Watchworthy
1.1k voters

The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time

Updated November 15, 2019 5.3k votes 1.1k voters 47.5k views48 items

List RulesVote for your favorite Christian Bale movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

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. 

list.itemsDescription

...more
  • 1
    The Dark Knight
    419
    53

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia

    More The Dark Knight 

    Small Details From Heath Ledger's Joker That Somehow Make The Performance Even BetterBehind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'The Dark Knight'

  • 2
    American Psycho
    334
    53

    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed byMary Harron

    American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by... more on Wikipedia

    More American Psycho 

    #577 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#128 of 364 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • 3
    Batman Begins
    295
    42

    Batman Begins

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2005

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia

    More Batman Begins 

    Small Details From 'Batman Begins' That Prove It's The Most Slept On Nolan Film#41 of 52 The Funniest Superhero Movies Ever Made

  • 4
    The Prestige
    334
    64

    The Prestige

    Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie

    Released2006

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Prestige is a 2006 mystery drama film directed by Christopher Nolan, from a screenplay... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Dark Knight Rises
    308
    59

    The Dark Knight Rises

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2012

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC... more on Wikipedia

    More The Dark Knight Rises 

    'The Dark Knight Rises' Is Anti-Revolutionary Corporate Propaganda#39 of 164 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

  • 6
    The Fighter
    216
    33

    The Fighter

    Amy Adams, Christian Bale

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    The Fighter is a 2010 American biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell.... more on Wikipedia

    More The Fighter 

    #1414 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#48 of 172 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

  • 7
    The Machinist
    206
    32

    The Machinist

    Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Anderson

    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad... more on Wikipedia

    More The Machinist 

    #40 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#29 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • 8
    3:10 to Yuma
    146
    29

    3:10 to Yuma

    Christian Bale, Russell Crowe

    Released2007

    Directed byJames Mangold

    3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad,... more on Wikipedia

    More 3:10 to Yuma 

    #39 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#184 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 9
    American Hustle
    99
    25

    American Hustle

    Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams

    Released2013

    Directed byDavid O. Russell

    American Hustle is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was... more on Wikipedia

    More American Hustle 

    #39 of 108 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#79 of 264 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

  • 10
    Equilibrium
    150
    41

    Equilibrium

    Christian Bale, Sean Bean

    Released2002

    Directed byKurt Wimmer

    Equilibrium is a 2002 American dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Kurt... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Big Short
    91
    15

    The Big Short

    Christian Bale, Steve Carell

    Released2015

    Directed byAdam McKay

    The Big Short is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay, based... more on Wikipedia

    More The Big Short 

    #3 of 55 The Greatest Movies About Making Money#36 of 47 The Biggest Oscar Bait Films of All Time

  • 12
    Empire of the Sun
    121
    31

    Empire of the Sun

    Christian Bale, Ben Stiller

    Released1987

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age film based on J. G. Ballard's... more on Wikipedia

    More Empire of the Sun 

    The Best Empire of the Sun Albums, Ranked#230 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 13
    Rescue Dawn
    98
    26

    Rescue Dawn

    Christian Bale, Steve Zahn

    Released2006

    Directed byWerner Herzog

    Rescue Dawn is a 2006 American drama film directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted... more on Wikipedia

    More Rescue Dawn 

    #228 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#104 of 236 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 14
    Reign of Fire
    78
    25

    Reign of Fire

    Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey

    Released2002

    Directed byRob Bowman

    Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic action fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and... more on Wikipedia

    More Reign of Fire 

    #24 of 313 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time#62 of 94 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • 15
    Public Enemies
    85
    31

    Public Enemies

    Johnny Depp, Christian Bale

    Released2009

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Public Enemies is a 2009 American film directed by Michael Mann and written by Mann, Ronan... more on Wikipedia

    More Public Enemies 

    #25 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books#389 of 554 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

  • 16
    Out of the Furnace
    93
    23

    Out of the Furnace

    Zoe Saldana, Christian Bale

    Released2013

    Directed byScott Cooper

    Out of the Furnace is a 2013 American thriller film, directed by Scott Cooper, from a... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Little Women
    74
    28

    Little Women

    Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale

    Released1994

    Directed byGillian Armstrong

    Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by... more on Wikipedia

    More Little Women 

    How Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Handled Important Moments Compared To The 1994 Film And The Novel#67 of 134 The Best Christmas Movies of All Time

  • 18
    Harsh Times
    62
    20

    Harsh Times

    Eva Longoria, Christian Bale

    Released2005

    Directed byDavid Ayer

    Harsh Times is a 2005 American crime film set in South Los Angeles. The film stars Christian... more on Wikipedia

    More Harsh Times 

    #180 of 204 The Best Drug Movies of All Time#24 of 36 30+ Great Movies About Urban Teens

  • 19
    The Flowers of War
    55
    20

    The Flowers of War

    Christian Bale, Paul Schneider

    Released2011

    Directed byZhang Yimou

    The Flowers of War is a 2011 Chinese historical drama war film directed by Zhang Yimou,... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Terminator Salvation
    78
    42

    Terminator Salvation

    Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2009

    Directed byJoseph McGinty Nichol

    Terminator Salvation is a 2009 American science fiction action film directed by McG and... more on Wikipedia

    More Terminator Salvation 

    #155 of 225 The Worst Sequels Of All Time#125 of 165 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • 21
    Vice
    31
    8

    Vice

    Christian Bale, Amy Adams

    Released2018

    Directed byAdam McKay

    Vice is a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Adam McKay. The story of Dick Cheney... more on Wikipedia

    More Vice 

    #1188 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#258 of 315 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • 22
    The New World
    52
    22

    The New World

    Christian Bale, Colin Farrell

    Released2005

    Directed byTerrence Malick

    The New World is a 2005 British-American romantic historical drama film written and directed... more on Wikipedia

    More The New World 

    #800 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#494 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • 23
    Howl's Moving Castle
    54
    15

    Howl's Moving Castle

    Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka

    Released2004

    Directed byHayao Miyazaki

    Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao... more on Wikipedia

    More Howl's Moving Castle 

    #41 of 105 The Best Halloween Movies for Kids#12 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever

  • 24
    Shaft
    40
    22

    Shaft

    Christian Bale, Elizabeth Banks

    Released2000

    Directed byJohn Singleton

    Shaft is a 2000 American action-thriller film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel... more on Wikipedia

    More Shaft 

    #143 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#420 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • 25
    Treasure Island
    30
    10

    Treasure Island

    Christian Bale, Christopher Lee

    Released1990

    Directed byFraser Clarke Heston

    Treasure Island is a 1990 TV film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1883 novel... more on Wikipedia