Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. It's a rare, beautifully made movie that offers you another world. [23 June 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
  2. In short, Batman is terrific - funny, smart and sensitive too, the perfect cinematic date.
  3. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    The movie fixes you in its gravitational pull. It's an enveloping, walk-in vision... As rich and satisfying a movie as you're likely to see all year.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew Collins
    Jack Nicholson as The Joker helpfully provides all the colour.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Nicholson embellishes fascinatingly baroque designs with his twisted features, lavish verbal pirouettes and inspired excursions into the outer limits of psychosis. It's a masterpiece of sinister comic acting.
  6. The Batblast of the summer.
  7. 75
    Burton's Gotham City-constructed on a massive sound stage in London- is a striking blend of spindly gothic, decaying art deco and broodingly bland institutional architecture that seems to lie just a couple of subway stops down from Ridley Scott's ''Blade Runner'' and Terry Gilliam's ''Brazil.'' It's great to look at, but we seem to have been here before. [23 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There's a cold intelligence at work here. Though its pleasures are plentiful enough to reward a second viewing, only Nicholson has saved Warners from a wing-clip. [23 June 1989, Life, p.1D]
  9. 70
    It has so many unpredictable spins that what's missing doesn't seem to matter much. The images sing. [10 July 1989]
  10. It's relatively easy to convey the claustral in interior scenes, but [designer] Furst and the director Tim Burton do it even when the setting is a great flight of steps before the municipal building or the huge square where Batman and the joker confront each other. [31 July 1989, p.24]
  11. It would be a lot better if it didn't lean exclusively on bone-crunching action for its climactic thrills, and the story continues long after its ideas have started to sag. [29 June 1989, Arts, p.10]
  12. 63
    Batman is largely content to skim the surface and bask in the light of its visual style.
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    Despite its interesting, grim tone and undeniably striking visuals from director Burton and production designer Furst, the film fails to synthesize its strengths into a compelling whole.
  14. The main problem is that Burton operates best on a modest scale; saddled with a blockbuster, he doesn't know how to animate all the dead space.
  15. 50
    The movie's problem is that no one seemed to have any fun making it, and it's hard to have much fun watching it. It's a depressing experience.
  16. It's neither funny nor solemn. It has the personality not of a particular movie but of a product, of something arrived at by corporate decision.
  17. The Joker has been demoted into a broad-scale sociopath, without a tempter's power or a mythic villain's complexity. And that's the movie's real undoing. [23 June 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 237 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 67
  2. Negative: 9 out of 67
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    What makes "Batman" impressive is the unpredictable creativity and live art director Tim Burton mixes in with the original idea. Very impressive and well made. Full Review »
  2. Oct 30, 2010
    best Michael Keaton movie ever!
  3. Feb 1, 2011
    Perhaps it is because I saw the Nolan films first but I was unimpressed with the lack of plot and the mix and match thing they've got going on with the set. Keaton was decent and Nicholson a redeemer, but I maintain there was a negligible storyline and the poor pacing results in a film that is not engaging. Full Review »