Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

1993

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Critics Consensus

Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 71,766
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Movie Info

This stylish animated adventure is based on the '90s animated television series, which in turn is based on the original comics and Tim Burton's live action "Batman" films. Unlike the campy 1960s version of Batman, this version is half-mad from the superhero's obsession with justice. It is only his unusual sense of ethics that keeps him from becoming a full-blown psychotic. The story describes the origins of Batman as it follows the Dark Knight's attempts to capture the elusive, deadly Phantasm who kills a crime lord and makes it look as if Batman did it, causing a media smear campaign against the Caped Crusader. At the same time, millionaire Bruce Wayne holds a party at his mansion. There he meets Councilman Arthur Reeves, the man behind the accusations. Reeves derides playboy Wayne for allowing his college sweetheart Andrea Beaumont to leave him. Suddenly Wayne flashes back to his pre-Batman days. He remembers how he met her while visiting his parents' graves to renew his vow that he would spend his life fighting crime to avenge their wrongful deaths. He has already devised an early version of his alter-ego Batman, but that is nearly forgotten when he falls in love with Andrea. The story then jumps from past to present and back as the mysterious Phantasm strikes again. Batman continues his investigation and discovers a disturbing link between Andrea, who suddenly shows up after many years absence, and the villain. Meanwhile, the Phantasm, feeling that Batman is too close to learning his/her identity hires the Joker to kill him. But the Joker has his own agenda and much action ensues before the mystery of the Phantasm identity is solved, Batman clears his name, and justice is served. This film was originally made to go straight to video, Warner's studio liked it enough to release it theatrically. Some of the violence may be inappropriate for very young children.

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Critic Reviews for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (5)

  • The mask of the phantasm is the mask that Bruce Wayne puts on every day, and if he falls into the abyss, he risks a life like Andrea's: completely alone.

    Jan 22, 2019 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Oliver Sava

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The violence is too realistic (though not terribly graphic) to qualify as cartoony escapism, yet the movie lacks the sophistication, vision or satirical edge to lay claim to any higher purpose. It's merely dark for dark's sake.

    Apr 10, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • While the script and pedigree of actors are commendable, the craft level is too close to the small-screen offering to get audiences into theaters.

    Apr 16, 2007

    Leonard Klady

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The actor's voices may suit animated television characters, but on a large screen Kevin Conroy's Batman, Mark Hamill's Joker, and Dana Delany's Andrea sound flat and one-dimensional.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • Closer to radio drama than kiddie fare, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is the strangest PG film of the year.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Phantasm succeeds as a gloomy but not claustrophobic assessment of the superhero world that does not lose any of its panache for its seriousness.

    May 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

  • Aug 03, 2016
    Better than I thought but the pace in this film was shocking, Too many flashbacks and they over complicated the plot but the last 20 minutes were very good and the voice cast were good too, But for its short run time it does tend to drag allot.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2015
    Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a brilliant piece of animation that shows off the greatness of the Batman animated series. The story is dark and mature for the younger audience, and the voice acting of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill is fantastic as usual. While it may be short, it no doubt showed many people why Batman is the best superhero around.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2014
    A very true-to-character and moving Batman story. Certainly the best Batman story put to the big screen behind 'Batman Begins.' Truly shows a compelling tale of Batman's 'origins' -- which here are multifaceted. Beautiful art and a very strong and evocative soundtrack. The film as a whole is between a 4 and a 4.5 for me -- almost moved me to tears at the end, so I will give it closer to a 4.5. One only wonders how much more of a masterpiece it could have been if put to film with actors, a crew, and a competent live action director. It has heart.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2013
    A solid Batman film that does a good job telling stories of tumultuous times in both Batman's and Bruce Wayne's life, both related to the same person and their alternate ego. I love how the movie constantly draws comparisons between Wayne/Batman, and this other character (no spoilers here lol) and their Phantasm.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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