....can I be really controversial here and say I still prefer Tim Burton's 1989 film to the later Nolan ones. Yes I know the Nolan ones are technically much better films, but I find the Michael Keaton film is just a bit more watchable , with the comic element of Jack Nicholson making it enjoyable. I love the scene where Vicki Vale, seeing Batman on the clock tower comes onto the Joker to distract him (Look at Joker's face in that scene, its a picture). It was also for me, a film I have a real soft spot for as it kick started superhero films again after what seemed a long time off the screen and was the best one since Superman 2. Can you imagine 9 years now, without a decent superhero film?
So, here is my dark horse pick that will be torn to pieces: Dark Knight Rises. I felt it had a stronger villain that the previous two, it beautifully tied up the arc emotionally and thematically, and it successfully took on a more grandiose tone even above the others.
Live actions only I assume.
I'm gonna have to say Batman Begins. Followed the comics pretty well, and still stayed somewhat believable. Had great acting, a good story line, interesting plot points throughout the entire film. I do enjoy Tim Burton's though. It really comes down to one of Nolan's movies, or one of Tim Burton's two. Not too many people are gonna say Batman Forever, and no one in their right mind would say Batman and Robin. No offense, but it really is a 2 hour toy commercial. The Dark Knight was the best Hollywood Batman creation ever, and probably one of the most cinematic breakthroughs of all time (one of). It was, to me, the Batman film that could appeal to most, and had the most to make it a truly fantastic movie in general. The award for best Batman movie for me definitely goes to Batman Begins though.
Also have a soft spot for Adam West's. It's a classic, even if it is cheesy. Cesar Romero was also no doubt a great Joker, and who could possibly say they didn't drool over Lee Meriwether as Catwoman?