Who is the baddest Batman villain of them all?

Ka-pow! Batman is smashing Hollywood box-office records this weekend with his new film, 'The Dark Knight'. But the real star is the psychotic Joker, played by Heath Ledger in his last role before his death from a drugs overdose. The baddies often outclass the Bat, says Cole Moreton. But is this nasty Joker the best villain of the lot?

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (18)

From the moment the opening credits start literally oozing on to our screens with gruesome effect, we know that we're in for a typically macabre cinematic experience from the director Tim Burton.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 18

Despite the copious blood and guts, Tim Burton's musical is a strangely moral tale

Johnny Depp: His performance in Sweeney Todd has been acclaimed as 'stunning in every dimension'

"Idiot," Johnny Depp likes to joke, is the German translation of his surname. The universally swooned-over film actor, who this week picked up his first Golden Globe for his all-singing portrayal of Sweeney Todd, has, over a 24-year career, gained a reputation for playing the outsiders, rejects and oddballs – the idiots. Big-bucks, twinkly-eyed romantic leads – for which his unimprovable looks might seem to make him an obvious contender – have never held any allure.

Helena Boham Carter: After 30 years of waiting, the actress is finally playing the role of her dreams

The Sweeney Todd star talks to Nicola Christie

Johnny Depp proves a cut aboven at premiere of 'Sweeney Todd'

Hollywood's most rock 'n' roll movie star, Johnny Depp, flew into London to wow the crowds at last night's premiere of Tim Burton's latest Gothic creation, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The wisdom of King Giorgio

She's the bright young star breaking all the rules. He's the grand master whose influence on the way we dress is felt around the world. In a rare interview, STELLA McCARTNEY asks Giorgio Armani about fur, fashion and film - and why RED is his new favourite colour

Arts: Spooks do furnish a room

All Tim Burton's films reveal his deep fascination with classic screen horror. So why has Sleepy Hollow, his first straight chiller, taken so long? He spoke to Vicki Reed in New York

Film: `I sometimes feel headless myself'

In `Sleepy Hollow', Tim Burton casts Christina Ricci completely against type. The director and his star explain why to David Eimer

London makes a pitch for US movies

THEY CAME to conquer Hollywood, not in an official limousine but in a slick sports vehicle. Their briefcases did not contain piles of Whitehall stationery, just a stack of interactive digital video discs and players. There were a few suits around, but the emphasis was definitely Paul Smith, not Savile Row.

It Was 10 Years Ago Today

In the summer of 1989 no bus shelter was safe from black- and- yellow batwings. It was what the distributors of Batman: The Movie called "absolutely the biggest poster campaign in history". As Nigel Andrews commented in the Financial Times: "Only someone who has destroyed his TV, shot his newsagent and retired to a cave in the Mendips could have avoided hearing about the film." And with the hype came the inevitable disappointment.

Win the The Planet of the Apes Video collection

WIN THE PLANET OF THE APES VIDEO COLLECTION

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: 9: Batman, Cartoon Hero

GERMANY LOOKED to Hitler, Italy to Mussolini and America to Superman. All three Ubermenschen were conceived in the Great Depression, although DC Comics undoubtedly produced the least lethal saviours from the prevailing chaos and disorder.
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?