Christian Bale movies are mostly blockbuster films that trend easily among movie-lovers. What we may not know is that he has also starred in small projects from independent producers, which are worth note-taking as well. Let’s take a look at this list of Christian Bale movies that you need to watch right now!
British actor Christian Bale, born on January 30, 1974, as Christian Charles Philip Bale, made his acting debut in 1986 as he starred in the television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. Then at the age of 12, he starred with other major actors like Miranda Richardson and the main man himself, John Malkovich in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun.
Movies For Men: Christian Bale Movies You Need To Watch
Christian Bale has never failed to impress people with his intense and committed performance in acting. Even the Oscars and the Golden Globes have taken note of his excellence in acting as he’s either won or been nominated awards in each year he’s had a movie. He has become today’s most respected actors, empowered with his fearless acting that he delivers in every movie he’s ever starred in. So why don’t we take a moment and count down our top 13 favorite and most memorable Christian Bale movie performances?
1. “Empire of the Sun” (1987) – Jamie Graham
This is the movie that started Christian Bale’s career when he was just 12 years old. Hand-picked by Steven Spielberg from more than 4,000 child actors to portray the role of a youth who became a captive by the Japanese and suffered the hardships of war during WWII. Although Bale was still inexperienced when it came to acting, his performance in this movie gave the authenticity that surpassed his youthful years making this the start of his many great movie moments to come.
2. “Newsies” (1992) – Jack Kelly
Some may have forgotten that Christian Bale had this early role in the 1992 musical film Newsies. This youthful Bale, along with other orphans, is what this movie is all about as they make their way in the big city of New York selling newspapers while communicating with each other through songs and dances. You’ll be surprised to see a baby-faced Bale singing and dancing during the 1890s era in this film.
3. “Swing Kids” (1993) – Thomas Berger
This movie may be one of Christian Bale’s lesser known films but it definitely proved him to be reckoned as one of the best actors in the industry. In this film Bale along with co-star, Robert Sean Leonard is a couple of rebellious teenagers growing up with the Nazis in Germany during the late 1930s. This pair of kids doesn’t support the Nazis and try to rebel using the swing music, which has been banned during that time. This whole concept of the movie may be insignificant but Bale still delivers his best performance as usual.
4. “American Psycho” (2000) – Patrick Bateman
In this movie, Christian Bale plays a deranged but well-groomed serial-killing New York investment banker whose luxurious yet shallow life gives him no satisfaction. He spends his evenings murdering people as he claims that there’s a monster inside of him telling him to do so. This film may just as well showcase Bale’s best acting talents as he bounces from creepy to crazy to petrifying, relatable and even comical. A lot would consider this to be Bale’s greatest cinematic achievement so far. On a side note, the way he dresses in this movie somewhat reminds me of the guys in “Mad Men.”
5. “The Machinist” (2004) – Trevor Reznik
Christian Bale is known to be fearless in tackling the toughest projects in the movie industry. Combine that with a dedicated actor’s commitment and sacrifice and Bale brings you a perfect performance of an emaciated and paranoid machinist suffering from insomnia in this 2004 film The Machinist. Bale transformed into a 120-pound man, dieting for over four months with just one apple and one can of tuna per day until he dramatically lost 62 pounds to appear drastically thin for his character.
6. “Harsh Times” (2005) – Jim Davis
The British actor scored major points on this film as Christian Bale nails the American accent, the military terminologies, and the Mexican lingo while portraying a former US Army Ranger suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In this dramatic tale, Bale’s compelling acting of a mentally unstable, unlikeable and sorrowful man greatly moves us in a lot of ways.
7. “The Dark Knight Trilogy” (2005 – 2012) – Batman/Bruce Wayne
Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy is one of Christian Bale’s most popular and most memorable films. Bale proved himself in his performance for this franchise by reviving the character of Batman to a dark, vengeful and tortured hero, not to mention that unmistakable voice. His Bruce Wayne persona was also excellently delivered as a sad, lonely and private man, with a party-boy image as his facade to the world. Bale’s take on the Batman is one to be remembered. And I think it would be better if he played the role again of Gotham’s caped crusader in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE.
8. “Rescue Dawn” (2006) – Dieter Dengler
Christian Bale plays a US Navy Pilot fighting for survival as he becomes a prisoner during the Vietnam War. His portrayal of this real-life character does not fall short of astounding as he performed his own stunts. He ate real maggots and worms just for the sake of realism. This is one committed actor!
9. “The Prestige” (2006) – Alfred Borden
This film stars Christian Bale as a working-class magician, caught in a rivalry with another famous magician played by Hugh Jackman. Bale showcases us how haunting, desirous, underrated, and cunning he can be as he works his magic in front of all his audience in this film.
10. “3:10 to Yuma” (2007) – Dan Evans
Christian Bale portrays a Civil War veteran who becomes an impoverished rancher in this remake of the 1957 classic. Bankrupt and out of luck, Bale’s character takes on the dangerous job of delivering a notorious gang leader to justice. Bale’s captivating performance is filled with brilliance, intricacy and perseverance, making him a Western hero we can relate to.
11. “The Fighter” (2010) – Dicky Eklund
Christian Bale’s portrayal of professional boxer Micky Ward’s older half-brother Dicky Eklund is the highlight of this film. He eventually landed an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Bale went to extreme lengths to prepare for his role: physically by losing weight and mentally by studying Eklund’s actions and mannerisms. He even went as far as to understand how he thought. For all of Bale’s hard work and effort, he was rewarded grandly.
12. “Equilibrium” (2012) – John Preston
This isn’t one of Christian Bale’s most successful movies but it is still a favorite to some fans. In this film, Bale is a government agent tasked to take out people who are still feeling emotions. This includes happiness, appreciation for art and music, and even puppies. However, eventually, he starts to feel emotions himself and becomes a sense offender in the process. This film may not be your cookie-cutter sci-fi flick, but the action scenes are downright awesome.
13. “American Hustle” (2013) – Irving Rosenfeld
The FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early 1980s inspired this film. Christian Bale is a con artist forced by an FBI agent to set up an intricate sting operation on corrupt politicians. The award for Best Actor was given to Christian Bale for the exceptional performance of his role.
Watch this scene from “The Fighter” of Bale’s extraordinary acting by Ali Kerem Yurtsever. Could you tell if he’s the same guy from Batman?
These here are just a few of the best Christian Bale movies every man shouldn’t miss to watch. As you may have already discovered, a Christian Bale movie will never disappoint you.
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