Ranking Every Live-Action Batman Movie’s Ending From Worst To Best

Matt Reeves’ attempt to re-connect Batman to his noir detective roots has, appropriately enough, a dark ending that feels like something out of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. It’s also reminiscent of something like “The Empire Strikes Back” — although most franchises wait until at least the second film before painting its heroes into a corner from which it feels like there’s no escape.

Gotham has been largely destroyed, the result of Riddler’s plan to detonate bombs near the seawalls surrounding the city, sending rushing waters through the streets and nearly killing hundreds of citizens gathered at a local arena. Thankfully, Batman and Catwoman were there to help out, battling Riddler-wannabes attempting to anonymously amplify the supervillain’s destructive efforts. Although they save characters like Bella Real and the late Mayor Mitchell’s son — both of whom feel like rare rays of light who could illuminate a Gotham renaissance — anybody you can reasonably call a “good guy” in this film limps into the shadows at the end, licking their wounds.

Catwoman, realizing Batman is forever linked with Gotham, leaves the city. Bruce Wayne, newly burdened by realizations about his beloved parents that make his mission of vengeance far more muddled, says in voiceover: “The city is angry, scared … like me.” With many of Gotham’s most powerful men (on both sides) now dead, opportunities seem to be opening up for folks like the Penguin (Colin Farrell). Riddler, now in prison, has a next-door neighbor at Arkham who speaks of clowns and a “comeback story.” 

If nothing else, the end of “The Batman” seems to be setting up one heckuva sequel. Not even Alfred, it seems, could clean up this mess.

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