The Best Movie Villain? Try Cillian Murphy In Batman

The Best Movie Villain? Try Cillian Murphy In Batman
Image credit: Legion-Media

Not by Thomas Shelby alone.

While we're still waiting for Oppenheimer to hit theaters, there's a chance to revisit some of the best work of Cillian Murphy, the star of Nolan's upcoming film.

While half of the fandom is already obsessed with him for his performance in Peaky Blinders, the rest of the fans are probably focused on his portrayal of Dr. Jonathan Crane, the supervillain from Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. In fact, working with the famous director on that film was a huge boost for an extremely talented but slightly underrated actor.

In Batman Begins, we are introduced to Jonathan Crane as a psychologist with a taste for sending violent criminals to Arkham Asylum to experiment with his fear poison instead of sending them to prison.

This is the only movie in the trilogy where we really get to spend time with Crane and understand his world view and moral standards.

He conveys his deep-seated instability through a deceptively calm surface, benefiting from his boyish good looks and those uniquely clear blue eyes. And while he still is an extremely dangerous villain of the story, it’s hard to accept him like one.

The mind game Murphy is playing there is simply extraordinary. His appearance gives us the false feeling that we're dealing with a bored brainiac who isn't also a delusional paranoid. But with every new movie his character just gets better.

His Scarecrow in The Dark Knight is absolutely a different kind of villain, more of a victim even. He got so confused in all the toxic fear games that somehow got stuck in a Scarecrow persona. And for a long time, he was actually running up his new drug business hiding under the mask.

But that was only till Batman unmasked him in front of all the customers whose trust he was trying to earn. So in the third movie of the franchise he is there again, looking like good-old Dr. Crane, ready to be the worst 9 to 5 boss who enjoys firing his employees way too much.

The years without Batman combined with the fear toxin coursing through his system has allowed him to tap into his true "don't care" energy, and Murphy is having the time of his life flexing for literally all two minutes of screen time.