Batman’s decision to try and kill his parents’ murderer in Batman Begins goes against his “no-kill” rule and is one of his worst decisions.
Batman’s decision to let the cops arrest Falcone in The Batman allows the Riddler to murder him, showing Batman’s flawed judgment.
Although he may be one of the most recognizable and beloved superheroes in all of pop culture, Batman has actually made some incredibly poor decisions across his DC movie history. Though the DC Universe is filled with demi-gods, metahumans, and incredibly powerful aliens, one of the franchise’s most iconic heroes is entirely human. Even armed as he is with years of intense training, a belt full of gadgets, and a burning desire to rid Gotham of crime, Batman is as human as heroes come, and with that comes a certain sense of fallibility.
The character’s human nature often leads the Dark Knight to make mistakes. Much like in the comics, Batman makes bad decisions in DC movies, too, with his occasionally misinformed and idealistic sensibilities seeing him make more than a few missteps. Though everything the hero does is typically in the righteous pursuit of justice, there have been many examples of times when his actions have caused more harm than good or have seemed far too emotionally driven to be advisable. With that in mind, here are the 10 worst decisions Batman has ever made in DC movies.
10 Bruce Saves “Ducard”
The appropriately titled Batman Begins marks the introduction of Christian Bale’s Batman, who starts his journey by training to become a member of the League of Shadows with a man named Ducard. After learning that the organization wishes him to destroy his hometown, Bruce refuses to join them, causing a scuffle in which a fire starts. Ever the hero, Bruce rescues his unconscious mentor from the blaze. It’s later revealed that Ducard was actually the enigmatic leader of the League of Shadows all along, meaning that Bruce’s honorable decision to save him was actually the wrong one in hindsight.
9 Bruce Tries To Kill Joe Chill
There are few elements of Batman’s character that are more important than his “no-kill” rule. However, Batman Begins starts with a young Bruce Wayne setting out to get violent revenge on his parents’ murderer, intending to kill the man as he’s paroled after spending years in prison. It’s an important part of Bruce’s arc and a defining moment in his hero story, but making the decision to take a life to exact vengeance is undoubtedly one of the worst decisions Batman ever made on film.
8 Batman Lets The Cops Arrest Falcone
Some Batman actors are sillier and others are darker in the role, and Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight certainly falls into the latter category. This doesn’t exempt him from making silly decisions, though, such as allowing GCPD to arrest Falcone without any significant precaution. Even knowing that the city’s police force was largely on Falcone’s payroll and that the Riddler had yet to fully exact his plan, Batman effectively did nothing to prevent Falcone’s arrest from becoming a public event. In doing so, he allowed the Riddler an opportunity to murder the criminal, making it a pretty poor decision overall.
7 Bruce Joins Forces With Barry Allen
The Flash saw huge changes within the DCU, with Barry Allen traveling across the Multiverse to meet Michael Keaton’s Batman. After realizing he’s in a world where Batman is the only superhero, Barry sets off to employ his help in finding Superman and stopping Zod’s impending invasion. With minimal persuasion, Batman agrees to help Allen (and his younger counterpart), ultimately resulting in his violent death at the hands of the Kryptonian warlord. What makes this decision so bad, however, is the speed with which Bruce enlists: despite having lived his whole life in a world without superpowers or aliens, he immediately accepts the word of an eccentric pair of strangers.
6 Bruce Trusts Catwoman To Help Him Fight Bane
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is perhaps the most grounded of all Batman adaptations, but that also means that the hero makes many terrible decisions. The Dark Knight Rises sees Batman meet Catwoman, a notorious burglar who steals a priceless Wayne family heirloom. He then trusts her to help him stop Bane, only to be immediately betrayed by the thief and severely wounded by the villain. After recovering, Batman returns to Gotham, and wastes no time in trusting Catwoman yet again, allowing her to use high-tech gadgets while fighting Bane’s forces. Though his ability to trust is admirable, it’s incredibly naive.
5 Batman Hastily Decides To Kill Superman
After the events of Man of Steel, Ben Affleck’s Batman was introduced as a hero who believes Superman must die. However, this decision is itself incredibly flawed – throughout Man of Steel, Superman is shown fighting to protect the Earth and shows precisely no signs of intending any harm to humanity. In spite of the alien’s apparent good intentions, Batman immediately sets out to kill him as opposed to striking up a simple conversation with his fellow hero. Though Batman’s xenophobic fear is presented as largely understandable and somewhat justified, the decision to jump straight to a superhero deathmatch was rash, to say the least.
4 Bruce Fakes His Death & Leaves Gotham
The Dark Knight Rises ending scene closes Nolan’s trilogy and gives Batman a seemingly happy ending: having faked his death in a moment of public self-sacrifice, he quietly retires with Selina Kyle. Unfortunately, the moment is undermined by how incredibly ill-conceived it really is. Based on no discernable evidence, Bruce concludes that Gotham no longer needs him and effectively passes the mantle to a relative stranger. He has no knowledge of what threats Gotham may face next, and no guarantee that John Blake will live up to his example, so his decision to walk away seems somewhat premature and selfish.
3 Bruce Adopts A Teenage Orphan He Doesn’t Know
Despite his positive intentions, Batman often does more harm than good. A perfect example of this is in Batman Forever when he hastily adopts Dick Grayson after the boy’s parents are murdered. With very little thought for upholding his secret identity, he brings a stranger into his confidence almost immediately. Beyond just trusting Grayson with his secret, he allows him to serve as his sidekick despite knowing very little about the boy’s capabilities and emotional state. It’s a decision that should be considered reckless at best, and it’s by far one of Batman’s worst – no matter how well it turned out in the end.
2 Batman Repeatedly Threatens & Attacks Cops
Though Batman Begins is a story of Bruce learning to balance his desire for justice with his need for vengeance, he continuously fumbles the two. After learning of a corrupt cop, Batman wastes no time in interrogating the man, using a method that can only be described as torture. Later, when he is justifiably pursued by the police, he attacks them in order to escape, marking a clear pattern of anti-establishment action that paints him as little more than another dangerous criminal. His intentions are clearly pure, but his decision to attack and threaten the police is one that only serves to tarnish his otherwise heroic image.
1 Bruce Reveals His Identity To Rachel
After rescuing his lifelong friend and love interest Rachel, Batman uses a perfect quote to subtly reveal his identity to her. Unfortunately for the hero, this turns out to be a terrible decision: in The Dark Knight, Rachel attempts to protect Bruce Wayne’s secret from the Joker, only to land in the villain’s crosshairs. This is ultimately what leads to Rachel’s tragic and untimely death, and if Batman had never revealed the truth to her, she likely would have survived the Joker’s assault on Gotham.
Key Release Dates
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Joker: Folie a Deux
The Batman – Part II
Batman doesn’t always make the right call. Read More