Home Feature news 'The Batman' reviews are in. Here's what critics think.

‘The Batman’ reviews are in. Here’s what critics think.

Before The Batman swoops into theaters, get to know what critics have to say about Robert Pattinson’s take on the Caped Crusader.

This latest Batman film, directed by Matt Reeves, gives us a glimpse into the early years of Bruce Wayne’s career as Gotham’s Dark Knight. He gets caught up in a web of corruption, vengeance, and murder, courtesy of the Riddler (Paul Dano). The Riddler isn’t the only iconic villain Batman will face in this movie: Others include Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), the Penguin (Colin Farrell), and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).

Here’s what critics think of The Batman.

How is Pattinson?

Mashable, Kristy Puchko

[Reeves’s] Batman is less booming with bravado, more brooding and boring. His theme song is a moaning emo track that never rises to a roar or a victorious chorus, and Pattinson’s performance is similarly one-note.

The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney

The biggest dividends of Reeves’ approach go to Batman/Bruce himself, with Pattinson playing him as a sorrowful, almost desperate man, indifferent to his astronomical wealth and fully aware that he can do only so much to reverse the course of a society rotten to its core… Pattinson is riveting throughout.

Variety, Peter Debruge

Pattinson is the most sullen of the actors to have played the character, which reads as a kind of daredevil nihilism whenever he’s in costume: He doesn’t seem fearless so much as ambivalent about whether he lives or dies. Once the cowl comes off, however, Pattinson’s interpretation gets more intriguing: Brooding and withdrawn, he’s a damaged loner with unresolved daddy issues, saddled with all kinds of complicated emotional trauma.

A genre-bending superhero film

The Batmobile in hot pursuit.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics

The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney

With his Planet of the Apes installments, Matt Reeves demonstrated that big studio franchise movies based on iconic screen properties didn’t have to exclude intelligent, emotionally nuanced storytelling. The same applies to The Batman, a brooding genre piece in which the superhero trappings of cape and cowl, Batmobile and cool gadgetry are folded into the grimy noir textures of an intricately plotted detective story.

IndieWire, David Ehrlich

The better part of this Batman belongs to another genre altogether, as Reeves stubbornly eschews the usual razzmatazz in favor of a hard-boiled murder-mystery in which The World’s Greatest Detective just happens to be a (very) tortured billionaire with an unexplained hard-on for bats.

The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw

Intriguingly at first, The Batman feels like a serial killer chiller such as Saw. For a time it promises a mystery plot relating to the theme of municipal corruption which is so important to the Batman franchise, and holds out hope of an unmasking with a satisfying narrative resolution. But not really.

Slashfilm, Chris Evangelista

Reeves and company have crafted a sprawling, ominous, dreamy epic; a mash-up of action-adventure, mystery, horror, noir, and even a little romance thrown in for good measure. There were multiple moments here where I had to stop and ask myself, “Wow, is this the best Batman movie?” It just might be.

The problem with PG-13

Mashable, Kristy Puchko

Without the freedom an R-rating allows, this movie — full of menace and murder — feels toothless. 

Imagine if David Fincher made a Batman movie but it was censored to air on televisions at WalMart. That’s what Reeves’s The Batman feels like.

IndieWire, David Ehrlich

For all of its bruising power, [The Batman] still pulls a number of its punches. It’s possible Reeves’ epic had its wings clipped from the minute it was conceived with a PG-13 in mind. The film’s antiseptic bloodlessness often neutralizes the stench of a city rotting from the inside out, even if the MPA rating doesn’t stop Reeves from creating several of the scariest moments in superhero movie history.

Villains galore

Close up on Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. She wears a dark leather suit.
Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics

Mashable, Kristy Puchko

Though relegated to a tertiary role, Colin Farrell relishes every moment in the heavy prosthetic make-up that turns him into a scarred and shit-talking wise guy.

The Verge, Charles Pulliam-Moore

Though The Batman introduces Falcone, the Penguin, and Selina as a means of adding some depth and nuance to its story, each of their arcs has a way of derailing the film to varying degrees because of how inelegantly it tries to weave them all together.

The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw

There are unassumingly good performances from Jeffrey Wright and John Turturro, and Zoë Kravitz’s superpower is charisma.

Slashfilm, Chris Evangelista

Dano has played unhinged weirdos before, but he goes all-out here, delivering rambling, disturbing speeches where he modulates his voice from a faint whisper to an ear-blasting shriek without warning. It is a jarring performance, and at times genuinely scary.

The Batman opens in theaters on March 4. 

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