Top 10 Tim Burton Movies

Photo Credit:

Summer movie season continues this week with Dark Shadows, another darkly comic outing from famed director Tim Burton. The director’s gothic style is now iconic and a staple in modern cinema. Burton’s career has stretched over four decades now and his films range from blockbusters to smaller, awards type films. Here are the ten best films of his career.





Photo Credit: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)-

No one can take away Gene Wilder’s wonderful performance in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, but Johnny Depp did a great job as the bumbling factory owner as well. This darker take on the classic story is visually pleasing and has a lot of great moments. Plus Freddie Highmore is far more likable than the annoying kid in the ’70s version.



Photo Credit: Beetlejuice (1988)-

Michael Keaton did a wonderful job creating this crazy character back in the late ’80s. Beetlejuice is a joyously messed up comedy involving ghosts and such trying to get back a house from the new owners after they died. The film was followed by an animated series. Many of you probably don’t remember that the movie also stars Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Winona Ryder.



Photo Credit: Sleepy Hollow (1999)-

It may be surprising to some that this is actually one of the few Tim Burton movies that is a true horror film. Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane from the classic story of the Headless Horseman. With tons of creepy moments and a surprise appearance from Christopher Walken, Sleepy Hollow and Tim Burton seem to be a match made in heaven (well probably hell).



Photo Credit: Batman (1989)-

Before Christopher Nolan created his far more realistic version of Batman, Tim Burton brought the hero to the screen as a dark character for the first time. Atmospherically, Burton created the best Gotham City in the history of the franchise. Also, Danny Elfman’s score trumps Hans Zimmer’s any day of the week. While no Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson did an excellent job as the Joker.



Photo Credit: Corpse Bride (2005)-

Contrary to popular belief, Burton did not direct A Nightmare Before Christmas, he just produced it (trust me if he had it would probably be one or two). But he did direct this wonderful little film in the same style as that Disney classic. Only Burton can create a dead corpse an incredibly likable character. Okay, he had some help from Helena Bonham Carter…who I love…a lot.



Photo Credit: Edward Scissorhands (1990)-

Ah, the first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. What a wonderful film this is. Johnny Depp is perfect as the almost mute man built with scissors for hands. Edward is one of Burton’s best characters ever. This follow up to Batman was a perfect way to show that Burton was capable of telling much more sensitive, although still gothic, stories.



Photo Credit: Batman Returns (1992)-

The fanboy inside of me wants to put this at number one, but I know that from a critical standpoint it is far from the director’s best. However, this film embodies everything about Batman, all of the camp and all of the darkness, and smashes them together in what I consider to be the first fantastic comic book film. Michelle Pfeifer is the definitive Catwoman, no matter how great Anne Hathaway is in The Dark Knight Rises.



Photo Credit: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)-

Tim Burton’s only true musical was the talk of a lot of awards shows back in 2007, largely due to Johnny Depp’s mesmerizing transformation into Sweeney Todd. However, he does not give the best performance in the film. No, that honor goes to Helena Bonham Carter, who gives one of the best performances in her career and makes Mrs. Lovett one of the most lovable characters in any Burton film. Did I mention how much I love her? Because I do, a lot.



Photo Credit: Ed Wood (1994)-

Long before The Artist and Hugo, Tim Burton created his own love letter to cinema in this true story based on one of the worst filmmakers of all time. Johnny Depp (see the trend?) is incredible as the clueless director who truly believes his visions are good. That is because he loves cinema more than anything, much like Burton himself. This may be his most personal and passionate project ever.



Photo Credit: Big Fish (2003)-

Tim Burton’s best film is actually the one that is most missing his signature style. Set in the South, Big Fish is a touching story of a father telling his son the crazy stories of his life, including things like a giant and outlandish war stories. His son does not believe his stories now that he has grown up, but his father still urges that they matter. This emotional tale is a brilliant film with an all star cast including Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, and…wait for it…Helena Bonham Carter!



Do you agree with my picks for the king of goth’s best films? Does anyone share my obsession with Helena? Are you excited for Dark Shadows? Sound off below!

2 Responses to Top 10 Tim Burton Movies

  1. TheMorticiansDaughter says:

    you did a awesome job picking the order! and yes Mrs. Carter is awesome! !! ^.^

  2. Bella says:

    At least one other person likes corpse bride as much as I do 🙂 if I had to say his top 5 films though it would probably be 1. Corpse bride 2. The nightmare before Christmas 3. Paranorman 4. Coraline 5. Alice in wonderland 🙂 that’s just my opinion though! Personally I think his stop-motions are his best movies 🙂

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