Every single Tim Burton movie, ranked

Every single Tim Burton movie, ranked
  • Tim Burton is known for his genre-defying films that feature stars like Helena Bonham Carter.

  • The filmmaker's highest-rated movies include "Edward Scissorhands," "Beetlejuice," and "Ed Wood."

  • Other films, like "Dark Shadows" and "Planet of the Apes," didn't rate as well with critics.

"Alice Through the Looking Glass" (2016) is Tim Burton's lowest-rated film.

Mia Wasikowska in "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (2016).
Mia Wasikowska in "Alice Through the Looking Glass."Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%

Summary: Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travels to the past in an attempt to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and the rest of Wonderland from the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).

Most critics agreed that Burton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's novel had impressive graphics but overall fell short as a sequel.

"Once the thrill of the cast and visuals wears off, this follow-up to Tim Burton's 'Alice In Wonderland' is a drag," wrote Nick Levine for NME.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (2012) left many critics confused.

Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (2012).
Benjamin Walker in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."20th Century Studios

Rotten Tomatoes score: 34%

Summary: After a vampire kills young Abraham Lincoln's (Benjamin Walker) mother (Robin McLeavy), he spends the rest of his life seeking revenge with the help of a vampire hunter (Dominic Cooper).

Most reviewers were confused by the movie's plot and agreed that it lacked cohesion.

"The disconnect between intention and final product is a head scratcher," wrote Ricardo Baca for The Denver Post.

"Dark Shadows" (2012) was deemed unimpressive by critics.

Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows" (2012).
Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 35%

Summary: After being buried alive in the 18th century, a vampire named Barnabas Collins (Depp) awakens in 1972 to an unfamiliar world.

"Dark Shadows" was broadly panned by critics, with some calling it campy, cartoonish, and narratively disjointed.

"Even hardcore Burton apologists will have a difficult time defending 'Dark Shadows," wrote Owen Nicholls for New Musical Express.

Most reviewers conceded that "Batman Forever" (1995) didn't live up to its predecessors.

Val Kilmer as Batman in "Batman Forever" (1995).
Val Kilmer in "Batman Forever."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 40%

Summary: Batman (Val Kilmer) embarks on another journey to save Gotham City, this time from The Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones).

Some critics enjoyed Kilmer's performance, but most agreed that the film was a disappointing addition to the "Batman" series.

"Everything that Burton established with the first two 'Batman' films has been tossed out the window to make room for colorful neon lights and grossly comical character designs," wrote Mike Massie for Gone With the Twins.

For many critics, Burton's "Planet of the Apes" (2001) reboot fell short of the classic.

Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter in "Planet of the Apes" (2001).
Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter in "Planet of the Apes."20th Century Studios

Rotten Tomatoes score: 44%

Summary: In 2029, astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) crash-lands on a planet where apes rule over humans.

Most critics conceded that Burton's remake of the original "Planet of the Apes" (1968) was disappointing.

"Call it a letdown, worsened by the forces of shoddy screenwriting," wrote Peter Travers for Rolling Stone.

Critics were divided over Disney's live-action version of "Dumbo" (2019).

Dumbo in "Dumbo" (2019).
Reviews for "Dumbo" were nearly split in half.Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 46%

Summary: Circus ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito) tasks Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) with looking after a flying elephant.

The slight majority of reviewers felt like Disney's live-action remake of Disney's animated "Dumbo" (1941) was overpowered by a surplus of CGI.

"While 'Dumbo' has the premise of a Burton movie — an outsider cast adrift in a carnivalesque world — it hardly feels like one, with the director's signature visual style subsumed into a world of sunset hues and glassy CG veneers," wrote Alex Dudok de Wit for Sight & Sound.

Although reviewers recognized the humor in "Cabin Boy" (1994), it wasn't well-received by most.

Chris Elliott in "Cabin Boy" (1994).
Chris Elliott in "Cabin Boy."Tim Burton Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 48%

Summary: An arrogant prep-school graduate named Nathaniel Mayweather (Chris Elliott) has plans to set sail to Hawaii. But he ends up lost at sea and taken by a crew of dangerous fishermen.

Reviewers applauded the movie's humor but agreed that it was a bit gimmicky.

"It's got a few 'so weird it's funny' gags — but mostly it's just really bad," wrote Scott Weinberg for eFilmCritic.com.


Most critics deemed "Alice in Wonderland" (2010) a visual treat.

Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp in "Alice in Wonderland" (2010).
Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp in "Alice in Wonderland."Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%

Summary: Alice (Wasikowska) returns to Underland after 12 years and attempts to save the magical land from the Red Queen (Carter).

Overall, critics said that the adaptation boasted strong visuals even if it had a disappointing plot.

"Despite some intriguing visual aspects, 'Alice' proves to be quite dull, unable to overcome an internal battle with the film's overall tone," wrote Michael Compton for Bowling Green Daily News.

"Mars Attacks!" (1996) proved to be a cult classic for some reviewers.

Martians in "Mars Attacks! (1996).
Frank Welker voiced the Martians in "Mars Attack!"Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 56%

Summary: When Martians (voiced by Frank Welker) land on Earth and take over the White House, US President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) scrambles to protect his planet.

Burton's "Mars Attacks!" — a love letter to 1950s sci-fi — was a flop for some reviewers but a beloved cult classic for others.

"It's not the funniest, saddest, or most poignant film in Tim Burton's filmography, but it is a great deal of fun," wrote Stephen Silver for Tilt magazine.

Critics applauded the visuals in "9" (2009) but thought the plot lacked originality.

Elijah Wood voiced 9 in "9" (2009).
Elijah Wood voiced 9 in "9."Tim Burton Productions

Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%

Summary: A rag-doll-like robot named 9 (voiced by Elijah Wood) emerges in a post-apocalyptic world and works with eight comrades to defeat a monstrous machine.

Although many reviewers enjoyed the film's visuals, some agreed that the plot was too predictable.

"Grown from a superb 10-minute animation, this feature length version runs out of steam despite its stunning visual design," wrote Simon Weaving for Screenwize.

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (2016) earned a solid amount of praise from critics.

Cast of "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (2016).
"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" follows children at a magical boarding school.20th Century Studios

Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%

Summary: Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, young Jake (Asa Butterfield) discovers a mystical boarding school run by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green).

For most critics, the fantastical adaptation felt original and on-brand for Burton.

"While 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' is based on a book, Burton does a great job of making it feel completely original and, most importantly, like a Tim Burton film," wrote David Gonzalez for The Cinematic Reel.

The material of "Sleepy Hollow" (1999) was said to pair perfectly with Burton's style.

Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Casper Van Dien in "Sleepy Hollow" (1990).
Johnny Depp, Casper Van Dien, and Christina Ricci in "Sleepy Hollow."Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Summary: In the horror movie based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) investigates a string of grisly beheadings in 1799 Sleepy Hollow, New York.

The film was praised by most critics as gorgeous, humorous, and memorable.

"This grim, gothic Washington Irving tale appears tailor-made for the likes of director Tim Burton," wrote Massie for Gone With The Twins.

Critics widely adored Amy Adams in "Big Eyes" (2014).

Amy Adams in "Big Eyes" (2014).
Amy Adams in "Big Eyes."The Weinstein Company

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Summary: Inspired by a true story, tension builds between painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) when he takes credit for her unique artwork.

Reviewers across the board agreed that Adams' performance stole the show.

"Burton is telling a fascinating story here, and his confident sense of time and place, allied to Adams's adept performance as the increasingly assertive artist, provide many pleasures," wrote David for The Australian.

"Big Fish" (2003) was praised as a tearful, endearing entry in Burton's work.

Ewan McGregor in "Big Fish" (2003).
Ewan McGregor as young Edward Bloom in "Big Fish."Columbia Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Summary: Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, "Big Fish" follows Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) as he recounts tales about his past self (Ewan McGregor) to his son William (Billy Crudup). But the lines between fantasy and reality become blurred.

Many critics saw "Big Fish" as an intimate departure from Burton's darker works.

"The sentiment behind the plot is sweet and endearing and the movie is an excellent example of Burton, the master filmmaker, at work," wrote Allison Rose for FlickDirect.

"Batman" (1989) was hailed as a fun comic-book hit.

Michael Keaton in "Batman" (1989).
Michael Keaton in "Batman."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Summary: Reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) lives a double life as Batman and attempts to defeat The Joker (Nicholson).

Bursting with comic-book absurdity, humor, and a distinct style, "Batman" was a refreshing hit for reviewers.

"One of the most interesting comic-book movies ever made, a movie that vividly illustrates where most of the others have gone wrong," wrote Mike McGrady for Newsday.

Some critics felt "Batman Returns" (1992) was even better than the first installment.

Michelle Pfeiffer in "Batman Returns" (1992).
Michelle Pfeiffer in "Batman Returns."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Summary: In the sequel to "Batman," Wayne (Keaton) suits up and faces off against the Penguin (DeVito), Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), and his unexpected love interest, Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Critics agreed that the movie was a typical Burton film that in some ways, surpassed "Batman."

"The strange, ambitious character work that comprises 'Batman Returns' is wrapped in the perfunctory framework of a Tim Burton superhero film," wrote Justin Clark for Slant magazine.

"Charlie the Chocolate Factory" (2005) was called delightful and heartwarming.

Johnny Depp in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005).
Johnny Depp in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Summary: Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) and his Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) win a golden ticket that grants them a tour of Willy Wonka's (Depp) magical chocolate factory.

Critics loved Burton's reimagining of the novel by Roald Dahl, particularly its creative visuals and star-studded cast.

"By fleshing out the backgrounds of the factory's most peculiar characters and allowing Dahl's unique mixture of charm and menace to guide him, Burton has created a film that is sharp, scary, and, surprisingly, quite heartwarming," wrote Megan Basham for the National Review.

"Corpse Bride" (2005) was applauded for being a family-friendly horror.

Corpse Bride and her husband in "Corpse Bride" (2005).
Helena Bonham Carter voiced Emily and Johnny Depp voiced Victor Van Dort in "Corpse Bride."Laika

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Summary: On the eve of his wedding, Victor Van Dort (voiced by Depp) is dragged to the Land of the Dead by Emily (voiced by Carter) who is desperately in love with him.

Although "Corpse Bride" seemed to be geared toward kids, critics enjoyed the stop-motion film all the same.

"This may be light family entertainment, but it's also a pleasingly perverse celebration of Victorian morbidity," wrote J.R. Jones for the Chicago Reader.

Most critics loved the humor in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007).

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007).
Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in "Sweeney Todd."DreamWorks Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Summary: Barber Sweeney Todd (Depp) returns to his London hometown for revenge and gives his victims to Mrs. Lovett (Carter) so she can save her pie shop.

Reviewers applauded the musical for its dark comedy and strong performances.

"This is a remarkable piece of work for people who like their genres all mashed together in a meat grinder," wrote Jordan Hoffman for UGO.

"Beetlejuice" (1988) has become a staple of the Halloween season.

Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton, and Geena Davis in "Beetlejuice" (1988).
Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton, and Geena Davis in "Beetlejuice."The Geffen Film Company

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Summary: A recently deceased couple, Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) summon a mischievous ghoul named Betelgeuse (Keaton) to help them scare a family out of their home.

The majority of critics agreed that "Beetlejuice" has become a must-see Halloween movie.

"Vibrant to the point of being garish, warm and generous, with a spiky sense of satire, this supernatural comedy is one of Tim Burton's best," wrote Steve Rose for The Guardian.

Burton impressed a lot of critics with "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (1985).

Paul Reubens in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" (1985).
Paul Reubens in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure."Warner Bros.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Summary: Eccentric Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) goes to great lengths to retrieve his stolen bicycle.

Tons of critics were floored by the style of Burton's first feature-length movie.

"It's a true original — a comedy maverick that looks and feels like no other movie I know," wrote David for The Christian Science Monitor.

"Frankenweenie" (2012) was deemed a touching film.

Young Victor Frankenstein and Frankenweenie in "Frankenweenie" (2012).
Charlie Tahan voiced Young Victor Frankenstein in "Frankenweenie."Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Summary: Young Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) brings his dog Sparky back to life. But he soon learns his ambitious experiment has consequences.

Based on Burton's 1984 short film, "Frankenweenie" captured the hearts of critics.

"'Frankenweenie' lives and breathes perfection from start to finish," wrote Debbie Lynn Elias for Behind the Lens.

"Edward Scissorhands" (1990) is considered a modern fairytale by critics.

Johnny Depp and Kathy Baker in "Edward Scissorhands."
Johnny Depp and Kathy Baker in "Edward Scissorhands."20th Century Studios

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Summary: Edward Scissorhands (Depp) has blades for fingers and lives a lonely life until Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) brings him home and introduces him to her daughter (Winona Ryder).

Critics were awed by the sincerity, creativity, and heart at the center of "Edward Scissorhands."

"Burton's modern fairytale has an almost palpable personal feel: it is told gently, subtly and with infinite sympathy for an outsider who charms the locals but then inadvertently arouses their baser instincts," wrote Marc Lee for The Telegraph.

"James and the Giant Peach" (1996) was deemed a fresh, family-friendly animation.

Paul Terry voiced James and Jane Leeves voiced Mrs. Ladybug in "James and the Giant Peach."
Paul Terry voiced James and Jane Leeves voiced Mrs. Ladybug in "James and the Giant Peach."Walt Disney Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91% 

Summary: An orphan named James (voiced by Paul Terry) escapes his aunts (voiced by Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes) by setting on a journey inside of a giant peach with friendly, talking insects.

The majority of critics celebrated Burton's adaptation of Dahl's novel for its family-friendly nature and fantastical visuals.

"'James and the Giant Peach' shines with weird, whimsical invention," wrote Steven Rea for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Critics loved "Ed Wood" (1994) for its creativity and humor.

Johnny Depp in "Ed Wood" (1994).
Johnny Depp in "Ed Wood."Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Summary: Inspired by the life of filmmaker Ed Wood, the comedic drama traces Wood's (Depp) origins and relationship with Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau).

Hailed as funny, touching, and poignant, "Ed Wood" has been deemed one of Burton's best films by reviewers.

"Tim Burton's best movie, this unique gem is a gentle valentine that celebrates the creative spirit, no matter how misguided that particular spirit happens to be," wrote Matt Brunson for Film Frenzy.

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993) is Burton's highest-rated film.

Chris Sarandon voiced Jack Skellington in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993).
Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman voiced Jack Skellington in "The Nightmare Before Christmas."Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Summary: Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman), the king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town and becomes determined to take over the role of Santa Claus (voiced by Ed Ivory).

Critics widely admired the stop-motion musical for its unique animation and enchanting storyline.

"Burton and his collaborators present a movie musical that's like nothing you've ever seen," wrote Jay Boyar for the Orlando Sentinel.

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