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Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 210 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Tim Burton's 1989 Blockbuster introduces us to the origins of Gotham City's fearless crimestopper Batman (Keaton) and his arch-enemy The Joker (Nicholson).
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. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    100
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    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.
  4. 70
    It has so many unpredictable spins that what's missing doesn't seem to matter much. The images sing. [10 July 1989]
  5. 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]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    60
    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.
  7. 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]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 59
  2. Negative: 8 out of 59
  1. H.Identity
    Apr 23, 2007
    10
    This movie was probably the best superhero movie I've seen. Michael Keaton made the character of Batman a dark and menacing figure of the night which made him my favorite Batman of all time. And Jack Nicolson's portrayal of the Joker was creepy yet genius. I loved the movie all around. Expand
  2. Feb 6, 2011
    10
    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. Expand
  3. Oct 30, 2010
    10
    best Michael Keaton movie ever!
  4. Feb 14, 2011
    9
    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. Expand
  5. Aug 11, 2010
    8
    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. Expand
  6. Dec 29, 2012
    7
    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
  7. Jan 22, 2012
    0
    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

See all 59 User Reviews

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