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Batman: Year One (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Batman: Year One
Bat year one film.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by
Written byTab Murphy
Based on
Produced by
Edited byMargaret Hou
Music byChristopher Drake
Distributed byWarner Home Video
Release date
  • October 18, 2011 (2011-10-18)
Running time
64 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.5 million[1][better source needed]
Box office$6.1 million[2]

Batman: Year One is a 2011 animated superhero film, based on the four-issue story arc of the same name printed in 1987. It premiered at Comic-Con on July 22 and was officially released on October 18, 2011. The film was directed by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu.[3][4] It is the 12th film released under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies banner, and was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital copy.[5] The film received positive reviews upon release for its animation and faithfulness to the source material, although the story was criticized.[6] The film was also a commercial success, bringing in $6.1 million on a budget of $3.5 million.[2]


Billionaire Bruce Wayne returns home to Gotham City after 12 years abroad, training for his eventual one-man war on crime. James Gordon moves to Gotham City with his wife, Barbara Gordon, after a transfer from Chicago. Both are swiftly acquainted with the corruption and violent atmosphere of the city. Gordon is assigned to be the partner of Det. Arnold John Flass. He witnesses his partner's cruel methods in stopping a crime and assaulting a teen for fun. Gordon tries to focus on purging corruption from the Gotham City Police Department, but several officers led by Flass beat him on the orders from his corrupt superior, Commissioner Gillian Loeb, with Flass personally threatens Gordon's pregnant wife. In revenge, the recovering Gordon tracks Flass down, beats him, and leaves him naked and handcuffed in the snow.

Bruce believes he is still unprepared to fight against crime despite having the skills he learnt from abroad. He goes in disguise on a surveillance mission in Gotham's red-light district, but he refuses a proposition from teenage prostitute Holly Robinson. He is reluctantly drawn into a brawl with her pimp and several prostitutes, including dominatrix Selina Kyle. Two police officers shoot him on sight and take him away in their squad car. Bruce breaks free and flees from the scene as soon as possible. He reaches Wayne Manor barely alive and sits before his father's bust, requesting guidance in his war against crime. A bat suddenly crashes through a window and settles on the bust, giving him the inspiration to become the Batman. Bruce quickly rings up his butler Alfred Pennyworth to patch up his injuries and proposes the idea of saving Gotham as Batman.

Gordon becomes a minor celebrity for a brave act of saving a group of orphans from a man who has a record of insanity. Bruce strikes as Batman for the first time; crime and corruption significantly decline after a few months of efforts. He even goes after Flass, who is in the middle of accepting a bribe from Jefferson Skeevers, a drug dealer of Carmine Falcone. Batman interrupts a dinner party held at the mansion of Gotham's mayor and he announces that every attendees shall be brought to justice for their crimes someday. Loeb is infuriated by Batman's threatening message, ordering Gordon to arrest him by any means necessary. While Gordon tries in vain to catch Batman, assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent immediately becomes Batman's first ally and Dent conceals this secret from Gordon. GCPD Detective Sarah Essen suggests to Gordon that Bruce Wayne could be a Batman suspect. The pair come across a runaway truck that nearly hits an old lady with Batman managing to save the lady while Gordon is momentarily dazed after stopping the truck. Essen holds Batman at gunpoint, but Batman disarms her and flees to an abandoned building.

Loeb orders a bomb dropped on the building. Batman is caught in the explosion and survives by hiding himself in the fortified basement, but is forced to abandon his utility belt as it catches fire. A SWAT team led by a trigger-happy commander, Branden, is sent in with the order to kill any survivors left in the building. Being cornered into a disadvantaged situation with a few gadgets left at his disposal, Batman uses a signal device to attract bats from the Batcave to create his only route for escaping. The swarm of bats cause chaos in the crowd of witnesses, Batman beats the SWAT team into submission and then escapes. After witnessing Batman in action, Selina is inspired to begin a life of crime by donning a costume of her own.

Gordon and Essen resume their investigation into Batman. Essen's intuition leads her to believe that Bruce is indeed Batman. They both have a brief affair together; after two months of dating Essen learns Gordon is going to be a father of Barbara's unborn child. She chooses to leave Gotham to avoid damaging the relationship. Gordon is left alone to investigate Bruce's connection to Batman; he travels to Wayne Manor with Barbara to interrogate Bruce. Bruce uses his playboy charms as alibi to dismiss Gordon's questioning. While leaving the manor, Barbara criticizes Bruce's embarrassing manners which prompts Gordon to confess his affair with Essen to her. Skeevers initially gets bailed from Gordon with a hired lawyer, he is attacked by Batman for information and he agrees to testify against Flass. Upset with Gordon's exploits, Loeb blackmails Gordon into dropping the case against Flass by threatening to give his wife proof of his affair. Skeevers is then hospitalized when his interrogation meal is drugged with rat poison, so that he remains silent about the ties between Loeb and Falcone. Batman sneaks into Falcone's manor and overhears him and his nephew, Johnny Viti, discussing a plan to deal with Gordon. Selina suddenly attacks Falcone and his bodyguards in her cat costume in order to steal his valuables.

Bruce plays the audio device he used to record Falcone's conversation and confirms Falcone wants to target Gordon's family. In his mission to help Gordon, Bruce disguises himself as a motorcyclist. While leaving home on Loeb's orders, Gordon spots Bruce entering his home garage at high speed. Suspicious, he turns back only to discover Viti and his men already holding his family hostage. Viti flees the scene with Gordon's infant son. Gordon shoots Bruce and takes his motorcycle to chase after Viti, Bruce quickly gets back on his feet and chases after them. The car chase ends up on a bridge when Gordon blows out Viti's car tire. Both men struggle until Gordon's baby eventually falls, Gordon jumps off the bridge with Viti together as he attempts to save his own son. Bruce catches up on time and leaps over the bridge's railing to save the baby. Gordon thanks Bruce for saving his infant son's life and lets him go.

Flass turns on Loeb by supplying Dent with the evidence and testimony needed to implicate him, and Loeb resigns in disgrace. Gordon is promoted to captain; he stands on the rooftop waiting to meet Batman to investigate the threat of poisoning Gotham's reservoir, a potential plot orchestrated by a criminal calling himself the Joker.

Voice cast


Producer Bruce Timm noted that the adaptation of the film was relatively straightforward due to the cinematic nature of the original story arc. Bryan Cranston originally turned down the role as James Gordon because he was unfamiliar with both animation and classic comics. Cranston said: "I wasn't aware of this level of storytelling in animation."[7]


Critical response

Batman: Year One received positive reviews upon its release. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 88% based on reviews from 8 critics, with an average rating of 6.8 out of 10.[6]

An IGN review of the film, after its Comic-Con screening, praised the voice actors and concluded with, "This is real, serious adult entertainment that should satisfy longtime fans and newcomers as well."[4] Another review from IGN panned the film, describing it as "dead on arrival – a lifeless bore with stale voice work and a disjointed, sporadic narrative that was best kept on the pages of Frank Miller's stellar graphic novel."[8] Tommy Cook of Collider called the film a "faithful adaptation".[9] The A.V. Club gave the film an A-, saying, "Batman: Year One is a stellar adaptation, copying Miller's words and Mazzucchelli's images almost verbatim at times." Concluding that, "It all recalls what it felt like to read Batman: Year One for the first time, and sense that this was a story that had always existed."[10]

Cinemacrazed criticized the short run time of the film as its main downfall.[11] James O'Ehley of SciFiMoviePage notes that the faithfulness to the source material works for and against the film, with voiceover and dialog slowing down the action, and he goes on to say how the animation could be bolder, the voices gruffer and the sound more stirring but that overall the film is better than other DC animated films.[12]

In an article for The Missing Slate discussing the influence of the comic version of Batman: Year One on film depictions of Batman, Michael Dodd praised the casting of Bryan Cranston as James Gordon. Referencing Cranston's famous role as Walter White on Breaking Bad, he argued that the choice of casting "truly encompassed the character's determination and downright badass attitude in the comic Year One".[13]


The film earned $6.1 million from domestic home media sales.[2]

Home media

The DVD and Blu-ray release includes a short animated film titled Catwoman. In the film, Catwoman deals with the crime boss Rough Cut (voiced by John DiMaggio) while trying to stop a cargo shipment.[14] There is also a sneak peek for the 2012 film Justice League: Doom, two featurettes, a commentary, a digital comic book, two Batman: The Animated Series episodes ("Catwalk" and "Cult of the Cat"), a standard edition of the film, and a high definition edition of the film.[5]

On August 11, 2015, Warner Home Video re-released the film on a combo pack (ISBN 1401260047), which includes the graphic novel it was based on and a copy of DVD and Blu-ray.

On November 9, 2021, the film got a 4K UHD Blu-ray remastered as part of its 10th anniversary since October 18, 2011 with the title as Commemorative Edition.


  1. ^ "Batman: Year One (2011) (V) - Box office / business". IMDB. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c "Batman Year One - DVD Sales and Blu-ray". The Numbers. Nash Information Service. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  3. ^ Bory's Kit (July 9, 2011). "'Batman: Year One' Animated Movie Trailer Hits (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ a b "Comic-Con: Batman: Year One Review". IGN. July 23, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Charles Webb (July 15, 2011). "The Animated 'Batman: Year One' DVD/Blu-Ray Gets a Release Date and Specs". MTV.
  6. ^ a b "Batman: Year One (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  7. ^ a b Bory's Kit (April 20, 2011). "'Batman: Year One' Lines Up Voice Cast, Sets Comic-Con Premiere (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ IGN IGN R.L. Shaffer October 18, 2011
  9. ^ Tommy Cook (July 23, 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: BATMAN: YEAR ONE Review". Collider.
  10. ^ Noel Murray (October 19, 2011). "Batman: Year One". The A.V. Club.
  11. ^ "Cinema Crazed". November 20, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  12. ^ "Batman: Year One (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2011) - Review | Sci-Fi Movie Page".
  13. ^ "BACK TO THE BEGINNING: THE EVOLVING INFLUENCE OF 'BATMAN: YEAR ONE'". August 21, 2014. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  14. ^ Rich Sands (July 6, 2011). "First Look: Eliza Dushku Pounces into Animated Catwoman Role". TV Guide.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 November 2021, at 04:46
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