(1989)

Critic Reviews

69

Metascore

Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
San Francisco Chronicle
It's a rare, beautifully made movie that offers you another world. [23 June 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
100
The movie fixes you in its gravitational pull. It's an enveloping, walk-in vision... As rich and satisfying a movie as you're likely to see all year.
100
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
In short, Batman is terrific - funny, smart and sensitive too, the perfect cinematic date.
80
Jack Nicholson as The Joker helpfully provides all the colour.
80
Nicholson embellishes fascinatingly baroque designs with his twisted features, lavish verbal pirouettes and inspired excursions into the outer limits of psychosis. It's a masterpiece of sinister comic acting.
75
USA Today
There's a cold intelligence at work here. Though its pleasures are plentiful enough to reward a second viewing, only Nicholson has saved Warners from a wing-clip. [23 June 1989, Life, p.1D]
75
Chicago Tribune
Burton's Gotham City-constructed on a massive sound stage in London- is a striking blend of spindly gothic, decaying art deco and broodingly bland institutional architecture that seems to lie just a couple of subway stops down from Ridley Scott's ''Blade Runner'' and Terry Gilliam's ''Brazil.'' It's great to look at, but we seem to have been here before. [23 June 1989, Friday, p.A]
70
The New Yorker
It has so many unpredictable spins that what's missing doesn't seem to matter much. The images sing. [10 July 1989]
70
The New Republic
It's relatively easy to convey the claustral in interior scenes, but [designer] Furst and the director Tim Burton do it even when the setting is a great flight of steps before the municipal building or the huge square where Batman and the joker confront each other. [31 July 1989, p.24]
63
Christian Science Monitor
It would be a lot better if it didn't lean exclusively on bone-crunching action for its climactic thrills, and the story continues long after its ideas have started to sag. [29 June 1989, Arts, p.10]
63
ReelViews
Batman is largely content to skim the surface and bask in the light of its visual style.
60
Despite its interesting, grim tone and undeniably striking visuals from director Burton and production designer Furst, the film fails to synthesize its strengths into a compelling whole.
60
Chicago Reader
The main problem is that Burton operates best on a modest scale; saddled with a blockbuster, he doesn't know how to animate all the dead space.
60
Despite its interesting, grim tone and undeniably striking visuals from director Burton and production designer Furst, the film fails to synthesize its strengths into a compelling whole.
50
Chicago Sun-Times
The movie's problem is that no one seemed to have any fun making it, and it's hard to have much fun watching it. It's a depressing experience.
40
Nicholson's Joker will be the pivotal point for many. It's his energy, spurting like an artery, that keeps the picture alive; it's certainly not the special effects, the editing, which has no discernible rhythm, or the flaccid screenplay.

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