film The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time  

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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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The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District ...more

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The Prestige Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Hugh Jackman 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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236 33
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
American Psycho Reese Witherspoon, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more

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232 32
The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman 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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212 32
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
Batman Begins Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson 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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The Fighter Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. The film centers on the life of ...more

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The Machinist Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside 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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3:10 to Yuma Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman 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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Equilibrium Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs 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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Empire of the Sun Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age war 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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Rescue Dawn Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies Rescue Dawn is a 2006 American war 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 ...more

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Out of the Furnace Zoe Saldana, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe 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 Famous Roles Christian Bale ALMOST Played

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Public Enemies Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum Public Enemies is a 2009 American biographical crime drama film directed by Michael Mann and written by Mann, Ronan Bennett and Ann Biderman. It is an adaptation of Bryan Burrough's non-fiction ...more

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Little Women Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes 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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Reign of Fire Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler 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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The Flowers of War Christian Bale, Paul Schneider, Yuan Nie 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

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The Big Short Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling 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

The Best Martial Arts Movies on Netflix Instant

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Harsh Times Eva Longoria, Christian Bale, J.K. Simmons 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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Terminator Salvation Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard 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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American Hustle Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert De Niro American Hustle is a 2013 American crime 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 ...more

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Velvet Goldmine Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers Velvet Goldmine is a British drama film directed and co-written by Todd Haynes set in Britain during the glam rock days of the early 1970s; it tells the story of the fictional pop star Brian ...more

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The New World Christian Bale, Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer 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

The Greatest Characters Played by Christian Bale, Ranked

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Howl's Moving Castle Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura 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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Shaft Christian Bale, Elizabeth Banks, Samuel L. Jackson Shaft is a 2000 American action-thriller film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Pat Hingle, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. ...more

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Newsies Christian Bale, Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret Newsies is a 1992 American musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega in his film directing debut. It is loosely based on the New York City ...more

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Swing Kids Christian Bale, Kenneth Branagh, Barbara Hershey 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-World War II Germany, two high school ...more

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Pocahontas Mel Gibson, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly Pocahontas is a 1995 American animated musical romantic-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 33rd film in the Walt Disney Animated ...more

Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life

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Henry V Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench Henry V is a 1989 British drama film adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name about King Henry V of England. The film stars ...more

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A Midsummer Night's Dream Michelle Pfeiffer, Christian Bale, Sophie Marceau A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1999 romantic comedy fantasy film based on the play A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. It was directed by Michael Hoffman. The ensemble cast ...more

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Treasure Island Christian Bale, Christopher Lee, Charlton 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

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Mary, Mother of Jesus Christian Bale, Geraldine Chaplin, Pernilla August Mary, Mother of Jesus is a 1999 American Biblical drama television film that retells the story of Jesus through the eyes of Mary, his mother. It stars Swedish actresses Pernilla August and ...more

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I'm Not There Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by the life and music of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's ...more

The Best Heath Ledger Movies

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Christian Bale Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a 2001 epic war film directed by John Madden and based on Louis de Bernières' 1994 novel of the same name. It stars Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz. ...more

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Weightless Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett Weightless is an upcoming musical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Clifton ...more

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The Portrait of a Lady Nicole Kidman, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen The Portrait of a Lady is a 1996 film adaptation of Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady directed by Jane Campion. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Barbara Hershey, John Malkovich, ...more

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All the Little Animals Christian Bale, John Hurt, James Faulkner All the Little Animals is a 1998 feature film, directed and produced by Jeremy Thomas, based on the novel of the same name by Walker Hamilton. It was adapted for the screen by Eski Thomas, and ...more

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Exodus: Gods and Kings Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 biblically-inspired epic fantasy film directed by Ridley Scott. It was written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Jeffrey Caine and Steven Zaillian. The film stars ...more

The Best Qualities in a Woman

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Treasure Island Jack Palance, Kevin Zegers, Patrick Bergin Treasure Island is a 1999 film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. It was written & directed by Peter Rowe, and starred Kevin Zegers as Jim Hawkins and Jack Palance ...more

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Mio in the Land of Faraway Christian Bale, Christopher Lee, Susannah York Mio in the Land of Faraway is a 1987 fantasy film directed by Vladimir Grammatikov and starring Christopher Lee, Christian Bale, Nicholas Pickard, Timothy Bottoms and Susannah York. Based on the ...more

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Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Christian Bale, Omar Sharif, Olivia de Havilland Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna is a 1986 drama mystery film written by James Goldman and Peter Kurth and directed by Marvin J. Chomsky.

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Prince of Jutland Kate Beckinsale, Christian Bale, Helen Mirren Prince of Jutland is a 1994 film adaptation of the Danish legend of prince Amleth, drawing upon the 12th century works of Saxo Grammaticus, which was also the inspiration for Shakespeare's ...more

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Killing Pablo Javier Bardem, Édgar Ramírez

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Knight of Cups Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett Knight of Cups is a 2015 American romantic fantasy drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and produced by Nicolas Gonda and Sarah Green. The film was shot during summer 2012 without ...more

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The Secret Agent Robin Williams, Christian Bale, Patricia Arquette The Secret Agent is a 1996 film directed by Christopher Hampton.

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The Promise is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
MichaelChoi added The Promise

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The Last Photograph Christian Bale The Last Photograph is an upcoming film directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

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A Murder of Quality Christian Bale, Denholm Elliott, Glenda Jackson A Murder of Quality is an Edgar award nominated TV episode.