The best Christian Bale movies of all time prove that he is one of the top actors currently working. Since his film career started in the late ‘80s, Bale has appeared in plenty of blockbusters and critically-acclaimed movies, earning awards and accolades along the way. His highest grossing movies have been well-received at the box office and his lifetime box office total exceeds $2.2 billion.
Born in the Welsh county of Pembrokeshire, Christian Bale first started acting as a child in commercials. He then moved on to TV films and eventually theatrical releases. His first major role was in Steven Spielberg’s 1987 hit Empire of the Sun. To this day, it is considered one of the best Christian Bale movies of all time.
He continued getting both leading and supporting roles through the ‘90s, which eventually lead him to play the serial killer Patrick Bateman in the 1999 adaptation of American Psycho. Through the 2000s, Christian Bale starred in several high profile movies including The Machinist, Equilibrium, and Reign of Fire. However, he is probably best known for The Dark Knight trilogy of films.
So what are the best Christian Bale movies of all time? Is it The Dark Knight or The Fighter? See what fans have ranked as their favorites in the Christian Bale filmography below. Movie trailers have been included below if you want a preview of the film. If you think the best Christian Bale role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Add it so that others may vote for it. After all, this list of the best Christian Bale movies should be as comprehensive as possible.
Directed by: Christopher NolanThe Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and... more
Directed by: Mary HarronAmerican Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking... more
Directed by: Christopher NolanBatman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to free ... more
Directed by: Christopher NolanThe Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay adapted by him and his brother Jonathan Nolan from Christopher Priest's 1995 World Fantasy Award-winning... more
Directed by: Christopher NolanThe Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman (Christian Bale), with the help... more
Directed by: Brad AndersonThe Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John... more
Directed by: James Mangold3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad, and stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles, with supporting performances by Peter Fonda,... more
Directed by: David O. RussellThe Fighter is a 2010 American biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell. Fledgling boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older... more
Directed by: Kurt WimmerEquilibrium is a 2002 American dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Kurt Wimmer and starring Christian Bale, Emily Watson, and Taye Diggs. The film follows John Preston, an... more
Directed by: Adam McKayThe Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay, based on the 2010 book by Michael Lewis about the 2007-2008 financial crisis. A group of investors bet against... more
Directed by: Werner HerzogRescue Dawn is a 2006 American drama film directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted screenplay written from his 1997 documentary film Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film stars Christian Bale,... more
Directed by: David O. RussellAmerican Hustle is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, inspired by the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergEmpire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, John... more
Directed by: Rob BowmanReign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic action fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and starring Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler. It takes place in the year 2020 in England,... more
Directed by: Michael MannPublic Enemies is a 2009 American film directed by Michael Mann and written by Mann, Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman. It is an adaptation of Bryan Burrough's non-fiction book. Set during the Great... more
Directed by: Scott CooperOut of the Furnace is a 2013 American thriller film, directed by Scott Cooper, from a screenplay written by Cooper and Brad Ingelsby. Produced by Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film stars... more
Directed by: Gillian ArmstrongLittle Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film... more
Directed by: David AyerHarsh Times is a 2005 American crime film set in South Los Angeles. The film stars Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez, and was written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote the script for the... more
Directed by: Joseph McGinty NicholTerminator Salvation is a 2009 American science fiction action film directed by McG and starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. It is the fourth and final installment in the original Terminator... more
Directed by: Zhang YimouThe Flowers of War is a 2011 Chinese historical drama war film directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi, Tong Dawei, Atsuro Watabe, Shigeo Kobayashi and Cao Kefan. The... more
Directed by: Adam McKayVice is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay. The story of Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the most powerful Vice President in history, and how his policies changed the world as... more
Directed by: James MangoldFord v. Ferrari is a 2019 action biographical drama film directed by James Mangold. An eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Matt... more
Directed by: John SingletonShaft is a 2000 American action-thriller film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. Williams, and Mekhi... more
Directed by: Terrence MalickThe New World is a 2005 British-American romantic historical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia settlement and inspired by the... more
Directed by: Fraser Clarke HestonTreasure Island is a 1990 TV film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1883 novel Treasure Island, written & directed by Fraser Clarke Heston, and also starring several notable British... more