Best Christian Bale Action Movies, Ranked – MovieWeb

From The Dark Knight to Public Enemies, these are Christian Bale’s best action movies, ranked.
Christian Bale is an English actor known for his dedication to his roles through Method acting as well as his versatility as an actor. Beginning his career in Empire of the Sun back in 1987, Bale has gone on to star in a number of movies, gaining breakthrough recognition for his performance as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. He would go on to star in films like The Machinist, and eventually star as Batman in the iconic The Dark Knight trilogy, one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time.
Bale's talents know no bounds, including the boundary of genre. Unlike other actors who may be typecast for performing well in a specific type of role, Bale has truly brought the competition by proving he can play any role in any genre, including action. While many of Bale's roles are character-focused, that doesn't exclude him from bringing his all physically in any action film he stars in. These are the best Christian Bale action movies, ranked.
Based on a true story, Michael Mann's Public Enemies follows bank robber John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) in the final years of his life. Bale stars as the main antagonist Melvin Purvis, an FBI agent who is hunting down Dillinger. Author of novel Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34 Bryan Burrough originally intended the story to be a miniseries to portray more of Dillinger's life in greater detail, but he instead chose to write the book, which the film was based on. While not entirely historically accurate, the film was praised for performances from the cast as well as its production design and cinematography.
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Set in everyone's favorite year 2020, Reign of Fire follows the story of Quinn Abercromby, whose mother awoke a fire-breathing beast when Quinn was 12 years old, leading to the horrific downfall of the human race. 20 years later, Quinn teams up with other groups of survivors to figure out a way to conquer the beast and its offspring before their entire planet becomes a desolate wasteland. Starring alongside Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey, Bale plays the role of Quinn Abercromby, a leader determined to protect his people from the fire-breathing beasts. Reign of Fire was met with mixed reviews, with special praise for its unique blend of futuristic yet medieval aesthetic.
Set in a world where feeling emotion of any kind is illegal, Equilibrium is a truly unique mixture of sci-fi and action. Bale stars as John Preston, an enforcement officer who hunts down and eliminates any person who is not taking the injections that curb all emotion. After Preston accidentally misses a dose of this medication, he begins to experience emotion and realizes the gravity of what he and his society have done to humanity. While some consider Equilibrium to a Matrix knock-off, the unique forced apathy of the people mixed with the hardcore martial arts that Bale utilizes throughout the film makes for very different experience.
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Based on a true story, this brutal war film revolves around an American pilot Dieter Dengler, whose plane is shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. The film follows Dengler as he struggles to survive the torture from the Vietcong. While Rescue Dawn is not for the faint of heart, the film provides a raw take on the atrocities committed during wartime without being gratuitous as director Werner Kerzog didn't want to focus solely on the POWs miseries. Bale stars as main character Dieter Dengler and does a fine job portraying the pilot's will to make it through such horrible conditions. Though the film was a box-office flop, it was subject to critical acclaim and is very much worth the watch.
The Dark Knight trilogy is arguably Bale's best action movies to date. Considering that he put his body through rigorous training to obtain the physique of Batman, Bale showed true dedication to the role. While the trilogy as a whole elevated Batman to a newfound glory, the best film in the trilogy is The Dark Knight. We get to see Bruce Wayne in action as he faces off against the ever-iconic Joker (Heath Ledger) as well as seeing the horrific downfall of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) all while Gotham blames Batman for what is happening to Gotham. The Dark Knight has phenomenal action choreography that Bale portrays with ease, being one of the best portrayals of Batman ever seen on the big-screen.
Started at MovieWeb in November of 2021. Jessica has spent her life dreaming of writing and now she gets to fulfill that dream. Want to hear more from Jessica, Jessica's first fiction novel "Estranged" can be found on Inkitt.


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