Top 10 is back again to bring you some reading pleasure once again. What we do is come up with a topic, come up with our own lists, and combine them to make a consensus Top 10. This week with Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn coming out, we are counting down the Top 10 performances in a DC comic movie. The most popular comic book series has made many films over the years with some good to great performances. What will make the cut? Let’s find out.
10. Jack Nicholson – The Joker (Batman)
Starting off the list we have a character you will probably see more of later in the list in Joker. This performance is by Jack Nicholson. When Batman came out in 1989, it revolutionized everything about the comic book genre. Tim Burton brought this world to life and Jack was a huge reason why. Besides the fact that he is one of the greatest actors ever, Jack took this character and decided to have a blast with him. He put a little of Jack from The Shining in there and somehow made him even crazier. Does the film hold up? No, but its legacy will always have an impact.
9. Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad)
At number nine we have the woman who inspired us to do this list with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. First off, this is not a good movie. The direction is awful, the plot is a mess, and everyone seems to be on a different page. The best thing about this film is Harley Quinn far and away. Margot took this character who traditionally was just a sidekick to the joker and made her feel like her own. She dominated the film and made us want more, which is why there were four movies about her in development at one point. Margot is one of the best actresses working today, and this is one of her best performances.
8 Tom Hardy – Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)
Next up at number eight, we have another villain in Bane played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises. Another character in a film that has a ton of problems but stands out amongst everything else. Hearing that voice Hardy chooses to use sounds ridiculous at first but as you go on, it becomes increasingly menacing. Hardy is so intimidating and captivating as this character who just seems to be stronger and smarter than everyone else. The voice has become iconic and has made the character way bigger than it has any business being. It’s too bad the way he got wrapped up was done so poorly.
7. Christopher Reeve – Superman (Superman)
At number seven is the man who started it all in Christopher Reeve as Superman. Without the film Superman, we would not have the number of comic book films that we have. Richard Donner showed us they were possible, and Christopher Reeve brought the character to life. He fully embodied everything the character stood for including hope and inspiration. That even though he is all-powerful, he is just like you and me. It shows how much of an impact he had that people still talk about him today and now every actor who plays the character will always be compared to Christopher.
6. Michael Keaton – Batman (Batman)
Just missing out on the top five is Michael Keaton as Batman. What is probably the biggest superhero out there, Michael Keaton was criticized when he was first cast. Fans thought he looked nothing like the part. As per usual, they were wrong. Keaton was awesome as Batman who was intimidating but also easy to root for. His dynamic with Jack Nicholson was incredible and it blew everyone away. People still consider him to be the best to play the character, but maybe not us…
5. Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman, BvS, Justice League)
Starting off the top five we have Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Talk about a character that inspired an entire generation. When Wonder Woman came out in 2017, nobody saw it being as incredible as it was. This is due, in large part to Gal’s performance. She was perfect as this character that fought against all the factors working against her due to who she is and proved to be more capable than them all. Gal is inspiring as the character and has become the face of DC films and we all cannot wait to see her again in WW1984.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer – Catwoman (Batman Returns)
In at number four is a surprising choice but a very much worthy one in Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. What a powerhouse performance this was in Batman Returns. Tim Burton took the franchise in a different direction with his follow-up to Batman by becoming a more gothic and dirtier film and Michelle is what worked the best. She was incredibly sexy as this counterpart to Keaton’s Batman who dominated the screen with every chance she got. Everyone who plays the character has to live up to her now and that task might be too hard to achieve.
3. Christian Bale – Batman (The Dark Knight Trilogy)
Number three comes in with another Batman in Christian Bale from the Dark Knight trilogy. These films are widely considered to be amongst the best in the genre ever made and Bale is the lead that carries them. Bale has always been one of the best actors out there and he takes that talent to the role of Bruce Wayne. He is so good at balancing the Bruce Wayne/Batman dynamic that you buy this rich guy is damaged enough to put on a costume and fight crime. Unfortunately, he’s not the best part of his second film…
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Joker)
Just missing out on the top spot is the most recent performance in Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in Joker. This film was such a turn in what we are used to in this genre and Joaquin took this character and brought a new perspective to him. He showed us how the character got to be the Joker and how a person who is abused can be pushed too far. Phoenix is cleaning up in the award’s circuit and will win the Oscar this Sunday cementing his place in history. It will be the second time someone playing the Joker wins an Oscar along with…
1. Heath Ledger – The Joker (The Dark Knight)
Finally, at the number one spot is what you were probably expecting in Heath Ledger as The Joker. Yes, he is the other actor to win an Oscar playing the role. What Ledger did that was so great is he portrayed the character as an agent of chaos. He does not care what happens to him, he just wants to see the world burn. Ledger brings the perfect amount of charisma to where you believe he is crazy but not a caricature. It is an all-time performance and one that deserves the top spot on our list.
Well, there you have it! Our picks for the Top 10 performances in a DC film. DC has made so many films to different degrees of quality, but their casting is usually on point. We left out some very good ones, but we could only have 10. What does your list look like? Let us know in the comments and we will see you next time with a brand-new list.