Now that Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is out and the dust has settled we just couldn’t resist here on MQM to put together our list of the best Batman and Superman movie quotes.
Over the years, both of these iconic superhero characters have been reimagined and reinterpreted many different ways by DC Comics. We’ve seen both these characters looking camp and deadly serious (or a combination of both!) with some cheesy, camp and serious lines to go with them!
To kick off the list we’ll start off with the Batman movies and then move onto Superman giving our ranking from best to worst movies and quotes. As always join in and let us know your thoughts, favorite Batman and Superman movies and quotes in the comments below.
Nolan’s sequel is now widely considered to be one of the best sequels ever made and I have to say I also agree. This has been my favorite Batman movie since its release. The story is sophisticated, brilliantly bleak, filled with rich dialogue and some great performances from all the actors, but of course one can’t go without mentioning Heath Ledger’s crazy and charismatic Joker. Both him and Bale gave outstanding performances. This didn’t just surpass Batman Begins but sets a new standard for which comic-book movies were measured against.
The Joker: You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are.
Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
The Joker: [laughs] I don’t…I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, no! No. You…you…complete me.
The Joker: I took Gotham’s white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn’t hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!
The Joker: Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying!
Batman: [voice over] Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes, people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.
2. Batman Begins (2005)
This was Nolan’s birth of Batman with Christian Bale talking on the titular role and in my opinion giving the best version of Batman to date. Nolan pretty much gets everything right in providing a great origin story, with a dark, serious, believable tone, well-written story and some great performances from pretty much all actors involved. This was the reboot that was badly needed for Batman and Nolan was the perfect person to helm this reboot.
[Bruce looks defeated as Wayne Manor is burning down]
Bruce Wayne: What have I done, Alfred? Everything my family, my father built.
Alfred Pennyworth: The Wayne legacy is more than bricks and mortar, sir.
Bruce Wayne: I wanted to save Gotham. I failed.
Alfred Pennyworth: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Bruce Wayne: You still haven’t given up on me?
Alfred Pennyworth: Never.
Bruce Wayne: People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol…as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.
Rachel Dawes: Wait! You could die. At least tell me your name.
[Bruce pauses for a moment]
Bruce Wayne: It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me.
Rachel Dawes: Bruce?
Nolan’s final take on his Batman trilogy, and a final if not it not exactly perfect conclusion. What made Nolan’s take on Batman so much better than any of the rest was that it was always grounded in real-world experiences, its strong characters and their underlying emotions and this was all evident in this final movie.
Bruce Wayne: There are always people you care about. You just don’t realize how much until they’re gone.
Blind Prisoner: Fear is why you fail.
Bruce Wayne: No, I’m not afraid. I’m angry.
Bruce Wayne: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders, to let him know the world hadn’t ended.
Blake: You gotta learn to hide the anger, and practice smiling in the mirror. It’s like putting on a mask.
Bane: Speak of the devil and he shall appear.
Bruce Wayne: You’re afraid that if I go back out there, I’ll fail.
Alfred: No. I’m afraid that you want to.
4. Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s first take on Batman with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight and Jack Nicholson as the iconic Joker. There is a lot to admire in Burton’s version of Batman, it looks stylish with great production design and some great performances from Keaton and Nicholson. This was the film that originally started off the wave of comic book movie mania even though it looks a little dated now.
Vicki Vale: A lot of people think you’re as dangerous as the Joker.
Batman: He’s psychotic.
Vicki Vale: Some people say the same thing about you.
Batman: What people?
Vicki Vale: Well, I mean, let’s face it. You’re not exactly normal, are you?
Batman: It’s not exactly a normal world, is it?
The Joker: Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Bruce Wayne: What?
The Joker: I always ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.
The Joker: Never rub another man’s rhubarb.
The Joker: I’ve recently had a tragedy in my life. Alicia threw herself out of the window.
[he lays the mask that Alicia wore on the table]
Vicki Vale: Oh, my God.
The Joker: But, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.
[he breaks the mask and starts laughing]
5. Batman Returns (1992)
Tim Burton’s sequel with Michael Keaton reprising his role as the Caped Crusader with Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as Penguin. This is very much a stylistic, theatrical movie with the lead actors all giving great performances, the chemistry between Keaton and Pfeiffer is great to watch. However, in the end it all feels like too much style over substance.
Batman: Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.
Catwoman: A kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.
Selina Kyle: A kiss under the mistletoe. You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.
Bruce Wayne: But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.
[there’s a pause as they realize each other’s identities]
Selina Kyle: Oh, my God. Does this mean we have to start fighting?
Bruce Wayne: Let’s go outside.
Selina Kyle: Honey, I’m home. Oh, I forgot. I’m not married.
Selina Kyle: It’s the so-called “normal” guys that always let you down. Sickos never scare me. At least they’re committed.
6. Batman Forever (1995)
Joel Schumacher’s first Batman movie and in my opinion it should have stopped here. Val Kilmer donned the cowl and cape here with Chris O’Donnell’s first outing as Robin and to round it off we got Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey as Two-Face and Riddler and Batman’s love interest is Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian. Sadly this is just another Batman movie with goofy dialogue and ridiculous cartoonish characters. It’s vaguely entertaining with the only bright spot being Jim Carrey as nothing else here works.
The Riddler: Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?
The Riddler: Did anyone ever tell you you have a serious impulse control problem?!
Val Kilmer: Wait I have a riddle for you.
The Riddler: For me? Really? Tell me.
Val Kilmer: I see without seeing. To me, darkness is as clear as daylight. What am I?
The Riddler: Oh, please. You’re blind as a bat!
Val Kilmer: Exactly!
[referring to Claw Island]
Robin: Holey rusted metal, Batman!
Robin: The ground, it’s all metal. It’s full of holes. You know, holey.
Joel Schumacher’s final Batman movie where we got George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell playing Batman and Robin, and we were also given Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, why? No one knows as she certainly added nothing here. We also get the icing on the cake with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Ivy Poison. All I can say is, oh, dear. This is just the worst. Nobody in this movie comes off well, not one single character! Everything about it, the story, the characters are just ludicrous and it’s a pretty hard movie to sit through. Trying to find a decent dialogue was difficult as it’s all so corny and campy, but here we go.
[after seeing the Batmobile]
Robin: I want a car, chicks dig the car.
Batman: This is why Superman works alone.
Mr. Freeze: Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it’s the chilling sound of your doom.
Alfred: There is no defeat in death, Master Bruce. Victory comes in defending what we know is right while we still live.
Ivy: There’s just something about an anatomically correct rubber suit that puts fire in a girl’s lips.
Batman: Why is it that all the beautiful ones are homicidal maniacs? Is it me?
8. Batman: The Movie (1966)
with Adam West and Burt Ward taking on the legendary roles of Batman Robin, this is by far the campiest of the Batman movies ever created filled with the cheesiest, campest, most ridiculous dialogue imaginable. You can’t really compare it to any of the Batman movies and only included here for its nostalgic factor. Here are some of the best of the cheesy lines we could find.
Batman: Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.
Robin: You risked your life to save that riff raff in the bar!
Batman: They may be drinkers, Robin, but they’re still human beings.
Robin: Gosh, drinking’s sure a filthy thing isn’t it? I’d rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes.
Robin: Holy Halucination!
Batman: I wish it were Robin, but it’s not, it’s 5 dehydrated pirates…rehydrated!
Now that we’ve completed all the Batman movies to date, we’ll begin our take on the Superman movies:
This may be a controversial choice but when comparing all the Superman movies I just found Zack Snyder’s vision of Superman to be the best so far, this is not to takeaway anything from the original Richard Donner Superman, but this version just feels more mythic. It’s darker tone is a refreshing change and gets this iconic superhero out of the camp zone that it has been sitting in for so long. Henry Cavill gives a strong performance and has great physical presence as Superman. Of course it’s not without flaw and it’s major weakness lies in the romance which comes across as shallow and the overly long action fight scenes towards the end which just becomes generic and bland. Overall it succeeds in giving a solid background story and character development.
Clark Kent (13 Years): What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?
Jonathan Kent: Maybe. There’s more at stake here than just our lives, Clark, or the lives of those around us. When the world…when the world finds out what you can do, it’s going to change everything. Our…our beliefs, our notions of what it means to be human, everything
Jonathan Kent: People are afraid of what they don’t understand.
Jonathan Kent: You just have to decide what kind of man you wanna grow up to be, Clark. Because, whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s gonna change the world.
[he opens his coat to reveal ‘S’ shape symbol on his suit]
Jor-El: The symbol of the house of El means hope. Embodied within that hope is the fundamental belief in the potential of every person to be a force for good. That’s what you can bring them.
Jor-El: You will give the people of earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.
Clark Kent: Zod can’t be trusted. The problem is I’m not sure the people of earth can be either.
[Clark rises and starts walking out of the church]
Father Leone: Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first, the trust part comes later.
2. Superman (1978)
Directed by Richard Donner and Christopher Reeves first outing as the Man of Steel. This is one of those movies where it remains to have a great nostalgic feel despite some of its cheesiness. We get to see Reeves really make the character of Superman his own and Hackman is totally over the top as Lex Luthor, but it’s totally intone with the feel of the movie so it works perfectly. It’s a great comic book adaptation full of heart and humor.
[bidding his son farewell]
Jor-El: You will travel far, my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you, even in the face of our death. The richness of our lives shall be yours. All that I have, all that I’ve learned, everything I feel, all this, and more, I… I bequeath you, my son. You will carry me inside you, all the days of your life. You will make my strength your own, and see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I… all I can send you, Kal-El.
Jonathan Kent: When you first came to us, we thought people would come and take you away because, when they found out, you know, the things you could do, and that worried us a lot. But then a man gets older, and he starts thinking differently and things get very clear. And one thing I do know, son, and that is you are here for a reason. I don’t know whose reason, or whatever the reason is. Maybe it’s because, uh, I don’t know. But I do know one thing. It’s not to score touchdowns.
[at the Fortress of Solitude]
Jor-El: So, my son. Speak.
Young Clark Kent: Who am I?
Jor-El: Your name is Kal-El. You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you’ve been raised as a human, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered.
[as Clark discovers his heritage, his father’s final message to him]
Jor-El: Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. But always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son.
3. Superman II (1980)
Directed by both Richard Lester and Richard Donner, the movie is well known for its behind the scenes battle between director Richard Donner and the producers which led to Donner being fired and Lester being brought in to finish the project. Despite the behind the scenes problems this turned out to be a great follow up to the original with a solid cast, a more personal story and plausible villains. There is some campiness and this is more due to Richard Lester’s touch who replaced Donner halfway through filming.
Clark Kent: General, would you care to step outside?
General Zod: Come to me, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod!
[after using heat vision on a snake]
Ursa: Did you see that? Did you see what I did? I have powers beyond reason here!
General Zod: We all have them, my dear.
[after admitting to Lois that he’s Superman]
Superman: We’d better talk.
Lois Lane: I’m in love with you.
Superman: We’d really better talk.
[returning from the bathroom, Clark sees that his seat next to Lois has been taken]
Clark Kent: Excuse me sir, you’re sitting in my seat.
[referring to the bathroom Clark just exited]
Rocky: You’re seat’s in there, four eyes.
Clark Kent: Somebody ought to teach you some manners, sir.
Rocky: Oh, yeah? Well, let me know when he comes in.
4. Superman Returns (2006)
After over twenty years of waiting for a reboot we got Bryan Singer’s version with newcomer Brandon Routh taking on the role of Man of Steel and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. Everything about it sounded great but sadly it had some major flaws, mainly the weak plot and relies too heavily on the love story between Lois and Superman, also Kevin Spacey as Luthor just looked like he was going for a silly Hackman impersonation and to finish off the whole script was filled with some unremarkable dialogue.
Lex Luthor: Kitty, what did my father always say?
Kitty: You’re losing your hair?
Lex Luthor: Before that.
Kitty: Get out?
[to Jason asleep in his bed]
Superman: You will be different. Sometimes you’ll feel like an outcast, but you’ll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.
Superman: Listen; what do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.
[referring to Jason]
Lois Lane: He’s a little fragile, but he’s going to grow up to be big and strong, just like his dad.
5. Superman III (1983)
Richard Lester steps in as the director and sadly the whole franchise took a nosedive here. The script is subpar with dumb villains and way too much humor. The only saving grace is Christopher Reeve giving his usual graceful performance and Richard Pryor. Oh, and the great sequence of superman fighting himself.
Ross Webster: Congratulations. You’re going to go down in history as the man who killed Superman.
Ross Webster: What will it do?
Gus Gorman: Anything I tell it.
Ross Webster: What will it do for me?
Gus Gorman: For you, it will do anything you tell me to tell it to do for you.
Gus Gorman: I don’t want to go to jail because there are robbers and rapers and rapers who rape robbers.
Perry White: I don’t have to tell you, it isn’t easy for me to lose one of my best reporters.
Clark Kent: Oh, that’s okay.
Perry White: But you deserve the vacation, Lois.
Lois Lane: Thank you.
6. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Christopher Reeve’s final outing as Superman and it was so not worthy! This to me is very much like the Batman & Robin (1997) of the Superman franchise and pretty much killed the whole thing until over 20 years later when it was rebooted in 2006. What can I say, it had the dumbest plot, stupidest dialogue, terrible effects, laughable villain, nothing here makes sense or looks good. All you can say is why was it ever made?!
Superman: You’d risk worldwide nuclear war for your own personal financial gain.
Lex Luthor: Nobody wants war. I just want to keep the threat alive.
Lex Luthor: You know what I can do with a single strand of Superman’s hair?
Lenny: You can make a toupee that flies.
Lex Luthor: Destroy Superman!
Nuclear Man: First, I have fun.
Superman: And there will be peace. There will be peace when the people of the world, want it so badly, that their governments will have no choice but to give it to them. I just wish you could all see the Earth the way that I see it. Because when you really look at it, it’s just one world.
Finally, now we get to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so where does it go in this list?
For its portrayal of Batman I would place it after Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises and with reference to Superman I would place it below Superman II. Despite all the negative critic reviews I personally found this to be okay. It has some great parts and some really bad parts and, yes, it did suffer from pacing issues, but in the end I enjoyed it for what it was.
Bruce Wayne: We’re criminals, Alfred. We’ve always been criminals. Nothing’s changed.
Alfred: Oh, yes it has, sir. Everything’s changed. Men fall from the sky, the gods hurl thunderbolts, innocents die. That’s how it starts, sir. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel.
Clark Kent: Civil liberties are being trampled on in your city; good people living in fear.
Bruce Wayne: Don’t believe everything you hear, son.
Clark Kent: I’ve seen it, Mr. Wayne. He thinks he’s above the law.
Bruce Wayne: The Daily Planet criticizing those who think they’re above the laws feel hypocritical, wouldn’t you say? Considering every time your hero saves a cat out of a tree you write a puffed piece editorial about an alien that could burn the whole place down.
Clark Kent: Most of the world doesn’t share your opinion, Mr. Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: Maybe it’s the Gotham City in me, I mean it’s had a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns.
[as they stare at each other tensely when they are suddenly interrupted by Lex Luthor]
Lex Luthor: Boys! Mm. Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent. I love it! I love bringing people together. How are we?
[he shakes Bruce’s hand]
Bruce Wayne: Lex.
[he then shakes Clark’s hand]
Lex Luthor: Hi. Hello. Lex, it is a pleasure… Ow! Wow! That is a good grip you should not pick a fight with this person.
[with his foot on Superman’s throat]
Batman: You were never a god. You were never even a man!
Superman: You’re letting them kill Martha…
Batman: What does that mean? Why did you say that name?
Superman: Find him. Save Martha.
Batman: Why did you say that name? Martha? Why did you say that name? Why did you say that name!
[Lois runs in and goes to save Superman]
Lois Lane: It’s his mother’s name! It’s his mother’s name.