Last Updated on January 27, 2024
Christian Bale has certainly earned his huge fan base. Starring in Hollywood hits ever since he was a boy, Bale’s intense acting steals the show – even when he’s a supporting actor. If you want to experience the best of Christian Bale, then head on over to our handpicked list of his top work!
1. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman has the perfect life. He is a wealthy banker in New York and has a cute fiancé. But underneath the perfect veneer, Bateman’s psychotic urges are growing.
When a colleague shows him up, jealousy sparks his first act of random murder. But then Bateman begins to methodically lure victims to his apartment and the body count climbs.
2. The Prestige (2006)
Robert Angier and Alfred Borden work as a magician’s assistants. The friends turn into bitter enemies when a stage accident kills Angier’ wife – and as their own magic careers take off, vicious rivals.
Their lives become a bloody show of sabotage, treachery and ultimately Angier and Borden resort to using real dark magic. The results are as remarkable as they are horrifying.
3. Ford v Ferrari (2019)
Based on a true story, the movie follows the rivalry that develops between the Ford Motor Company and Ferrari as both race to become the top dog at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ford receives a lot of help from Ken Miles, a British driver who tweaks the company’s new car prototype to make it race-ready. Despite his contributions, Miles must fight to earn his place behind the wheel to participate in the Le Mans.
4. Batman Begins (2005)
Showing the start of the Batman legend, young Bruce witnesses the murder of his parents and it sets him on a mission to train as a killer in order to take his revenge. After years of training as a martial artist, he joins the League of Shadows led by Ra’s al Ghul.
When he learns that the league plans to destroy Gotham because the city has too many criminals, he turns on the league and returns to his home as Batman. But his old Shadow comrades are not done with either Bruce or Gotham City.
5. The Big Short (2015)
In this star-studded movie, Christian Bale joins actors like Brad Pitt and Steve Carell to bring to life the true story of a group of traders who spotted the opportunity of a lifetime to join the super-rich.
Based on the 2007 US housing market crash, the movie follows the unbelievable events sparked by trader Michael Burry, who predicted the collapse before anyone had an inkling. Several others join him to profit off the coming disaster, a decision that could have dire consequences for the public.
6. Vice (2018)
Another spellbinding true story, Vice follows the rise of Dick Cheney from an aimless alcoholic to one of the most powerful political influencers in the world.
In 1968, Cheney joins the White House staff as an intern during the Nixon Administration. He soon realizes the true power of the executive office and that he has a talent for climbing the political ladder. Cheney’s career is filled with health problems, family strife, history-changing achievements and decisions that would cost countless people their lives.
7. The Machinist (2004)
Trevor Reznik is a weird guy. He’s emaciated and his behavior alienates him from his colleagues at work where he is employed as a machinist. After Trevor causes an accident that costs another worker his arm, strange things begin to happen.
A mysterious man called Ivan appears in his life and starts to change people’s memories of Trevor and he also suffers from seemingly terrifying paranormal phenomena. But Trevor soon discovers that Ivan is a figment of an old trauma determined to make Trevor own up to his past.
8. The Dark Knight (2008)
Bruce Wayne finally sees the chance to hang up his cape as Batman and live a normal life. He offers to support District Attorney Harvey Dent’s bid to become Gotham City’s new protector.
But there are problems with that plan – Wayne’s true love is dating Dent and after the Joker tears through Gotham City, Dent turns into a violent vigilante called Two-Face and goes on a killing spree.
Batman rises once more to fight both the demented Dent and the Joker as he rips the city apart to force Batman to reveal his identity.
9. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Civil War veteran Dan Evans tries to make a living as a rancher but he owes money to Glen Hollander who causes Evans to lose his cattle. Evans goes looking for the missing herd and discovers outlaws using the animals to block the road and rob a coach.
After the arrest of the gang leader, Wade, Evans becomes one of the men entrusted to deliver the prisoner to the 3:10 train to Yuma Territorial Prison. But with Wade’s violent nature and his gang’s determination to free their leader, Wade realizes he might never live long enough to reach the train.
10. The Fighter (2010)
Mickey Ward is a boxer managed by his mother and older brother Dicky (Bale). The latter has dreams of reawakening his own boxing career which had been destroyed by the cocaine he is still addicted to.
When Mickey gets a girlfriend and others warn him that his family is just using him, Dicky tries to raise money to lure Mickey back to him as his manager. But the results are devastating to one brother’s career and a boost for the other.
11. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Gotham City faces its darkest hour after Batman disappears and the super-villain Bane takes over the streets and brings the justice system to its knees. In this epic conclusion of the Dark Knight trilogy, Cat Woman betrays Bruce Wayne leading to his imprisonment in Bane’s unescapable underground prison.
But when Bane and his crew threaten Gotham City with total extinction, Cat Woman saves Batman and the pair team up to stop the deadly plan.
12. Reign of Fire (2002)
Quinn is present when humanity discovers that dragons are real and haven’t been seen because they have been hibernating for thousands of years. The discovery is devastating as the creatures rapidly multiply and develop a ravenous taste for humans.
By 2020, civilization is gone and survivors eke out a living in small groups. Quinn leads a small community that plans to hunker down until the dragons go back into hibernation again. But when a dragon destroys their crops and they realize there is only one male left, Quinn and his friends embark on a fiery journey to slay the most dangerous predator of them all.
13. The Flowers of War (2011)
When, in 1937, Japan invades China a group of schoolgirls flee to a local convent for safety. Knowing what the soldiers will do to them, John Miller, a mortician working at the convent, promises to protect them.
When the Japanese discover where the girls are hiding, their leader claims that they are safe but only if they sing for the soldiers the next day at a celebration. Miller, knowing that the girls will be brutalized, has to find a way to escape before it’s too late.
14. Empire of the Sun (1987)
In what is perhaps his finest role as a child actor, Bale portrays a British boy, Jamie Graham, living in the Shanghai International Settlement. When the Japanese attack, Jamie is separated from his parents during a chaotic evacuation.
Jamie, who is a spoiled upper-class boy, learns the hard way that war is not a game. He encounters death, betrayal and also has to fight to survive as a prisoner of war.
15. Equilibrium (2002)
After WWIII, the survivors built a totalitarian city-state called Libria. Their leader “Father” blames emotions for the cause of war and everyone must drink an emotion-suppressant every day or risk execution by one of the city’s Clerics.
John Preston is a leading Cleric who destroys all emotional material including music, art, and books. He even stands by when his wife is killed for refusing the suppressant. But when Preston misses a dosage and he tastes emotion, he turns into the state’s worst enemy.