Batman Returns

Critics Consensus

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.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 84

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 641,232

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Movie Info

The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) to topple the Batman (Michael Keaton) once and for all. But when Shreck's timid assistant, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), finds out, and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.

Cast & Crew

Michael Keaton
Bruce Wayne, Batman
Danny DeVito
Oswald Cobblepot, The Penguin
Michelle Pfeiffer
Selina Kyle, Catwoman
Michael Gough
Alfred Pennyworth
Michael Murphy
Mayor, Murphy
Cristi Conaway
Ice Princess
Pat Hingle
Commissioner Gordon
Peter Guber
Executive Producer
Benjamin Melniker
Executive Producer
Jon Peters
Executive Producer
Michael E. Uslan
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Batman Returns

Critic Reviews for Batman Returns

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (17)

  • A strange beast.

    May 17, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • There are flashes of commercially oriented action and humor, but the overall feeling is one of a languid depression sprung straight from the heart of its author.

    December 14, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Burton's] dark, melancholy vision is undeniably something to see, but it is a claustrophobic conception, not an expansive one, oppressive rather than exhilarating, and it strangles almost all the enjoyment out of this movie without half trying.

    December 14, 2014 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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…

    Derek Malcolm

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

    April 10, 2013

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Batman Returns

  • Jun 20, 2016
    The highlight of this film would have to be the villains. Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman and Danny DeVito's Penguin were nearly flawless. Keaton also turns in a good performance as Bruce Wayne and Batman, but the script lacks a little in what the first film brought to the screen. The campy circus henchmen were a necessary evil, but took a little away from the film unfortunately. The dynamic between Keaton and Pfeiffer really made up for a lot of what the film was lacking.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2016
    My favourite of the batman films (as of May 2016) and one that is really in a league of its own. Poor old Tim had a hard time making his version of Batman with the predecessor, and finally had granted some more creative control here. It's a long story but basically, Tim Burton is the guy who could have easily made the best superhero movies EVER, but got fucked around by the studios and thier greed for money. What's new eh? Anyway, this is actually a very dark (albeit appropriately comical) meditation on loneliness and the urge for love and sexual gratification, and how it can drive people mad. Fucking love this flick. Danny De Vito at his best and Michelle at hers, no doubt.
    Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2016
    Batman Returns is slightly better than the first movie. Danny DeVito is perfectly casted as The Penguin, he is creepy and at the same time you see where he's coming from. Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman... arguably the best portrayal of Catwoman on screen! Michael Keaton is again good as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Overall Batman Returns is really good, I like it slightly more than the previous film and this film is great nostalgic, stylish, darkly comic fun!
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2016
    Returning us to Tim Burton's hauntingly atmospheric version of Gotham, this delightfully funereal sequel indulges the director's vision all the more while introducing some iconic iterations of classic villains. If Batman was a comic book movie directed by Tim Burton, then Batman Returns is a Tim Burton movie about a comic book character. Lured back by Warner Brothers after the mega-success of the first go-round, the auteur boasts more control on this follow-up, which makes the Caped Crusader a supporting character in the director's own dark carnival. In Burton's PG-13-rated sequel to Batman, a corrupt businessman (Christopher Walken) and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman (Keaton) can stop them, while the Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) has her own agenda. While some of Batman seems cartoonish, much of Batman Returns is purposely cartoonish. Still, there's no denying the entertainment value of this funtastic spectacle. While watching his indelible vision of The Penguin and Catwoman as performed by DeVito and Pfeiffer, you feel Keaton falling further into the shadows, but Burton's takes us through the looking glass into to a shadow-steeped character-filled Wonderland long before he intends on tackling Lewis Carroll. Bottom line: Dynamic Do-Over
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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