Entertainment The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time  

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4.6k votes 872 voters 44k views 47 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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362 39
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
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
2
308 47
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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
3
263 39
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
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
4
281 42
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
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
5
281 42
The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
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
6
208 28
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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
7
202 29
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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
8
147 24
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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
9
142 43
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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
10
110 25
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Christian Bale, Ben Stiller, John Malkovich
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
11
106 24
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Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies
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
12
82 29
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Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum
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
13
91 21
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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
14
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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
15
67 26
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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
16
66 12
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Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert De Niro
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
17
81 26
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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
18
59 15
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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
19
57 16
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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
20
78 37
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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
21
51 21
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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
22
40 18
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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, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. Williams, and ...more
23
36 15
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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
24
49 16
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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
25
57 24
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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