The Batman reviews compare the movie to The Dark Knight and Seven

The Batman reviews are in – and they praise a dark detective story in the vein of David Fincher’s Seven, and draw comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight

This latest take on the Caped Crusader sees Robert Pattinson in the title role, going up against Paul Dano’s villainous Riddler. Zoë Kravitz co-stars as Catwoman, while Collin Farrell is the Penguin, Jeffrey Wright is Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis is Alfred Pennyworth, and John Turturro is Carmine Falcone. 

Reviews are largely positive, though there is some criticism focused on the film’s third act. We’ve rounded up a selection of the reviews below to give you an idea of what to expect when The Batman finally arrives later this month – and don’t worry, everything below is completely spoiler free. 

Total Film – Jordan Farley – 4/5

“Extricating their take on the character from DCEU continuity for a near-three-hour superhero standalone, this is the darkest knight yet – a film that has as much in common with David Fincher’s Seven as it does with the average comic-book-movie tentpole.

“That isn’t a glib comparison. The Batman opens with Dano’s terrifying Riddler bludgeoning a man to death as he squeals with bestial zeal. It gets several notches more disturbing from there, as the puzzle-obsessed psychopath dishes out poetic justice with elaborate murder machines that John Doe or Jigsaw killer John Kramer would take pride in. Let’s just say we’re a long way from Jim Carrey prancing around in a leotard.”

The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) – 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. Led with magnetic intensity and a granite jawline by Robert Pattinson as a Dark Knight with daddy issues, this ambitious reboot is grounded in a contemporary reality where institutional and political distrust breeds unhinged vigilantism.”

Variety (opens in new tab) – Peter Debruge 

“Where do you go after The Dark Knight? Ben Affleck blew it, and even Christopher Nolan, who brought unprecedented levels of realism and gravitas to that franchise-best Batman saga, couldn’t improve on what he’d created in his 2012 sequel. So what is Cloverfield director Matt Reeves’ strategy? Answer: Go darker than The Dark Knight, deadlier than No Time to Die and longer than Dune with a serious-minded Batman stand-alone of his own. Leaning in to those elements doesn’t automatically mean audiences will embrace Reeves’ vision. But this grounded, frequently brutal and nearly three-hour film noir registers among the best of the genre, even if – or more aptly, because – what makes the film so great is its willingness to dismantle and interrogate the very concept of superheroes.”

Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) – Leah Greenblatt – B

“Even Batmen get the blues. Still, Robert Pattinson’s damaged young billionaire may be the Darkest Knight yet: He journals, he broods, he plucks a single blueberry from a silver urn and gazes at it mournfully. For nearly three hours he gives great mood – and while that is not quite the same thing as a great movie, writer-director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) nearly wills it to be in his sprawling, operatic update (in theaters March 4).”

The Independent (opens in new tab) – Clarisse Loughrey – 4/5

“The Batman is a very good Batman film. To think of it as anything more only leads to delusion or disappointment. It also undermines the more subtle work at play in Reeves’s film, which remains faithful to the character’s core iconography – bat ears, elaborate gadgets, encroaching darkness – while simultaneously interrogating its usefulness. Comparatively, it’s pitched somewhere between Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton – with one foot in our reality, and the other planted in a Gothic noir aesthetic derived partially from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One comics.”

The Guardian (opens in new tab) – Peter Bradshaw – 3/5

“But the ending is tiresome and shark-jumping in the extreme, with faux-apocalyptic scenes which work better in less solemn superhero adventures, and an exasperating non-revelation whose significance is teased for the next film. Inevitably, night falls on the latest Batman iteration with the cloudy sense that – of course – nothing has really been at stake. A classy turn from Pattinson, however, as the crime fighter with an injured soul.”

Collider (opens in new tab) – Ross Bonaime – B+

“Still, Reeves has made the best Batman film since The Dark Knight, with a captivating and rich world that reinvigorates characters we’ve already seen on screen over and over again. With The Batman, Reeves prioritizes the shadows of Gotham, setting up this city in a way we’ve never seen before onscreen, bringing life to the world around Batman. Instead of heroes and villains that live in black and white, Reeves has presented a city defined by the gray. The Batman doesn’t redefine what we know about this character, but through Reeves’ direction, we’re shown a Batman story in a way we’ve never quite seen before. While most other Batman films focus on the hero that comes out of the darkness, Reeves has focused on the darkness that hero came out of, which makes all the difference.” (opens in new tab) – Kofi Outlaw – 4/5

“It must also be said that Robert Pattinson is, without any doubt, the best actor to wear the Batman suit on-screen and look fully confident and strong in doing so. Pattinson’s Batman has more in-costume screen time than any Batman before him, but this ultimately proves to be a double-edged sword. Yes, Pattinson is the best Batman we’ve seen on-screen – but he’s also the most solemn and boring version of Bruce Wayne we’ve gotten so far.”

The Batman hits theaters this March 4. In the meantime, check out our guide to all of 2022’s upcoming major movie release dates for everything else the year has in store for us. 

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