10 Movies Like ‘The Dark Knight’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Let’s Put A Smile On That Face (With 10 Great Movies To Check Out!)

The Dark Knight is highly regarded as the absolute best superhero movie out there. Dark, gritty and with a wonderful blend of action, suspense and tension, there really is no other movie like it… but that hasn’t stopped us from trying!

We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing. As usual, let us know your thoughts about our picks in the comments below!

Heat (1995)

Directed by Michael Mann, Heat is a crime thriller revolving around a cat-and-mouse game between seasoned detective Lt. Vincent Hanna, and a professional criminal, Neil McCauley, who specializes in high-stakes robberies. Both characters are professionals at the top of their games, leading them into a climactic confrontation.

Like The Dark Knight, the character dynamic between the detective and the criminal, as well as the themes of duty, obsession, and duality are similar to the relationship between Batman and The Joker. Their cat and mouse game across the season shares many themes with Heat, and it’s helped along by both films presenting a compelling look at the blurred lines between heroism and villainy.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can is based on the real-life story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a young man who successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor—all before his 19th birthday.

FBI Agent Carl Hanratty makes it his mission to capture Frank and bring him to justice, but as the movie progresses, the ties between Hanratty and Abagnale becomes intriguing complex.

While tonally different, both films are cat and mouse chases, with a dedicated law enforcement officer pursuing a slippery and cunning adversary. Just as Batman uses his wits to catch The Joker, Hanratty uses his to try and catch Frank.

Batman Begins (2005)

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins is naturally the go-to movie if you’re a fan of The Dark Knight. Batman Begins is the first movie in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Both films explore the character of Batman/Bruce Wayne and his commitment to fighting crime in Gotham. These movies share the same dark tone, realistic approach to the superhero genre, and complex characterization.

The story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman feels fresh and exciting here. After training with the League of Shadows, Bruce returns to Gotham to fight the city’s corruption and bring justice, all while dealing with personal demons from his past and a new one in the form of Scarecrow.

Joker (2019)

Todd Phillips’ Joker is a fantastic origin story for Batman’s iconic nemesis. The film follows Arthur Fleck, who works as a struggling stand-up comedian who suffers from mental illness. As the film progresses, we see Fleck’s descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.

Both films explore the character of The Joker, albeit from different perspectives and timelines. The Joker’s portrayal in both films reflects society’s influence in creating villains, and his chaotic nature.

Skyfall (2012)

Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall is a James Bond film where Daniel Craig’s 007 must protect M from a former MI6 agent seeking revenge. Bond is forced to confront his past and question his loyalty to M as he fights to save the agency.

Skyfall and The Dark Knight have a very similar plot trajectory and are both about heroes grappling with their pasts and making sacrifices for the greater good. Both offer a deeper exploration of their respective protagonists and present a charismatic, relentless antagonist with a personal vendetta against the hero.

Se7en (1995)

Se7en is a dark crime thriller about two detectives – Detective David Mills and Detective William Somerset – who are tasked with solving a series of grisly murders based on the seven deadly sins.

Both Se7en and The Dark Knight present dark, gritty, and morally complex narratives. The relentless pursuit of justice in the face of chaos, the exploration of societal decay, and the psychological battles between detectives and criminal masterminds share many similarities with The Dark Knight. And it has a fantastic ending to boot too!

Read More: Se7en Ending Explained

Watchmen (2009)

Directed by Zack Snyder and based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore, Watchmen is a dark, gritty superhero film set in an alternate 1985 America. Here, costumed vigilantes are part of everyday society.

The story revolves around a group of retired superheroes who are drawn out of retirement to investigate a conspiracy against them, which uncovers something far more sinister. It’s surprisingly faithful to the tone and feel of the graphic novel too.

Both Watchmen and The Dark Knight are part of the darker spectrum of the superhero genre on DC’s side, exploring the moral complexities and consequences of vigilante justice. They also examine the psychological motivations behind their characters and the idea of heroes being fallible and flawed.

Batman (1989)

Tim Burton’s Batman presents a darker, gothic interpretation of the Batman comic books. The film features Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman as he tries to keep Gotham City safe from criminals. His main antagonist in the film is The Joker, played by Jack Nicholson, a former mobster who falls into a vat of chemicals and transforms into a sadistic, ghoulish villain with a maniacal laughter and a love for chaos.

As a fight between Batman and Joker, both films are inevitably similar and explore the character’s commitment to justice and the psychological duel between Batman and The Joker. They portray The Joker as a chaotic, enigmatic character who enjoys creating disorder in Gotham City. The 1989 version of Batman also laid the groundwork for darker interpretations of the character, which Christopher Nolan further developed in The Dark Knight.

Enemy of the State (1998)

Directed by Tony Scott, Enemy of the State is a spy-thriller featuring Will Smith playing a lawyer called Robert Clayton Dean, a man who becomes targeted by a corrupt politician  and a rogue NSA official after accidentally receiving key evidence to a politically motivated crime.

Both films depict a protagonist on the run, trying to clear their name while being pursued by forces that seem larger than life. They also share themes of surveillance and how far one is willing to go for justice.

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Paul Greengrass’ follow-up to The Bourne Identity is the second movie in the Jason Bourne series. Bourne, a former CIA assassin suffering from amnesia, finds himself targeted by his former employers and becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue and deceit as he tries to uncover his past after someone close to him passes away.

Both films feature a protagonist who is skilled and tormented, struggling with their past while battling enemies who wish to bring them down. They both have intense action sequences and themes of identity, morality, and the toll of leading a double life.

There we have it, our list of best movies that are similar to The Dark Knight. What do you think about our picks? Did one of your favourites make the list? Let us know in the comments below:

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