Why ‘Batman Returns’ Is the Most Underrated Superhero Movie


Batman Returns was a divisive movie on its initial release in 1992. It was the third-highest-grossing film of the year, but it also generated some complaints from fans (and especially parents) who felt the movie was way too dark for its primary audience of kids. Today, it’s more well-liked — but we think it’s still the most underrated Batman movie — and perhaps the single most underrated superhero movie in history.

In our latest video, we break down why this is such a good Batman movie — and a great Christmas movie. We look at Tim Burton’s direction, explore how the themes of Christmas tie in perfectly with the Dark Knight’s tale, examine its broader ideas about families, orphans, capitalism, and politics, compare it to the 1989 Batman, and reveal why it’s so superior to other more pedestrian superhero movies. We also argue this is really more of a Tim Burton movie with Batman in it, rather than a Batman movie directed by Tim Burton — and that’s a good thing. Watch our full analysis below:

If you liked that video on why Batman Returns is the most underrated Batman movie and a Christmas classic, check out more of our videos below, including what Man of Steel 2 could have looked like, our breakdown of the first season of Netflix’s The Sandman, and our look at why Ben Affleck was a really great Batman. Plus, there’s tons more over at ScreenCrush’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to catch all our future episodes. Batman Returns is currently streaming on HBO Max.

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