1. Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
His Bruce Wayne: Hamlet by way of the Ringling Brothers.
His Batman: If Kilmer's The Saint and Kilmer's Doc Holliday from Tombstone were biologically capable of having a baby.
Our verdict: Batman Forever is a dumb movie with the best casting in the franchise's history (and a killer soundtrack). Even though Batman's surrounded by glowing neon and exaggerated gothic designs, his performance grabs from every part of comics and film history. His motivation to avenge his parents seeps into his grave tone. He can come to life with a laugh, then dismiss the rambunctious Robin (Chris O'Donnell) just as quickly. Behind his mask, the baroque shifts to pulp. He's a swashbuckler, a romantic, a clever spy. He's the real deal -- if only the movie were, too.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He thinks Batman Begins is better than The Dark Knight. Come at him on Twitter @misterpatches.