The best of Burton

The Red Ledgers Patrick Compton looks back on the legacy of Tim Burtons films.

Courtesy Photo

The Red Ledger’s Patrick Compton looks back on the legacy of Tim Burton’s films.

Patrick Compton, Staff Reporter

Tim Burton’s Big Eyes has recently been released in theaters which makes it a good time to take a look back at what made Burton so renowned as a filmmaker. Here’s a look at his top five “best” films.

Number 5: Beetlejuice

Starting off the list is the hilariously fun Beetlejuice. How does one describe Beetlejuice? How about The Addams Family on steroids. The highlight of the film is undoubtedly Michael Keaton’s wonderful performance as the titular Beetlejuice. He comes off as a genie who decided “You know what? I’m going to just do what I want with these powers and I don’t care what anyone says!” The effects are the magical kind of 80’s effects where you know it’s not real but you can’t help but love the charm of it.

Number 4: Batman (1989)

Really? Two Michael Keaton starring Tim Burton films in a row? Don’t worry this is the last one. There is a certain feel to Burton’s Batman that always makes it stand out. First of all the absolute best thing about this film is the atmosphere it creates. This version of Gotham is unlike anything seen in any almost other film. Not only that but Michael Keaton’s Batman is one of the absolute best versions of the character, but the real star of the show is Jack Nicholson’s Joker. Nicholson has practically been playing the role all of his life, even if he’s been surpassed by other actors who’ve portrayed the character he is still a very enjoyable presence on screen. Although Tim Burton’s Batman may not be the most well written film, it is still a visual wonder with great performances and one of the best soundtracks in any film.

Number 3: Edward Scissorhands

Johnny Depp is one of the regulars in many of Burton’s films and Edward Scissorhands is a perfect display of this talent, as he portrays a tragic, curious, almost childlike soul. This could’ve easily felt heavy handed and forced but it’s actually quite effective and works to the film’s advantage. People don’t just hate Edward because he’s different, they’re legitimately scared of what he can do, and that’s understandable as he’s gotten scissors for hands. Edward Scissorhands is definitely a must see.

Number 2: Big Fish

Big Fish is a little different than what you would expect from the dark and creepy Tim Burton. It’s much warmer and nicer than most of his other films, smartly mixed with his hilariously twisted sense of humor. It is also the perfect character driven film with nobody going without an incredibly memorable moment or line. Go see Big Fish as soon as possible, it will not disappoint.


Number 1: Nightmare Before Christmas

Although Burton didn’t direct the film he did write the original book and the script, so it counts. Nightmare Before Christmas is the definitive Tim Burton film, perfectly showing off everything that makes him incredible. It gets many of the best qualities of all of the previous films and combines them: the humor of Beetlejuice, the atmosphere of Batman, the music of Edward and the characters of Big Fish, etc. It definitely is creepy enough to be a Halloween film but strangely it has an equal amount of holiday charm to have it pass as a Christmas film. Now that is a sign of a talented filmmaker, getting to completely different holidays and seamlessly blending both of their feels together in a fun piece of cinema.