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The best order to watch all the Batman movies in

It’s the perfect time for a Batman rewatch, but how exactly should you watch them?

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Robert Pattinson in The Batman. Photo: Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.

Over the last 60 years there have been a total of 12 theatrically released movies starring Batman. Of course, with the newest movie in the series just released, it’s important to catch up with the character’s cinematic history and refresh yourself on the Caped Crusader’s adventures. But with so many Batmans, Robins, and villains, it can be dizzying trying to figure out out what order to watch all these movies in. To help you out, we’ve put together a few different watch orders for you to consider.

For our purposes, Justice League (2016) will be replaced by Zack Snyder’s Justice League (because it is significantly better and more interesting) and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and The Lego Batman Movie will also be included, along with all the Batman live-action films, as they had wide theatrical releases.

All of the most recent movies, starting with Batman Begins, can be streamed on HBO Max, along with the animated titles (for fans of animated Batman movies, check out this list of our favorites). However, for anything older you’ll have to head to Hulu to stream them, and Batman (1966) can be rented, but not streamed with any subscriptions.

Release Order

This is pretty straight forward. It’s the literal order these movies were released in.

  • Batman (1966)
  • Batman (1989)
  • Batman Returns
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  • Batman Forever
  • Batman and Robin
  • Batman Begins
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • Zack Snyder’s The Justice League
  • The Batman
A man in black armor wearing a mask with bat-like horns (Robert Pattinson) in front of a wall plastered with newspaper clippings and graffiti. Photo: Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros.

Batman in the Multiverse of Madness

Batman movies have always had a habit of telling very similar stories with the same cast of characters. That’s the purpose of this watch order. It lets you experience all of the different villains and storylines of the last 60 years of Batman movies to see how characters like the Joker, Catwoman, and Penguin have evolved, as well as the different versions of the Caped Crusader. Weirdly enough, the most compelling through line in this watch order might actually be the Robin storyline in the back half of the list, culminating in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

  • Batman Begins — Origin story
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (stop immediately after Bruce Wayne’s origin story) — Origin Story
  • Batman (1989) — Origin story/joker introduced
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm — Early Batman and Joker stuff
  • The Dark Knight — Joker introduced to early-to-mid career Batman
  • The Batman — Early-to-mid career Batman, Catwoman and Penguin
  • Batman Returns — Mid career Batman, Catwoman and Penguin
  • The Dark Knight Rises — Late career Batman, Catwoman, Bane, and Robin introduced
  • Batman Forever — Mid career Batman, Robin introduced
  • Batman (1966) — Lots of villains, lots of Robin, almost everything established
  • Batman and Robin — Mid career Batman, Bane and Robin
  • The Lego Batman Movie — The biggest Bat-family movie
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League — Late career Batman, Robin is dead, Bruce is haunted
Michael Keaton as Batman in Batman Returns Image: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Batman, but you watch a slightly better movie every time

The Batman movies are honestly mostly good. Your level of enjoyment of the series’ extremes may vary, like the camp-filled Batman and Robin or the deadly serious Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but overall they’re pretty good. With that being said, this order lets you watch them from worst to best, in our estimation.

  • Batman and Robin
  • Batman Forever
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Batman (1966)
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League
  • The Lego Batman movie
  • The Batman
  • Batman (1989)
  • Batman Returns
  • The Dark Knight
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  • Batman Begins

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