THE BATMAN: A Spoilery Ranking Of The Movie’s Lead Characters From Worst To Best

The Batman puts a fresh spin on Gotham and the heroes and villains who call the city home. Here, we take a look at the movie's leads and rank them from worst to best. Needless to say, spoilers follow!

With The Batman, filmmaker Matt Reeves has put a fresh spin on the World's Greatest Detective and the world he inhabits. The Batverse is very much grounded in reality, but in a way that's a lot bloodier, grittier, and dare we say more exciting than what we saw in The Dark Knight Trilogy.

The hope is that this movie is the opening chapter in a franchise that encompasses at least a trilogy of movies and a number of HBO Max spinoff TV shows. This would give The Batman's characters plenty of room to be explored in the future, but we're keeping the focus on this particular movie for now.

With seven main characters, each of The Batman's heroes and villains are handled in very different ways. Some get more screentime than others, while they all have vastly different story arcs. In this feature, we're ranking them from worst to best...and that means getting into spoilers

To take a look through this ranking, all you guys need to do is click on the "Next" button below! 
 

7. Edward Nashton/The Riddler

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The Riddler was the right choice of villain for a story about what makes Batman the World's Greatest Detective. and is actually an extremely effective antagonist in the movie. Paul Dano, meanwhile, effortlessly delivers the creepiness, unhinged violence, and sheer level of insanity needed for Edward Nashton, so why is he at the bottom of this ranking? 

Well, aside from a memorable exchange with the Dark Knight in Arkham, The Riddler spends most of his time either killing people or delivering messages through cell phone footage. 

Because he's not a physical threat to Batman, the latter decision makes sense, while Nashton's kills definitely push the boundaries of PG-13. However, with a surprisingly scant amount of screentime in this three-hour movie, The Riddler fades into the background to some extent, and only really feels like he's there to service Batman's story. There's a lot of love about him, but he's not a great villain in his own right; fingers crossed that will change if and when he returns.
 

6. Carmine Falcone

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We weren't really anticipating much from Gotham City gangster Carmine Falcone in The Batman, but both the character and actor John Turturro exceed expectations and deliver in a big way in this movie.

Falcone proves to be a huge part of both Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's respective story arcs, and is similarly key to The Riddler's plan to make Gotham City pay for what happened to him as an orphaned child. Manipulative, hateful, and the sort of grounded threat that pushes Batman to his limits without a costume or fancy set of weaponry, we almost wish he hadn't been gunned down!

As for Turturro, while many of you might know him best for his comedic, often awful (if we're being honest) work in the Transformers franchise, he reminds us here why he's also a great dramatic performer. No one expected him to steal the show, but the actor proves any doubters wrong.
 

5. Alfred Pennyworth

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Andy Serkis has a relatively minor role in The Batman, but Alfred Pennyworth's surprisingly combative relationship with Bruce Wayne is still a highlight. Clearly trying to do his best for the disturbed young man he brought up after Bruce's parents were gunned down in front of him, Alfred seems both horrified by "The Batman" and someone who supports and enables the hero.

We learn that he trained Bruce how to fight, and while Alfred clearly wants better for the man he's come to care for like a son, he doesn't hesitate in stepping in to try and help decode The Riddler's twisted message. Poor Alfred doesn't receive much in the way of respect from the Dark Knight, but the love these two have for each other is emphasised after the "butler" narrowly escapes death in that explosion. 

That moving hospital scene is the last time Alfred appears in the movie, but we hope to see this relationship continue to evolve as we move into the next instalment. There's a lot Matt Reeves can do with this dynamic, and if we're getting more of Bruce in future, it goes without saying Alfred should be a bigger focus.
 

4. Lieutenant James Gordon

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Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon gets considerably more to do in The Batman than in the Caped Crusader's past movies, serving as a partner to the hero rather than someone who imparts useful information before being left standing around in the dark like a fool. In fact, we'd argue this is the best interpretation of the character on screen to date, and the looked like he was having a blast.

Leaning heavily into the fun that comes with playing a cop like Gordon, Wright got a lot of memorable lines and even chews a little scenery at times (during that exchange with Oz, for example).

By the time this movie ends, the door has definitely been opened for Jim to become the GCPD's Commissioner. However, if that leaves him stuck in an office rather than walking the mean streets of Gotham alongside the Dark Knight, we'd rather he remain a Lieutenant for at least one more adventure.
 

3. Selina Kyle/Catwoman

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With a character like Catwoman, there are always going to be a lot of lofty expectations among fans. This Selina Kyle is clearly still in the very early stages of her cat burglar career, but a compelling story arc helps make this anti-hero every bit as interesting to follow as the Caped Crusader himself. 

From the way she's at least trying to do the right thing for her missing roommate (and possible lover) to her occasionally duplicitous and seductive nature, Zoe Kravitz takes the material given to her and makes it even better. Throw in the fact that this Catwoman is a legitimate badass and manages to keep Batman on his toes, and we need a spinoff movie or HBO Max series ASAP.

It's to the movie's credit that it doesn't gloss over her relationship with Carmine Falcone, and even if she is a one-and-done character, audiences are likely to walk away satisfied, Her story has a beginning, middle, and end, but Kravitz is obviously way too good not to continue being a lead! 
 

2. Oz/The Penguin

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The expectation among fans was that Colin Farrell would play the "Emperor Penguin" version of Oswald Cobblepot in The Batman. Little did any of us know that the actor would be transformed into a realistic, classic take on The Penguin that's established him as a credible threat to Batman.

He may not have a top hat or an umbrella that fires bullets, but this movie successfully sets up the sort of dynamic with Batman that comic book fans can appreciate. From here, we'll follow Oz's rise to power in what promises to be a must-see HBO Max series, but it's easy to imagine this character being someone the Dark Knight has no other choice than to tolerate as he seeks to keep Gotham's criminals under some sort of control, all while gaining information from the gangster.

Farrell also brings some much-needed levity to The Batman at times. Oz comes out with a lot of great lines, and has a real personality that's vastly more interesting than previous Penguins.
 

1. Bruce Wayne/The Batman

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Yes, his name is in the title, but there's no way anyone other than Robert Pattinson's Batman was going to earn the top spot. The actor delivers what can only really be described as an Oscar-worthy performance in this movie, and spending more time in the cape and cowl than any of his predecessors means he has to do that little bit more through his eyes and mouth to convey emotion.

We don't get to know Bruce that well, but even in the few scenes he appears in, Pattinson is fascinating to watch. This is a truly superb performance from the actor, and we'd argue he's the best Batman.

From the way he viciously beats criminals to that ferocious Batmobile sequence, this "Year Two" Dark Knight has already been pushed to the limits by his home, and where his story goes from here promises to be every bit as fascinating. We'd probably make a few minor changes to the Batsuit, but beyond that, this is an interpretation of the character who we can't wait to see more of.
 

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