Batman (1989)

Action, Fantasy
Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.
An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 23 Jun 1989 Released:
  • 25 Mar 1997 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Bob Kane, Sam Hamm Writer:
  • Tim Burton Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

The "serious" comic book movie7/10
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.
The First Two Batman Are The Last.10/10
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.
Classic8/10
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.
A Tim Burton Classic!10/10
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
I don't even need to say that this is the best Batman of the series. It's obvious enough.10/10

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.