Tim Burton: Top 10 Movie Must Watch Before You Die

Timothy Walter Burton (born August 25, 1958) is a film director, producer, writer, and artist from the United States. He is best known for his gothic fantasy and horror films like Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as musical adventure films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, superhero films like Batman, fantasy films like Alice in Wonderland, sci-fi films like Planet of the Apes, and fantasy-drama films like Big Fish.

Tim Burton is one of Hollywood’s most famous and successful directors, known for his signature weird-yet-wonderful aesthetic. The guy has his brand of cinematography down to a science, from superhero movies to creep shows. Burton’s films are known for their twisted settings, dark fairytales, and misunderstood monsters, but audiences keep returning for more.

1. Planet Of The Apes (2001)

It’s difficult to match a classic, but Burton’s Planet of the Apes falls short on nearly every level. The fact that it doesn’t feel like a Tim Burton film is perhaps the biggest disappointment. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t have the whimsy that Burton’s protagonists are known for, and the film takes some liberties that don’t add up.


When you add in an ending that will have you passing out from your eyes rolling into the back of your head, it’s difficult to understand what drew Burton to this project in the first place.

2. Cropse Bride (2005)

Someone said to the producer of Corpse Bride that the Nightmare Before Christmas is popular among children. Let’s do it all over again.” Tim Burton was finally given the opportunity to direct a stop motion animated film, and the results are spectacularly “meh.” This is not one of the best stop motion movies.


It’s a charming film, and the stop motion animation is awe-inspiring. It was created by LAIKA before they established themselves as a full-fledged animation studio. It’s just a shame the other elements don’t match up to the stop motion.

3. Big Eyes (2014)

For Big Eyes, Tim Burton abandoned many of his artistic flourishes. With exception of Planet of the Apes, however, the film benefits from it. Burton brings the protagonists down to Earth to tell a chilling story about a husband who steals his wife’s artwork and claims it for his own.


It’s one of Burton’s most accomplished films. Instead of focusing on style, he puts Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in the lead roles, and the two deliver outstanding performances. It’s a solid movie that illustrates Burton’s power to reveal pertinent, engaging tales without relying on several of his popular crutches in recent times.

4. Batman (1989)

With Batman (1989), Tim Burton created something truly remarkable. He made a superhero movie based on a comic book accessible to the general public while injecting his own creative flair into the process. Gotham is transformed into a Modernist-German Expressionist dream, thanks to Burton’s trademark grim but whimsical set design.


This film exemplifies why Burton is such a gifted filmmaker. He has the ability to transform a superhero film, musical, or dark drama into something that is uniquely “Burton.” He stays true to the genre he works in while injecting his own personality into it.

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5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Edward Scissorhands is the pinnacle of Burton’s career. It’s a strange, lovely film that also happens to be a biting satire of suburban sensibilities. The townspeople are more than willing to let Edward trim their hedges and give them haircuts, but when he is falsely accused of a crime, they are all too eager to chase him out.


Edward Scissorhands is a near-perfect love letter to anyone who has ever felt ostracized and cast out of society. It’s a modern fairy tale that could only have come from Tim Burton’s mind.

6. Batman Returns (1992)

Boosted by the accomplishment of Batman, Burton ramped up the awkwardness and delivered a strong sequel. He presented Catwoman, played brilliantly by Michelle Pfeiffer, who has some incredible scenes with Batman. As Penguin, Danny DeVito is also a joy to watch, and his campaign for mayor is still a brilliant bit of political sarcasm.


The film has a distinct personality. It’s a film with a self-assured director who knows exactly what he wants to do and a studio that lets him go completely off the rails with it. Later superhero films would be darker, but nothing has ever compared to Batman Returns.

7. Big Fish (2003)

Big Fish isn’t overflowing with Burton’s trademark stylistic flourishes. However, those mystical, fantastical memories are only enough to elevate this film to something special.


Even without the visuals, it’s a fantastic film about a father’s relationship with his son. The stories his father tells his son have a huge impact on his life. While there are other Burton films that deal with the power of stories, none are as powerful as Big Fish.

8. Frankenweenie (2012)

Before making his feature-length debut, Tim Burton made a short film called Frankenweenie. In 2012, he returned to these roots with the film Frankenstein, which retells the story of Frankenstein, but this time it’s about a young boy who wants to resurrect his dog after it was hit by a car.


It’s a moving and touching film. The film is a loving tribute to the movies that clearly influenced Burton growing up, shot in black and white and featuring plenty of B-movie, monster references. It goes off the rails a little in the third act, but it’s the kind of film that makes you want to hug your dog a little tighter once it’s over.

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9. Dark Shadows (2012)

Burton seemed to be a natural fit for Dark Shadows. Is this a remake of an immortal vampire Television program starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, who have worked together before? Slam dunk, baby!


However, the final product is a disjointed story with visuals that are almost a parody of Tim Burton films. There’s nothing here for fans of the old show or newcomers. It’s just a colossal, bombastic shambles.

10. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1 billion and paved the way for all of today’s live-action Disney remakes, riding high on the advent of actually good 3D technology.


If ever there was a mortal sin, this is it. In retrospect, it’s a strange film that sacrifices any sense of heart in favor of a “Look what we can do!” aesthetic.

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