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After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

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Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle ... see more see more... , Billy Dee Williams , Michael Gough , Jack Palance , Jerry Hall , Lee Wallace , Tracey Walter , Marion Dougherty , William Hootkins , Richard Strange , Carl Chase , Philip Tan , John Sterland , Edwin Craig , Joel Cutrara , John Dair , Christopher Fairbanks , Vincent Wong , George Roth , Kate Harper , Bruce McGuire , Kit Hollerbach , Lachelle Carl , Del Baker , Jazzer Jeyes , Wayne Michaels , Rocky Taylor , Keith Edwards , Leon Herbert , Steve Plytas , Amir M. Korangy , Michael Balfour , Liz Ross , Garick Hagon , David Baxt , Sam Douglas , Elliott Stein , Dennis Lili , Paul Birchard , John Lurie , Mac McDonald , Richard Durden , Philip O'Brien

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... read more read more... 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 Young).

Flixster Users

84% liked it

905,057 ratings


72% liked it

67 critics

DVD Release Date: March 25, 1997

Stats: 38,521 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (38,521)

  • fb1442511448
    May 7, 2013
    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 eme... read morerges victoriously and notoriously. 4/5
  • December 24, 2012
    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
  • September 22, 2012
    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 ... read morefilm 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.
  • August 6, 2012
    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... read more 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.
  • July 28, 2012
    Tim Burton delivers something truly special with his first Batman feature. Burton crafts a film with a dark comic book vision which makes this film one of the best superhero films to ever grace the screen. I say comic book vision because the film has that going for it. The way Bu... read morerton has his characters portrayed are lifted right off from the pages of the comic, and he keeps the feel of the comics intact. Batman is a phenomenal, thrilling experience and I thoroughly enjoyed viewing this film. Aside from the Nolan Batman films, Burton's two Batman films are the best of the franchise, and it's easy to see why. I love the visual aspect of the picture, the dark, gritty and ugly streets of Gotham City are exactly what it should be. Michael Keaton is a terrific choice to play Batman, and of course he is only matched by Christian Bale. Keaton brings a sad quality to the role of Bruce Wayne. The films high points are its darkly comic situations, which are equally serious as they are darkly humorous. Aside from Michael Keaton, the film boasts a strong cast of actors, including Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Jack Palance as Carl Grissom and Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent. These for me, are the most memorable actors in this film. Batman is a terrific achievement for a superhero film, and it's only recently that this film along with its sequel has been matched. Tim Burton has crafted a memorable, entertaining superhero film that remains one of the best superhero films ever made. If you're looking for a great Batman film aside from Christopher Nolan's Work, check out this film along with its sequel. Brilliant, action packed and lots of fun from start to finish. Batman has the distinction of being one of the finest superhero films ever made, although The Dark Knight will for me be the greatest film in the genre. This film is still a classic in the genre and with a great cast of talented actors and effective direction, this is a unique film that is a must see for fans of Batman. Tim Burton definitely did a good job here, and this is my personal favorite of the two Burton directed films this is a must see and is sure to please genre fans. Batman has lots of style, action and entertainment value. This is a great film that delivers.
  • July 13, 2012
    This Batman is good because, it brought Batman to the dark setting he was supposed to be in. It also boasted an awesomely lunatic performance from Nicholson as Joker. At times it got to be kind of boring, but it picked up during the scenes with the Joker. Though at times it sort ... read moreof strays from what Batman is, its still a solid Superhero film.
  • fb733768972
    July 12, 2012
    One thing is definitely for sure before reviewing this film, I felt myself shaking my head at how over-the-top Jack Nicholson's Joker performance was, and the fact that some of the dialogue felt rushed. That being said, the rest of the film surpasses those flaws and makes a great... read more stylistic film of itself. I was not blown away in any aspect, but it is funny, witty, colourful, the characters are loveable, and the effects are pretty good for it's time. The story goes completely against the comics, but on it's own, it can be ignored. "Batman" is the type of film you can watch every now and then and not really have any complaints. It's a great ride!
  • fb100000716838411
    July 9, 2012
    The Dark Knight Rises comes out in under 2 weeks and I've decided each major Batman movie needs a review. To kick things off we have Batman, directed by Tim Burton. Batman tells of Bruce Wayne as Batman and his fight against the clown prince of crime, the Joker. Michael Keaton pl... read moreays Bruce Wayne/Batman and from what I've heard, a lot of people weren't to happy when they first heard he landed the role. I actually thought he was great in the role. He's really good at playing the wealthy Bruce Wayne who appears self-absorbed, yet he's also really good at playing the dark side of Batman who is pretty much the polar opposite of Bruce. Playing the Joker is Jack Nicholson and absolutely steals the show. Nicholson was everything the Joker needed to be: Funny, insane, unpredictable and dangerous. Although I prefer Heath Ledger as the Joker, I still think Nicholson is awesome in the role. The rest of the cast is great too. Kim Basinger is good as love interest Vicki Vale (despite screaming in almost every scene she's in) the late Pat Hingle was good as Commisioner Gordon and even Lando Calrissian makes an appearance in the movie. The thing people remember most about this movie is how dark it was. Tim Burton usually has his own style when it comes to directing and the gothic tone is shown in the movie. Gotham City is the dark and corrupt place it needs to be. Considering that it's the first movie in the series, one would think it focuses on Batman's origin story, but it's really more about the Joker in the movie. We see the story of Bruce Wayne via flashback, but like I said, the Joker steals the show. He has a cool arsenal of weapons that I've always liked. He has an electric hand buzzer that actually fries people, the flower on his lapel shoots acid, it's all great. One thing I wanted to see more of in the movie however was Commisioner Gordon and Batman working together. Gordon is pretty much Batman's unspoken partner in crime (Robin sucks) but the movie doesn't really show the relationship they have in their stand against crime. There's also some really weird scenes in the movie. There's one where Batman is flying in the Batwing and he locks onto the Joker and goes all out, shooting every weapon he has...and he completely misses the Joker. I never understood what happen in that part, but oh well. There are also a couple of songs sung by Prince in the movie and they seemed out of place. Thankfully the entire musical score isn't by Prince. The music is by Danny Elfman and it's fantastic. The Batman theme is an unforgettable piece of music that, once you hear it, won't go away. Tim Burton did his job of making comic book movies popular again and Batman is a fine example of why Batman is an awesome hero. The acting was great, the action scenes are old fashioned entertainment, the visuals are superb, the music is unforgettable and the characters were done justice.
  • fb100000145236770
    July 8, 2012
    1989's "Batman" was the first cinematic adventure for the superhero. I remember seeing this in the theater as a kid, and loving it. I was completely captivated and even wanted the bat sign shaved into the back of my head(everyone was doing it! but I ended up getting an E.J. ins... read moretead). Michael Keaton stars as Bruce Wayne the playboy billionaire by day, and Batman by night. Keaton is a great Batman, and until Christian Bale, as my favorite actor to play Batman. He has it all, charm, danger, wit, he really is the total package of an entertaining superhero. Jack Nicholson plays the Joker, and he does good. But, revisiting this, it's more like the Joker doing a Jack Nicholson impersonation. This movie holds up nicely after 20 years and isn't nearly as irrelevant as other movies that have been remade. While the remakes are better films, this original still maintains a certain charm that makes it enjoyable after all these years. I was never much of a Batman comic book fan, but I've always enjoyed the movies, and it started here.
  • June 24, 2012

    Batman is a huge special effects blockbuster but strangely, unlike most of Tim Burton's earlier work, it hasn't aged very well. By modern standards the special effects are weak and if a Burton movie doesn... read more't look good, there isn't much else. There is also a very weak script and a Batman movie should have some wit and super hero one liners but this failed to deliver any, apart from the smart "have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?". Narratively, it's one huge mess however that's understandable, because Burton is in my opinion more of an artist than a good storyteller and that often balances his films out, but it would have been good to see more of Gotham as most set pieces are difficult to distinguish from one another. Also, if the film was called "The Joker" it might have been better, because Burton to me seemed to be more interested in Jack Nicholson's character as opposed to the title character. I think he could have done a decent character study if he wasn't restrained by the studio to make a blockbuster. Consequently the film is quite dull and less energetic than his previous work and the Batman films that followed. On a positive note, it's designed execellently and Nicholson's performance is great, but it too often overshadows Michael Keaton. In comparison to Nolan's "Batman Begins" it's primitive and surprisingly, not as dark or deep. Almost nothing in the film is explained, the batmobile shows up out of nowhere and the relationship between Batman and his love interest is never fully addressed. Basinger's character was also highly dislikable. It's not bad but it's not as good as it could or should have been.

Critic Reviews

Carrie Rickey
April 10, 2013
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

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. Full Review

Jay Boyar
April 10, 2013
Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

The storytelling has weaknesses, but the characters are fascinating. Full Review

Dave Kehr
April 10, 2013
Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune

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. Full Review

Sheila Benson
April 10, 2013
Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times

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

Variety Staff
April 16, 2007
Variety Staff, Variety

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

Jonathan Rosenbaum
April 16, 2007
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

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

January 26, 2006
Time Out

In the end, one's reaction to Burton's blockbuster is little more than that of the Joker to Batman: 'Where did he get those wonderful toys?' Full Review

Vincent Canby
May 20, 2003
Vincent Canby, New York Times

The wit is all pictorial. The film meanders mindlessly from one image to the next, as does a comic book. It doesn't help that the title character remains such a wimp even when played by Michael Keaton. Full Review

James Berardinelli
March 27, 2001
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

There are a lot of things wrong with Batman, but it still makes for decent entertainment in the fine tradition of the typical low-intelligence summer movie. Full Review

Hal Hinson
January 1, 2000
Hal Hinson, Washington Post

Dark, haunting and poetic Full Review

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    • Joker/Jack Napier: This town needs an enema.
    • Joker/Jack Napier: Hello Vinnie. It's your Uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check. The pen is truly mightier than the sword!
    • Joker/Jack Napier: Tell me something, my friend, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
    • Batman/Bruce Wayne: What?
    • Joker/Jack Napier: I always ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.
    • Batman/Bruce Wayne: You're a really nice girl, and I like you a lot, but for now, shut up.
    • Joker/Jack Napier: Nice Outfit
    • Alfred Pennyworth: Mr. Wayne told me to tell you that he might be a little late.
    • Vicki Vale: I'm not a bit surprised.

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