Box art for Batman Returns

Batman Returns

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

This film pits the caped crusader against his most fiendish opponents yet: the evil Penguin and the sinuous, mysterious and sensual Catwoman.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
4 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A darkly violent take on the comic-book hero.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sequel to the 1989 original film is darker and more kill-happy than the previous installment. Crooks wearing giant skull-head masks run amok at a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony. Selena suffers a breakdown, during which she destroys her apartment. The Penguin threatens Schreck by producing his ex-partner's severed hand. Schreck is electrocuted, leaving a charred, pop-eyed corpse. And the movie deals with mature themes, such as death, abandonment of a child, and corruption in big business.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the Catwoman character. Is she a positive role model for women -- or a familiar stereotype? Can you think of a female superhero who doesn't wear a slinky costume? How does Catwoman gain power outside her normal life?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 19
    see all Batman Returns reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews


- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Something about the filmmaker's eccentric, surreal, childlike images seems to strike a deep chord in the mass psyche: he makes nightmares that taste like candy.

- David Ansen, Newsweek, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh: As Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands reminded us, Burton always has been more absorbed by what his audience sees than by what his movies say.

- Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Audience Reviews

2 stars


- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 stars

Honestly, I like this just as much as the first because it has a better combination of heroes, villains and story. Tim Burton made Batman a little more dark and continued the amazing style that was set up, but we get to see a lot more of Gotham and its citizens. Bringing Catwoman and The Penguin in was perfect, both Michell Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito give great performances that give their characters all the range they needed in the comics at the time. Michael Keaton continued to honor Batman and make him a hero you can root for and fear at the same time. I think having Chistopher Walken as the looming villain was extremely wise because you're never sure how things are going to end up. The final battle is just so much fun and still holds up, it's almost operatic how Oswald Cobblepot III meets his end.

- ythelastman89, Thursday, May 27, 2010

4 stars

Slightly darker. Slightly better. It still has Tim Burton's expected absurdity. The development of Penguin and Catwoman take the focus. Batman is given even less time than in the 1989 movie to explore his inner conflict and how he does what he does. The fight scenes are ok, but not all that thrilling. Batman does have some new gadgets. The glider is awesome. The programmable bat-arang that is caught by a poodle, not so much. Media is represented by a few TV reporters at press conferences, so the newspaper reporters are pretty much scrapped. The cops are scrapped too. The mayor (Murphy) is as useless as the DA was in the previous picture. Then we have power hungry billionaire Max Shreck (Walken) in this one using the mayor, mistreating his secretary (Pfeiffer) who happens to become Catwoman, and manipulating the media sensation of Penguin (DeVito). Pfeiffer is sexy, complex, and dangerous with her whip or claws. Penguin is not the type of sophisticated gentleman of business like most comics portray. Sure he has various umbrellas at his disposal and has an affinity for birds, but the back story created here is much more nightmarish. He is deformed, has been living in the sewers, and oddly, since it suggests the Joker's minions more, has been working with a gang of sideshow clowns and a pack of not so ferocious penguins. Danny DeVito himself though and the way he plays this villain who doesn't have much humanity left is so much scarier than Nicholson as the Joker in the other Batman film.

- hypathio7, Tuesday, May 11, 2010