The Batman: Here's what the critics are saying

The official logo for The Batman movie
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Batman hits theaters on Friday (March 4), but the embargo for critics to hold their reviews has lifted and the reactions are in. 

The film sees Robert Pattinson make his debut in the cowl of Batman, with Zoë Kravitz playing Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, Colin Farrell portraying The Penguin, and Paul Dano playing The Riddler. 

As well as this, Andy Serkis has the role of Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright is Commissioner Gordon, John Turturro plays crime boss Carmine Falcone, and Peter Sarsgaard is Gil Colson, Gotham's district attorney. 

Matt Reeves, best known for his work on Planet Of The Apes trilogy, is in the director's chair, working from a script he co-wrote with Bad Boys For Life writer Peter Craig. 

In Reeves' new take, we meet Pattinson's Bruce Wayne in his second year of fighting crime as Batman and uncovering systemic corruption in Gotham City, all the while on the hunt for the Riddler, a serial killer who's targeting Gotham's elite.

Batman has suffered mixed fortunes with critics in recent years. While Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy found itself topping many of end-of-year lists, the more recent efforts, especially 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, got an absolute pasting. 

So how does Pattinson's effort measure up? Well, it's certainly an improvement on Dawn Of Justice...

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

What are critics saying about The Batman?

Mostly, they're pretty happy, but not exclusively. We're certainly not in Nolan territory here. 

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney enjoyed it, though he had some reservations about the film's length and unrelenting darkness. Still, he praised the star, in particular, writing that "Pattinson is riveting throughout."

Empire's John Nugent liked it too, dishing out four stars, though he again was a little down on the running time, writing: "the knottiness of the plotting will leave you feeling that near-three-hour runtime, but it is never boring, the narrative propelled by a series of grisly conundrums through Gotham’s seedy underbelly."

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw was more sanguine, awarding the film three stars. He also praised Pattinson, but called the film's ending "tiresome and shark-jumping in the extreme,"

IndieWire liked it, with David Ehrling praising the film's daring and writing that it had succeeded in "...transforming the Bat-Signal into a beacon of hope rather than something to fear."

Collider's Ross Bonaime was even happier, awarding the movie a B+ and writing that "Reeves has made the best Batman film since The Dark Knight".

The New York Post was less happy, their critic Johnny Oleksinski called the film "perfunctory", and dismissed it as "...the first caped crusader adventure in a while to come off as completely purposeless."

The Times also didn't like it, with Kevin Maher awarding just two stars and criticizing its overtly serious tone.

TechRadar's own Tom Power was a fan. He gave the film four-and-a-half stars and you can read his review here.

You'll all be able to judge for yourselves when the film is released into theaters on Friday (March 4).

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…