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Batman (1989)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 19

An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.

58

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 5

An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 905,089

My Rating

Movie Info

Jack Nicholson is the Joker, who emerged from a horrible accident as a maniacal criminal. Michael Keaton is the Caped Crusader, who emerged from a childhood trauma to become a masked crimefighter. Kim Basinger is Vicki Vale, the talented photojournalist desired by both men. And Batman is the movie, the all-out spectacular directed by Tim Burton, set to songs by Prince and a music score by Danny Elfman, and an Academy AwardO winner* for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Anton Furst and Peter

PG-13,

Action & Adventure

Mar 25, 1997

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (19) | DVD (20)

It's an unforgivably flat ending for a movie of such astonishing contours. But its first two-thirds -- which should be called The Joker's Big Misadventure -- is probably the best film of the year.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The storytelling has weaknesses, but the characters are fascinating.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The idea of doing a dark, neurotic, highly stylized and highly claustrophobic superproduction is an audacious and appealing one, but director Tim Burton has only made it halfway there.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Is it interesting? Fitfully. Is it fun? Not much, Gotham City fans, not much.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Tim Burton effectively echoes the visual style of the original Bob Kane comics while conjuring up a nightmarish world of his own.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The conceptual side of the movie--two rather sick two-sided antagonists having it out in a black and sordid context -- lingers.

April 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (4)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nicholson isn't only offering a brilliant bit of self-parody here, he's doing it in service to the character

June 29, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

It is, unfortunately, awfully difficult to revisit Tim Burton's Batman with an impartial eye in the wake of Christopher Nolan's genre-defining Dark Knight trilogy...

February 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Nicholson's Joker is a villain worthy of a real superhero and Keaton's Batman gets to perform some cinematic superheroics of the first order.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Highly recommended even for fans who think Batman begins and ends with Nolan's trilogy.

August 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

[Nicholson] has never been more commanding. Not only because he does an outstanding job, but also because so much of the movie's creative energy is devoted to making the Joker one of the most startling movie characters in recent memory.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

As Robin might have said of this semi-boondoggle: "Holy overkill!"

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Michael Keaton makes a credible hero, and Jack Nicholson is downright manic as his nemesis.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Even though its standing has diminished in the wake of the countless superhero flicks that emerged in the new millennium, the pros still outweigh the cons.

October 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Only minor Burton, with hindsight on our side, and its chief merits and flaws are as one of the formative texts of superhero cinema.

July 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

While Keaton and Nicholson are dazzling in their roles, Burton never quite finds much to explore with Bruce Wayne, and that's wasted potential.

July 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed | Comments (6)
Cinema Crazed

Stylish, violent, and often dull Batman adventure.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (2)
Common Sense Media

A dark and refreshing interpretation of one of comic kingdom's most beloved characters, Batman successfully wiped away the memory of the camp 1960s television show and proved that comic book movies can be highly entertaining viewing.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

The element of surprise appears in every frame of this motion picture, creating a rich sense of joy and mystery that seems to befuddle Burton and his primitive instincts.

August 26, 2009 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

...Batman hasn't gone totally stale.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Visually arresting but dramatically undernourished, the film suffers from bland characterization (particularly by Basinger's Vicki and the other "good" crime fighters) and is ultimately saved by Jack Nicholson's bravura turn as the diabolical Joker.

July 5, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A void of underdeveloped style and halfhearted execution.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (2)
Projection Booth

Audience Reviews for Batman

The creative vision of the Dark Knight is presented in only a way Tim Burton could do it. Batman is a charming and stylized portrayal of the DC-Comic hero. From the layout of the entire city of Gotham to the casts dynamic stamp (Keaton, Nicholson, Basinger) the Caped Crusader emerges victoriously and notoriously. 4/5
May 7, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

again its not one of the best superhero movies ive ever seen but its still pretty good for any fan of the comics and or Tim Burton
December 24, 2012
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

An interesting take on Batman, which has a high level of unrecognized faith towards the comics. Michael Keaton only gives a moderate performances as the caped crusader; nothing dire, but nothing superb. However, its really Jack Nicholson's take on the Joker that truly makes this film stand out. Not only does Nicholson give a sophisticated, hysterical and psychotic portrayal, it's one of very few performances that gets very close to the character. Its worth a try if your a comic fan and want to see some loyalty within a film. However, on the bare minimum, it only worth seeing Nicholson being creepy yet wacky.
September 22, 2012
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

I respect this film for the same reason I respect the Sam Raimi's Spiderman trilogy. It brought a respectable version of the character to the big screen and made it enjoyable and grand for it's time. Sure it may be a bit dated and I don't think Bruce Wayne ever had a mullet but I can still watch this film today and love the portrayals of the characters. Nicholson's Joker may not be my favorite but it is a staple in movie history.
August 6, 2012
Joshua Wilburn

Super Reviewer

    1. Joker/Jack Napier: This town needs an enema.
    – Submitted by Glenn P (58 days ago)
    1. Joker/Jack Napier: Hello Vinnie. It's your Uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check. The pen is truly mightier than the sword!
    – Submitted by Thomas H (4 months ago)
    1. Joker/Jack Napier: Tell me something, my friend, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
    2. Batman/Bruce Wayne: What?
    3. Joker/Jack Napier: I always ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.
    – Submitted by Alec B (11 months ago)
    1. Batman/Bruce Wayne: You're a really nice girl, and I like you a lot, but for now, shut up.
    – Submitted by Joe N (15 months ago)
    1. Joker/Jack Napier: Nice Outfit
    – Submitted by Joe N (15 months ago)
    1. Alfred Pennyworth: Mr. Wayne told me to tell you that he might be a little late.
    2. Vicki Vale: I'm not a bit surprised.
    – Submitted by Joe N (15 months ago)
View all quotes (51)

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