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Prime Video movie of the day: Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson are electrifying in Tim Burton’s Batman

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1989’s Batman is a wonderfully gothic take on the legendary DC superhero. With gothic horror maestro Tim Burton behind the camera, Prince and Danny Elfman dropping dimes with its outstanding soundtrack, and Micheal Keaton leading a starry cast of A-listers as the titular vigilante, this film’s take on Batman is easily one of the character’s best live-action outings that I can remember (see where it sits in our best Batman movies list while you’re here).

Indeed, this is the Dark Knight before his suit came equipped with those nipples (thanks, Joel Schumacher…) and his big-screen adventures found a realism, to go alongside its more thrilling aspects, under the watchful eye of film auteur Christopher Nolan (see where his three Batman films sit in our best Christopher Nolan movies guide). While I’m a big fan of the Nolan era – and, perhaps in a surprising twist to some, more recent Batman-starring films – the 1989 adaptation is one of the most enjoyable takes on Bruce Wayne’s nocturnal adventures, not least because of Jack Nicholson treating the scenery as an all-you-can-chew buffet with his iconic take on the Joker.

Bat Out of Hell

Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in the 1989 Batman movie

At the time, 1989’s Batman was the most devilish version of the Dark Knight we’d seen on the big screen. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

But don’t just take my word for it. The Chicago Tribune’s Gene Siskel suggested that, with its “dark, smart and moody drama”, 1989’s Batman something very unusual for the era. Indeed, it was a superhero movie that, with its horror-laced vibes, Burton’s penchant for gothic architecture, and occasionally deadly action sequences, adults would enjoy more than kids. 



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Prime Video movie of the day: Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson are electrifying in Tim Burton’s Batman

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