Top 5 Best Early Tim Burton Movies

I’m not a hardcore fan of Burton’s work, but I have seen most of his movies, and enjoyed most of them… well, at least most of his his 80s/90s output. He made some neat movies afterwards, like “Corpse Bride” or “Sweeney Todd”, but I’m definitely more enthusiastic about his earlier work. In case you’re curious, here are my Top 5 favorite Tim Burton flicks:


“Edward Scissorhands” (1990) might be a better-made movie, but “Sleepy Hollow” is so much more rewatchable, that’s why I just had to include it in this list. It’s such a marvelous-looking movie, full with incredibly gorgeous images, creepy locations and super-crazy characters. Johnny Depp’s quirky and squeamish over-acting has become unbearable over the last years, but here, it’s still simply wonderful, very enjoyable and not annoying at all. Those were the days…


After making a biographical movie about a 1950s horror/sci-fi director (“Ed Wood”, 1994), Burton just had to make a 1950s horror/sci-fi movie… well, obviously more of a parody on all things alien invasions and shit, but a brilliant and adorably lovely one, with hilarious extraterrestrials, terrific special effects (many of them wonderfully intentionally bad), a fabulously colorful cast… and Tom Jones! What’s not to love about?


Burton’s “Batman” (1989) was good, but it didn’t really stand the test of time for me; watching it nowadays is a rather underwhelming experience – contrary to “Batman Returns”, which seems to get better and better with age, just like a fine wine. The movie is such a fascinating blast, darker, prettier and far more entertaining than its predecessor, and both Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny De Vito deliver performances of their lifetimes. In terms of Batman movies, only TDK and TDKR are better IMO.


Just like “Batman Returns”, Burton’s breakthrough film “Beetlejuice” is a splendid piece of awesomeness that gets better and better with every viewing. Damn, what an inventive and imaginative film it is! Packed to the brim with the most gorgeous make-up and special effects, the prettiest set designs and the quirkiest characters I have ever seen, and even though his role in “Birdman” was praised by pretty much everyone, I (dare)say that Michael Keaton’s performance here is better than anything he has ever done. Period.

ED WOOD (1994)

The pinnacle of Burton’s career and undoubtedly his absolute greatest, yet most underrated masterpiece. His take on the wonderfully weird life of ‘the worst director of all time’ turned out to be one of the best biographical films I have ever seen, mainly because instead of mocking him, Burton celebrated him and paid homage to him in a stunningly heartwarming way that is very, very rare in Hollywood. Pity that Burton has never made any other films remotely similar to “Ed Wood”…

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