At this point, everyone and their mother are aware Robert Pattinson is playing the caped crusader in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, and if you have a problem with that, it’s time to let it go. The Twilight saga was a long time ago, so rather than focus on how awful of an actor Pattinson (which he isn’t), we thought it would be more productive to discuss his impressive filmography. Since playing Edward Cullen, Pattinson has starred in a handful of art-house projects and has worked with some of the best directors and actors in Hollywood.
With that in mind, here are 12 impressive performances that prove Pattinson is not only a great actor, but he’ll also make an excellent Batman.
The Childhood of a Leader (2015)
The Childhood of a Leader is loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s short story of the same name, which was published as part of a collection in 1939. The story chronicles the childhood of a fascist leader and his disturbing coming of age following the events World War I. Co-written and directed by Brady Corbet, The Childhood of a Leader stars Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Robert Pattinson, and Tom Sweet.
Pattinson plays the role of Charles Maker, a free-thinking journalist and close friend of the young boy’s father. The entire cast is superb and Pattinson was no exception. His portrayal of the elegant and intellectual Maker was spot on. Interestingly enough, Pattinson plays a second role in the film, a clever move by Corbet but we won’t spoil the reveal.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Based on J.K. Rowling’s novel of the same name, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth movie in the immensely popular Harry Potter film series. The movie sees Harry returning for his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with his close friends Ron and Hermione. When Potter is mysteriously selected to participate in the Goblet of Fire, an upcoming tournament between three major schools of magic, Harry and the gang begin to wonder if “he who should not be named” is to blame.
Other than the Twilight film, Robert Pattinson is likely best known for his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in the Goblet of Fire. Even though he was more of a secondary character, Diggory’s tragic death acted as a franchise-defining moment not only because it was the first major death in the series, but because it signified a gradual change in tone and Potter’s coming of age.
The Lighthouse (2019)
Directed by Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse is set on a desolate island during the 1980s, where a gnarly old sea dog named Thomas Wake and his new assistant Ephraim Winslow tend to a lighthouse for several weeks.
If you’ve had a chance to see the Eggers’ film you’ll know Pattinson and Dafoe were both exceptional. As a matter of fact, according to Owen Gleiberman of Variety, Pattinson’s portrayal of Winslow was “the most ferocious acting of [his] career.” If Pattinson’s performance in The Lighthouse is a sign of things to come, his upcoming portrayal of the caped crusader could go down as one of the best of all-time. Perhaps it’s Batman’s turn to win an Oscar…
Water for Elephants (2011)
Based on Sara Gruen’s novel of the same name, Water for Elephants is a romantic drama directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. The story follows the life of Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson), a veterinary student who leaves school for a traveling circus after the tragic death of his parents. Before long, Jankowski falls for Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), a beautiful circus performer and wife of August (Christoph Waltz), a cruel man and the circus’s ringmaster.
As one of Pattinson’s portrayal of Jacob Jankowski gave him an opportunity to break free Twilight saga and make a real romantic drama. Even though the chemistry between he and Witherspoon felt a little off, their individual performances made up for any shortcomings.Ryan Pierse / Staff
Released in 2018 and directed by David and Nathan Zellner, Damsel is a western comedy starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Forster, and Joseph Billingiere. The story tells the tale of Samuel Alabaster (Pattinson), an affluent pioneer who travels across the American Frontier with a drunk named Parson Henry (Zellner) and a miniature horse called Butterscotch, to marry the love of his life, Penelope (Wasikowska).
Damsel is an entertaining and funny film that uses the Zellner brothers’ unpredictable and unique brand of humor to put a clever spin on the classic western story. Much like his co-star Mia Wasikowska, Pattinson is quite good in the film, proving once again that he’s got range.Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff
The Rover (2014)
Starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, The Rover is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world 10 years after the global economic collapse of society. The film follows loner Eric (Pearce) as he pursues the men responsible for stealing his car. During the heist, one of the thieves, Rey (Pattinson), is injured and left behind. Eric forces Rey to join him on the dangerous journey to retrieve his stolen car.
Even though we weren’t particularly fond of the film’s plot, Pearce was absolutely stellar and Pattinson delivered arguably one of his best performances to date. The Rover is a dark, gritty, and violent film that despite its faults, is a good story with outstanding lead performances.Ian Gavan / Staff
Directed by Anton Corbijn and written by Luke Davies, Life is a biographical drama that tells the story of the relationship between Life photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and Hollywood actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan).
DeHaan did a wonderful job playing Dean but it was Pattinson’s portrayal of a hungry photographer looking to make a name for himself that really impressed us. If you’re not a fan of biographical dramas, Life might not be for you, but for those looking for another strong Pattinson performance, this is definitely it.Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff
Maps to the Stars (2014)
Map to the Stars was directed by David Cronenberg and stars Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, and Evan Bird. The films details the life of a Hollywood family relentlessly chasing fame, each other, and the ghosts of their past.
Although the ending was a little weak, if you’re a fan of Cronenberg’s filmography and have yet to see Maps to the Stars, we’d recommend checking it out. It’s by no means his best film, but Julianne Moore delivered one of her best performances and the supporting cast, outside of Cusack, was on point. Pattinson played the role of an aspiring actor/limo driver and one of the few genuine and decent people in the film.George Pimentel / Contributor
High Life (2018)
Released in 2018 and directed by Claire Denis, High Life tells the story of a Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his daughter, the lone survivors of a dangerous deep space mission into the outer reaches of the solar system. Prior to having the child, Monte was a member of a group of prisoners sent on spaceship towards a black hole to collect scientific experiments, but when all the inmates on the ship mysteriously vanish, Monte is left to raise his daughter, who he was forced to have against his will, on his own and in complete isolation.
For those unfamiliar with the movie, High Life is a gorgeously shot and thrilling story about love and survival, and while we understand it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you’re a fan of science fiction we’d highly recommend it checking it out.Nicholas Hunt / Staff
Written, produced, and directed by David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis is about a 28-year-old billionaire named Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) who is chauffeured across Manhattan to get a haircut by his father’s old barber. Along the way. Packer meets with various business partners and personal associates, all the while his business and life begin to unravel.
Cosmopolis is by no means the best film of the list, but Pattinson’s was good and in our opinion, Packer and Bruce Wayne share some similarities that lead us to believe that Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. made the right decision casting him in The Batman.Stuart C. Wilson / Stringer
The Lost City of Z (2016)
Based on David Grann’s 2009 book of the same name, The Lost City of Z is an adventure drama starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Henry Costin, Sienna Miller, Nina Fawcett, and Tom Holland. Written and directed by James Gray, The Lost City of Z tells the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who journeys into the Amazon during the 1920s and discovers evidence of a previously unknown civilization that may have once inhabited the area.
The Lost City of Z has its faults, but the story was well written and the performances were excellent. Pattinson’s portrayal of Corporal Henry Costin was outstanding, wonderfully showcasing his willingness to fully embrace the persona and mannerisms of the character.Rich Fury / Stringer
Good Time (2017)
Released in 2017 and directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, Good Time is about Connie Nikas’s (Robert Pattinson) desperate and dangerous attempt to free his younger developmentally disabled brother (Josh Safdie) after a botched bank robbery lands him in prison.
Good Time is a gritty low-budget crime drama that’s both fresh and thrilling. If you’re looking for a film that puts Pattinson’s acting chops on full display, this is it. His performance as Connie was on point and without question his greatest performance to date.Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff