Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
By Brian Costello,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Violence, smoking, language in noir DC action-mystery.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Questions vigilante justice. Teamwork,
Positive Role Models
While there are the proverbial good guys and bad guys, the good guys emerge as flawed, cynical, and all-too-human.
Violence & Scariness
Animated comic book violence throughout. Characters shot and killed with silenced gun; some blood. A restaurant is shot up by two men wielding machine guns. Man pushed off of a stairwell falls several stories to his death. A crime family is shot and killed during Thanksgiving; still shot of their bodies sprawled on and around the table. Stabbing death. Fighting with guns, punches, kicks, swords, throwing stars. Character pistol-whipped. Building filled with money set on fire and destroyed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female character wears revealing blouse. Attempted kiss.
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Infrequent profanity, including "s--t," "damn," "crappy," "hell." Joker makes a "number two" joke.
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Products & Purchases
Characters from the DC Comics universe, sold and marketed in a wide variety of ways.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette and pipe smoking. Wine and beer drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is a 2021 animated movie based on a graphic novel in which Batman, Captain Gordon, and D.A. Harvey Dent must stop a killer who strikes during holidays. Expect a fair amount of animated violence, including murders by a silenced gun (some blood), a character killed by being tossed down a stairwell, a stabbing death, and a crime syndicate murdered while at Thanksgiving dinner. Fighting with punches, kicks, swords, throwing stars, besides guns and machine guns. Characters choked to death. A pistol-whipping. Car chases. Infrequent mild profanity, including "s--t." Cigarette and cigar smoking, beer and wine drinking. The Joker makes an off-color joke involving "number two."
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Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
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What's the Story?
In BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE, Gotham City has seen better days. Crime is on the rise, and the Falcone crime family seem to be an unstoppable force in the criminal underworld that has made Gotham City a cesspool of foul play and corruption. While Falcone is in a mob war with Sal Moroni, Johnny Viti, a former Falcone associate who was starting to give information to D.A. Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) and was about to start testifying in court, is shot and killed. As Batman (Jensen Ackles), with the help of Dent, Chief Gordon, and Catwoman, try to stop Falcone, murders keep happening, and always on a holiday. Mickey Chen and the Triads are gunned down while sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner and celebrating Mickey's release from his arrest by Batman. Their search for the Holiday Killer leads them to Arkham Asylum to a meeting with criminal mastermind, Calendar Man, who offers some suggestions, but in the meantime, The Joker (Troy Baker), not wishing for anyone to steal his perceived position as the number one villain in Gotham, has escaped and is going on a rampage of his own. Now, Batman must find a way to stop The Joker as he tries to spray poison gas on New Year's Eve revelers and continue to figure out who the Holiday Killer really is.
Is It Any Good?
This is an exciting, if typical, DC action-mystery, setting the stage for more excitement to come. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is a movie that, like many of the other DC offerings, explores the blurred lines between good and evil, and the problematic nature of vigilante justice. Based on a graphic novel, the story more or less holds together, even as the story threads and side stories come dangerously close to overwhelming the central mystery. Like many of these movies, it's best if you're already familiar with Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, but also the secondary heroes and villains, as it seems we may be on the verge of, maybe, yet another origin story.
It's a relatively straight-ahead narrative, at least compared to recent offerings that, while good, are more like speculative fan fiction, like Superman coming of age in the Soviet Union instead of Smallville, or the Justice League fighting Nazis. No, this is Gotham City in a mob-fueled crime wave, with some classic villains joining the fray. It's engaging enough, and creates enough cliffhanging suspense to want to see what happens in the sequel, even for those who aren't fully versed in the DC Universe.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about DC Comics movies like Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One. How does this compare to other DC Comics movies, in terms of style, attitude, violence, and themes?
This movie is based on a graphic novel. What would be the challenges in adapting a graphic novel into a full-length movie?
There are some scenes where it seems that Batman is somewhat conflicted about the vigilante justice he pursues, and whether or not it works to protect Gotham and perhaps even rehabilitate the bad guys. What seems to be the takeaway about vigilante justice in this movie and other DC Comics offerings, and what are your thoughts on it?
- On DVD or streaming: June 22, 2021
- Cast: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Troy Baker
- Director: Chris Palmer
- Studio: DC Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Book Characters, Holidays, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Violence, bloody images, language and some smoking.
- Last updated: October 11, 2022
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