Box art for Batman (1989)

Batman (1989)

action & adventure


Michael Keaton stars as the nocturnal crime-fighter. Jack Nicholson is the Joker and Kim Basinger is Vicki Vale, the beautiful photojournalist with a passion for Batman's alter-ego.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    72%
  • Audience Score
    84%

common sense

ON for kids age 9
Consumerism
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Stylish, violent, and often dull Batman adventure.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids watching this movie will see the murder of parents before their own kids, disfigurement, a quill pen jabbed in a man's throat and another electrocuted to death, along with numerous shoot-outs, wild chases, and vigilantism portrayed in a favorable light.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about vigilantism. When Batman decides to punish or kill criminals himself, instead of handing them over to the police, is he doing the right thing? For younger kids, you might discuss whether Batman acts like a good guy when he dangles people over city streets or kills criminals. Older kids might be interested in discussing real life instances of vigilatism and contrasting that with what happens in the movie.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    72%
    reviews counted: 18
    see all Batman (1989) reviews
  • Audience

    84%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: ...Batman hasn't gone totally stale.

- Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: The element of surprise appears in every frame of this motion picture, creating a rich sense of joy and mystery that seems to befuddle Burton and his primitive instincts.

- Brian Orndorf, BrianOrndorf.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: 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.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

B+

- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

3 stars

Re-watched this after The Dark Knight. Good movie, but for the first modern movie adaptation it doesn't really explore much of Bruce Wayne's personality besides the brief recurring memory of losing his parents. He's nothing more than the strong silent type. This Joker's extracurricular activities include chemistry and art, but Nicholson is always his charming self. The Joker dancing around to Prince songs was really odd, I didn't remember that. And the dialog is so basic, corny sometimes, like I said the movie doesn't delve into much motivation. Batman just does what your garden variety good guy needs to do, the Joker just mildly frightens people, the newspaper reporters (a newspaper, what's that?!) don't have much information, and the cops and DA are essentially useless. Burton does infuse the movie with a dark Gothic mash-up of 40's and 50's style with 80's tech like some of the new comic books since the 1980's bring to the character.

- hypathio7, Monday, June 21, 2010

5 stars

While Batman isn't the truest incarnation of the character, it has always been one of my favorite movies. Maybe it's Tim Burton's utterly cool stylization of Gotham that resembles Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns or maybe the dark themes and serious tone. I love the performances from both Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as two of the most recognizable characters in comic book history. Batman was certainly different and more odd than his usual self, but I think that only adds to the interest and depth to the character. The Joker is completely crazy and everything he is in graphic form, but also something more demented and bloodthirsty. I love the plot because it gives you a great range of Batman's best storylines and characters. In terms of when it came out, it is flawless and unmatched. It set the bar for all future series and fixed the problems that existed in the Superman movies.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, May 27, 2010