his role as the DCEU’s Batman one more time, but the film’s main Dark Knight is portrayed by Michael Keaton, who returned to the role for the first time in 30 years. Needless to say, he is incredible as the veteran Batman and his performance made us wish that the original plans for him to be a regular part of the DCEU were upheld.

While this movie underperformed significantly at the box office, it was used to relaunch the DCEU as the DC Universe.

Upcoming Batman movies

The Dark Knight’s silver screen stories are far from over as he is set to headline two major upcoming movies set in two completely separate universes, while also being a regular part of the new DC Universe.

The Batman – Part II

  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Release date: October 3, 2025

The much-anticipated sequel to The BatmanPart II will, of course, see the return of Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight. Matt Reeves will also return as director to bring the second part of his planned trilogy to life, and everything he showed us in the first movie, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for this one.

If you’re in need of some more of this universe before its next cinematic installment, you can find it in spinoff series The Penguin, which will see Colin Farrell reprise his role as Oswald Cobblepot and is set to stream on Max in 2024.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

  • Director: Andy Muschietti
  • Release window: TBA

With the end of the DCEU, James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe will take form, and from that, a new Batman will emerge. He will be officially introduced in The Brave and the Bold, which is expected to be a Bat-Family tale that explores the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son Damien Wayne as Batman and Robin.

An actor has yet to be cast as the new Dark Knight, while a script has yet to be written. It has been confirmed, however, that The Flash director Andy Muschietti will be helming this one, with Barbara Muschietti, Gunn and Safran all serving as co-producers.

Next. All 12 Batman movies ranked from worst to best. dark