Thor: Love And Thunder – Christian Bale's 10 Best Movies, According To Ranker – Screen Rant

From his work as Batman to roles in prestige films like The Machinist or The Fighter, discover what Ranker fans think of Christian Bale’s movies.
With Thor: Love and Thunder rumbling toward a theatrical release on July 8, 2022, all eyes look to see how the mighty Norse God will handle the brutal onslaught from Gorr The God Butcher, played by Oscar-winner Christian Bale in his first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Early reviews for the film suggest Bale is one of the clear scene-stealing standouts in the movie.
An intense actor who deeply immerses himself into his fictional movie characters like few others, Christian Bale’s finest cinematic moments tends to balance big-budget blockbusters with character-driven genre work. As such, it’s high time to see how the fans at Ranker view the best and brightest of Christian Bale’s filmography to date.
Note: Due to the nature of Ranker’s voting, these results may change. At the time of publication, this list is correct.
A sobering subject matter directed with light comedic film flourishes by Adam McKay, The Big Short attempts to explain the financial collapse brought about by the U.S. mortgage crisis in 2007. The true story follows many key players who made a fortune from the crisis, including the shrewd but eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry (Bale), who saw the market crash coming from a mile away.
Beyond the excellent performances across the board, it’s the witty and energetically playful, Oscar-winning screenplay by McKay and Charles Randolph that viewers really appreciate the most, especially in the way it clarifies a confusing subject in entertaining ways. Bale earned another Oscar nod for his chameleonic turn, marking his fourth nomination in an eight-year span.
Reuniting with director James Mangold for the first time in a decade, Ford V. Ferrari is a rousing, crowd-pleasing true story of the two towering automotive brands racing for supremacy during the 24 Hours of Le Mans marathon in France. Bale excels as Ken Miles, a brilliant but cantankerous British racer and car designer who teams with American Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) on behalf of ford to take Ferrari down.
Extolled for its vibrant, visceral racing sequences that are bolstered by superlative craftmanship and realistic practical FX, the true story of Miles and Shelby’s bond packs an emotional wallop in the end, with Bale and Damon’s mesmeric onscreen rapport a true delight to watch.
Bale worked with James Mangold for the first time on the superb and emotionally fraught western remake of 3:10 to Yuma, in which he squares off with Russell Crowe in a suspenseful, action-packed tale that ultimately makes a profound statement about fathers and sons on the western frontier. Bale plays Dan Evans, a modest rancher who agrees to escort outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) to a prison train station in Yuma, Arizona.
While viewers are quick to support the searing macho movies tar chemistry between Bale and Crowe that carries the story a long way, the movie really transcends its predecessor by becoming a touching morality play for Dan as he tries to prove himself to his son, William (Logan Lerman). As such, Ranker also names the film among the Best Western Movies Ever Made as well as A Remake That Lived Up to the Original Classic.
Despite becoming the most lucrative movie in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Ranker users feel that The Dark Knight Rises is the least impressive of the bunch. The sprawling spectacle finds Batman (Bale) joining forces with Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) as the baleful Bane (Tom Hardy) and his henchmen terrorize Gotham City with reckless abandon.
Although still a massively successful, well-received, and expertly crafted superhero crime movie that does away with all of the campy comedy of the MCU, many felt the unintelligible Bane hindered the overall experience, especially when comparing the supervillain to Heath Ledger’s legendary, and far more terrifying Joker in the previous entry.
In one of his most hauntingly transformative performances, Christian Bale disappears into the role of Trevor Reznik in The Machinist, an insomniac industrialist dealing with crippling grief and PTSD following a tragic accident. Unforgettably unsettling, few actors have gone so far for their artistic expression as Bale does in this cleverly-constructed chiller.
While viewers laud Christian Bale’s harrowing central performance and the profound weight loss he underwent to make the role as credible as possible, others highlight the unpredictable plotting by director Brad Anderson that leads to one of the great, mind-blowing psychological twist-endings that linger well after the credits roll.
A year after working with Christopher Nolan for the first time, Bale reunited with the director and delivered one of the most enigmatic turns of his career in The Prestige. The movie follows rival magicians Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Bale) at the end of the 19th century, allowing Nolan to play maddening mind games on the audience just as the main characters do their own paying crowds in a splendid cinematic sleight of hand.
The critical and commercial hit film drew praise for its knotty premise and twisty plot, the terrific onscreen interplay between Bale and Jackman, and for an all-time head-scratching final shot that requires an immediate second viewing. While most critics enjoyed the film, the increased support by Ranker voters suggests the movie appeals to the masses more the academics.
Thanks in no small part to Bale’s big-hearted Oscar-winning performance as the real-life Dicky Eklund, The Fighter remains one of the actor’s best cinematic moments to date. The inspirational true story follows Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg), an underdog boxer from South Boston who climbs the ranks thanks to his brilliant but troubled brother and trainer, Dicky.
While the boxing matches are recreated with kinetic pacing and visceral authenticity, the moving family drama is what sets The Fighter apart, with Bale’s heartfelt and soul-crushing turn as a loving brother who can’t get escape the cold clutch of drug addiction cited as the single biggest plaudit Ranker fans feel about why the movie resonates so strongly.
While IMDb and Metascore users feel Batman Begins is the weakest entry in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, Ranker voters feel it belongs right in the middle. Aside from Nolan reinventing the superhero tone and visual tableau to a much darker aesthetic, most enjoyed the compelling origin story of Bruce Wayne’s (Bale) rise to superhero stardom after training with Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe).
Also named by Ranker as the #1 Movie of 2005 and #17 Greatest Superhero Movie of All Time, Batman Begins marked a major paradigm shift for how comic book movies can be told on the big screen, with an honorable treatment of the material that respects rather than insults the intelligence of adults while still appealing to younger crowds everywhere.
Enjoyed by general moviegoers more than critics at the time, American Psycho is a hilariously scathing satire on 80s excess and greed that doubles as a hyper-violent psychological thriller. Bale absolutely nails the role of Patrick Bateman, an eminently-quotable Wall Street yuppie who snaps and begins moonlighting as a serial killer, leaving viewers to wonder if his frenzied death march is real or part of some twisted fantasy.
Directed with a pitch-perfect balance of mordant humor and morbid horror by Mary Harron and loaded with memorable quotes, American Psycho viewers are smart enough to recognize how fiendishly clever the movie toys with audience expectations, puppeteering their emotions like a sadistic marionette each step of the way.
While most would agree Heath Ledger’s frightening, Oscar-winning turn as the Joker is the main draw of The Dark Knight, almost every movie lover on Earth feels that Christopher Nolan’s breathless crime saga is one of the best movies ever made. In addition to Ranker listing it as Bale’s best movie and the #1 Greatest Comic Book Movie Of All Time, The Dark Knight is currently rated #3 on IMDb’s Top 250, boasts a 94% Certified Rotten Tomatoes rating, and an 84 Metascore.
Taking clear inspiration from such sprawling crime epics as Michael Mann’s Heat, The Dark Knight and its A-list acting ensemble transcend the superhero formula as being campy, kitschy, and cartoonish to deliver a much more serious, adult, and grim view of Gotham City and the Caped Crusader that elevated the mythology of the character to daring new heights.
NEXT: The Dark Knight Trilogy – 15 Reasons Why Christian Bale’s Batman Was Perfect
A Senior List Writer covering a wide array of topics who has been with Screen Rant since September of 2019, Jake Dee has written movie news and reviews since 2008, working primarily with OMG Horror (IGN), JoBlo.com, and Arrow in the Head as a freelance reporter based in Los Angeles. A hopeless cinephile, social media Luddite, certified Nic Cage doppelganger, and a big Weekend At Bernie’s fan, Jake can often be found tucked away in a dark corner watching an old horror movie. Born and raised in California, Jake has a Bachelor’s Degree in Film & Digital Media from the University of California Santa Cruz with an emphasis on theory and criticism, is the author of several “WTF Happened To This Movie” and “WTF Really Happened To This Movie” videos on YouTube, and has covered everything in the entertainment industry from set visits, studio luncheons, and red carpet interviews to wrap parties, movie premieres, private screenings, talent interviews, and more.

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