One of Tim Burton’s greatest cinematic achievements, 1989’s “Batman” was and continues to be a superhero movie like no other. Shortly after his tenure as the protector of Gotham City, Batman (Michael Keaton) encounters his most formidable enemy yet in the form of the Joker (Jack Nicholson), a sadistic, psychopathic mobster.
One of the biggest financial and critical hits of the ’80s, “Batman” grossed $411 million against a budget of $35 million (via Box Office Mojo), winning critical acclaim for its design. , its direction, performance and soundtrack. “Dark, haunting and poetic, Tim Burton’s ‘Batman’ is a beautiful living comic…the more you get into it, the more frighteningly vivid it becomes,” said the Washington Post.
The success and influence of “Batman” on the superhero genre, as well as Caped Crusader’s standing in the world of pop culture, cannot be overstated. Without it, who knows if we would have later received equally mature explorations of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy or Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.” The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction, with Nicholson receiving a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the film. The film’s success spawned three sequels and inspired the design and tone of the widely acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series.”