Batman: Year One (2011)

batman year one 2011 dvd cover
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Faithful adaptation, Gordon

Loses steam near the end

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Batman:  Year One

Studio:  Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  October 18, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


This bat through the window has inspired me with fear! I shall be Windowman!!!

Bruce Wayne has returned to Gotham after years of training, and as Bruce Wayne returns a new legend is born!  While Bruce Wayne tries to find how to bring his war on crime to life, Gotham has another new resident in Jim Gordon…a married detective with high ideals who is about to learn Gotham is sick.  Cleaning up Gotham is both men’s goals, and a crimelord named Carmine Falcone must be stopped if that is to occur.  The Batman is here, and Gotham will never be the same!

Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, Batman:  Year One is an adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman classic Batman:  Year One which ran in Batman (1) #404-407 (February 1987-May 1987).  The film is one of DC Universe Animated Original Movies and followed Green Lantern:  Emerald Knights also from 2011.  It was met with mixed to positive review by critics.  The DVD also contained a Catwoman short.


She is totally into me!

Frank Miller wrote the definitive origin of Batman (or at least his first years) in Year One.  Over the years, Batman: Year One has played out in films, cartoons, and movies over-and-over again.  It is presented here and there are pluses and minuses.

I really like how this movie starts out.  I like Batman trying to find his direction, but I don’t necessarily love how the movie ends.  I feel that Batman should have become Batman at the end of the film and not before.  I guess that would have ruined the idea that it is Batman’s “Year One”, but I think it causes it to lose its direction a bit.  The film might lose steam as the film progresses though the Jim Gordon storyline remains strong throughout the film.


As yourself…do you feel luck? Well, do you, punk?

The movie does have a great cast.  Benjamin McKenzie plays the younger Bruce Wayne and ironically went on to play James Gordon in Gotham.  James Gordon here is really given depth and life by Bryan Cranston who seems to bring a real weight to the character.  Eliza Dushku plays the younger Selina Kyle and Alex Rocco plays Carmine Falcone.  Katee Sackoff is Sarah Essen (the love interest foil to Gordon) and Stephen Root has a smaller role as Lt. Brendan.

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.  If you have to choose between the book and the film, pick the book.  The movie is a nice adaptation, but loses the comic book’s impact.  DC Animated Original Movies followed Batman:  Year One with Justice League:  Doom in 2012.

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Batman:  Year One

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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