In what order should I watch the Batman movies? — Batman: Chronology

what order to watch batman

To understand which Batman films to watch in order, you need to understand the chronology, which turned out to be a difficult task. Unlike some franchises such as Marvel, the Batman films do not have a strict chronology, especially when it comes to live-action films that have been rebooted several times. For example, the original Batman anthology from Warner Bros. effectively ended and began again with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight in 2005.

To figure out where Batman plays a major or background role, you need to look at the cinematic universe more broadly. Batman has been featured in films such as 2017's Wonder Woman, although his presence is barely noticeable. Bruce Wayne is also mentioned in 2013's Man of Steel. Thus, it is impossible to suggest one clearly defined order for viewing the Batman films.

Still don't know what order to watch Batman in? We will be happy to help you with this. So, let's go!

Batman movies by year

Adam West Film

  • Batman: The Movie (1966)

Motion Batman Anthology 

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

The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan

  • Batman: The Beginning (2005)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • The Dark Knight: The Legend Rises (2012)

DC Extended Cinematic Universe

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
  • Suicide Squad (2016)
  • Justice League (2017)
  • Joker (2019)
  • New "Batman" (2022)

TV series

  • Batman (1943 - theatrical series)
  • Batman and Robin (1949 - theatrical series)
  • Batman (1966 to 1969 - TV series)
  • Gotham (2014 to 2019 - TV series)
  • Titans (2018 to present - TV series)
  • Pennyworth (2019 to present - TV series)

Batman films in what order to watch

Attention: This article contains spoilers.

adam west movie

This is a separate movie. This is a good starting point for the films if you really want to watch all the Batman films. It was released by 20th Century Fox in 1966 on ABC.

Batman: The Movie (1966)

The Batman symbol first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. He was originally named "Man-Bat", although he is also referred to as the Caped Crusader or the Dark Knight. It wasn't until 1966 that Adam West took on the important role of bringing the character to life on screen, starring alongside him as Robin Ward. The movie actually premiered after the first season of the Batman TV show, which we'll talk about in a bit.

Batman: The Movie is interesting because it features not one, but four of Batman's most famous enemies: the Riddler, the Penguin, Catwoman, and Cesar Romero's Joker. This pack of supervillains team up to try and defeat Batman in hopes of taking over the world.

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Batman Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. kicked off its line of Batman films with the release of Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. These are not one, but three films that have truly set the bar high for the next 25 years of superhero films. Interestingly, three different actors play Batman in this anthology, and the films themselves vary in subject matter and quality.

There is also an impressive collection of popular actors, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Batman (1989)

This is the first "modern" Batman film. Michael Keaton takes on the mantle of a caped crusader to clean up the streets of Gotham on the eve of his bicentennial. When a skirmish breaks out at a chemical plant between the police and a group of thugs led by Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), Batman of course reacts. During the ensuing battle, Napier fell into a vat of chemicals and was left there to die.

However, he does appear, having been transformed into the lunatic known as the Joker. Batman attempts to stop him before he poisons the population of Gotham City with the deadly Smylex gas, which causes hysterical laughter in his victims before they are eventually killed.

Batman Returns (1992)

After defeating the Joker, Batman Michael Keaton must fight his next foe, the penguin played by Danny DeVito, who teams up with run-down millionaire Max Shrek (Christopher Walken) to protect the sewers under Gotham. Batman began a romantic relationship with Shrek's secretary Selina Kayla (a.k.a. Catwoman played by Michelle Pfeiffer), and in the end, it's not just the Penguin - it's a plot to kidnap and kill the firstborn citizens of Gotham. As a result, Batman must fight not only with him, but also with Catwoman, who is out for revenge.

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Batman Forever (1995)

Michael Keaton and Tim Burton declined to return for another Batman movie, unfortunately for us. Val Kilmer plays Batman this time, he goes up against two villains - Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey). This film also introduces Robin (Chris O'Donnell) to modern audiences.

As Batman tries to leave Two-Face to live a normal life with Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), the Riddler discovers his true identity thanks to a brain device he invented, leading to a chase, capture, and Bruce.

Batman and Robin (1997)

There is speculation that this movie is the worst of the Batman movie trilogy, but '90s kids might not agree. We think Batman and Robin is worth revisiting.

George Clooney plays Batman, but Chris O'Donnell returns as Robin. Batgirl, the famous Alicia Silverstone also appears in their composition. And the trio enters the fight against Dr. Frost Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman - Ivy. There is also an unexpected twist. This movie is worth watching to see their Bane masked henchman (Jeep Swenson). Perhaps the best part, though, is Doctor Frost's obscure pun.

"The Dark Knight" chronology by Christopher Nolan

Since the end of the first Batman Anthology, the nipple suit has also come to an end. There was a plan for a fifth film to marinate for nearly a decade as Christopher Nolan took over and brought the Batman franchise to new heights.

Batman: The Beginning (2005)

So, it's hard to believe that it took five films to see Batman's full origin story on the big screen. This film (Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne) takes him all the way from killing his parents to his journey through the world, where he learns to fight and gain experience in the League of Shadows Henri (Liam Neeson).

When he finally returns home, he must fight the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), who uses a toxin to cause terrifying hallucinations.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Batman's chronology is picked up by The Dark Knight. This film serves as the template for perhaps all superhero films. We see Batman face to face with his most dangerous enemy, the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. The Joker takes control of Gotham's organized crime, organizes an insidious plot, and disfigures the city's district attorney, Harvey Dent, while Batman tries to force him to break his only rule: refusing to kill his enemies.

The Dark Knight: The Legend Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight comes to his conclusion, with the arrival of Bane (Tom Hardy) in the city of Gotham.

Bruce Wayne became a recluse when he was framed for the murder of Harvey Dent, and as a result, no one saw Batman for eight years. The reality of his life - Bruce's struggle with himself, visits to the doctor - show that his body is starting to break down. This leaves him completely defenseless in the face of doom when a former member of the League of Shadows comes to Gotham to complete Ra's Al Ghul's plan: the destruction of the city.

Batman in DC

When Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight came out, in another obscure firm, you've probably never heard of it. Oh wonder DC started making his own comic films. So it made sense for a universe of its own, with a massive backlog of characters, to create its more cinematic universe with Batman at the center.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman takes place 18 months after the events of 2013's Man of Steel. Ben Affleck portrays a version of Bruce Wayne who has been fighting bad guys for 20 years. He sees Superman (Henry Cavill) as an existential threat to humanity. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) carries out his plans to fight Superman, including obtaining a pile of kryptonite and access to General Zod's body.

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Batman learns of Lexcorp's kryptonite stash and steals it, allowing him to create a kryptonite suit to defeat Superman.

Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad follows a group of imprisoned DC Universe criminals such as Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who are offered a reduced sentence in exchange for a very dangerous mission where they are unlikely to survive. In the film Ben Affleck's Batman in several scenes during the formation of the Justice League.

Justice League (2017)

It's been two years since Superman's death, and humanity still hasn't recovered from his loss. Ben Affleck as Batman and Wonder Woman Gal Gadot have already begun the process of forming a team that can help protect humanity from a threat they could never hope to stir up on their own.

However, they soon discover that they are no match for the being known as "Steppenwolf", who plans to use a device known as the mother box to transform Earth into a desert planet as his own. (See the director's cut, which has 31 minutes of extra time.

Joker (2019)

The Joker is the origin story of Batman's greatest enemy. Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is an unstable man who hopes to become a comedian. We see him turn into the lunatic known as the Joker. The movie also shows us the death of Bruce Wayne's parents one more time, just in case you haven't seen it.

It is difficult to place the Joker on this scale for several reasons. It's the start of a new story in 1981 - but when writer/director Quentin Tarantino wrote the script, he wanted it to be a standalone movie that had nothing to do with the DC Extended Universe. However, since then, the Joker has been nominated for 11 Oscars, and Warner Bros., the company that owns the rights to Batman, has announced another Batman reboot starring Robert Pattinson as Batman.

New "Batman" (2022)

Batman (2022) is a fresh take on the iconic superhero with a dark, neo-noir interpretation from director Matt Reeves. In the film, Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne, early in his crime-fighting career, faces off against the Riddler, a serial killer wreaking havoc on Gotham City. As he explores the dark secrets of the city and his family, Batman is forced to overcome personal demons and find answers hidden behind a series of challenging puzzles. The film offers a deep dive into the hero's psychology, combining a tense detective story with fast-paced action and a stylish visual aesthetic.

Batman in TV series

There is no "correct order" here as they are all off and not chronological. Therefore, we recommend watching them in order of release. You can watch it before or after the movies. It won't make much of a difference, although it's possible to watch Batman 1966 before Batman: The Movie.

timeline of Batman films

Batman (1943 - theatrical series)

This is the very first live action Batman, and stars Lewis Wilson. This is the 15th chapter of a series from Columbia that premiered in theater and is now available on YouTube.

timeline of Batman films

Batman and Robin (1949 - theatrical series)

Other serial productions from Columbia like Batman (Robert Lowry) and Robin (Johnny Duncan) and fight against the Master. This series, which was also in theaters, is sometimes referred to as The New Adventures of Batman and Robin.

It is currently available on YouTube as well.

timeline of Batman films

Batman (1966 to 1969 - TV series)

This is Adam West's first appearance as the Caped Crusaders - even before his 1966 live-action film. He maintains the role for three seasons on ABC, making the character comical, especially when compared to modern versions of The Dark Knight.

Gotham (2014 to 2019 - TV series)

Gotham is a dark and atmospheric crime drama series that chronicles the early days of Detective James Gordon and the rise of the younger versions of Batman's iconic characters. Exploring the origins of such famous villains as the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman, the series charts the evolution of Gotham City from a corrupt city to the epicenter of chaos. Gotham combines elements of noir, crime thriller and superhero epic to tell a story of how despair and hope shape the lives of both heroes and villains.

Titans (2018 to present - TV series)

Titans is an exciting superhero series that follows a team of young heroes led by Batman's former sidekick, Dick Grayson, known as Robin. Together with Rachel Roth, a mystical girl with dark powers, the alien warrior Starfire and the transforming hero Beast Boy, they fight crime and supernatural threats. The series explores personal drama, hero development and team dynamics, immersing viewers in the dark and mature world of DC Comics.

Pennyworth (2019 to present - TV series)

Pennyworth is a British television series that introduces the backstory of the Batman universe. The story centers on young Alfred Pennyworth, a former British secret service soldier who opens his own security company in 1960s London. Working alongside Thomas Wayne, Batman's future father, Alfred faces dangerous criminals and political intrigue while trying to protect the city and his loved ones. The series combines elements of spy thriller, drama and adventure, revealing little-known aspects of the life of one of the Dark Knight's most loyal allies.

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