BATMAN: YEAR ONE (2011) Reviews and overview

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Batman: Year One is a 2011 American animated feature film in which a wealthy young playboy and a Chicago cop both return to Gotham City. Soon, their lives intersect in unexpected ways.

Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery from a screenplay written by Tab Murphy, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis.


Batman: Year One adapts Miller’s tale with excellent animation and first-rate voice work from a talented cast, finding a nice balance between human moments and exciting action sequences. The only complaint I have is that, at just 64 minutes, it’s awfully short.” The Aisle Seat

“The movie tries to replicate the art for the story. The movie doesn’t quite get it, and adaptation of Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns does get the art closer to its art  It is strong but a lot of the story was the art and seeing it played out just doesn’t have as much power. Batman: Year One is a solid film with problems.” Basement Rejects


“This is easily the best-animated Batman I’ve seen. It’s dark, action-packed, a bit funny, and very adult. DC continues to bring some of the best animated films out there, managing to top all of their live-action content. I’d take this Batman over any of the films…” The Film Reel

“The narrative is broken down into a series of key events, and the fragmented structure works in favor of addressing the pacing issues many of these movies seem to have. The action sequences flow with the story rather than overwhelm it, and none of them seems out of place or thrown in as filler.” High-Res Digest

” …a number of the earlier scenes following the dual progression of Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne through their career arcs feeling shortened and not fully satisfying. Batman: Year One rises to find its strength particularly when it comes to the action element…” Moria

” …this is the first instance of a movie being too faithful to the original book; too ignorant of how it translates, formally, and too convinced of the source’s profundity to meaningfully alter it. Year One is also too short, too rushed, and too jumbled, thanks to its brevity, but more so than that it feels like a ghost of Miller’s story…” Ready Steady Cut!

“Expectations are quite high. At times one feels that the voice talents can be a bit gruffer, the art work bolder and the music a bit more stirring but Batman: Year One more than makes up for more recent iffy efforts by DC Animated…” The Sci-Fi Movie Page

“Yes, they condense the material to make it fit in the running time, and they soften it to get a PG-13 rating, but thanks to especially strong voice work by Bryan Cranston (as Gordon) and Ben McKenzie (as Wayne), whose origins into the partners they would become, drive this innovative, powerful story…” Sonic Cinema

“The relationships are well-drawn in particular the doomed yet intuitive partnership between Essen (who suspects Bruce Wayne is Batman all along) and Gordon. As much a Jim Gordon story as a Batman origin, if not more so, this remains one of the best plotted, most nuanced and compelling Batman stories of all time.” The Spinning Image

” …a faithful, exciting, well-constructed work that sticks to the character-driven narrative design of its printed-page progenitor for a highly-accessible translation that retains both the boldness and simplicity of Miller/Mazzuchelli while smoothing out its rough (but oh-so-lovely) edges just a bit.” Trash Film Guru

Cast and characters:

Bryan Cranston … Jim Gordon (voice)
Ben McKenzie … Bruce Wayne / Batman (voice)
Eliza Dushku … Selina (voice)
Jon Polito … Commissioner Loeb (voice)
Alex Rocco … Falcone (voice)
Katee Sackhoff … Detective Essen (voice)
Sara Ballantine … Skeevers’ Attorney (voice) (as Saratoga Ballantine)
Jeff Bennett … Alfred (voice)
Steve Blum … Stan (voice)
Roark Critchlow … Hare Krishna (voice)
Grey Griffin … Barbara Gordon / Vicki Vale (voice) (as Grey DeLisle)
Robin Atkin Downes … Harvey Dent (voice)
Keith Ferguson … Jefferson Skeevers (voice)
Michael Gough … Driver (voice)
Danny Jacobs … Flass’ Attorney (voice)
Nick Jameson … Merkel (voice)
Liliana Mumy … Holly (voice)
Pat Musick … Falcone’s Wife (voice)
Andrea Romano … Obstetrician (voice)
Stephen Root … Brendon (voice)
Stuart James Patrick Stuart … Henchman (voice)
Fred Tatasciore … Detective Flass (voice)
Bruce Timm … Thug #1 (voice)
Mick Wingert … Guard (voice) (as Bruce Wingert)

Technical details:

64 minutes

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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