Christian Bale’s movies are products of his dedication to his professional acting career. The actor debuted as an actor in 1986 and today the British movie star is celebrated for his commitment to his many character roles. From Dark Knight to his Oscar-tipped turn as Dick Cheney in Vice, Christian Bale is not afraid to add or lose weight to bring his character role to life.
The biracial actor is the son of Jenny James and David Bale, an English entrepreneur and environmentalist animal rights activist born in South Africa to English parents. His mother is also an English woman. Following his parent’s divorce in 1999, Bale left the UK to settle in Los Angeles with his father, where he continued chasing his acting career. During the course of his over three decades in the film industry, Bale has starred in 45 films and 5 TV shows so far.
It is from the many acting roles that he has been nominated for 110 awards out of which he won 27. Some of his major awards are an Academy Award, two Golden Globe awards, one Saturn award, and one MTV Movies & TV award.
Top 12 Best Christian Bale Movies of All Time
1. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises is one of the Christian Bale movies that earned him the fame he currently enjoys. He played the role of the legendary DC Comics superhero Batman/Bruce Wayne in the movie. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire philanthropist and CEO of Wayne Enterprise by day, and by night, he is a masked vigilante in all black bat-like costume fighting criminals and keeping Gotham safe from supervillains who tend to wreak havoc on his city.
The Dark Knight Rises is a sequel to the 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight. The film was directed by Christopher Nolan and was shot based on the characters that appear in the DC Comics books. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and it first hit the screens in New York City on July 16, 2012. It was shot with a budget of $250-300 million and as expected, its returns at the box office were impressive after it grossed $1.085 billion worldwide.
2. The Dark Knight (2008)
Before starring in The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale first played the same character in The Dark Knight. The film is a sequel of the 2005 superhero film Batman Begins. Just like in the other installments of the Dark Knight trilogy, this film was directed by Christopher Nolan and shot based on the characters that appear in the comic books published by DC Comics. The film was as well distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and premiered on July 14, 2008, in New York City. It was shot with a budget of $185 million and it made a return of $1.005 billion at the box office.
3. Batman Returns (2005)
It goes without question that this is one of the best Christian Bale movies out there. Just like in the prequel of this film, Christian is cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman but it was in Batman Returns that the actor first made the appearance as the superhero. As usual, the film is centered around Batman. In this chapter of the Batman series, Bale comes up against Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow as both villains plot on causing chaos on Gotham. The film was directed by Christopher Nolan and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was produced with a budget of $150 million and it made a profit of more than 100% its budget after it grossed $375.2 million at the box office.
4. Terminator Salvation (2009)
Christian Bale played the role of John Connor in the military science action film. Bale was the first cast member to be signed to the film while the production of The Dark Knight was ongoing. The director of Terminator Salvation approached Bale and asked that he star in his film. The film was shot in the United States with a budget of $200 million. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures in North America and by Columbia Pictures in other parts of the world. The film struggled to double its budget at the box office and finally settled for a total sum of $371.4 million at the box office worldwide.
5. Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
The epic biblical film is one of Christain Bale’s movies that aided his announcement to the public. Bale starred in the film as the biblical prophet Moses. The film was produced based on the biblical facts given about Moses from the Book of Exodus in the Bible. It was directed by Ridley Scott and was written by Bill Collage, Steven Zaillian, Adam Cooper, and Jeffrey Caine. The film was shot in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States with a budget ranging between $140-200 million. It managed $268 million earnings at the box office worldwide.
6. American Hustle (2013)
This film will go down as one of the most popular among the best Christain Bale movies. His role in the comedy crime film earned him multiple award recognitions and nominations from top award bodies such as The Oscars and Golden Globe Awards. He starred in the film as Irving Rosenfeld, a con artist. The film was highly inspired by the FBI sting operation in the late 1970s and early 1980s called ABSCAM, which led to the arrest of several corrupt men in power. Columbia Pictures distributed the film which was directed by David O. Russell. It premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 8, 2013. It was shot with a budget of $40 million and made an impressive $251.2 million at the box office worldwide.
7. Public Enemies (2009)
Bale starred in this biographical crime drama film as Melvin Purvis, an FBI agent tasked with apprehending the notorious famous bank robber John Dillinger. The film was adapted from the book Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34as written by Kevin Misher. Universal Pictures distributed the film and it was released on July 1, 2009, in the United States. The film was shot with a budget of $100 million. At the box office, it grossed $214.1 million worldwide.
8. The Big Short
This film is one of Christian Bale’s movies responsible for several award nominations and wins entitled to him. Through his character as Michael Burry, he earned an Oscar award nomination for Best Supporting Actor as well as a Golden Globe Awards nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. His role in the film earned him award wins in Critic’s Choice Movie Awards, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Satellite Awards. The film was directed by Adam McKay and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was shot with a budget of $50 million and it grossed a total sum of $133.4 million at the box office worldwide.
9. The Fighter (2010)
The film is arguably the best Christian Bale movie out there especially because it was his role in this film that won him his only Oscar award so far. He received the award in 2011 in for the Best Supporting Actor category. His role as Dicky Eklund also won him one of two of his Golden Globe awards and scored him a win for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture category at the 2011 awards.
Bale played Dicky Eklund, the older half-brother of the film’s centered figure Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. The film was directed by David O. Russell and was distributed by Paramount Pictures in North America and The Weinstein Company internationally. It was shot with a budget of $25 million and grossed $129.2 million at the box office worldwide.
10. The Prestige (2006)
The Prestige is one of many films Christian Bale starred in that was directed by Christopher Nolan. The film was written by Christopher and his brother Jonathan Nolan. It is an adaptation of the self-titled novel written by Christopher Priest. The film starred Bale as Alfred Border, The Professor, and a working-class magician. It was shot in the United States and also in the United Kingdom. It was distributed in North America by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and on the international scene by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was shot with a budget of $40 million and it grossed a total sum of $109.7 million worldwide.
11. Shaft (2000)
The shaft is an action thriller in which Bale was cast in a supporting role as Walter Wade Jr. He starred in the film alongside Samuel L. Jackson, who plays John Shaft II, the film’s lead character. The film was shot as a remake of a 1971 film with a similar title. It was directed by John Singleton and distributed solely by Paramount Pictures. A budget of $46 million was used to produce the film and it grossed a total sum of $107.2 million at the box office worldwide.
12. Vice (2018)
Last but certainly not the least on this list of the top best Christian Bale movies is this biological comedy-drama centered around Christian Bale’s character as Dick Cheney, the 46th Vice President of the United States, who served from 2001 to 2009. Dick Cheney is commonly addressed by many as the most powerful Vice President in the history of the United States. Bale’s role in the film earned him his second Golden Globe award when he emerged winner of the 2019 edition of the award’s Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy; a category he has been nominated twice for in the past but lost. He also earned an Academy Awards nomination for his role in this film. Vice was directed by Adam McKay and it premiered at Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on December 11, 2018. It was shot with a budget of $60 million. It did not do too well at the box office as it grossed $76.1 million worldwide.