Tim Burton is one of the most unique and legendary filmmakers in modern history. His combination of dark themes and quirky visuals have propelled him to lead the charge of singular, visionary directors that have offered a unique and inventive perspective to the world of film. Whether you want a gothic fantasy, something for the kids, or deep, dark adult themes, Burton’s gothic, Goth-edge style of filmmaking can’t be beaten. Here’s our list of the best Tim Burton movies.


The ghost with the most, Beetlejuice follows recent deceased couple Adam and Barbara (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), who try to scare an obnoxious family out of their home unsuccessfully. When all their tricks fail, they unwittingly call upon the services of Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) a wild demon from the underworld to help them get rid of the family for good.

Beetlejuice is arguably one of Tim Burton’s most beloved and iconic films. It has become a cult classic and trends as a yearly Halloween favorite. The unforgettable pickup lines, the supernatural world, and the creepy yet comical characters, combine to make this a timeless and delightful viewing experience.

Edward Scissorhands

Tim Burton’s magnum opus, Edward Scissorhands is a fairy tale that follows Edward (Johnny Depp) who was left unfinished by his creator and is living in an urban gothic castle with only scissors where hands should be. When a kindhearted Avon saleswoman (Diane Wiest) finds Edward and brings him into the city, he finds acceptance, but his odd appearance soon brings victimization, as well as insight and compassion to those willing to see past his appearance.

Funny, heartbreaking, and utterly captivating, Edward Scissorhands remains one of the defining works of the strange, unclassifiable oeuvre of Burton. The film has come to be not only one of Burton’s best but one of the most beloved and empowering fairy tales in cinema even decades later.

Sleepy Hollow

A re-teaming of Johnny Depp and Burton, Sleepy Hollow is a re-imagining of Washington Irving’s spooky tale of Ichabod Crane in which an ambitious police constable is sent from New York to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of grizzly murders, only to find himself face-to-face with the eerie, legendary Headless Horseman.

Burton creates a moody take on the classic Lovecraftian horror, that’s truly immersive. Along with the beautiful and often creepy cinematography, Burton’s interpretation of the chilling story is bolstered by wonderful performances from Depp and Christina Ricci, as well as a creepy turn from Christopher Walken as the Headless Horseman.

Big Fish

The only one of Burton’s live action films that can truly be called a romance, Big Fish follows a son’s (Billy Crudup) strained relationship with his elder dad (Albert Finney) as the younger man pieces together his outrageous father’s life story before he passes away.

Burton channels his usual gothic style for Big Fish, along with expressive visuals and quirky characters. The result is a heartfelt and immensely entertaining fable that you can share with both yourself and with the family. Burton manages to blend his usual irony and fantasy together in a way that’s far from pandering, but is still accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Mars Attacks!

Say hello to your next favorite cult classic. Mars Attacks! is a science fiction parody of the 50’s style B-movie. When vicious aliens from the red planet come to Earth with the intention of enslaving humanity, President Jack Nicholson and his hapless cabinet are all that stand in their way.

What makes the movie so much fun is the casting of Nicholson, Glenn Close, and Danny DeVito, as well as a bevy of other character actors who inhabit the world of Mars Attacks! Despite the cold and ugly politics driving the narrative, Mars Attacks! is a wonderful, over-the-top, and enjoyable B-movie romp.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Perhaps the most well-known of Burton’s films is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, a beloved and unique stop-motion holiday classic from 1993. Jack Skellington, a regular inhabitant of Halloween Town, uncovers Christmas Town and decides that he’d like to borrow the holiday for the citizens of his own weird and creepy world to enjoy.

Although this movie was directed by Henry Selick, who worked closely with Burton on the script and overall design, Burton’s distinctive hand is felt all-over how this movie looks and feels. The Nightmare Before Christmas is as fun and inventive and it is twisted, and it is sure to put a smile on your face every single time you watch it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Burton’s remake of the classic Gene Wilder-starring musical adaption of Roald Dalh’s classic is a quirky, inventive take on the famous story, in which poor but kind-hearted Charlie Bucket wins a ticket to tour Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, filled with more eccentricities than anyone could have expected.

Despite how beloved the original is, Burton’s version certainly has its charms. With an excellent performance from the performance from Johnny Depp as the oddball factory owner and a bizarre but unforgettable re-imagining of the Oompa-Loompas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a great family-friendly adventure, that children of all ages can enjoy.


Frankenweenie, is a remake of Burton’s own 1984 short, following a young science nerd named Victor who, upon the passing of his beloved dog Sparky, decides to reanimate his four-legged friend with electricity, unfortunately attracting the attention of local bullies, as well as all sorts of supernatural mischief.

The reason why Frankenweenie is such a great film is that, while it deals with some weighty themes, it never strays from being a genuine and honest kid’s film, partly because of how well the story is told, but mostly due to the vibrant, eye-popping visuals that scream Tim Burton.

There you have it, some of Tim Burton’s very best films. Whether you’re a longtime fan of his work or you’re looking to jump aboard the Burton bandwagon, there’s something for everyone on this list. From spooky ghost stories to light-hearted adventures and beyond, Tim Burton’s signature style of directing will surely enchant you.