User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 248

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  1. Oct 30, 2010
    best Michael Keaton movie ever!
  2. 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.
  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.
  4. Jan 22, 2012
    What do people see in this movie? I saw it when it came out when I was a little kid and hated it. Now that I'm an adult, I thought that perhaps I didn't have the ability to appreciate whatever it was that people loved about this movie, so I watched it again. And I still hate it, LOL. I don't know where to begin, frankly, because every aspect of this movie, from the completely unfaithful representation of the comic book characters to the cringingly awkward dialogue and perplexing moment to moment decisions to the stiff and contrived flow of action, made this one of the biggest wastes of time I've spent in a while. I just finished watching the scene where Bruce Wayne confronts the joker in Vicki Vale's apartment. Oh yeah, you fanboys know what I'm talking about and every one of you knows when you saw that scene even your reaction was, "And Bruce Wayne did that because....?". That reaction pretty much sums up my sentiments for almost every character in every scene in the entire movie. Don't waste your time with this movie. The new Chris Nolan ones are at least compelling and rational, even if they aren't completely adherent to the comic book themes. Stick with them and may this movie be buried for eternity at the bottom of the $5 DVD bin at your local Walmart! Expand
  5. Jun 5, 2012
    I was 15 when I heard they were making a Batman movie. I couldn't wait. I went out and bought all of these Batman comics to prepare myself for this monumental occasion. Then the news starting pouring in. Tim Burton was directing. REALLY??? The director of Beetlejuice was directing??? Then came the announcement of Michael (Mr. Mom) Keaton as Batman. WHAT??? Are you **** kidding me? It just got worse from there, but as a kid, I still had to see this for myself. I was there at the first showing with the rest of the poor suckers hoping to see a good superhero movie. Boy were we wrong. Wrong in the worst way. There is no way that someone can do this much stupid by accident! The acting was atrocious, no story, the worst Joker of all time, a rubber Batman costume, a city painted black, and a director that didn't seem to give even one **** about what he was doing and how many people he was hurting. The only way anyone could possibly like this movie is if they are legally retarded, or this is the fist movie that anyone has ever seen! Expand
  6. Apr 1, 2011
    The most successful outing of the Caped Crusader before the 2007 smash hit Dark Knight, the 1989 Tim Burton version offers a straight up comic book movie with a crap load of action, explosions and overall mayhem. Michael Keaton stars as Bruce Wayne, a sly and unassuming businessman who by day deals with documents and contracts and who by night is a one man army, stopping crimes all over Gotham City. He forms a relationship with photojournalist Vicki Vale, played sexily by Kim Basinger, who wants to write a story about the Batman legend and crack the truth once and for all. Meanwhile, a citywide spree of madness and murder is being perpetrated by The Joker, played excellently by Jack Nicholson who is perfect for the role. Quite simply, when it comes to portraying crazy people, he is THE best. As mentioned before, the movie was in the hands of extraordinary artist Tim Burton, four years after his big screen debut with the 1985 comedy Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. The movie looks great, and the DVD quality is top-notch for a movie that is nearly 25 years old. I have to say, this movie in particular is the best looking action movie I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. However, the film does have some flaws, my biggest complaint being a sometimes cheesy soundtrack (Prince). In sum, a truly great film experience that all fans of the genre should check it out. Expand
  7. Aug 11, 2010
    Not as good as Batman Begins, but a pretty great movie nonetheless. However, if Nicholson weren't there to steal the show from Keaton's dull Bruce Wayne, I would probably have given it a lower score.
  8. Feb 6, 2011
    I watched this movie a couple of days ago after so many years and while Batman's stiffness in his movements kind of gets in the way, the movie is still as spectacular as ever, specially the musical score.
  9. Feb 14, 2011
    The only flaw I can find with this movie is Micheal Keaton, his interpretation of Batman is poorly done, but Jack Nicholson's performance as The Joker easily makes up for this, he really shows the Joker for who he is, a psychotic prankster, all in all if you can put up with Keaton than you have yourself a great movie.
  10. Aug 5, 2012
    Tim Burton's Batman might not pack the epic punch of the later Nolan incarnation of the dark knight, but it still stands as a thoroughly enjoyable Bat-romp. Silly and gothic in equal measure, the movie is buoyed by a charismatic performance from jack Nicholson, a rousing classic theme tune and the coolest batmobile to ever grace the screen.
  11. Nov 3, 2012
    Batman is both silly and thrilling at the same time. Fun adaptation on franchise entry, gothic, Tim Burton's style. There were nothing best Bruce Wayne and Batman, and there were no best Batman movie. Everyone has a style. Michael Keaton was terrific.
  12. Feb 27, 2012
    Batman is a truly fine superhero film. It's not just that, though - most of the film more closely resembles an action-orientated film noir, and it has a finale that appears to have been taken straight out of a Gothic horror movie. Michael Keaton is the best film Batman, no question. While I can understand his casting raised a few eyebrows, but his portrayal of Bruce Wayne is very human and sincere, and very likeable, and his portrayal of the Dark Knight is unexpectedly effective, and highly influential (Christian Bale wasn't the first to adopt a different voice for the bat and the man). His successors never reach the heights Keaton does, with Val Kilmer being too camp and George Clooney being completely lifeless. Jack Nicholson's Joker makes for an extremely entertaining, scary villain. While he will now always be compared to Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance, you can't avoid the fact that they're very different roles. Ledger's Joker is uncontrollable and without any clear aim - he's a rabid dog. Nicholson's Joker is a sociopathic gangster with fame on his mind, is far more calculated and aware of what he is doing, and I personally find that far more scary. Like I say, they're different interpretations of the character, and impossible to rank one above the other. Kim Basinger's Vicki Vale makes a good damsel in distress, Michael Gough makes the perfect Alfred, and Jack Palance growls through his lines as another despicable villain, crime boss Carl Grissom. It's such a shame that Billy Dee Williams never got to play Two-Face (as he really wanted to) with his version of Harvey Dent being such an intriguing, ambiguous, image-obsessed character - he would have made a really memorable villain. Like all of Tim Burton's films, Batman is a visual feast, with Gotham city presented as a murky, industrial, crime-ridden dystopian metropolis, but with a striking ahistorical mix of architecture by designer Anton Furst. Appropriately enough for a film which is so influenced by Brazil in its design, the cinematographer is regular Terry Gilliam collaborator Roger Pratt, and his steady, measured filming style marries very well with Burton's dark, focused vision. As well as being a very engaging and well constructed superhero film and crime thriller, Batman has a surprising amount of comedy in it. This isn't the campy, pun-laden humour of the Schumacher Batman films - these are clever, self-aware jokes about social convention (the scene where Bruce Wayne is having a meal with Vicky Vale across a ridiculously long dining table before Wayne admits that he doesn't think he's ever been in this particular room of his vast mansion before is incredibly funny, helped no small measure by Keaton's impeccable comic timing) and the affectionate mockery of the ridiculousness of the source material (two thugs looking over an apparently unconscious Batman wonder who he is, but rather than immediately thinking to remove his mask, one suggests that they should "check his wallet"). The addition of humour adds a lot to the film, but never at the expense of story or character. Schumacher took this too far in his films, but Burton gets the balance between humour and seriousness just right. Finally, Danny Elfman's score is among the best of his career, providing a consistent moody and mysterious tone to the film, and creating a memorable hero theme to rival even John Williams' iconic theme for Superman. Batman is a truly great superhero film. So visually striking, it looks like it was torn straight out of the comic books it was based on, and the two most recognisable characters from those pages are brought wonderfully to life by Keaton and Nicholson. The film retains the tragedy and darkness of Batman as a character and the world he inhabits, but never gets carried away with it to the extent that the film becomes depressing. The addition of a liberal dose of humour is a welcome one, and it's nice to see a decent big budget superhero film confident enough to incorporate comedy into its story (something we have seen more of recently, with Iron Man and Thor). A great superhero film, a nice call-back to film noir and Gothic horror of classic Hollywood, and one of Mr Burton's very best - Batman really is rather fantastic. Expand
  13. Aug 28, 2011
    We can express how clear it is that Christopher Nolan's take on Batman (a trilogy consisting of BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, and the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES) is much better than this. This 1989 edition of Batman is often cheesy (though definitely not as much as BATMAN: THE MOVIE from 1966 or the 1960s television series it was based on), but otherwise thrilling, intriguing, and irresistibly intense. It is some of Tim Burton's very best work, though not his best collaboration with Michael Keaton (that would be BEETLEJUICE). Expand
  14. Aug 30, 2011
    Batman is a Dark Film with great action sequences and good all around acting performances from Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson its a Classic Movie that will be marked in history as one of the most memorable Super Hero movies of All time
  15. Aug 29, 2012
    The blockbuster that started it all. It may not be the first superhero film, but it sure was the first that was a genuine phenomenon. So much so that it eclipsed the movie itself. The T Shirt with the BAT symbol...the Prince soundtrack...the endless merchandise. How about the movie itself? It always was an unconventional film, from its choice of male cast (comedian Michael Keaton) to its Blade Runner influenced Art Design.Yes.. the narrative took strange turns, the fighting scene looked really stiff. But the spectacle is still present, two decades after its release. While the Nolan trilogy brought the Dark Knight to the 21st century, Tim Burton's version was the first super hero film that showed the true potential of the genre. Not the best, but still pretty great stuff. Expand
  16. Apr 25, 2014
    Batman 1989 is my favourite superhero film, Michael Keaton is the best Batman because you never would have suspected that it's him, he as Bruce Wayne keeps all his troubles and worries inside not showing it when around other people, and when he is Batman he lets all that anger and hate out, then there is Jack Nicholson as the Joker he was the one who stole the whole movie and well he is the best movie Joker because he is funny and creepy. This is also by far the best superhero-villain relationship I've seen in a comic book movie, first of all Joker killed Batman's parents, if that doesn't make him his enemy than I don't know what will. The soundtrack is amazing and the last third of the movie is definitely the best part of the movie, you see the Batmobile, you see the Batwing, you see Joker, and Batman kicking ass. 10/10 Expand
  17. Dec 29, 2012
    This movie was alright and had some great actors in it but I think it is overrated. People say they like this movie because Tim Burton put a very dark spin on it, but personally I did not find it to be that dark. Maybe it is because it had a top-40 Artist (formerly known as? currently known as?) Prince doing the soundtrack along with a cheesy medley song with samples from the movie playing regularly on top 40 radio. Maybe it was because it was being promoted by fast-food franchises like McDonalds/Burger King (don't remember which). In any case it seemed really mainstream in many ways that a Tim Burton film usually isn't. It was, at least, definitely better than the 3rd and 4th sequels to come when the torch was passed to Joel Schumacher. Jack Nicholson has an interesting interpretation of The Joker. It is worth watching but overrated. Expand
  18. Aug 12, 2012
    A film I adored as a kid, I was surprised to rewatch it now as a grown 20-year old, and coming out of it as not as great as I remembered it to be. The chess match between Batman and Joker is good, Jack Nicholson is great as the Joker, Michael Keaton actually made Batman a little scarier and more menacing than any other who played the character in the series, with some good production values, and damn the Prince songs were awesome. But other than that, this is a silly movie with an annoying damsel-in-distress, so many plotholes, and just a hot mess. It's still a good movie, but not as good as I remembered it to be, and definitely not as good as the Nolan films. Expand
  19. Nov 28, 2012
    An excellently written and technically superb action film, featuring one of the greatest turns of the titular character by way of Michael Keaton.
  20. Jun 22, 2013
    The first time that Batman is seen on screen in this way leads to a darkly funny comic book film. Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson give good performances and Tim Burton continued a solid early career.
  21. May 15, 2013
    Probably one of my most nostalgic movie franchise was the batman series, from Tim Burton's original to even Batman and Robin. With that said, this one was one I never watched as much compared to the sequal. I just didn't get into it. Watching it now I realize it's probably one of the best ones, in my opinion I like Batman returns more. I got this movie along with the next three in what's probably now called a box set, I watched all of them multiple times; I didn't know how bad the last one was, and enjoyed watching most of them. I guess I should start talking abut the movie now instead of how I got it, the best things in this movie are shown right in the opening. The score to this is now iconic, I think it's better than Nolan's score. It sets the mood, it gets exciting, and just feels so triumphant. The actors are a good choice as well. Michael Keaton is now famous for his role as Batman, giving a settle Bruce Wayne character and the bruting Batman. Jack Nicolson; I'm a big fan of his now, he gives a sorta hoakey performance. I mean, he's not at all scary, more funny in fact, but he does what he wants and we love him for it. The supporting cast from Bruce's butler Alfred are good, and the reporter is...okay. Okay so she isn't anything great, if anything she's annoying. I think the plot is interesting; being Tim Burton he gives a shot at 60's culture, satire of how people fancy themselves with make-up and other products, and decide to use it against the populous. The sleek and dark look of gotham is forever remembered in the eyes of filmmakers, having essence of Chicago and other crime driven cities. Also this film was I believe criticised for its dark tone; when that would come full bloom in the next installment, and in all honesty it's not that dark, it's darkly shot if that's what they meant. Now my final verdict for this film is what it is because it holds good nostalgia; even if it's not my favorite in the series, some good performances, and it's just to see the caped crusader on the big screen done right. Expand
  22. Jun 9, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Well, I finally watched this movie and I was not impressed. Maybe its because I watched the Nolan films first. Jack Nicholson as the Joker was weird. I didn't like him. I wasn't a big fan of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne or Batman. Vicki Vale annoyed the hell out of me. I REALLY did not like the music by Prince. The part where Batman killed the thug really bothered me and yes, I know that Batman has killed people before, but that was a long time ago. And then there was the part where Joker shot down the Batwing with a bullet. A bullet. Really? I liked the music by Danny Elfman and I liked Alfred, but other than that I can't think of other things I liked about this movie. I didn't like the movie, but I didn't dislike it. Expand
  23. Jun 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What the hell is this, this barely has anything to do with the comic first off Batman dosent kill people, second Joker disnt kill Batman's parents that is stupid Expand
  24. Jul 3, 2013
    Batman is a dark and violent superhero movie. Michael Keaton is the best Batman ever! The best Batman movie ever! Batman must stop the evil Joker from destroying Gotham City in this superhero blockbuster. Batman has everything a good superhero film should have. While not that close to the comic it still has some comic book things in it. It defiantly the best.
  25. Jul 30, 2013
    Due to its' creativity, fantastic story and characters, Tim Burton's Batman is a fantastic superhero movie that I will never get tired of, and, in my opinion, Tim Burton's masterpiece.
  26. Jun 28, 2014
    Adapts the comic book to the screen in a very dark, almost ghoulish (Tim Burton) style, that remains relatively faithful to the basis of the comics. Jack Nicholson is the iconic Joker, though he is out-acted by Heath Ledger. Michael Keaton proves by far the better Batman than any other Bruce Wayne's (Clooney, this is directed towards you). The story keeps you interested, and the ending doesn't disappoint. Two on the list of best Batman movies. Expand
  27. Aug 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This has been one of my favourite movies for years and years. This is the comic book movie at it's best, realistic enough but sticking to it's roots of the impossible. Keaton's performance remains to be the best Batman. Jack Nicholson gives us performance as the Joker, and with it is his dark and morbid sense of humour that appeals to me, I find him absolutely hilarious. The visuals and music fit perfectly together and to a visual artist like it's just perfect. What really works for this movie is that Batman's character is kept more of a mystery and because of that it's a better performance, and the Joker's story we learn the details of and is written and performed perfectly. Tim Burton's greatest film and one of my all time favourites. Expand
  28. Nov 29, 2013
    Although there are some ridiculous sets, such as three mile high buildings and such, the acting is good, with great villains. Nicholson does one of his better performances to date.
  29. Oct 27, 2013
    the first batman movie was somewhat gothic, but that does not mean it was a cool movie or has not changed the way to see superhero movies, this film is cool thanks to good acting jack nicholson.
  30. Dec 2, 2013
    This film is a classic and follows the archetype of the brooding Batman almost to a 'T". The only problem is that Tim Burton's vision sometimes gets bogged down with Prince's soundtrack and the "Pee Wee Herman"/"Beetlejuice" themes he used in previous films.
  31. Feb 21, 2014
    So I watched this the other night having never seen the original batman movie by Tim Burton. I heard arguments from people that it was better than the Dark Knight Trilogy created by Christopher Nolan. Um....might be one of the worst incarnations of the Caped Crusader ever made. First off, there is a major problem with michael keaton as batman. This fool was wearing glasses as bruce wayne, had kinda of curly hair and had absolutely no suave of any kind. I was trying to figure out if this guy was supposed to be a grown up peter parker or something instead of bruce wayne. But the bigger problem is Jack Nicholson as the Joker. You friken kidding me? Joker has always bean kinda of lean and skinny. Nicholson had too broad of shoulders to sell as the Joker. Didn't have the voice, didn't have the look, and minimized the craziness of the Joker. And the biggest flaw in the whole movie was that they changed Batmans orgin story of who killed his parents. A common thug kills his parents in the allyway. But not in this movie. Instead it was friken Joker when he was younger. Joker? Bullcrap man. And batman doesn't realize until near the end of the movie. The man who killed my parents was the Joker! Okay Tim Burton. Thanks for killing my fascination with batman. Expand
  32. Sep 15, 2014
    While the famous character known as The Joker sometimes overshadows the character title (feeling more like a Joker movie), "Batman" offers dark,stirring and eerie entertainment thanks to a witty performance from Jack Nicholson and a creative direction from Tim Burton.
  33. May 11, 2014
    The characters are interesting but the script is very Very poor. It's very predictable and a very basic film. Though it had a more dark feel to it than the 60s Batman, it seemed fairly Juvenile to me. The Casting was spot on. Nicholson is perfect for the Joker, but The Joker was wayyyy overplayed. Overall, a pretty disappointing film. Tim Burton should know better. The only praiseworthy aspect about the film is the Art Direction. Expand
  34. May 6, 2014
    For its time Batman was a good comic book movie. but now watching it with an older eye, its not that good. Keaton is a good batman but not so much bruce. Nicholson kills it as the joker. and the score by danny elfman is the most memorial part
  35. Jul 9, 2014
    Nicholson and Keaton are excellent in Batman. The action is very cool and all the cast fit their characters.
    Keaton should've stayed with the Batman franchise but he dropped out of it after the sequel. Batman
    is one of smartest comic book movies ever made.
  36. Aug 3, 2014
    Even though the film might be a bit too cartoony like the comics, Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson's performances as Batman and The Joker are portrayed well enough to make this film an enjoyable flick.
  37. Oct 17, 2014
    Gotham City: dark, dangerous, 'protected' only by a mostly corrupt police department. Despite the best efforts of D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner Jim Gordon, the city becomes increasingly unsafe...until a Dark Knight arises. We all know criminals are a superstitious, cowardly his disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. He becomes a bat. Enter Vicky Vale, a prize-winning photo journalist who wants to uncover the secret of the mysterious "bat-man". And enter Jack Napier, one-time enforcer for Boss Grissom, horribly disfigured after a firefight in a chemical factory...who, devoid of the last vestiges of sanity, seizes control of Gotham's underworld as the psychotic, unpredictable Clown Prince of Crime...the Joker. Gotham's only hope, it seems, lies in this dark, brooding vigilante. Expand
  38. Oct 19, 2014
    I love this movie! It's the best one in the whole franchise and a true classic. The role as Batman was tailor made for Michael Keaton he's just perfect as Bruce Wayne. A bit cheesy at times and outdated a bit as far as special effects but makes up for it with the talented cast. Tim Burton is so cool! Definitely watch this movie!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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]