Top 5 Best Tim Burton Movies

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Tim Burton has had his hand in making some pretty bizarre films. Who else could bring to life such outrageous scripts like Beetlejuice and give a new take to the horror genre in Frankenweenie. It’s been more than 25 years since Tim Burton made his big-screen directorial debut, so it’s time to reflect on the 5 Best Tim Burton films.

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Box Office Gross: $206,459,076     Adjusted: $0

The best descriptor of this film I read was “magically deranged.” Tim Burton takes a more dream-like approach than the book and original movie by creating fantastic set designs that seemed to come straight from the mind of a madman. While some complained that it was “more of the same” from Tim Burton, this interesting film earns a worthy place as number 5 on this list.

4. Big Fish (2003)

Box Office Gross: $66,809,693     Adjusted: $0

Tim Burton proves he’s a master of directorial storytelling in this fantasy adventure based on Daniel Wallace’s book. Big Fish is imaginative and unique like few other movies out there. The film takes a look at the complicated relationship between a son and his dying father who tells mythical tales about himself. Another definitive Burton classic.

3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Box Office Gross: $56,362,352     Adjusted: $0

Considered by Tim Burton to be one of his most personal works, Edward Scissorhands tells the story of an artificial man with scissorhands and how he falls in love with a normal girl. There are a few things that make this such a great Tim Burton movie. One, it has a mystical storyline. Two, it has exaggerated sets. Three, it features wonderful music and actors. It’s the kind of movie that makes you think about your own mortality and perception of others.

2. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Box Office Gross: $40,940,662     Adjusted: $0

Anybody who’s never seen Pee-wee Herman in action might dismiss him as a children’s entertainer, which could not be farther from the truth. In his full-length debut, Tim Burton pulls out all the stops to make this hilariously dark movie filled with adult innuendo. The film, which follows Pee-wee’s search for his favorite bike, perfectly interweaves both Pee-wee and Tim Burton’s personality so well it’s hard to determine which gags came from which demented mind. The film has since grown into a cult classic almost as big as the number one film on this list.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Box Office Gross: $50,003,043     Adjusted: $0

It’s hard to argue the fact that Nightmare is Tim Burton’s magnum opus because it’s filled with originality, innovation and unparalleled storytelling. Although Burton didn’t direct the film (that was left to Henry Selick), he produced and co-wrote the creative film making it his own. Everything from the soundtrack, stop-motion animation, sensational characters and brilliantly conceived plot perfectly intertwines to make this an instant classic. This will most likely continue as Burton’s highest rated and visually revolutionary film for years to come.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a freelance writer and contributes to a number of blogs, including the official blog of Knife Depot.

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Tim Burton Movies

  • August 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I forgot about Ed Wood. I have yet to see that.

  • August 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Tim Burton is great at making color films look black and white. He knows how to create eye candy on the screen. But too many of his films, in my opinion, lack a solid plot. The film begins, characters wander about, the end credits role, and I’m lost as to explain what I just watched.

    As far as rating his films goes, Beetle Juice was good when Michael Keaton was onscreen but boring when he wasn’t. I’d say that Nightmare Before Christmas was his best film followed by Beetle Juice. After that, I’d say everything else places a distant third.


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