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

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 334 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).
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. 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.
  2. In short, Batman is terrific - funny, smart and sensitive too, the perfect cinematic date.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Collins
    80
    Jack Nicholson as The Joker helpfully provides all the colour.
  4. 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]
  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: 64 out of 76
  2. Negative: 8 out of 76
  1. Myles#13
    Sep 6, 2006
    10
    This is the superhero movie of our day and defined the genre. Burton delivered the Batman that Bob Kane envisioned when he first developed This is the superhero movie of our day and defined the genre. Burton delivered the Batman that Bob Kane envisioned when he first developed the character. Don't listen to the doubters... Michael Keaton IS Batman and Jack Nicholson IS the Joker- both actors are at the top of their game in this film. Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2013
    10
    Batman is a dark and violent superhero movie. Michael Keaton is the best Batman ever! The best Batman movie ever! Batman must stop the evilBatman 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. Expand
  3. Oct 30, 2010
    10
    best Michael Keaton movie ever!
  4. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    An excellently written and technically superb action film, featuring one of the greatest turns of the titular character by way of Michael Keaton.
  5. May 3, 2015
    7
    cool for its time! but now has gone down. Keaton is a great batman and Nicholson is a great joker and they both carry the movie. Tim burtoncool for its time! but now has gone down. Keaton is a great batman and Nicholson is a great joker and they both carry the movie. Tim burton nails the dark tone Expand
  6. Aug 12, 2012
    7
    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 toA 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
  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 thatWhat 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 76 User Reviews

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