Batman ★★★★

It's become fashionable to downplay or outright dismiss BATMAN, but that's kind of a shame, because -- while it is not flawless, nor is it by any means a definitive presentation of the character -- it is still an entertaining action film and one of the most important blockbusters of all time. From top to bottom, every design category here is very strong, particularly Anton Furst's incredible sets, which convey an extremely palpable atmosphere for Gotham City. Michael Keaton's a convincing Batman (though also an underwritten Bruce Wayne, but he does a nice job of bringing some quirk to that half of the role), but obviously this is Jack Nicholson's picture, and his Joker is a complete macabre delight throughout; it's a "big" performance, but Nicholson finds the right balance between being genuinely menacing and genuinely funny. And on top of all of that, there's Danny Elfman's score, which is still one of the best written for a comic book movie. BATMAN entertained me growing up, and it still does today.

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