Tim Burton is simply unique. His directing style is gothic, fantastical and bold, and so recognisable that his work has been coined ‘burtonesque’.

For a long time, he has been one of my favourite director’, and having just read his book Burton on Burton, I thought why not? Let’s have a look at his top five films.

Edward Scissorhand

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands. Source: 20th Century Fox.

Edward Scissorhands is about a man with… well… scissors for hands. A scientific creation, Edward, whose creator passed away before attaching his hands, lives atop a hill in a castle overlooking sunny suburbia. The film follows Edward’s attempted integration into ‘normal’ society, and follows his acceptance as a topiary, a barber, and his eventual ex-communication from the community. Edward Scissorhands was Burton’s first film that allowed him creative autonomy, and marked the first time he and long time collaborator Johnny Depp would work together.

Big Fish

I’m no stranger to crying during movies, but for the most part it’s a tear here and maybe a tear there. Although, every now and then a movie comes around that completely melts me, leaving me curled up in a ball begging for mercy. This is one of those movies. Big Fish is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. It chronicles a son’s journey to reconcile his relationship with his father as he lays on his death bed, and uses some of the most incredible story-telling and flashback sequences I’ve ever seen. Really Tim, you did good on this one.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 

Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd. Source: Warner Bros.

I’ve never been a massive fan of musicals; I could never look past how everyone spontaneously knew the words and dances to so many songs. But Sweeney Todd is the exception. With a star cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and of course, Johnny Depp, the film is particularly dark, but still so much fun.


The first time I saw Beetlejuice, I had no idea what was going on, and I can only assume many have shared these thoughts. I don’t think I had ever seen someone have so much fun with a film, be so creative and wild, and just let their imagination run free. The film stars Michael Keaton as Beatleguese, a bio-exorcist who is hired by a deceased married couple looking to haunt the new inhabitants of their old home. The movie is jam-packed with classic Burton special effects, including a sweet piece of stop-motion animation towards the film’s end.

Corpse Bride 

Helena Bonham Carter as The Corpse Bride. Source: Warner Bros.

Tim Burton is first and foremost an artist and animator. He got his start at Disney, but his macabre tone never landed him a big piece of Snow White. It wasn’t until his stop-motion short Vincent, an ode to his role model Vincent Price, that he was able to properly explore the stop-motion medium. The Corpse Bride is Burton’s second full-length, stop-motion film. Victor (Johnny Depp), a young bachelor who is set to marry Victoria (Emily Watson), accidently finds himself wed to a corpse (Helena Bonham Carter), when he misplaces his ring on what he suspected was a twig. The rest is purely captivating.

Tim Burton has a lot of movies to his name, so which would be your top five?

See how Tim Burton’s The Joker fared amongst the greatest to play the role of all time:



Julian is a film student who loves hip-hop and long walks to the fridge. When he's not being a couch potato he enjoys browsing for couches or eating potatoes.