Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012)

PG-13  |  Video  |   |  Animation, Action, Crime  |  25 September 2012 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 29,790 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 52 critic

Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing 55-year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl. But, does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era?



(character created by: Batman), (comic book), 6 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The Batman has returned after a 10-year absence. The Gotham authorities want to arrest him. An old foe wants a reunion. The Feds want the Man of Tomorrow to put a stop to him.

Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, Michael Emerson
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

There's a mystery afoot in Gotham City, and Batman must go toe-to-toe with a mysterious vigilante, who goes by the name of Red Hood. Subsequently, old wounds reopen and old, once buried memories come into the light.

Director: Brandon Vietti
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, John DiMaggio
Batman: Year One (Video 2011)
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A wealthy playboy and a Chicago cop both return to Gotham City where their lives will intersect in unexpected ways.

Directors: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku
Justice League: Doom (Video 2012)
Animation | Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Vandal Savage steals confidential files Batman has compiled on the members of the Justice League, and learns all their weaknesses.

Director: Lauren Montgomery
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Flash finds himself in a war torn alternate timeline and teams up with alternate versions of his fellow heroes to return home and restore the timeline.

Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Justin Chambers, C. Thomas Howell, Michael B. Jordan
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Batman works desperately to find a bomb planted by the Joker while Amanda Waller hires her newly formed Suicide Squad to break into Arkham Asylum to recover vital information stolen by the Riddler.

Directors: Jay Oliva, Ethan Spaulding
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Neal McDonough, Hynden Walch
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Batman discovers a mysterious teen-aged girl with super-human powers and a connection to Superman. When the girl comes to the attention of Darkseid, the evil overlord of Apokolips, events take a decidedly dangerous turn.

Director: Lauren Montgomery
Stars: Andre Braugher, Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When Lex Luthor gets elected US President, he uses the threat of an oncoming kryptonite meteor striking Earth as a rationale to frame Superman.

Director: Sam Liu
Stars: Clancy Brown, Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A good version of Lex Luthor from a parallel Earth comes to the Justice League's dimension for help to fight their evil counterparts.

Directors: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
Stars: William Baldwin, Mark Harmon, Chris Noth
Justice League: War (Video 2014)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The world's finest heroes found the Justice League in order to stop an alien invasion of Earth.

Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Sean Astin, Zach Callison, Christopher Gorham
Son of Batman (Video 2014)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Batman learns he has a violent, unruly pre-teen son, secretly raised by the terrorist group the League of Assassins.

Director: Ethan Spaulding
Stars: Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, Thomas Gibson
Batman: Gotham Knight (Video 2008)
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A collection of key events mark Bruce Wayne's life, as he journeys from beginner to Dark Knight.

Directors: Yasuhiro Aoki, Yûichirô Hayashi, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Jason Marsden, Scott Menville


Cast overview, first billed only:
Batman / Bruce Wayne (voice)
Robin / Carrie Kelley (voice)
Harvey Dent (voice)
Hernando (voice)
Don (voice)
Lana Lang (voice)
Ellen Yindel (voice) (as Maria Canals)
Joanie (voice)
Morrie (voice)
Anchor Carla (voice) (as Grey DeLisle)
The Mayor (voice)
Mackie (voice)
Joker (voice)
Michael Jackson ...


Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing 55-year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl. But, does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Old heroes never die. They just get darker. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 September 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batman DCU: Mroczny rycerz - Powrót, czesc 1  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This isn't the first time Wade Williams has done a role for projects relating to DC Comics. Subtle references to Jason Todd returning as The Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) where Williams portrays Black Mask in that film. He has voiced Mantis / Supreme Chairman in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008) titled "Cry Freedom Fighters!", and Deegan in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011). Most recently, he played the Warden at Blackgate Prison when Selena Kyle was being jailed in The Dark Knight Rises (2012); this was most likely owing to the fact that he played Brad Bellick in Prison Break (2005). Here he portrayed seemingly reformed criminal Harvey Dent / Two-Face in a reversal of roles to both his parts in The Dark Knight Rises and Prison Break. See more »


Alfred Pennyworth: Master Bruce. You set off the alarm, sir. This somnambulism is becoming a problem especially for those of us with a penchant for sleeping at night.
See more »


References Superman (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The fan-favorite classic: Expanded, elaborated and faithfully replicated
19 October 2012 | by ( – See all my reviews

One of the most beloved Batman tales finally gets the animation treatment. So influential was Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" that it inspired Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan when they were crafting their live action Batman movies, as well as the 1990s Batman animated series (which gave birth to an entire universe of DC animated shows). Warner decided to split the tale, originally spread over 4 issues, into 2 movies. Turns out that it was an excellent decision which not only successfully adapted the first half of Frank Miller's epic, but added layers to the story and characters that the limited page count of the graphic novel could not leave in.

Rarely does an adaptation surpass the original source material. But Dark Knight Returns part 1 is just such an example of an animated movie that is not only true to its source material, but expands upon it. The original was great; the animated adaptation makes it better. The story will sound familiar to anyone who watched Christopher Nolan's "The dark Knight Rises". It has been years since Batman went into retirement. Billionaire Bruce Wayne now drifts from day to day hoping that the people of Gotham can take care of themselves. But now, a new threat emerges: The Mutants. A vast gang of street thugs led by their grotesque but incredibly strong and savage leader. Despite his age, Bruce is forced to become Batman once again to save his city. But can the aging crime fighter stand up to a threat that is faster, stronger and more powerful than he has ever been? And what happens when Batman comes face to face with his old nemesis Two-Face? Beyond the narrative lies a thorough deconstruction of the Batman character, especially when played opposite the two main villains, Two Face and the Mutant Leader. Both villains serve as a dark reflection of Batman himself. Like Two Face, Bruce Wayne and Batman are presented as two separate personalities fighting for control. But is Batman truly just a mask Bruce wears? Or is it the other way around? And as for the mutant leader, both he and Batman operate as a symbol to inspire others to action. One a symbol of chaos and crime, the other a symbol of hope and justice. But if the mutant leader's extreme acts can rouse Batman to return to vigilantism, so too can Batman's actions rouse criminals to return to their old ways (as one character claims in the story).

The characters are brought to life by a fine voice cast who nail their roles perfectly. Peter Weller of Robocop fame takes the role of Batman; a role that may comes across as a monotone baritone at first. But Weller infuses Batman's voice with nuance and subtlety which fits the character well. The only downside is that despite wanting to show a dichotomy between Batman and Bruce Wayne, Weller uses the same tone of voice throughout the whole movie; Compared to previous voice actors, like Kevin Conroy, who used different speech patterns and tones for Wayne and Batman.

A lot of deep themes about the nature of heroism vs vigilantism abound in this tale, all of which were in the original comic but just expanded upon in the animation medium. On that note, the animation presented here is the perfect balance of fluidity and art detail. Iconic frames, memorable battles and atmospheric scenes are replicated faithfully. Movie goers will be able to see many scenes that Nolan's Batman trilogy lifted from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, including a fight scene illuminated intermittently by a gun's muzzle flash. Its only downside is that Warner decided to use its generic color palate rather than replicate the muted tones and heavy grays colored by Lynn Varley in the original artwork.

Fans would be pleased at how true to the original this is and how it expands on the original, smoothening out the rough edges while adding a whole new dimension to the characters. The action is intense and beautifully animated, accompanied by an epic score by Christopher Drake. This is a true ADAPTATION that does not translate the comic wholesale but translates the comic while making full use of the animated movie medium.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Better than... faceless-man
No Kevin Conroy? chumash99
excited for the cinema release chalker1
Batman's white eyes cryofmankind23
the mutant language jmrice8016
Have they ever made a story about batman right before he retired? jnavarro818

Contribute to This Page