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Batman More at IMDbPro »

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263 out of 349 people found the following review useful:

I don't even need to say that this is the best Batman of the series. It's obvious enough.

10/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
26 August 2001

What is all this yap about Michael Keaton as Batman? Yes, he was Batman, and he was a GREAT Batman. He pulled off every aspect of the role perfectly – he was better than Val Kilmer, better than George Clooney, better than everyone. He portrayed the mysterious charm of the winged crusader just as well as he captured the cool and collected character of Bruce Wayne. Michael Keaton is a huge part of the reason that this film was such a huge success, the other main portion having come from the tremendous contribution from Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Gotham City is created in incredibly detailed comic-book style, which adds to the overall quality of the movie.

Director Tim Burton does an amazing job bringing this unreal world to reality, and Kim Basinger is excellent as Vicky Vale, the film's main female presence. The script is particularly brilliant. The role of the Joker seems to have been written specifically for Jack Nicholson, which would not be surprising because of how well he pulled off the role with lines like `Why didn't anyone tell me he had one of those…things?!' and `Remember me? When you dropped me into that vat of chemicals? That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.' And, of course, my favorite, `…we'll be like Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else ever calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out.'

Everything, from the setting in Gotham City to the characters costumes to the actual dialogue, gives the unreal feeling of a comic book, but the characters are developed enough so that we understand their problems and we care about what happens. The movie is a thrill ride from the beginning to the end, and is enjoyable for all ages. If anyone is going to complain about who was chosen to play Batman, there is much more room for complaint among the film's several sequels. Keaton did a spectacular job that no one has ever even come close to.

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152 out of 195 people found the following review useful:

A Tim Burton Classic!

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
19 September 2002

Tim Burton takes a darker twist to a cheesy over the top silly TV show that was loved by everyone. Batman is now played by Michael Keaton. Michael as Batman was perfect, he had the look, humor, and mystery that is Batman. Playing Batman for him, he became the role and I will always stand by that. For me, he is the best Batman, no one besides the original Adam West can touch his performance.

Jack Nicholson is now the Joker. Who could ask for a better Joker? He has the look and dirty scary side to him that makes you fear but want to enjoy his presence on screen. He has such charisma and appeal, his lines were perfectly delivered and every scene, he stole. He and Michael were terrific together. They played off each other so well, it makes you go crazy almost. The Dark Knight vs. The Joker, the perfect super hero and villain. Jack stole my heart with his killer, no pun intended, performance.

Kim Bassigner was also fantastic. She plays Vicki Vale, the love interest of Bruce Wayne/Batman. She is a photo journalist who is looking for the true identity of Batman, which leads to the question of if Batman can trust another being with his darkest secret? She was absolutely beautiful and charming. No other woman could've done a better job.

Like I said, Tim Burton, he takes a different turn on this "Batman", but it's very appealing. Everyone loves this movie, and I can't blame them. Batman is the best super hero of all comic book hero's in my opinion. You see Spider-man can fly with webs, Super Man has super strength and can fly, but Batman just needs himself. He kicks butt by himself. :) The only thing you miss in the movie is Robin, his faithful sidekick, but I don't blame Tim for not adding him for this Batman. It wasn't needed. With a cool soundtrack by Prince and and awesome setting, please watch "Batman", it's a true classic.

10/10

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215 out of 330 people found the following review useful:

The First Two Batman Are The Last.

10/10
Author: Han SoloN from Turkey
28 March 2005

When I saw this movie in the theater back in '89, I was just a kid - a kid paralyzed by the looks and the charisma of the super-hero ever! I didn't know much about directors those times, so I gave all the credit to Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Years later I understood that Tim Burton -leading as my favorite director- was all behind this, making Gotham City darker and wicked, taking Batman to a fearsome -unlike that horrible TV show!- and heroic level as he should have been. As Michael Keaton was born to fulfill his destiny as Batman, I don't think anyone else could handle the Joker except Jack Nicholson. I have never seen any character more suitable than these pair of super actors as super heroes. I don't know whether I should be happy or sad for the first two movie was shot by Tim Burton, for the following ones was not as good as the ones shot by him. The third one was not as bad as the fourth. But the "Batman and Robin" was the final humiliation ever made to me (I really don't know what Joel Schumacher was thinking). I bet everyone involved in the first two was crying their eyes out at the end of the movie. Anyway, Tim, Michael, Jack and Kim was the best crew for a movie, and they made it worth watching it over and over again. "Batman" is amongst the best movies I've ever seen.

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108 out of 142 people found the following review useful:

Classic

8/10
Author: iCrazyDavey from Woodbridge, Ontario
23 June 2005

In 1989, Tim Burton created the very first Batman movie with great stars like Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The Joker is definitely one of Hollywood's best villains on screen. Jack Nicholson was born for the role, with his psychotic and sick look. Michael Keaton is also great as Batman and is pretty good as Bruce Wayne. Kim Basinger is kind of annoying at times, but she's not the worst damsel in distress ever seen on screen.

Tim Burton has a unique way of doing Batman, and I think most people can agree that it fits the characters and the story. To bad Warner Bros. got rid of him after the 2nd film.

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89 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

The "serious" comic book movie

7/10
Author: hall895 from New Jersey
23 May 2006

No radioactive spider bites or guys turning green or supermodels painted blue here. Campy television series aside, Batman has always seemed the most serious, the most grounded, the most real of all the comic book sagas. Our hero has no magical, mystical superpowers...he's just a guy in a suit. But where does he get those wonderful toys? In this film Tim Burton does a very good job of bringing the Dark Knight to life while also seemingly giving the dark, foreboding city of Gotham a life of its own. Gotham is dark, gloomy, and dreary...almost oppressively so. The city is almost a character unto itself in the film...dark, mysterious and somehow quite real. The brilliantly conceived, stunning visuals are the perfect backdrop for the story which will unfold.

The story follows our Caped Crusader in his quest to clean up Gotham which is in the midst of a frightening crime wave. There was much unnecessary angst when comic actor Michael Keaton landed the title role with fans feeling that was a sure sign the film would lean towards the campy style evident in the famous television series. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Batman would be a serious film (well, as serious as a comic book movie can be) and Keaton was perfect in the Bruce Wayne/Batman role. Keaton's Wayne comes across as an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things. Keaton brings all the required seriousness to the role but also can add a little comic touch when necessary. Inspired casting pays off big time.

Good as he is Keaton is actually overshadowed in the film. Who else but Jack Nicholson could cause the actor playing Batman to get second billing in a movie titled Batman? Nicholson's performance as the Joker is simply terrific. Maybe a little over the top at times but, hey, it's the Joker...he's supposed to be over the top. Nicholson livens up every scene he's in, he simply owns the screen. With two terrific actors doing outstanding work bringing our hero and villain to life the film can hardly go wrong. It's certainly entertaining enough but the film as a whole doesn't quite match the brilliance of the two lead performances. The supporting cast, led by Kim Basinger as the requisite love interest, doesn't add much. Instead of leaving well enough alone with a fantastic Danny Elfman score the whole movie comes to a screeching halt a couple of times while we're forced to listen to some inane Prince songs. And the story just seems to lack a certain zest. We want to see the conflict between Batman and the Joker, these two great characters played by two great actors. And for too much of the film that conflict simply isn't there. But all in all, Batman is certainly a worthy effort. Some top-notch acting, stunning visuals and a story that does just enough to draw you in and hold your attention throughout. To call this film great might be a stretch but one could say it is very, very good. Certainly good enough to be worth your while.

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98 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

Dark and Doomy

8/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
21 November 2000

If you were around in summer 1989 then you'll remember that Bat-fever was EV-ER-Y-WHERE! You couldn't look anywhere without seeing the Bat Logo in some incarnation. The film was a mega-hit. People were queueing up around the block for hours (the literal meaning of a blockbuster).

The marketing team at Warner had to saturate the minds of the public with the big-screen coming of the Dark Knight. Up until this point the Batman series from the 1960s is how people regarded the Batman character and universe. Tim Burton corrected all that by giving us a dark, sinister and Gothic world with rich production design and a great score by Danny Elfman (who has made a career out of recycling the same old generic cues in nearly every movie he has scored). The original material is respected (to a degree), and the characters are deep instead of just campy.

Michael Keaton is the best Bruce Wayne in my opinion. When he plays both Bruce Wayne and Batman you have to watch what he doesn't say and doesn't do. He's a rich, socio-phobic megalomaniac who has more money than sense. This is very different from Adam West's turtleneck playboy.

Jack Nicholson is a great Joker too, not quite as intimidating or as iconic as Heath Ledger's take on the character, but still a role that has defined his career in a way. Nicholson's Joker isn't much more than an attention-seeking lunatic. But it's still nothing like Caesar Romero's campy, hopping-skipping-and-jumping villain.

Anton Furst's Oscar-winning design of Gotham City is very original and unique, and is very much in the style of the Comic book. The smoke-blackened, cramped and claustrophobic 1920s buildings look and create a very oppressive atmosphere. This is definitely GOTHam City. Not LA like the TV series.

They didn't even make any attempt with that show did they? In fact the Batcave in the TV series was like the set of a mad scientists lab from a 1950s movie. But the REAL Batcave in this movie is a monstrous cavern filled with stalagmites and it actually HAS bats in it. And there's no fireman's pole leading into it.

With Christopher Nolan's reboot of the franchise currently the only Batman worth considering for most fans, it'd be a shame if you were to let this go ignored. It may not be as mature as Nolan's work but it has an edge that no other recent comic-book movie has.

It's NOT an origin story. There's no 60 precious minutes on a build-up, it just goes straight to the action. Why can't more comic-book movies do this?

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70 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Stylish and Thrilling

9/10
Author: jonathon_naylor from Manitoba, Canada
7 June 2006

Dark, foreboding and vastly entertaining, BATMAN changed superhero movies forever. Gone are the days of happy-go-lucky heroes arriving just in time to save the day. Director Tim Burton's Caped Crusader is a vengeful creature of the night preying on criminals who would turn his city into their personal playground.

BATMAN is one stylish, thrilling and one helluva ride. While he's not generally associated with action, Burton proves it to be his forte as the Dark Knight Detective swoops out of the shadows, crashes through windows and employs a host of what his nemesis calls "wonderful toys," such as grappling hook guns and the amazingly versatile Batmobile. And man on man, this Batman kicks some ass, at one point daring an armed henchman with a "come here" finger gesture.

BATMAN wouldn't have worked nearly as well as it does without the right casting ingredients. The hiring of Michael Keaton in the lead role drew plenty of snickers, but the underrated actor showed up his detractors with a suitably mysterious performance. We know his heart is in the right place, but we're never quite sure what we should make of him. Jack Nicholson's famous performance as the villainous Joker is every bit as good as they say. Nicholson is equal parts amusing and sadistic beneath the white face paint and green hair. Sexy Kim Basinger, as reporter Vicki Vale, also makes the most out of her screen time.

BATMAN is one of those films whose obvious flaws are so easily overlooked. The worst sin a movie can commit is to be dull, and that's something BATMAN never does.

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70 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Burton`s masterpiece

8/10
Author: Filip (msegvic) from Zagreb, Croatia, Earth
21 July 2003

This is truly a Fantasy/Comic movie-masterpiece. First of all- the excellent cast- Jack Nicholson shines in the role of the manic and crazy Jocker. Nicholsons character is truly amazing- like a mixture of his former roles/characters in "Chinatown" (Jake Gittes), "One Flew Over the Cuchoo`s Nest" (Randle McMurphy), "Prizzie` s honor" (C.Partanna), "the Witches of Eastwick" (Daryl Van Horn) and of course "The Shining" (Jack Torrance)- but (the character) still keeps his own style. Michael Keaton also proves to be the ideal type for Burtons`s Batman. He reminds on the dark Batman from the "Dark Knight" Batman comics, and is the exact opposite of Batman introduced by Adam West in the 70`s. Second, Tim Burton created a unique athmosphere, exactly matching to the characters. Some people say that this movie is to dark, but I wouldn`t agree. I must not forget to mention the exciting Batman Theme composed by Danny Elfmann. Burton`s Batman, differnt from all the other Comic-hero movies, like Spiderman, Superman, Flash or Hulk, provides a refreshing character dimension.

One of the best movies in the 80`s.

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46 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Good attempt to translate the comics to the big screen

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
28 January 2002

In a Gotham City overrun by crime a new menace exists. In the shadows and rooftops a giant bat is terrorising the criminals who live in the night. Elsewhere crime boss Grissom's right hand man Jack Napier is trapped in a chemical factory by police. With Batman's intervention Napier is accidentally dropped into a vat of chemical. Considered dead he later turns up, scarred and twisted with a new sense of humour. Calling himself the Joker he takes over the city's gangs and begins to terrorise the city. Millionaire Bruce Wayne begins relationship with reporter Vicky Vale and finds himself personally drawn into conflict with the Joker as both himself and his alter-ego.

This was very much a huge blockbuster and had a great deal riding on it in terms of merchandising and a possible franchise. As such Burton always seemed like a risk - although his dark toned work and complex characters probably made him a great choice. The film starts promisingly, many questions are asked - is Wayne totally balanced? What drives him to become the bat? etc - and the tone of the movie is darker than a friendly blockbuster. This is continued by the investigation by reporters Vale and Knox, but starts to wane (pardon the pun) with the development of Vale as a love interest and the hamming of The Joker. At some point the film loses the character complexities and decides to become a straight up good v's evil with plenty of effects and gadgets. That said it's still very dark and the set pieces are well handled. In fact it's the best of the Batman franchise so far.

The problem is that it lacks a bite for Batman fans. I've always felt that Batman was always a few steps away from the criminals he's chasing, surely he can't be totally balanced and right in the head? Here these questions are half touched but never developed.

Keaton is an unlikely Batman, but is the best so far. He deals well with Wayne's past when it is brought up, but is an unlikely action hero. Nicholson is pure ham, but is good for it. He hogs all the best lines and is clearly enjoying himself - the only downside being that he regularly eclipses Keaton's Batman. Basinger's Vale is built up far too much and should have been cut out of the story rather than become a key part of it. The rest of the cast are good and I always like to see Tracey Walters in a big screen film!

Overall this is a good stab at the Batman legend. It's dark tone gives it the feel of the comics without the characterisation, but at the end of the day it comes down to good guy v's bad guy.

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53 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

Batman

10/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
24 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tim Burton (Beetle Juice, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands) is definitely my favourite film director. If I had to pick his best film, this is definitely it. This live action story of the comic book hero, the caped crusader, is excellent. Gotham City is high on crime, and recently people have sited an unknown creature, or maybe a man, that calls itself Batman. Michael Keaton's Batman/Bruce Wayne is the main focus. He also has really good gadgets from the Bat Cave including the Batwing and of course, the Bat Mobile. The one who steals the show is the brilliantly cast BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated Jack Nicholson who falls into acid and becomes the evil Joker. The Joker is causing psychopathic incidents, such as making news reporters laugh to death. He plans to turn the city into a laughing smiling city so he and his gang can take over. Also starring Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Michael Gough as Alfred, Pat Hingle as Comissioner Gordon and Jack Palance as Grissom. It won the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, and it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Costume Design, Best Make Up Artist, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Special Effects. Jack Nicholson was number 6 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, Nicholson was number 63, and Kim Basinger number 32 on The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols, and Nicholson was number 7 on The World's Greatest Actor, Batman was number 84, Nicholson number 71, and Prince number 68 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, and Batman was number 46 (Hero) and The Joker number 45 (Villain) on 100 Years, 100 Heroes and Villains. Outstanding!

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