Hype surrounds Michael Keaton once again as images of the 70-year-old actor’s Batman costume on the set of Batgirl have surfaced on the internet. The veteran has had a string of success in the past decade, split between major box office hits for both Marvel and DC, as well as Academy Award-nominated projects.
Keaton is a highly talented actor, as most recently proved by his role in the Hulu miniseries, Dopesick. And even after nearly five decades of work in the film industry, Keaton still has more to offer, with two major superhero films slated to release in 2022 and 2023. His body of work has been rated by film lovers on Letterboxd.
10 Much Ado About Nothing – 3.5/5
Kenneth Branagh has had some hits and misses in his directing career of over thirty years, but the satirical Shakespearean tale of Much Ado About Nothing was certainly a success. Keaton plays Dogberry, the local constable who’s not nearly as intelligent as he believes, leading to some enjoyable laughs.
The film has an incredibly strong cast, headlined by Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Denzel Washington, Kate Beckinsale, Keanu Reeves and of course, Michael Keaton. For fans looking for a Shakespearean rom-com, look no further.
9 Batman Returns – 3.6/5
Batman Returns seemed to be it for Michael Keaton’s stint as the caped crusader, releasing in 1992, thirty years before his return to the universe. Directed by Tim Burton and starring incredible villain performances from Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer as The Penguin and Catwoman, Batman Returns is one of the most stylized superhero films to date.
The film is darker than many of the Batman adaptations fans had seen to date, and was likely an inspiration for the more gritty modern takes on the character, like The Batman or Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. The film has many quotes that make some fans think Michael Keaton is the best Batman.
8 Batman – 3.6/5
Coming in with a rating inches higher than its sequel is 1989’s Batman. The film, also directed by Tim Burton features a Batman with rising prominence in Gotham City, taking on a villain of his own accidental creation, The Joker. The film was a mass spectacle on its release, as the only live action Batman at the time had been the ’60s Adam West version.
Audiences were skeptical of Michael Keaton, who had mostly done comedy work like Night Shift thus far, to take on the dramatic figure. The film didn’t primarily focus around the story arc of Batman as most of his films due, and primarily focused on Jack Nicholson’s Joker origin story.
7 Spider-Man: Homecoming – 3.6/5
Audiences who saw Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters for the first time will remember specifically the moment when Michael Keaton is casually revealed to be the father of Peter Parker’s then love interest. The suspense builds as Peter, knowing he will later have to face off with Keaton’s Vulture as Spidey, receives the dad talk.
Though the film isn’t centered around Michael Keaton’s role, he has some of the best moments, and being a standout villain in a Spider-Man film puts him in the company of many great performances.
6 The Trial Of The Chicaco 7 – 3.7/5
The Trial of the Chicago 7 was a film that existed in development for a decade and a half, after being written by writer Aaron Sorkin, who eventually took matters into his own hands to direct. The film eventually went on to be nominated for Best Picture, and features a standout ensemble cast including Michael Keaton.
Michael Keaton only has a couple of scenes in the film, but they’re highly impactful and memorable, as his character plays a pivotal role on exposing the corruption taking place in the courtroom. In an ensemble cast with so many great actors, making an imprint in such a way is something only a great actor like Keaton could do.
5 Jackie Brown – 3.8/5
Michael Keaton’s only pairing with legendary director Quentin Tarantino was in one of, if not the most underseen film by the director. The film is still very good, and for fans of the director, it’s considered a must watch. Keaton’s role is small, compared to the center characters of Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson, but like usual, the actor is great with his screen time.
Keaton plays LAPD Detective Mark Dargus, who’s following the crime of the film with his partner, played by Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen. The two actors make for an enjoyable and often comedic duo, seemingly perfect fits for the fast paced, profanity heavy dialogue of a Tarantino movie.
4 Beetlejuice – 3.8/5
The first film Michael Keaton worked on with long time collaborator Tim Burton, and likely the reason for him earning the role as Batman, was Beetlejuice. The beloved film is probably one of Keaton’s most iconic roles, as deep under the make up and person of Betelgeuse, Keaton is giving a bizarrely stellar acting performance.
Beetlejuice is an incredibly creative classic, capturing some of the prosthetics, set design and retro style that ’80s films have become well known for. The film also features prominent roles from a young Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis.
3 Birdman 3.9/5
Film director Alejandro González Iñárritu doesn’t have too many projects known to American audiences, but is still considered a great director, for the consistent successes in his body of work. This includes Babel, The Revenant, and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), the Michael Keaton led film which won Best Picture.
While the film follows an actor known for playing a superhero, the story is more of an internal drama surrounding the character. The cast also includes Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis. The film has some of Michael Keaton’s funniest quotes.
2 Toy Story 3 – 4/5
The Toy Story films have captured the hearts of fans since the ’90s, with Toy Story 3 particularly being remembered as a heartbreaker. The film is made for the fans who grew up watching the originals, and has some very bitter sweet moments with touching themes about growing up and aging out of childhood.
Michael Keaton’s voice role is limited, but funny, playing Ken, a male counterpart to Barbie. Ken is essentially an antagonist in the film, as he has a troubled relationship with Barbie throughout the ongoing struggle with the wicked Lotso.
1 Spotlight – 4/5
The 2010s had some great newsroom dramas, most notably Spotlight, which won Best Picture out of the films in 2015, making Michael Keaton a part of a Best Picture winner two years in a row. The ensemble cast drama follows the Boston Globe as they work to uncover a scandal with a local church.
Aside from Keaton, the film prominently stars Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup, earning the group the Outstanding Ensemble award the SAG Awards, which Birdman and The Trial of the Chicago 7 also won.
NEXT: 10 Major Differences Between Robert Pattinson’s & Michael Keaton’s Batman
Every Halloween Movie, From Worst To Best, According To Ranker
About The Author
We would love to say thanks to the author of this short article for this incredible material
Michael Keaton’s 10 Best Movies, According To Letterboxd