A legendary director and filmmaker, Tim Burton, may have created some of the best cult classics and some not-so-good remakes. Thinking that Burton already has his fair share of ups and downs. Although some have already made the movie hall-of-fame while some may have already been forgotten, let’s take a look at all of Tim Burton’s movies while also ranking them from worst to best. Which movie do you think would be his best output in almost 4 decades of entertainment?
Planet of the Apes (2001)
A huge Tim Burton dis-APE-pointment (pun intended) came in the form of the remake of the 1968 film of the same name, Planet of the Apes. This franchise would, later on, be revived with Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011).
Even with a star-studded cast of Tim Roth, Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, and the late Michael Clarke Duncan, the film still failed at the box office. It was ridiculous, to say the least, and moviegoers did not like one bit of Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes”. It would be safe to say that this could go as Burton’s worst movie ever.
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Rotten Tomatoes: 49% (Adjusted score)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Critics and fans didn’t positively receive Tim Burton’s remake of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Additionally, Johnny Depp’s performance as Willy Wonka was definitely unimpressive. It’s terrible! If any, it was a performance Johnny Depp won’t forget.
You know the movie is bad when the original actor who played Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder, called Tim Burton’s adaptation “an insult” to the original film. But, honestly, it’s not that bad of a movie. Heck, it’s a perfect family movie even though it gets dark and gloomy, just like how Tim Burton does all of his projects. Despite the negative reviews, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is Tim Burton’s 3rd highest-grossing film, just behind Batman and Alice in Wonderland.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91% (Adjusted score)
Dark Shadows (2012)
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are back at it again, only this time, they are joined by two big-name stars – Eva Green and Michelle Pfeifer.
In the ’80s and ’90s, Tim Burton’s style of filmmaking may have flourished and received tons of viewership. Unfortunately, that same style didn’t hold up when he made something similar during the 2010s a.k.a Dark Shadows. The film’s plot seemed to be getting nowhere, which is quite a waste of the talented cast.
Rotten Tomatoes: 45% (Adjusted score)
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Johnny Depp is one of Tim Burton’s favorite actors to work with as he casts Depp in almost every film he makes. It’s evident that if Tim Burton is the director, Depp is automatically the lead actor or the main character.
With probably dozens of remakes and adaptations, the popular children’s story “Alice in Wonderland” finally gets touched by Tim Burton. What’s even more surprising is that Alice in Wonderland grossed more than $1 Billion worldwide despite not being Tim Burton’s best nor the best movie in 2010. Let’s just not talk about the extremely boring sequel, let’s just leave it there.
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CGI and the tantalizing 3D technology were booming at this time which probably helped this film gather so much attention, similar to James Cameron’s “Avatar”.
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% (Adjusted score)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
This fantasy movie was supposed to create a whole franchise, unfortunately, that dream might have ended in the first entry.
Eva Green was exceptional as the titular character but the movie fell short in storytelling. Though it did amass almost $300 Million on a $100 Million production budget, it still wasn’t enough to push and inspire the franchise.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% (Adjusted score)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Aside from conceiving Pee-Wee, who would have thought Tim Burton would create yet another hilarious film?
The 1996 film titled Mars Attacks! featuring Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, and Glenn Close may be weird and whimsical, but it was the perfect guilty pleasure. It also was somehow the perfect homage to B-lister sci-fi and alien-invasion movies in the 20th century.
Rotten Tomatoes: 60% (Adjusted score)
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Pee-Wee Herman was a famous comedy icon in the 1980s and was a star of American television.
Back then, this film would be a top 5 Tim Burton creation but today, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure might not be the film for the new generation. Don’t get me wrong, Pee-Wee will always be entertaining to watch and this could go on as an all-time great comedic cult classic.
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Rotten Tomatoes: 89% (Adjusted score)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Johnny Depp together with a headless horseman? Let’s go!
Back when Tim Burton experimented with a horror movie based on a beloved novel, the award-winning director did not fail to deliver. Plus, Johnny Depp was excellent in this movie, and we can’t get our eyes off Christopher Walken as the headless horseman!
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% (Adjusted score)
Batman Returns (1992)
It’s been 30 years since Michael Keaton’s Dark Knight was released. Tim Burton’s Batman Returns did not live up to expectations after the prequel was a massive hit in 1989.
Again, the movie’s villains stole the show with their exceptional performance. Danny DeVito was amazing as well as very horrifying as Penguin while Michelle Pfeifer filled the gap with her steaming-hot Catwoman suit. Truthfully, it was still a blockbuster movie, something which Tim Burton would be proud of. Additionally, we could be seeing Keaton reprise his role as Batman again with DC’s “The Flash” in 2023 as part of the extended universe.
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Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (Adjusted score)
Frankenweenie (2012), The Corpse Bride (2005), and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
One could say Tim Burton is a fan of animated stop-motion dark fantasy films. If you watch the three films he made (Frankenweenie, The Corpse Bride, and Nightmare Before Christmas), you would actually notice an eerie connection between these three projects.
The reason why it’s ranked so high is because of how Burton created an unknown Burtonverse without everyone noticing it at first. That is some next-level kind of genius!
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
One Tim Burton film that usually gets overlooked is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street wherein Johnny Depp (again) portrays the titular character.
Set during the depression era, Sweeney Todd is like the counterpart of Les Miserables but with a dark and horrifying twist. Don’t get fooled by the song as this is a musical, it still is a murder film filled with – you guessed it – HUMAN MEAT AND BLOOD!
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (Adjusted score)
Big Fish (2003)
Fans always found Tim Burton’s movies to be dark (literally and figuratively). However, there have been some “sigh of relief” movies such as the 2003 romantic fantasy movie, Big Fish.
Big Fish focused mainly on mature storytelling without sacrificing the plot. There’s the common fantasy cliche, nonetheless, Big Fish was extremely enjoyable and is completely rewatchable anytime!
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (Adjusted score)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Johnny Depp‘s professional break was in 1987 in Jump Street 21 but his break-out movie was, for sure, Edward Scissorhands.
This was the first time Depp and Burton worked together in a film, the first of many. It was at the height of Tim Burton’s career that a young Johnny Depp came in as an up-and-coming movie star. Mixing goth, sci-fi, and romance, Edward Scissorhands, this movie will always be in the hearts of many.
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Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Adjusted score)
Superhero films were already widely received in the 1990s because of Christopher Reeve’s Superman. Well, who would want to say no to another superhero film?
Before MCU commanded cinema, DC characters like Superman and Batman were always being shown in theaters. Batman or Bruce Wayne was portrayed by Michael Keaton just a year after Beetlejuice, which was also directed by Tim Burton. Even though Keaton was the lead actor, the legendary actor Jack Nicholson stole the show with his unforgettable portrayal of Batman’s nemesis, Joker. Overall, the movie paved the way for future superhero movies which makes it very remarkable.
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Batman garnered more than $400 Million in 1989 which is equivalent to almost $800 Million (if adjusted to 2021 inflation), making it the 2nd highest-grossing Tim Burton movie.
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% (Adjusted score)
“Lift 6-foot, 7-foot, 8-foot bunch! Daylight come now and me wan’ go home”. Admit it, you loved that song!
Before Johnny Depp came onto the scene, Tim Burton did enjoy working with Michael Keaton. Burton and Keaton managed to create a film that is so creepy yet funny in a way, that could entice viewers. It’s a great family movie and the perfect Tim Burton masterpiece. So odd yet so good!
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Rotten Tomatoes: 88% (Adjusted score)
Ed Wood (1994)
Only true movie fans know which Tim Burton movie is the best.
Ironically, Tim Burton’s best movie is the story about the worst director in history. Johnny Depp stars once again as Edward D. Wood Jr., a notoriously untalented director, who tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite having no talent at filmmaking at all. Believe it or not, this may be Tim Burton’s best project yet but this actually bombed at the box office. It’s extremely underrated and some of you might have not heard of this one yet. So, if you are in for some treat, why not watch it today?
Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (Adjusted score)
Do you agree with our list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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