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The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time 

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Updated November 15, 2019 5.5k votes 1k voters 46.9k views 48 items

List Rules Vote 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. 

Christian Bale is no stranger to working with popular directors, including Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan and Terrence Malick. Movie fans who love Christian Bale have also been known to enjoy films starring Ben Kingsley and Clive Owen.

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1
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger

Released: 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The 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

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2
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Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman

Released: 2006

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The 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 ...more

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3
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

American 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

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4
The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

Released: 2012

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The 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 ...more

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Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson

Released: 2005

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Batman 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 ...more

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6
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Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

Released: 2010

Directed by: David O. Russell

The 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 ...more

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7
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Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside

Released: 2004

Directed by: Brad Anderson

The 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

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8
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Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman

Released: 2007

Directed by: James Mangold

3:10 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 ...more

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9
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Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies

Released: 2006

Directed by: Werner Herzog

Rescue 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 ...more

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10
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Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs

Released: 2002

Directed by: Kurt Wimmer

Equilibrium 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

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11
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Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert De Niro

Released: 2013

Directed by: David O. Russell

American 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 ...more

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12
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Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich

Released: 1987

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Empire 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, ...more

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Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler

Released: 2002

Directed by: Rob Bowman

Reign 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 ...more

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14
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Zoe Saldana, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

Released: 2013

Directed by: Scott Cooper

Out 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 ...more
15
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Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling

Released: 2015

Directed by: Adam McKay

The 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 ...more

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16
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Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum

Released: 2009

Directed by: Michael Mann

Public 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 ...more

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Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes

Released: 1994

Directed by: Gillian Armstrong

Little 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

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Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2009

Directed by: Joseph McGinty Nichol

Terminator 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 ...more

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19
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Christian Bale, Paul Schneider, Yuan Nie

Released: 2011

Directed by: Zhang Yimou

The 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. ...more
20
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Eva Longoria, Christian Bale, J.K. Simmons

Released: 2005

Directed by: David Ayer

Harsh 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

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21
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Christian Bale, Elizabeth Banks, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2000

Directed by: John Singleton

Shaft 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 ...more

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22
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Christian Bale, Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer

Released: 2005

Directed by: Terrence Malick

The 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

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23
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Christian Bale, Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston

Released: 1990

Directed by: Fraser Clarke Heston

Treasure 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 ...more
24
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Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura

Released: 2004

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is based on the novel of the same name by British writer Diana Wynne Jones. The ...more

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Swing Kids Christian Bale, Kenneth Branagh, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1993

Directed by: Thomas Carter

Swing Kids is a 1993 American musical comedy film directed by Thomas Carter and starring Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard and Frank Whaley. In pre-WWII Germany, two high school students, ...more

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