Christian Bale's 10 Best Movies, According to IMDb – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Christian Bale has many excellent performances to his name, including Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy. IMDb ratings help showcase his best work.
Known for his impressive transformations for his acting roles, Christian Bale is one of the best actors of his generation. Bale has a tendency to disappear into his characters, and his body of work shows that he has great range and versatility. From playing a beloved superhero to a recovering drug addict to the Vice President of the United States, there is no shortage of significant movies in Bale's filmography.
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Bale started out as a child actor before earning global recognition as Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy, a role that opened the door to many other exciting opportunities. Christian Bale has so many phenomenal performances to his name that it's hard to narrow down his best work, but IMDb gives fans a good insight.
One of Bale's most impressive transformations came during the film The Machinist. The movie is about Trevor Reznik, a man who has been unable to sleep for a year and struggles with the side effects that come with his lack of sleep.
Bale lost 62 pounds for the role, weighing in at 120 pounds in The Machinist. Bale wanted to drop his weight all the way down to just 99 pounds, but the filmmakers would not allow it due to health concerns. What is even more impressive is that after this film, Bale landed the role of Batman, packing on 100 lbs in just six months to play the Caped Crusader.
3:10 to Yuma is a Western remake of the 1957 film of the same name. The movie follows a rancher named Dan (Bale) who goes on a dangerous mission to deliver a notorious outlaw (Russell Crowe) to prison. 3:10 to Yuma marks Bale's first collaboration with director James Mangold. RELATED: The 10 Best Spaghetti Westerns, Ranked
At a time when Westerns were few and far between, 3:10 to Yuma stood out as a successful take on an older story. Bale plays Dan with great humility. Dan tries to teach his son, who softens up to Crowe's outlaw, the difference between right and wrong. The film boasts a 7.7 rating on IMDb.
The Fighter follows the real-life story of boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). Eklund trains Ward for a shot at the world title while dealing with various issues along the way, namely Eklund's drug addiction.
Christian Bale won his first Oscar for his performance as Dicky Eklund. He also won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor, and was nominated for a BAFTA. Bale's performance was so captivating that Time Magazine named his performance as one of the Best Movie Performances of 2010.
The Big Short was an ensemble film that followed the financial crisis of 2008, which was brought on by the housing market bubble. Bale plays Michael Burry, one of the first people to realize that the housing market was going to crash. Burry's actions encourage others to take an interest in the coming crash and make money from it.
Bale earned his third Oscar nomination for his performance in the star-studded ensemble cast, which included Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell. Bale's brilliant performance was praised, and The Big Short received critical acclaim for its accuracy and storytelling. He later teamed up again with director Adam McKay on Vice.
Bale's second collaboration with James Mangold has him playing race car driver Ken Miles. Ken is part of a team that Henry Ford devised to build a car to defeat the Ferrari racing team. Co-starring Matt Damon, Ford v Ferrari was nominated for four Oscars, winning two for Achievement in Film Editing and Sound Editing, and boasts a rating of 8.1 on IMDb.
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Bale's performance earned him many accolades during the awards season that year, including nominations for Best Actor from the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. Shockingly, however, Bale was left out of the Best Actor conversation for an Oscar.
A lesser known entry on Bale’s resume, Howl’s Moving Castle is a Japanese animated film that follows a young girl named Sophie, who is cursed by a witch to age prematurely. A wizard named Howl (voiced by Bale), helps her out while he fights against warring kingdoms.
Bale was so impressed with director Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away that he agreed to play any role in Howl's Moving Castle. Bale ended up being the English dubbed version of the lead role, one of the few animation projects he has done over his lengthy career.
After Batman & Robin was critically panned, director Christopher Nolan righted the ship with Batman Begins. A darker take on the character, Bale’s Bruce Wayne studies to become the fighter who would later act as Gotham City’s greatest protector.
Batman Begins revitalized the Batman franchise and thrust Bale even further into the global spotlight. Fans have often ranked Bale as one of the best actors to play Batman as his complex take on the character was more akin to the Caped Crusader's comic counterpart. Batman Begins sparked The Dark Knight Trilogy; one of the most successful live-action superhero trilogies to date.
The final installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman returns after an eight-year absence to deal with new threats to Gotham City in the form of Tom Hardy's Bane and the League of Shadows. The film also introduced Selina Kyle/Catwoman, who was played by Anne Hathaway.
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While The Dark Knight Rises does not reach the heights of its predecessor, it is still an impressive entry in the Batman film franchise. Bale boasts the rare privilege of having a Batman story that had an official ending, wrapping up an epic trilogy in seven years.
Another collaboration with director Christopher Nolan, The Prestige features Bale and Hugh Jackman as competing magicians whose need to outdo each other's tricks evolves into a deadly game. The film was nominated for two Oscars: Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.
On the heels of the success of Batman Begins, Bale collaborated again with Nolan to bring this fantastic thriller to life. The Prestige's twist ending is considered one of the best and is still debated amongst viewers to this day. It currently stands as the 41st top-rated movie on IMDb.
It is no surprise that Bale's highest-rated film on IMDb is The Dark Knight. The second chapter of The Dark Knight Trilogy follows Batman as he goes up against the Joker; played by the late Heath Ledger in his Oscar-winning role. The Dark Knight is currently the 3rd highest-ranked movie of all time on IMDb.
The Dark Knight is widely considered to be the greatest superhero movie ever made and had a profound effect on the superhero genre. Bale is at his best when he plays Batman, a vigilante who's desperately trying to save Gotham City from the Clown Prince of Crime's villainy.
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David Giatras is a storyteller, freelance videographer & writer, and aspiring filmmaker, where he provides commentary and insights on today’s most notable films and television series.


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