'The Batman' Reviews: Critics Have Mixed Feelings About Robert Pattinson's 'Emo-Bat'

The early reviews are in for the upcoming movie The Batman, and some critics think it's one of the best live-action Batman films ever made.

The review embargo lifted late on Monday, meaning journalists who've seen previews of the movie were finally free to share their opinion. The reviews weren't unanimously positive though with plenty of reputable critics finding fault with Matt Reeves' The Batman.

Of all of the live-action movies released featuring the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman, The Batman currently sits as the second-highest rated with The Dark Knight Rises, and behind The Dark Knight. From 171 critic reviews, The Batman currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 87 percent.

The Batman will launch in movie theaters on Friday, March 4, 2022. To give you a sense of what to expect from the Robert Pattinson-led movie, here's what the first reviews are saying.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson believes director Matt Reeves has drawn inspiration from David Fincher movies like Se7en for The Batman — a comparison which has been made in several reviews. Lawson notes that gone are the days of Nolan's globe-trotting Batman, instead we see a more "small-time and local" Batman, which is a "refreshing approach."

The Independent

Clarisse Loughrey of The Independent rates the "emo" tones of The Batman as four out of five stars.

After different iterations of the DC Comics character have been and gone over the past few decades, Loughrey believes this Batman is the only one we ever actually needed. Overall the reviewer calls it a "very good Batman film," but "to think of it as anything more only leads to delusion or disappointment."

The Batman Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson's portrayal as Bruce Wayne and Batman has been called "emo" by many reviewers. Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros. Pictures

Empire

Empire magazine gives The Batman a favorable review with another four out of five star rating. John Nugent credits cinematographer Grieg Fraser and director Reeves with rendering "perhaps the best screen realization of Gotham so far."

Nugent is another who calls Pattinson is an "emo-bat" but he's full of praise for Zoë Kravitz's "instantly charismatic" Catwoman and Paul Dano's "chilling performance" as Riddler.

Vulture

"The Batman is sad, scary, and even a little sexy," according to the headline of Vulture's review. Bilge Ebiri makes a note of how dark The Batman is in tone, "even darker than Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight-trilogy."

The author notes how The Batman leans more into the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman than previous movies have, leading to a "surprisingly horny superhero movie."

The Batman and Catwoman
Pattinson and Kravtiz' chemistry is a standout feature of "The Batman," according to some critics. Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros. Pictures

Time

Stephanie Zacharek is less enthused with her praise for The Batman, calling it just "a moderately well-made film" with some "appealing" performances from Pattinson and Kravitz.

The Times

U.K. news publication The Times and author Kevin Maher slate the movie, awarding it two stars with the headline reading: "Robert Pattinson struggles in slow-motion silliness." Maher unfavorably makes the link between The Lego Movie's tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the depressing Batman origins, and the serious tone of The Batman.

New York Post

Johnny Oleksinski awards The Batman two out of four stars, calling is a "bland and forgettable Caped Crusader film."

Oleksinski bemoaned the lack of personality from Batman's alter-ego Bruce Wayne who in previous versions had been a charming socialite whereas Pattinson's version has been "millennialized" as a brooding recluse who stays home all the time.

The plot unfolds as a "slowly paced detective noir," which begins to resemble the Saw movies thanks to the Riddler, according to the writer.

The Guardian

Respected British critic Peter Bradshaw makes the same comparison to the Saw movies in a more favorable light, stating that The Batman feels like a "serial killer chiller" in the opening act.

While the movie is "overlong," clocking in at almost three hours, it features a "pretty feeble non-ending." Bradshaw does commend the look of The Batman, stating it is "tremendously designed, visually spectacular with great set pieces and juddering, sternum-shivering impacts coming at you out of the darkness."

RogerEbert.com

Christy Lemire claims The Batman isn't really a superhero movie, but in Reeves' confident hands "everything is breathtakingly alive and new," which makes the movie more like a gritty '70s crime drama.

Almost achieving a perfect score with three and a half stars out of four, she compliments Pattinson as he's "hungry to explore this figure's weird, dark instincts" and Kravitz who she calls "impossibly sexy."

The Batman will be available to watch in movie theaters from Friday, March 4, 2022.

Zoë Kravitz in The Batman
Zoë Kravitz has been praised for her performance as Catwoman in "The Batman." Warner Bros. Pictures