‘The Batman’ Review Roundup: What Critics Are Saying

The Batman reviews are in. Many critics have raved about Matt Reeves’ take on the DC Comics hero, with star Robert Pattinson receiving a ton of praise. However, the film’s story may have failed to reach its full potential, especially for its lengthy nearly-3-hour runtime. Check out what the critics are saying — here’s our The Batman review roundup.

Robert Pattinson at The Batman premiere as reviews of the film go live online
‘The Batman’ star Robert Pattinson | Mike Marsland/WireImage

‘The Batman’ sees Batman track down a serial killer named the Riddler

Robert Pattinson becomes the titular hero/Bruce Wayne in The Batman, the DC Extended Universe’s reboot of the Batman film franchise. The hero flick sees Batman take on a serial killer known as the Riddler (Paul Dano), whose victims include elite members of Gotham City. With each victim, the Riddler leaves cryptic clues that point to corruption in the city. Batman must get to the root of this corruption, but he can only do so with help from allies like Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) and James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright).

‘The Batman’ critics praise Robert Pattinson and director Matt Reeves

Early critic reviews have lauded Pattinson for nailing his role at Batman. Additionally, many have said The Batman offers a new and engaging mystery that’s unlike previous Batman installments.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet‘s Jeff Nelson called The Batman “fresh and gripping,” praising the film’s action sequences as well as its stellar cast:

All of the performances have the big challenge of selling these iconic characters. However, they all rightfully make the roles their own. Pattinson is a convincing Batman, who infuses his own signature style and voice. Kravitz brings a dramatically compelling Catwoman. The two actors don’t have much chemistry, but The Batman doesn’t lean into their relationship as a crutch. Meanwhile, Dano is just the right amount of unhinged to make this version of The Riddler sing.

IGN gave The Batman a perfect score, describing it as “gripping and gorgeous,” as well as a “genuinely scary psychological crime thriller”:

Robert Pattinson is great as a very broken Batman, but it’s Zoe Kravitz and Paul Dano who steal the show, with a movingly layered Selina Kyle/Catwoman and a terrifyingly unhinged Riddler. Writer/director Matt Reeves managed to make a Batman movie that’s entirely different from the others in the live-action canon, yet surprisingly loyal to Gotham lore as a whole. Ultimately, it’s one that thoroughly earns its place in this iconic character’s legacy.

Meanwhile, MovieWeb’s review praised The Batman‘s ability to keep viewers hooked from start to finish:

Director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson have crafted a stunning noir epic that rivals The Dark KnightThe Batman is a tour de force cinematic experience that will engulf you utterly. Gotham City drips in blood, corruption, and treachery as a tortured vigilante hunts a serial killer with a diabolical agenda. He uncovers frightening truths that shatter his sense of purpose. Raise your expectations to the stratosphere. The Batman is stupefyingly awesome.

Some critics thought ‘The Batman’ failed to reach its full potential and ran too long

On the other hand, some critics couldn’t help but feel as though The Batman was missing something. Polygon called the film “frustratingly safe,” noting that it “settled” for less than greatness:

It preaches to the choir, reinforcing the same ideas trodden over and over again across five movies, multiple video games, and every comic book in the mold of Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s Batman: Year One. If those are your Batman touchstones, the film may very well speak to you. If, on the other hand, you’re curious as to whether Batman can speak to a different audience, it might be time to pack up the signal. No one’s coming to save you.

Perhaps The Batman could have gotten away with a shorter runtime; many critics saw the length as one of the movie’s faults. CNN, for example, argued that it could have cut at least half an hour:

The Batman could easily lose 30 minutes without sacrificing much. Most of that flab comes during the final hour, which serves a purpose in terms of the character’s maturation but piles on at least one climax too many. … As new chapters go, it’s a strong beginning; if only it had known when to end.

The Batman arrives in theaters on March 4.

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