Batman 1989

Batman

Critics Consensus

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

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 77

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 911,164

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Movie Info

Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City disguised as Batman, a costumed hero who strikes fear into the hearts of villains. But when a deformed madman who calls himself "The Joker" (Jack Nicholson) seizes control of Gotham's criminal underworld, Batman must face his most ruthless nemesis ever while protecting both his identity and his love interest, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger).

Cast & Crew

Jack Nicholson
Jack Napier, The Joker
Michael Keaton
Bruce Wayne, Batman
Kim Basinger
Vicki Vale
Robert Wuhl
Alexander Knox
Pat Hingle
Commissioner Gordon
Billy Dee Williams
D.A. Harvey Dent
Michael Gough
Alfred Pennyworth
Jack Palance
Boss Carl Grissom
Jerry Hall
Alicia Grissom
Lee Wallace
Mayor William Borg
Benjamin Melniker
Executive Producer
Michael E. Uslan
Executive Producer
Danny Elfman
Original Music
Roger Pratt
Cinematographer
Ray Lovejoy
Film Editor
Anton Furst
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Batman

Critic Reviews for Batman

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (22)

Audience Reviews for Batman

  • Jun 20, 2016
    Tim Burton's take on the Batman character was great. Taking a chance on (at the time) a comedic actor in Keaton paid off big time. The script was written well as it had Batman's and Joker's origins intertwined. Jack Nicholson was near perfect as The Joker. One could say that Nicholson's portrayal of the Joker overshadowed Keaton's Bruce Wayne. Let's also not forget how great the soundtrack to the film was (written and performed entirely by Prince).
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    Batman stars Michael Keaton as the guy we all know and love. Jack Nicholson takes a turn as the Joker, a villainous crime lord with aims to control Gotham City. When people talk superhero movies, this one always comes to mind for its legacy in the genre. There's a lot to love about it: Burton and Nicholson are fantastic, Danny Elfman's film score is timeless (even being used for the Animated Series inspired by the movie), and Burton's production design is breathtaking. Burton succeeds in turning Gotham City into a living, breathing character with its gritty dark alleys and scummy civilians. However, it feels like Burton spent so much time on the production design that he forgot to make an entertaining movie. I was fighting to stay focused on this 2-hour flick, which is never a problem for me and superhero movies. There just wasn't anything to chew on here; Batman and Joker were incredibly one-dimensional (to the fault of the screenwriters, not the actors), and the supporting cast did nothing to add to the movie. Kim Basinger played the damsel in distress to an effective eye-roll, and the original mob boss, played by Jack Palance, was laughably overplayed. I looked into the background of this movie, and the reason the script was so sloppy and boring is because of the relationship between Burton and the screenwriters/producers. This movie took nearly 10 years to finally make and was green-lit thanks to the success of gritty Batman comics The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns (go read both!), and the studio wanted Burton's dark, edgy approach for their property. Burton wanted certain things the studio didn't want, and vice-versa. In the end, the producers made changes without Burton's approval, which hurt the final product. What made matters more difficult was Jack Nicholson's demands. Nicholson was at the top of his game, so it took a LOT of money and little things like having final say in his shooting schedule so that he could go to Lakers games to sign him on to the project. Burton himself has gone on record to say that shooting this movie was one of the worst experiences of his career, and it shows. The movie is watchable and a sight to behold, and it definitely laid the groundwork for superhero movies to come, but the movie itself isn't enough to get excited about.
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2016
    Batman 1989 is stylish, entertaining and dark. Tim Burton gives his own vision while being faithful to the character and bringing us a great portrayal of the Joker by Jack Nicholson.
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2016
    Setting the signal for all dark superhero tales to follow, Tim Burton sets the standard for visionary directors taking us from comic strip to screen. For some lunk-headed reason, movie fans ask you to choose between his comic-centered adventure and Christopher Nolan's comic-skewing actioner like it's a Sophie's Choice type situation. If you can love The Beatles AND The Rolling Stones, then you can love both very different visions. Plus, Nolan-only devotees really don't want to force that issue because, without Burton's dark defining modern classic, there wouldn't be a Batman Begins. Sure, some aspects come off cartoonish, but the auteur who gave filmgoers the stylish and darkly humorous gems Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice got asked to begin Batman but, at the same time, rein in his outlandish verve. Plus, he had to do all of this in a comic book movie at a time when people didn't really make comic book movies. Given the indelible results, it looks like the Dark Knight takes King in this endgame. In Tim Burton's PG-13-rated adaptation of the classic DC Comics character, the Dark Knight of Gotham City (Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker (Nicholson), who takes over the top crime syndicate and the city by proxy. Everything, from the offbeat casting of Keaton to Danny Elfman's soaring score to Anton Furst's brilliantly Gothic set design to the marketability of Nicholson, makes for one of the most influential films ever. The result sits before you in every comic book flick that darkens the doorways of cinema. Michael Keaton gives the audience brooding and tortured in good measure, but betrays a winning twinkle in his eye that grounds Bruce Wayne. Remember, this is the talented actor who turned out the wily iconic poltergeist Beetlejuice and did a phenomenal turn as an addict perhaps beyond recovery in Clean and Sober in the same year: 1988. You have to have weapons-grade chops to go up against film legend Nicholson, who gets top billing here. He goes appropriately big once the white-faced madness sets in, but it's his ultra-cool killer turn as pre-Joker gangster Jack Napier that draws you into with a sexy menace. Bottom line: Batman TRULY Begins
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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