If Batman is one of the most famous superhero characters of all time, then his main adversary, the Joker, has to be one of the most famous villains of all time, especially within the comic book genre. The dynamic duo faced off more times than we could count in the comics – but movies aren’t much different as well.
From Cesar Romero’s Joker in the 1960s to Barry Keoghan in 2022, here’s the ultimate list of all the Batman movies with Joker. The list is ranked based on the Joker’s relevance in the movie, as well as the brilliance with which the role was played. It won’t be easy, though, as we’ve had some phenomenal Jokers over the years, so sit tight and enjoy.
8. Batman (1966)
IMDb score: 6.5/10
Joker actor: Cesar Romero
Synopsis: Batman and Robin have their hands full, battling not one but four villains who team up and plan on holding the entire world for ransom. They plan on doing so by using a secret invention that allows the villains to dehydrate people instantly.
How awesome was it: The 1966 Batman movie came as sort of a spinoff of the running Batman series, including the same actors portraying Batman and Robin – Adam West and Burt Ward, respectively. It was a comedy, however, so you couldn’t really take any of the characters seriously.
That’s why Cesar Romero’s Joker was just funny, quirky, and not at all sinister. The character’s dark personality was developed later, but still, it’s interesting to see how the character began on screen and how he progressed into the notorious psychopath we all love to hate.
7. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
IMDb score: 8.0/10
Joker actor: Jared Leto
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne gathers a team of the world’s greatest superheroes to defend the planet from an imminent alien threat that is approaching. That threat is Darkseid, and should he arrive and do what he plans on doing, it could have major implications not just on Earth but the universe.
How awesome was it: Zack Snyder’s Justice League was, in my opinion, the best movie within the entire DCEU. However, I couldn’t put it any higher on the list, considering that it isn’t actually a Batman movie, and the Joker appears in barely a single scene.
Now, Jared Leto had his own interpretation of the Joker, and although it was objectively not that bad, it was different and had so little screen time that it was hard to gauge just how awesome (or not awesome) he was as the Clown Prince of Chaos. He also appeared as the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016), but his part was mainly cut out of the movie as well.
6. The Batman (2022)
IMDb score: 7.8/10
Joker actor: Barry Keoghan
Synopsis: The Batman struggles to defend Gotham City from crime, especially after a new maniacal serial killer starts his vengeful murder spree. However, it’s not the Joker, but rather the Riddler, who’s trying to expose the corrupt system in Gotham while killing off its most prominent political figures, one by one.
As Bruce Wayne investigates to try and stop his new adversary, he starts questioning his own family, his influence as Batman, and even his own role in the darkness that’s overshadowing his hometown.
How awesome was it: The Batman was actually a cool movie (a bit too slow for my liking, but good nevertheless), but it couldn’t be higher on the list, as the Joker literally appeared in a single, super short scene (and some deleted scenes, but one can’t really count them).
Still, young Barry Keoghan appeared at home in the role, and should The Batman 2 come to fruition; I bet the Joker will have a much larger role in the film. His interpretation of the Joker seems to be less maniacal and unhinged and more cunning, manipulative, intelligent, and strategic.
5. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
IMDb score: 7.3/10
Joker actor: Zach Galifianakis (voice)
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne is a cool dude. However, even this Lego version of our favorite hero seeks help from Batgirl and Robin to take on the usual enemies, including Joker, Scarecrow, Bane, the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy… Gosh, they’re all there. There’s even Voldemort, King Kong, Sauron…
How awesome was it: Seeing that we’re talking about an animated Lego movie, it’s a comedy first, so the Joker is absolutely hilarious, as all other characters are. Zach Galifianakis delivered the voice of Joker perfectly, and his dialogue made me laugh out loud more than once. Not your common Joker version, but insanely awesome nonetheless.
4. Joker (2019)
IMDb score: 8.4/10
Joker actor: Joaquin Phoenix
Synopsis: Arthur Fleck is a guy with an ordinary job, trying to live and take care of his mother. He’s also an aspiring comedian, but after being embarrassed by one of his idols on TV, Fleck slowly descends into madness and becomes Gotham’s Crown Prince of Chaos.
How awesome was it: Technically, Joker isn’t a batman movie, but it was absolutely awesome, and I couldn’t exclude it from the list. I have to say, though, I’ve never felt those classic Joker vibes in the film – it could’ve just as easily been any person with psychological issues – but it doesn’t mean the movie is any less phenomenal. I can’t wait for part two in 2024.
3. Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
IMDb score: 6.4/10
Joker actor: Mark Hamill (voice)
Synopsis: The Joker escapes Arkham Asylum, and decides to torment Commissioner Gordon, just to show that even the best people can be pushed to do unspeakable things if you push them hard enough. He shoots his daughter in the back and leaves her paralyzed before stripping her down and taking photos of her to taunt Gordon.
Based on the brutal, diabolical graphic novel of the same name, many consider The Killing Joke to be the real origin story of the Joker, who was shown to once have a wife and kids before descending into sadistic madness.
How awesome was it: This animated movie is not for the faint-hearted. It’s brutal, riveting, and absolutely insane. Mark Hamill has given his voice to the Joker in countless animated projects (such as Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)), and this one was no different. As always, Hamill just nailed it as the Crown Prince of Chaos, but it’s the storyline that’ll have your head spinning.
2. Batman (1989)
IMDb score: 7.5/10
Joker actor: Jack Nicholson
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne is one of the wealthiest people in Gotham City, but he quickly realizes that some criminals can’t be brought to justice with money. He begins his fight against crime as the Dark Night, only to quickly cross paths with Jack Napier – also known as the Joker.
How awesome was it: When you ask people to pick the best Joker in history, there are always only two possible answers – it’s either Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson from this particular movie. He’s psychopathic, clownish, maniacal, and, as many fans say – the closest representation of the comic book Joker on the big screen ever.
I still believe that Ledger had the upper hand for a couple of reasons, but I won’t argue if your favorite Joker ever – and favorite Batman movie ever – is this Batman from Tim Burton.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
IMDb score: 9.0/10
Joker actor: Heath Ledger
Synopsis: The Joker starts wreaking havoc across Gotham City, trying to force Batman to come out of the shadows and show his face. The psychological games don’t get any easier, as Bruce is repeatedly forced to make impossible choices and test his mental toughness to continue fighting Gotham’s dark underbelly.
How awesome was it: There are two main reasons why I believe that this was the best Batman movie ever and the best Joker we’ve ever seen. First, Heath Ledger went all out and put his heart and soul into the role, creating a unique interpretation of the Clown Prince of Chaos that worked to perfection. He was maniacal, satirical, frightening, and intelligent, all at the same time.
Secondly, the chemistry between Christian Bale and Heath was absolutely spot on, and Christopher Nolan really went all out, not just with the script but also just letting the actors work off of each other.