Total Recall: Tim Burton's Best Movies


For 25 years and counting, Tim Burton has been one of the most successful directors in Hollywood -- and he's done it his way, presenting filmgoers with an ever-growing list of films that celebrate the strange and macabre, from comedies (Beetlejuice) to dramas (Big Fish) to thrillers (Sleepy Hollow), with a few stops for big-budget blockbuster fare along the way (Batman, Planet of the Apes). Heck, Burton's even proven his mettle as a director of animated fare (Corpse Bride) and served as a producer on at least one movie he didn't direct, but you probably thought he did (The Nightmare Before Christmas). This week, Burton brings his unique style to bear -- in 3-D, no less! -- on the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland, and to celebrate, we decided to take a look back at his ten best-reviewed films. Let's Total Recall, shall we? Back to Article


Scott W.

Scott Weeks

where's nightmare before christmas?

Mar 2 - 06:34 PM

Jason Yoo Jr.

Jr Jason

um.. that was "Henry Selick"'s film..

May 23 - 08:57 PM


idle one kenobi

My favorite Burton flicks in order...

BATMAN RETURNS (Both incredible films, and the hype at the time was HUGE! TDK and Begins were great, but Burton got there first, and Keaton played a way better Batman)

Ed Wood, just excellent!

Edwood scissorhands, great and weird flick, even if it is a remastering of Cabinet of Dr Calligari, and Frankenstein, its still brilliant.

SLEEPY HOLLOW, It gets a bit boring after repeat viewing, but its still cool.
I like a lot of Burtons flicks actually, apart from...

Sweeny Todd, couldnt make it through that film, shame it was a musical with almost zero talking.

Planet of the apes, Just horrible! Some great makeup and costumes, but filled with stupidty and horrendous characters. 50s style leather jacket monkey teen greasers? Shocking!

Mar 2 - 06:38 PM


Lee Guthrie

Burton did not direct Nightmare Before Christmas, that's why.

Mar 2 - 06:41 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

Why is Ed Wood #1 and not 2 when it has a lower tomotometer than #2?

Mar 2 - 07:01 PM

Ben F.

Ben Ferguson

I didn't make it through "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (too bloated and mean-spirited) or "Batman" (too boring and lacking in character development, though not as maddenly pretentious as the overrated "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight"). But "Corpse Bride" was a wonderfully tender love story, filled with sweetly rousing songs. It's one of the most touching and lively films of the 2000s.

Mar 2 - 07:04 PM


Daniel Raimondi

Burton's best
Ed wood

the others are either bad or not so great

Mar 2 - 07:07 PM

The Reaper

Iron Will

I effin love so many of his films. Both Batmans are still my favs of the franchise, Sleepy Hollow is amazing, Edward Scissorhands, both so gothic and cool, Pee Wee desrves the respect it gets, man he is great! Ed Wood is strange and very well done. Even Mars and Charlie are watchable.

Mar 2 - 07:13 PM

The Reaper

Iron Will

Oh and Corpse Bride is fantastic, a spirital (pun intended) sequel to Nightmare. And what crazy person doesn't like Beetlejuice?

Mar 2 - 07:19 PM

Phillip K.

Phillip Kissell

I've never really been a Tim Burton fan...

Mar 2 - 07:27 PM

Julie C.

Julie Clingo

Uh...The Nightmare Before Christmas, anyone? That just happens to be his most highly-rated film. Come on Rotten Tomatoes, get with the program.

Mar 2 - 07:32 PM


Travis Dudley

One of the best in the business

Mar 2 - 07:46 PM

Andrew K.

Andrew Katz

Tim burton never directed Nightmare before Christmas, so if they are looking at the list at movies he directed that is why he is not on

Mar 2 - 07:55 PM


Derek Meadors

I've never been a big Burton fan, but Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee and Ed Wood are all great films. I respect his talent, but his style (and mass repitition) have always bothered me.

Mar 2 - 07:58 PM

Andy S.

Andy Sunshine

Henry Selick directed Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach.
Burton is incredible, Sweeney Todd was my favorite film of '08 over some very tough competition. Something about the way he sees things and the way he translates it to film is so strange and original it's hard NOT to call it marvelous. However, Alice in Wonderland is going to flop... hard. I have never really supported the project and after reading the reviews, even the positive ones have a more sympathetic approach as in "it COULD have been good so I'm going to give it a positive review". But after such beautiful films such as Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, and Ed Wood Burton has a long career ahead of him... no matter how hard some of his movies may flop.

Mar 2 - 08:11 PM

Noah M.

Noah Maratin

How is batman return ranked better than the original 89 batman. I would have to put 89 batman either #1 or #2 in the series with begins followed by the dark knight at #3. It baffles me how some people think return was better than the original batman. The 2 movies aren't even comparable.

Mar 2 - 08:39 PM



@ Noah M. - I completely agree with you, the original Batman is a great film and deserved much more recognition than it received at the time. Keaton and Nicholson were fantastic and I think the only element I did not like as much was Basinger's involvement.

Personally, I always enjoyed the relationship and chemistry between Michelle Pfeiffer and Keaton in Batman Returns and I think that particular aspect or the 'romantic' element of the movie was done much better in Returns than the original Batman. I know Returns may have featured a seemingly 'inferior' villain when compared to Nicholson's Joker, but I still think it was a great movie on its own despite some of its more obvious flaws.

Mar 3 - 01:35 AM


arshi rai

As with many of you, i've never been the biggest fan of Burton, yet he still seems to attract my attention whenever he makes something, so that i always end up seeing his films fairly quickly; i guess its his roguish, against the grain nature.
My favorite burton film is Edward Scissorhands, no doubt. I also enjoyed Sweeney Todd, and those two batman films arent so bad either, although the sequal is a better film by a good margin, as most superhero sequals are.

Mar 2 - 08:42 PM


arshi rai

as opposed to most sequals in other genres.

Mar 2 - 08:42 PM


The Watcher

Tim Burton, along with the likes of Coen Bros, Spielberg, Ford Coppola, Leone, Nolan and I'm sure a few others, is one of my favorite directors. The only 2 movies that I felt were *ahem* not that good - were PotA & Charlie. The former just sucked while the latter simply wasn't my cup of tea.

I absolutely love Corpse Bride, Big Fish, BatmEn, Ed Wood & Sweeney Todd.
Oh wait, and Edward & Beetle. So that's basically all of his movies except Sleepy Hallow, Mars Attacks & Pee Wee.

SH is stylistically brilliant and only falls apart when we learn that Walken is being controlled by a human.

MA is pretty funny but doesn't live up what it could have been, although it's a lot of fun watching all those celebs bite it.

And as for Pee-Wee, well, I never watched it as a kid, and since he turned out to be a pedo, well - it freaks me the **** out.

I can't wait to watch Alice!

Mar 2 - 09:03 PM

Brad C.

Brad Clovert

So how is Paul Reubens a "pedo" as you so eloquently put it? Pretty sure he was caught jerking it in an adult movie theatre, not molesting children. Try and get your facts straight before slandering someone will you? At any rate, Big Adventure, Ed Wood, and Scissorhands are perfect. Read the novel of Big Fish and you'll see how badly that movie fails.

Mar 3 - 01:51 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Brad C.

Yes, "The Watchers" comment can be labelled as a little slanderis OR labelled as taken out of context since Paul Reuben was "jerking" off on a public area, enough to be publicized for everybody to know about it too!!! Neither defending nor am I condoning anyone what he did though, but I sure as hell wouldn't want Paul Reuben sitting behind on a theatre or anywhere for that matter.

Mar 3 - 03:54 PM


The Watcher

Uh....The FBI ransacked his house and found hundreds, if not thousands, of photos depicting children in the nude and in various sexual positions.
How about YOU do some research before commenting?

Mar 3 - 04:04 PM

Dave J

Dave J

The Watcher

How did the FBI get into Reubens home in the first place since the only known charge as far as I can remember was public indecency in a public theatre!!! And even if Reuben was carrying pictures of underaged children as you say then he wouldn't be allowed to hang around with underage children and as far as I can tell, he has kids around him!!!

Mar 3 - 04:33 PM

inactive user

Jared King

"Batman" is my fave, to be honest. Nostalgia plays a part in that...

Mar 2 - 09:19 PM


Ryan Meitzler

@jackie w. Nightmare Before Christmas wasn't directed by Tim Burton, it was directed by Henry Selick. It's a common mistake, Burton produced it and had major influence in it, but didn't direct it. These films are all Tim Burton-directed by HIM.

Mar 2 - 09:21 PM

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