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Listmania: 5 Favorite Tim Burton Movies

#DirectorsWeekend – #TimBurton – Friday August 4th – Sunday August 6th

Tim Burton is one of those directors to me where when I think of his movies, the first thoughts I have are of 1, how strange his movies are, and 2, how much he was great at genre movies. His movies might be strange, but they are also pretty great, and he blends dark humor and genre fare seamlessly. He may have worked with Johnny Depp a lot, but Depp only appears in 2 of my 5 favorite movies of Burton. Speaking of, here are my top 5 favorite movies directed by Tim Burton.


5. Planet of the Apes (July 27, 2001)

I know that most people think this is a terrible movie, but I don’t. I think that it’s a fun remake where we get to see the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Tim Roth act like Apes and be pretty damn badass. It’s great to see them play off of Mark Wahlberg, who is much more watchable in this than he is in Transformers 4.


4. Mars Attacks! (December 13, 1996)

That other “sci-fi alien movie” of 1996, this one packs a better cast than Independence Day, and is certainly funnier. The story is ridiculous with Martians coming to Earth to conquer humans, but in the end, get killed when their heads get blown up by god-awful cowboy music playing on a record player. The best moment though is when Jim Brown punches a hole in an alien’s head dome.

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3. Sleepy Hollow (November 19, 1999)

A nice adaptation of the Washington Irving classic novel “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, this movie features a great performance from Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, the investigator sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to solve the case of 3 dead people who were killed by the Headless Horseman. The imagery is beautiful, and the movie’s greatest strength is the cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki.

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2. Ed Wood (September 28, 1994)

I finally saw this last week, and am so glad I did. It’s a really funny biopic of famed “horrible movie director” Edward D. Wood, Jr., who was once named the worst director of all-time. Johnny Depp is best here when he’s working with Martin Landau who gives an all-time great performance as the legendary actor, Bela Lugosi. Maybe my favorite scene is where Bela is shooting a scene, and he has to splash around in a pool with a big rubber octopus. Classic!


1. Batman (June 23, 1989)

This is still my favorite Burton movie because it holds up very well as a comic-book / superhero movie, and because Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson are terrific as Batman and the Joker. I love how Burton made Batman tough again, and was able to serve as a new way to think of Batman, since previously, most thought of Adam West from the 1960s TV show. Jack Nicholson gives the best line when he says “have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”. I can certainly say no myself, but I’m sure there are that have.


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