Review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes rates movies. It is an online tool that many people use as their bible, when deciding whether to watch a film or not.
If a film rates high it is usually listed as ‘Certified Fresh’ which means it is a popular movie with critics. If a film rates low it is cited as a movie that the critics suggest is best avoided.
So, how do the Batman movies fair on Rotten Tomatoes? Do they all score high and is there an average rating across the series?
In this post I am taking a look at 13 Batman movies to see how well they perform on Rotten Tomatoes. I am using: Batman: The Movie (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Catwoman (2004), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017).
I have chosen these 13 movies as all of them have previously received a wide theatrical release, giving them an opportunity to reach a broad audience. There are a number of other Batman movies I could have included, which also received theatrical releases (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) etc), but these films only played in limited screens, meaning few people saw them in cinemas.
OK, onto the first of two sets of Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
Batman movie ratings on Rotten Tomatoes – based on the opinions of movie critics
With every movie featured on Rotten Tomatoes, the website offers two ratings. The first – the Tomatometer – is a score taken from the combined percentage of a selection of critical opinions.
Here are the Batman movie ratings, according to the Rotten Tomato Tomatometer:
- Batman: The Movie (1966) 78%
- Batman (1989) 71%
- Batman Returns (1992) 78%
- Batman Forever (1995) 38%
- Batman & Robin (1997) 11%
- Catwoman (2004) 9%
- Batman Begins (2005) 84%
- The Dark Knight (2008) 94%
- The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 87%
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 28%
- Suicide Squad (2016) 27%
- Justice League (2017) 40%
- The Lego Batman Movie (2017) 89%
As you can see, it is quite a mixed bag of scores. Only two movies share the same score – Batman: The Movie and Batman Returns – and only just over half (7/13) score above 50%.
At a glance, the results don’t look too encouraging, do they? The Batman movies are incredibly popular, but the critical response is very up and down. So, what is the average rating?
Taking the percentages of all 13 and combining them together gives the series an average rating of 56.46%. While the series boasts some high ratings (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises etc), the lower rated movies (Catwoman, Batman & Robin etc) bring down the series average.
OK, now let’s take a look at a different set of Rotten Tomato ratings.
Batman movie ratings on Rotten Tomatoes – based on the opinions of audiences
The second set of ratings to be found on Rotten Tomatoes are the audience scores. These scores are rated by the audience, and can often differ from the critical ratings.
- Batman: The Movie (1966) 62%
- Batman (1989) 84%
- Batman Returns (1992) 73%
- Batman Forever (1995) 32%
- Batman & Robin (1997) 16%
- Catwoman (2004) 18%
- Batman Begins (2005) 94%
- The Dark Knight (2008) 94%
- The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 90%
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 63%
- Suicide Squad (2016) 59%
- Justice League (2017) 72%
- The Lego Batman Movie (2017) 80%
As you can see from the list, the audience response to the Batman movies does differ across the board. The only film with the exact same score is The Dark Knight.
The films that differ the most are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League. These films clearly do better with audiences than they do with critics.
Taking the percentages of all 13 and combining them gives the series an average rating of 64.38%. This is higher than the Tomatometer average, but not significantly higher.
To sum up
- Average Tomatometer rating across the series: 56.46%
- Average Rotten Tomatoes audience rating across the series: 64.38%
So, what does this tell us? Well, on average, audiences score the Batman movies higher than critics do.
The average scores also tell us that while there are some high scoring Batman movies in the series, there are also a number of low scorers too. It would seem that consistency is missing from the series.
Out of both lists, The Dark Knight trilogy – Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – score well with both critics and audiences alike. They are also the most consistently rated movies in the series.
But what do you think? Do you think the critics get it right when it comes to rating Batman movies, or do you think the audience gets it right? Perhaps it is a mix of both? Whatever your thoughts, please share them in the comments section.