Batman Movie Villains Ranked from Worst to Best

29. Joker (Suicide Squad)

Joker is the worst of Suicide Squad’s problems. As usual, Jared Leto overdoes it, subscribing to the ‘more is more’ school of acting. But his usual shenanigans are made so much more irritating by the fact that Leto has no real take on the character, save for the 30s gangster trappings. Fortunately, Batman only shares the screen with Leto’s Joker for a few moments, disappearing from the movie while leaving the rest of us to suffer. 

28. Doomsday (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice)

Bane and Doomsday both debuted in comics around the same time, and both immediately sidelined their well-known antagonists. But where Bane has layers, Doomsday is just a big dumb rock monster, notable only for his bright green biker shorts. But because “green” is a color, Zack Snyder couldn’t allow the shorts in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, leaving his Doomsday to be just a gray blob that battles Batman and Superman. 

27. Steppenwolf (Justice League)

In the pages of the Fourth World comics, Jack Kirby imagined Steppenwolf as a large man in green armor, complete with an electro-axe and a jaunty cap. In Justice League, Zack Snyder imagined Steppenwolf as a gray blob. Whether we’re talking about the unsettling color-corrected version in the theatrical release or the somehow even grayer version in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Steppenwolf is a boring brute who exists only to punch and be punched. 

26. Mr. Freeze (Batman & Robin)

Occasionally, someone speaks up to defend Batman & Robin, calling it a goofy camp classic. While there’s humor in the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a mad scientist who wears blue armor and makes ice puns, the execution is definitely lacking. Arnold himself only shows up for close-ups, letting stand-ins do the rest of the work, and even then, he delivers his one-liners without any of the zest that made him a screen legend in the 1980s. 

25. Lex Luthor (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice)

Doesn’t DCEU Batman ever get to fight his own bad guys? Okay, there is a special thrill that comes from seeing Lex Luthor face off against Batman, both of them powerful men with superior minds. Unfortunately, Ben Affleck’s Batman does more CrossFit than detective work, and never seems like an intellectual equal to Lex. Worse, screenwriters Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer don’t seem to know what a smart person sounds like, letting Jesse Eisenberg babble on about God and power, hoping that no one who knows about theodicy or congressional hearings is listening. 

24. Joker (Batman: The Movie)

People sometimes complain that modern Batman movies have too many villains, but they’ve got nothing on 1966’s Batman: The Movie. Rushed into production after the first season of the campy Batman television show proved to be a hit, Batman: The Movie brought along the four biggest baddies on the show, including Caesar Romero as the Joker. Unfortunately, the four male bad guys more or less have the same personality, and Romero brings the least amount of panache to his part, making him the lowest-ranking of the four antagonists. 

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