A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong positive messages about justice and taking a stand against corruption and crime. Also some muddier messages about loyalty to your family and the best way to solve problems (Batman mostly uses violence).
Positive Role Models
When Jim Gordon takes a job with the Gotham City police department, it's riddled with corruption, and he's expected to comply. But he makes ethical choices and puts himself, his family, and his reputation at risk to stand up for what's right. But he also has an affair with a female colleague (and later ends the affair and confesses to his pregnant wife). Batman uses violence to solve problems.
Violence & Scariness
Strong fantasy violence, including many life-altering moments (such as the one in which young Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered in front of him, prompting him to become a crime fighter). A newborn infant is kidnapped and put in mortal danger during a chase and fight. Frequent fist-fighting (with men, women, and teens) and shooting, with blood. Minor characters are killed. Cars explode, and there's a fire with a brief view of a burning victim.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
More sexual content than the usual animated superhero movie. Some scenes take place in the "red-light district." It's hinted that one major character is a prostitute. A main character with a pregnant wife has an affair with another woman; kissing is shown, but sex is only suggested. Another main character lounges around in a not-quite-tied-down bathrobe, and a woman nibbles at his ear. Men make catcalls at a pretty women. In the short film that accompanies the feature, there's a long scene set in a strip club, with lots of suggested nudity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional language, including "hell," "bitch," "crap," "bastard," and "goddamn."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Signs for liquor stores in the red-light district.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Batman: Year One is a feature-length animated action movie based on Frank Miller's popular comic books. It's fairly violent and includes a shocking sequence in which a newborn infant is kidnapped and placed in danger. There's also the expected fighting and shooting (with some blood shown). The movie also includes some sexual content, with images of a red-light district and prostitutes, suggestions of an extramarital affair, and (in the accompanying short film) images of a strip club. The occasional strong language goes as far as "bitch" and "bastard." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The directors of All-Star Superman and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights return for this dark, noir-ish take on the first chapter of Batman and Commissioner Gordon's careers. Batman: Year One looks great, with a moody use of shadows and darkness and dreary, lowdown locations. But the main problem is that, at only 64 minutes, it's too short; Gordon's story feels fully fleshed-out, but Batman's story is surprisingly truncated.
It helps that actor Cranston (from both Drive and TV's Breaking Bad) does a terrific job with Gordon's conflicted voice. But McKenzie (from The O.C. and Southland) seems too young and complacent for Batman; he sounds more like a frat boy than a tormented loner. Moreover, for a movie this short, too many supporting parts are fighting for space; it takes place over the course of a year, so the story feels bigger than it really is. But if we allow that Gordon is actually the main character, then his journey is a fascinating one.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.