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Batman Returns (1992)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 13

Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.

75

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 4

Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 636,474

My Rating

Movie Info

In this first sequel to 1989's Batman, the Caped Crusader (Michael Keaton) is up against the Penguin (Danny DeVito), the hideously deformed scion of a wealthy Gotham City family. The Penguin plots with evil businessman Max Schreck (Christopher Walken) to become mayor and then turn Gotham into a cathedral of crime. Upon overhearing these plans, Schreck's mousy secretary Selena Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) is tossed from a high-rise window by her boss. Rescued by a covey of kittens, Selena transforms

Apr 29, 1997

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (13) | DVD (24)

As Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands reminded us, Burton always has been more absorbed by what his audience sees than by what his movies say.

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

Batman Returns is the rarest of Hollywood beasts -- a sequel that's better than the original

April 10, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Burton, once an animator at Disney, understands that to go deeper, you must fly higher, to liberation from plot into poetry. Here he's done it. This Batman soars.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As in the first movie, Burton gives the material a luxurious masked-ball quality and a sly contemporary wit without violating the myth's low, cheesy comic-book origins.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Burton and company return to the prickly humor that gave such a jolt to the earlier film -- frequently finding it in unexpected places.

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

This time the richness of the Batman movie is not in its production design but rather in Burton's and screenwriter Daniel Waters' Freudian view of adult human behavior.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Among the 1990s' most fruitful marriages of high-brow auteurist style and pulp source material. A Burtonesque layer cake: at bottom, his take on German Expressionism; then the Gotham grotesquerie; topping it all off is a fissuring, fracturing fairytale.

December 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Batman Returns, though, is full of grim, Dostoyevskian undertones, not to mention a multitude of bloody, violent scenes.

December 3, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Even though fans of the 1960s TV show may reject its brooding atmosphere, this is still impressive stuff.

December 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

If Christopher Nolan never decided to direct a Batman movie, 'Batman Returns' would easily reign as the best film starring the Caped Crusader.

September 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

DeVito and Pfeiffer make formidable foes and formidable fun.

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

Batman has begun to exhibit more of the qualities Burton finds so interesting.

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

It's not really a movie. It's a painting and Burton is a painter, a Hieronymus Bosch for our time. The thing seems to come straight from his subconscious and unspool in dream-logic.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

It's the kind of film which has great stills but never quite comes alive when it actually moves -- likely to win at the box-office quicker than it does in the mind.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Batman Returns is as bitter as it is biting. Ingenious though it is, it makes you squirm as often as it makes you laugh.

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

Retains the original's dark currents while adding some colorful new characters.

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

Kind of a lousy Batman film, and also kind of a great Burton film.

July 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A step up from "Batman" but not by much, unfortunately...

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Batman was no longer torn from the pages of a funny book, but peeled off the bottom of a pair of Dr. Martens.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com | Comments (2)
BrianOrndorf.com

A darkly violent take on the comic-book hero.

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

Audience Reviews for Batman Returns

The Caped Crusader's return is even darker and erotic than the first. Batman Return displays true starpower with Keaton, Pfeiffer, Walken and DeVito playing magnificently. Tim Burton once again extends his film-making vision to newer heights. 4/5
May 7, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Once again, the performance of the villain is superior to Michael Keaton's moderate portrayal of Batman. This time, our main foe is the Penguin, played by none other than Danny Devito. His performance makes him almost as sophisticated and disturbing as Nicholson's Joker. With Christopher Walken as a supporting role, it makes it seem that this is a superb sequel. However, I felt that Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman was more focused on being seductive, rather being a clever feline thief. Overall, it doesn't feel superior to the predecessor, but remains as entertaining.
October 22, 2012
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

Now unlike the first Batman, this one I have a little hard of a time respecting this. For one thing, this completely rips apart the lore of Batman and the characters involved in this film. Penguin is not a little fish man and Catwoman is not a... well... cat. Though I can understand artistic liberties, I think Burton takes it a little too far in this film. That said, I do enjoy this movie as an original film. It's got an interesting and ORIGINAL story I could get invested with and ORIGINAL characters I can get enjoyment out of.
August 6, 2012
Joshua Wilburn

Super Reviewer

Batman Returns is a great follow-up to Tim Burton's first Batman feature. The film is much darker than the previous one, the atmosphere, darker, melancholic and at tad more serious than the first one. The film has a great cast to boot. . Danny Devito (who for me is pretty hit and miss) is terrific as the penguin. But for me the standout performance is Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Of all her work, I'd have to say that Batman Returns is one of her best films. I thought she was excellent as Catwoman. Another performance that delivers is that of Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, Walken as usual delivers a splendid performance. The tone that Burton gives us here is that of helplessness with a tense brooding atmosphere that simply makes the film more defined. Tim Burton took the best elements of the first and toned down the slight silliness of the film and made things with this sequel a lot more serious. What you have with this sequel is a film that doesn't try to be pretty, it tries to be in your face and give you a viewing experience you won't soon forget. Tim Burton crafted a solid follow up to Batman that is packed with terrific action and eccentric characters; it has everything you'd expect from a great Batman film. Only Christopher Nolan has crafted a more solid Batman film with his debut in the franchise by giving us Batman Begins. Up to this point, Batman Returns was the most serious of all the Batman films. Until in 2005 Christopher Nolan stepped in and gave us his now legendary trilogy. Aside from Nolan's work, which is flawless, Tim Burton is the second director to really be able to craft a good Batman film that is worth watching. Batman Returns is well crafted entertainment, sometimes a bit silly, but a lot more serious than the first film. Nonetheless, Batman is still my personal favorite of the two Tim Burton directed films. If you loved the first one, you're sure going to enjoy this one. After this one, the Batman film would fall apart, but it wasn't until the second Joel Schumacher film, Batman & Robin that things were getting truly awful. Watch this film, and skip to the Christopher Nolan directed Batman films. At least for me, the Burton films and Nolan films are the far superior Batman films and the ones that really are worth watching.
July 28, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Catwoman/Selina Kyle: Life's a bitch. So am I.
    – Submitted by Jimmy G (2 months ago)
    1. The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot: Why is there always someone who brings eggs and tomatoes to a speech?
    – Submitted by Joe N (13 months ago)
    1. Max Shreck: What did curiosity do to the cat?
    – Submitted by Joe N (13 months ago)
    1. The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot: You've gotta admit, I've played this stinking city, like a harp from hell!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (16 months ago)
    1. The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot: I saw her first, got to fly.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (16 months ago)
    1. Max Shreck: Bruce Wayne, what are doing dressed up as Batman?
    2. Catwoman/Selina Kyle: He is Batman, you idiot!
    – Submitted by Jimmy G (21 months ago)
View all quotes (37)

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