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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How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue