Batman, The

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Not suitable under 15; parental guidance to 16 (violence, sustained threat, language, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Batman, The
  • a review of Batman, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 March 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not suitable due to violence, sustained threats, language and themes.
Children aged 15–16 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, sustained threats, language and themes.
Children over the age of 16 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Batman, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sustained threat, violence and coarse language.
Length: 173 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In an effort to continue his murdered parents’ legacy, Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) hides in the shadows of Gotham under the guise of Batman, protecting the innocent and attempting to curb the steadily increasing crime and corruption plaguing the entire city. On Halloween night the Mayor (Rupert Penry-Jones) is brutally murdered and a message is left with the body for ‘The Batman’. Risking his reputation with other officers, Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) invites Batman onto the scene to get his perspective on the case and to show him the message which was little more than a cipher that lead to another clue and ultimately another murder. ‘The Riddler’, as the serial killer is come to be called, wants to stop the lies they have all been told; consequently, he begins attacking the most powerful and corrupt members of society, invoking fear and horror wherever he strikes. Following a lead, Batman tries to track down a girl pictured with the murdered mayor, who, unfortunately, disappears before he is able to find her. Her friend, Selina (Zoe Kravitz), is distraught by her friend’s obvious abduction and is determined to track her down. Working alongside Batman, Selina helps him infiltrate an infamous mobster nightclub but in the process they both learn more than they bargained for. Meanwhile, The Riddler (Paul Dano) begins to target the entire city, killing indiscriminately in ways that no one saw coming. Horrified that The Riddler used him as inspiration and disturbed by the information he learned about his family, Batman goes to heroic lengths to prove his worth not only to a city that mistrusts and reviles him but also to himself and to the little boy who was once powerless and unable to save his parents.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Crime; Corruption; Serial killing; Death of a parent or parents; Drug abuse; Murder; Violence as a means to solve conflict; The dangerous power of social media.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent violence in this movie, including:

  • The Riddler attacks the mayor from behind, repeatedly hitting him in the head with a carpet tool. The bloodied object flies across the room and lands on the floor. The Riddler then sits on him and begins to duct tape his head.
  • A gang of guys attack a random jogger.
  • A man in a costume is hit by a car.
  • Batman beats a gang member until he appears unconscious. He then takes on the rest of the gang as they simultaneously attack him; hitting, punching, kicking, shooting, electrocuting, etc.
  • Batman and Lt. Gordon find a bloody pair of shears stabbed into the Mayor’s car tyre. Inside the car they find his severed thumb attached to a USB.
  • There is a woman in a photo who is clearly battered and bruised.
  • Batman punches two bouncers to get into a club and then must fight his way through. He is shot at before removing the guns from their owners and being allowed to see the boss whom he smashes into the back of a wall.
  • The Riddler posts a video of his latest victim being eaten alive by rats. Investigators later learn he was also injected with rat poison.
  • When a bomb is strapped to the DA’s neck during a funeral, he must solve some riddles in order to be given a chance to live. Batman tries to help and is blown backwards, his chest on fire, as the bomb explodes.
  • Batman punches Lt. Gordon in the face in order to escape from the interrogation he is facing. With the Lieutenant’s help, Batman is able to find his way out of the police station while the officers shoot at and pursue him.
  • Batman jumps off a roof trying to fly with his suit. He hits a bridge and a bus before finally crashing to the ground where he limps away.
  • Selina finds her friend’s body in the back of a policeman’s car.
  • There is a shootout during which it looks like Batman has been hit. This is followed by a frantic car chase full of shooting and near misses and other cars crashing. It ends when one car smashes into a tanker, causing it to explode. The Batmobile flies through the flames hitting the other car and causing it to flip repeatedly before skidding to a stop.
  • Batman’s oldest friend and father figure opens a package meant for him and is nearly blown to pieces.
  • Selina tells Batman how her mother was murdered when she was 7.
  • Batman is told that his grandmother killed his grandfather and then committed suicide. He is also told how his own father inadvertently had a man killed.
  • Selina finds the cop who had her friend’s body in his car and plays the recording her friend left her. Instead of a message they listen to her friend’s final moments and subsequent execution.
  • Selina pushes a police officer off the roof while he is still tied to a chair. Batman and Lt. Gordon manage to save him.
  • Selina goes after the mobster that killed her friend. A fight ensues after she tries to shoot him and she must take on both the mobster as well as his body guard. As her throat is being crushed by a pool cue, Selina learns that the mobster she tried to kill also killed her mother. Batman swoops in at the last moment to save her.
  • A series of explosions along the sea wall cause a massive flood to surge through the city of Gotham, drowning some, sweeping many away and forcing others to flee.
  • The new Mayor is shot on the eve of her election.
  • The Riddler organised a masked militia to fire on the civilians that went to support the election of the new Mayor. Numerous people are shot at. Batman is shot, point blank, in the chest and while he dangles by his fingertips over the edge of a convention centre a masked man prepares to shoot him, point blank, in the head. Selina saves Batman at the last second.
  • As an attacker turns on Selina, Batman injects himself with what appears to be adrenaline. He gets up and begins punching the masked man in the head as hard and as fast as he can.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The entire film is very dark; scenes generally take place at night or in the rain. There is a sustained sense of danger throughout, with numerous violent attacks and a number of characters with creepy masks or facial deformities that may also disturb or frighten young viewers.
  • The Riddler wears a strange, helmet-like mask with his glasses bulging out. In one scene he is shown standing by the curtains, ready to pounce on his unsuspecting victim, his glasses glowing in the reflection from the TV screen his victim was watching. It is very eerie and frightening.
  • On Halloween the city is filled with revellers in costumes but many of these are simply using them as disguises to mask their crimes. There is a gang of creepy, face-painted men in particular that attack unsuspecting people, film it on their phones and then upload for others to watch. They pursue a terrified man through a darkened subway station before Batman intervenes. Consequently, he is not there to help with the violent robbery happening across town when a man with an evil-looking pumpkin head holds up a convenience store.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The Mayor’s young son is shown going out to trick-or-treat on Halloween, while The Riddler watches from a window. Off screen the little boy returns to find his father bludgeoned to death, his thumb severed and his bloodied head wrapped in duct tape. Upon visiting the crime scene Batman notes the child-sized bloody footprints.
  • There is talk about how Batman’s own parents were murdered when he was just a young boy.
  • The Riddler describes what it was like for children in the orphanage, as his parents were also dead. He talks about rats that would nibble on fingers, 30 kids crammed in a room, babies that would freeze to death in winter, and 12 year olds who were already addicted to drugs. He explains these things to Batman in a crazy, psychotic way that could be very upsetting to some children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The Riddler straps a bomb to a man’s neck and sends him careening into a church during the Mayor’s funeral. Bruce Wayne is able, but just barely, to save the life of the Mayor’s son by knocking him out of the path of the car only a second before it impacted the altar.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Batman asks Selina about her relationship with other men and insinuates that she has slept with them for money.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Batman watches through a window while Selina changes. She strips down to a crop top bra and panties before putting something else on.
  • There are some scantily clad women in a club, dancing and serving the customers.
  • Batman and Selina kiss on a number of occasions.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There are numerous references to a drug syndicate and to ‘drop heads’ (drug addicts). Numerous high profile people take these substances and some are shown to be ‘wasted’.
  • Minor characters drink.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shit
  • Fucking
  • God damn... (vigilante, freak, it)
  • For Christ Sakes!
  • Bitch, bitches and son a bitch.
  • Hell
  • Ass
  • Dick
  • Freaking psycho
  • Scum bag.

In a nutshell

The Batman is an action adventure based on the comic strip superhero. The film is long and dark but the characters are well developed and the plot contains numerous twist and turns. Due to the themes, language and violence this is not a family film but one that will be best enjoyed by older teen and adult audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that revenge will not change the past but surviving can transform people if they simply allow it to. Surviving means finding, within yourself, the power to endure and the strength to carry on.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Resilience
  • Courage
  • Hope
  • Truthfulness
  • Integrity.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Using violence as a way to solve conflict.
  • Believing everything you see or hear on social media and the consequences that can come from this.
  • Using social media as a means to perpetuate crime or encourage violence.
  • Focussing on revenge instead of understanding or forgiveness.
  • The price of corruption.