The Dark Knight vs. Batman



Comparing Batman to the Dark Knight simply isn't fair. It's like the fat kid getting picked last for kickball. You feel bad for him but you're still not picking him.

Ha ha, couldn't have said it better myself. I like Batman just fine, but, come on, The Dark Knight is a much better film.

Agreed chaps

batman simply does not exist any more..... the winner by K.O. .. the dark knight.

I really could not get on board with the idea of a pragmatic Batman. There's just no sane reason to dress up like a bat and fight crime. For that reason, the Burton/Keaton Batmans always struck the right tone and made me believe Bruce Wayne was that fricking crazy. TDK was pretty neat, but the realism and comic book elements mixed about as well as oil and water. So my choice is BATMAN '89.


Burton's Batman was my holy grail of comic book film that I initially thought would never be topped. While it still offers the best Batman story that's ever been told on film, The Dark Knight is the superior movie. There's a difference people.

Nolan may not be as good as people say, but he still FAR defeats Tim Burton for me. The man is too much style, too little substance, ya dig.

OH! Flickchart, you are EVIL! I think,...Hmm.. Dark Knight wins it for me.

I can't believe, what with how popular Tim Burton currently is, that anyone would dream of remaking one of his movies, let alone that any of his fan boys would actually support it. I feel the same way about Dark Knight as I do about Memento, (saved by the backwards gimmick) Prestige, and Batman Begins. Nolan bluntly satisfies our darkest desires by providing action and severity in all his movies. He lacks the surreal touch and the offhanded humor needed to convert a comic book. Nolan's efforts to make the movie realistic seem like he is trying to hard. I don't care if it looks good when batman flies over Tokyo, by that point the suspension of disbelief has been broken. If you adapt a comic book to film you can't take it so seriously. Throw in some jokes, some color, and some "Wonderful Toys" as Nicholson would say, to really complete the essence of Batman. The audience is never going to believe that Batman could exist; it insults our intelligence to try and fool us.

Original Batman. No. Question. About. It.

every generation gets the batman they need, not necessarily the one they deserve. in '89 it was "screw that silly old adam west rubbish, batman should be more like this" . what're the kids of 2029 going to make of nolans version?

Batman 89 easily. Much better structured and a lot more fun.

Dark Knight is like kiddy horror. I expect Batman to have some more humor, and it disappoints me to see it taken so seriously. The goal should not be to scare audiences, but to entertain. I also like the talent used in '89 much more. Elfman, Burton, Keaton, and Nicholson make a stellar ensemble. I will say that Dark Knight much improves on the horrible action scene editing of Batman Begins, but it still is rather poor.

This is not fair... I'm going with Burton's, if only because it's had 20 years to simmer, and I still love it.

Comparing any previous Batman movie to TDK is pointless. There is and will only ever be from hence forth Heath Ledger as the Joker. Plus you have Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Fox, and Gary Oldman as Gordon. I am not saying that it is perfect (it could be darker and the silly voice needs to go) but it is simply the best.

There is no reason we can't love them both. I do. But I love The Dark Knight more. Jack's Joker is as vastly different from Heath's Joker as Keaton's Batman is from Bale's. In some ways, there's almost no point in comparing them, and it just comes down to personal taste. The Dark Knight is not a sequel to Burton's Batman; it's not even really a reboot or re-imagining. Just as there have been myriad incarnations of Batman in the comic books, there are different versions in film, from Adam West to Tim Burton to Joel Schumacher to Christopher Nolan. I prefer the gritty realism. But I love both films.

Batman 89 has held up for 20 years. It's the one I grew up on. The Dark Knight feels more like an incredible film that just happens to use the characters of Batman.

I like Ribjoint's arguments, but i too feel The Dark Knight is the overall better film.

I loved the '89 movie as a kid, but the pacing of it really aged badly. TDK, on the other hand, is a strong movie with or without the nostalgia/fanboyishness towards the character. Have to give it to TDK.

The Dark Knight by far. I found the 1989 film to be very mediocre. The Dark Knight is a better film in almost every respect, with the possible exception being Batman's voice.

When you look at the comic book source material for a character as rich as Batman you find artists with disparate visions of the character. Most cluster around the middle so others really stand out and sometimes get undue praise, simply because they bring a fresh eye to a well worn franchise. Burton is like this - even though it really didn't capture the souls of Batman and his nemeses, he breaths fresh air into Batman (and the whole idea of superhero movies at the time). But as a film, while more tightly written, Burton's vision is distracting and and not really Batman-y - he has shoehorned Batman into the Burton aesthetic. Nolan starts with an authentic vision for Batman and the Joker and builds out from there. And the 2 Joker roles couldn't be more different with the nod going to Ledger in his nuanced, perfectly controlled lunacy. New beats old here.

Let's compare these movies: 1. The Story is in both movies the same, a f*ked up Clown, which means chaos, try to get the Bat, but in TDN we got also 2Face, and much more story than in Burtons Batman. Even when the 1989 version is more in accordance with the comics, the round goes to TDN 2. The Music in both movies is really great. Both, Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman, have done this movies unforgettable. Zimmer music is dark & exciting, but the music made by Elfman is dark, exciting, heroic, mighty and so perfect for a Superhero like Batman, and I even think that the Batman Theme made by Elfman is the best superhero theme ever, so the point goes to the 1989 version. 3. Jack Nicholson is great, of course, but to make it short, Heath as the Joker is so great, crazy and unpredictable, it's a pleasure to watch him on the screen. 2:1 for TDK 4. Sorry, but I h8 Bale as Batman, he just suck's as Batman and as BW, he is ranked as the worst Batman along Clonney, and I will not even mention his stupid voice. Keaton on the other site played both, Batman and Bruce Wayne, very well. 2:2 5. Burton or Nolan, who is better as a Batman director? I have to go with Burton, because I prefer his style of directing, and it's darker and the atmosphere in the movie is more Batman like. 1989 beats 2008 with 3:2, but btw, Batman Returns is the best Movie :)

Both, Batman and The Dark Knight, are excellent movies, and it's obvious why this matchup really demands a comparison. I have always loved Jack Nicholson's Joker; Heath Ledger certainly is great as well as Batman's most famous villain, but I prefer Nicholson's crazy, revenge-driven madman to Ledger's dark anarchist. I also like that the Joker is given a background, an actual identity (which is even linked to Bruce Wayne's childhood), in Tim Burton's Batman, whereas he's coming out of nowhere in The Dark Knight. Finally, Michael Keaton is just much more likeable than Christian Bale as Batman, although both fit in well. But Tim Burton's Batman character is more interesting and complex than Nolan's. In Batman and Batman Returns, he's basically a psycho himself, while his attitude in Nolan's films seems a bit far-fetched. It's still relatively close between both movies, because The Dark Knight is great as well.

By virtue of a vastly superior Joker and a far more intircate and interesting plot, I must give the vote The Dark Knight.

Batman is more fun.

On one end, cheese. On the other, a fine wine. The Dark Knight.

Now, this is the matchup I've been clicking and clicking and clicking for for the last three hours. And...AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! Batman

TDK without a shadow of a doubt! Don't get me wrong, Batman is a good film but watching it again nowadays, it doesn't hold up well with time. Some good moments of course but ultimately Bale and Ledger makes a better Batman and Joker.

The Dark Knight makes Burton's Batman seem cartoonish and dated. Ledger's Joker > Nicholson's Joker.

Both are very good movies, and, to me, it all comes down to soundtrack. I'm sorry 1989 Batman, but Hans Zimmer beats Prince.

The dark night bored me to help. It was too long and I can't stand the actor who plays him in the film he sounds as If he is spoofing the film. So I pick the Tim Burton original even though it was out 6 years before I was born.

Woohoo. I got your back Jack, bitches be crazy!

"Batman" wins for me, hands down. I enjoyed "The Dark Knight," I admire the social allegory, thought the performances were great and all that, but none of it matters. "Batman" blew my mind and I love it just as much today as I did in 1989.

The Dark Knight outshines Batman every single day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the original Batman, but TDK is just too damn good. Nicholson was a bad ass though....

The Dark Knight was truly amazing so it's razor close, but Batman will always be my favorite. I like the more comic and whimsical feel to Burton's movie to the more dark and gritty Nolan movie. Both are amazing and so different, I really love both but my heart is with the 80's movie, Keaton will always be Bruce Wayne to me.

Objectively, I can concede that "The Dark Knight" is the superior film. It doesn't matter. "Batman" wasn't just a movie; it was an event in my life. I don't even have to think about this.

The Dark Knight, easily. Batman 89 is way too flawed of a film for me to get nearly as invested in.

The Dark Knight wins this one for me.

This is probably heresy to some but... I just don't really like Heath Ledger's Joker. He's interesting but... When I think Joker I think Mark Hamill, or in this case Jack Nicholson.

Jeezus...the two jokers...

Dark Knight i mean really its not even a competition

When I was a kid, I was annoyed by the Michael Keaton Batman films because it was as if the director couldn't decide if he wanted to be sincere to the original comic books or the Adam West sitcom. The end result was a lot of dark shadows with brightly colored silliness lurking just in view. However, the Christian Bale Dark Knight series is obviously a Batman that's designed to cater to young people today, and that just makes me feel like an old fart. It doesn't hold true to the original source material, or anything I recognize as Batman. The World's Greatest Detective doesn't run around growling at people and acting frustrated or shouting incoherently all the time. The latest reboot of the franchise just does its own thing. Why can't Hollywood just take the comic books and make that happen on the screen? I look forward to whatever future incarnation the Batman mythology morphs into. It can't get any worse than it's been, can it?

Batman '89 may be a groundbreaking movie for being the first dark superhero movies (with Watchmen and The Dark Knight trilogy to follow), but when you really think about it, the story is very basic. The Joker made Batman, Batman made the Joker, the Joker does random bad things, Batman wants to stop him, the Joker kidnaps Bruce's girlfriend, Bruce gets his girlfriend back, the end. That's the movie. That's not necessarily bad, but it's not good either. Luckily Batman '89 has great visuals, and the portrayals and characters of Bruce Wayne and the Joker are very good, with a fantastic relationship between the two. Vicki Vale however is a bland character, she is forgetable and slightly annoying (but not Willie Scott annoying, thank God). The other characters are just...there. They’re not really involved, they’re just there. Despite my problems, I really like the movie. You can't deny the charm of the movie. I prefer The Dark Knight though. It's deeper, more complex, more interesting, just…more. That’s the keyword: more.

Batman for being even remotely interesting and human, and for having no CGI.

Agreed with Mysticspoon and Squaremaster.

Ahhhh... I want to give some love to Burton's Batman, but The Dark Knight was just superior in every way.

The Dark Knight all the way.

For people saying that The Dark Knight is too serious, it has been pointed out to me that much of TDK is actually based on a comic book, The Long Halloween, although having read a synopsis, a more direct adaption would have been terrific. I was underwhelmed by TDK, and I think it's overrated. I hated the ending, and Eckhart's doofus D.A. Ledger's Joker is different, not necessarily better than Nicholson (who he did study for inspiration), but Nicholson feels more like the comic book to me. Bale was fine, Keaton was fine (thought not given as much to do), Nolan's trilogy did not have any interesting female leads until the third film. I'll take Elfman anyday over Zimmer, and let's also not forget that Prince was the only person it seems was making an attempt to interpretatively develop the themes latent in the story, if they actually used his soundtrack as more than marketing, it would have been very interesting. Batman is an aesthetic triumph; it still looks great, but otherwise has not aged well, and the simplicity of the story is stupefying (although let's remember this was 1989 and lots of things were simpler back then, esp. the TV shows). There's no point blaming Tim Burton because he was constrained by uber-producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber. The real Tim Burton take on Batman was Batman Returns, which I didn't like. I liked Nolan's realistic take, I do think a Batman is literally possible without being crazy, and it was a delight for someone to take it seriously. But I do miss a certain sense of fun.

Dark Knight is the far superior film.

the dark night is better but batman is still a time less classic that I will all ways love.

This is a laughable comparison.

Both terrific Batman films.

Oh god... this is going to be tough. I love both of these movies and I think a lot of people do. As a Batman fan, I consider both films to be some of the best superhero films out there. However, while I think there are things in TDK are far superior to Batman, I enjoy watching Batman more because I love the atmosphere, the score by Danny Elfman, the performances by great people like Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and over I find myself watching it more than the more longer and realistic movie. As I said, I love both of these movies but I honestly prefer the original Batman... the Dark Knight is still an amazing movie.

I haven't seen Batman but I don't have to, to know that The Dark Knight is on a much higher level

I haven't seen Batman but I don't have to, to know that The Dark Knight is on a much higher level

To me there's no place for comparison. Both are so different and unique in their own way. Love them both!

The Dark Knight. This isn't even a close fight.

Burton's may look a bit campy these days (not that that is a bad thing) but for the non-comic-readers back then they thought it was so dark and gritty (as compared to Adam West, who was really upset he wasn't offered the role). Both had accurate portrayals of different era Jokers, and I still think Keaton nailed the role. Then there is Prince doing the theme song. All that said, I'm going Dark Knight by the thinnest of margins.

The two best Batman movies as well as the two best villains ever in a superhero movie. Both just happen to be The Joker. Jack Nicholson was always the best until Heath Ledger came along and flipped the genre on it's head with one of the greatest performances of all-time

Batman is definitely better.

The Dark Knight is a more gritty, dark, and realistic movie, but Michael Keaton is so much better than Christian Bale as Batman. Probably the best choice of casting in a superhero movie. But Dark Knight has Heath Ledger has one of the best villains in cinema history. Dark Knight is just a much better movie, it's got a perfect villain, great action, and has a solid actor as Batman. For me, Jack Nicholson was too silly and it was hard to really get under the mindset of the bad guy when he's dancing around like a big jackass most of the movie. Dark Knight crushes Batman.

The Dark Knight and that's all I'm going to say

Dark Knight wins here, but its lead is shrinking every time I see it. Really, it is just a collection of great sequences with a breathtaking villain performance by Heath Ledger. There are a lot of things I love about the 1989 film, including Keaton and Nicholson, and classic and nostalgic feel of much of it. The campy stuff, not so much.

Still the Two best Batman Films Joker vs joker still the best villains in Batman films still the Nolan Films Villains are not as fun or good as burtons (besides Joker and Scarcrow)still dark Knight wins.

Imo, This question can be used to test whether or not that movie fan has an appreciation of Art. The Dark Knight wins.

Darn, you guys are jerks.

I'm a 80s person, so I'm taking the only Batman movie I really love!


Ledger managed to obliterate any performance Jack has ever given throughout his entire career.

Batman (1989) wins easily, because it doesn't take itself too seriously and is more fun

If you don't like Nolan's Batman, you just straight up don't like Batman, in general, and there's nothing wrong with that.

A really tough match here but I have always been more impartial to Nicholson’s Joker than Ledgers.

Dark Knight is the way better best batman movie of all time, it has success story outstanding perfectly ahead but while Batman 89 version is way flawed dishonorable mention but Dark Knight couldn't be beaten here.

The answer to this question depends very much upon what we want from the movies and also what we want from a Batman movie. I absolutely adore Tim Burton and would freely admit Christopher Nolan is not my cup of tea so it's no surprise that I much prefer Burton's film but I do admire Nolan's. They are both great Batman films and they are both very much stamped throughout with their director's initials including their strengths and weaknesses. Oh, and whichever performance or villain you want to argue is better, Nicholson is the much better Joker for one reason: he has a fantastic and outrageous sense of humor that is pervasive and used for the most part to entertain himself whereas Ledger merely has an intermittently mean sense of humor that is not very funny at all.

Also, I don't see Burton's Batman so much as camp as I do satire and it's a biting, intelligent satire at that. For my money, Burton's Batman is a genre mixing tour de force satire worthy of the Coen Brothers if lacking their fully worked out precision and this raises it above Nolan's film which is more like a standard action movie with some aspirations to opera like myth making.

I love Burton’s Batman. It’s gothic and brilliantly casted. Michael Keaton is also my favourite on screen Batman. The Dark Knight has a perfect screenplay, casting and direction so I have to pick it.

Most definitely the dark knight, batman 89 is none simple great factor as a masterpiece.

As unpopular as my opinion is here on this sight I still pick Tim Burton’s Batman.


The Dark Knight is the easy choice.

The Dark Knight is more haunting and memorable.

The Dark Knight is so overrated. The old Batman is way better. Jack Nicholson is also the only true Joker.

TDK has a way better story and way better character developments

The Dark Knight is better in every way.

I’d say things only thing 89 has over TDK is the better soundtrack. Hans’ is still great of course. World building, character s, villains, drama, all that lead to obvious better movie. Both are really great I think most can agree on that.

89 was good for it's time but now it is goofy, dark knight wins

Although I like Jack Nicholson more than Heath Ledger, Dark Knight wins this one easily

The dark knight easily, batman 89 is pretty decent but overrated

love dark knight but batman tim burton is better.

@Squaremaster316 I don't really agree that Ledger's performance is better than anything Nicholson has done. For me, that just isn't true. Chinatown, The Shining, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and others are all on par with and likely outright better than even Ledger's performance as Joker. As well as that, it doesn't really make sense to say that if people don't like Nolan's Batman, then they just don't like Batman. That might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You can dislike Nolan's Batman while still being a Batman fan, I have friends who operate under that bus. But as for the actual matchup, yeah TDK absolutely wins here