The Lego Batman Movie

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Poster Image
Clever, creative, action-packed adventure/toy ad.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 104 minutes
 Popular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 63 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

Intended to entertain rather than educate, but does teach kids that it's important to admit when you need help and to connect with other people.

Positive messages

Strong, clear message that working as a team with people you care about and respect is better than trying to do everything yourself/alone. Thinking you're better than everyone else is bound to backfire (i.e. humility is important). Trying to avoid pain by refusing to make connections with others only hurts you more in the end.

Positive role models & representations

Batman starts out as a self-centered, egotistical vigilante who thinks he can do everything on his own ("I don't need anyone," he says proudly); it takes most of the movie, but he eventually learns humility and the value of teamwork, family, and companionship. Barbara Gordon is a strong, smart female character who's tough but fair. Dick/Robin is an eager, optimistic kid; Alfred is endlessly patient and wants to help Batman/Bruce find the right path. The Joker is clearly a bad guy, but even he's made somewhat sympathetic by his desire to have Batman acknowledge their importance to each other.

Violence & scariness

A little darker/edgier in tone The Lego Movie. Tons of bad guys, battles, attacks, crashes, explosions, bombs, weapons (including various kinds of guns), fire, lava rivers, destruction, and general mayhem -- parts of Gotham City literally crumble to bits. Because it's all made out of Legos, there's zero gore, and very little is permanently damaged. But the main characters are constantly in danger, and one key character momentarily seems headed for a more serious end.

Sexy stuff

Batman gets a crush on Barbara Gordon at first sight; very mild flirting between them. Batman is proud of his chiseled pecs/physique. He's sometimes shown changing out of his batsuit/in his underwear, then wearing a chest-baring robe. Dick/Robin prefers not to wear pants with his costume (what's underneath is a thong-like strip). At least one over-kids'-heads joke related to Dick's name.

Language

Some use of insult/potty words, including "butt," "stupid," "loser," "sucks," "farts," "shut up," etc. Also phrases like "dear gosh," "holy cow," "what the heck," and "oh em gosh," plus occasional British slang such as "ruddy." Some jokes are made about Dick/Robin's name.

Consumerism

Most of the characters have tie-ins to movie, comic, and book merchandise/franchises (including DC superheroes, Harry Potter, The Matrix, The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, and many more). Also appearances of/verbal references to brands/products including Vitamin Water, Google, iPhone, Bed Bath and Beyond, and romantic comedies like Serendipity and Jerry Maguire.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Reference to Alfred drinking wine. Beverages at gatherings, but not clear what they are.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, like 2014's The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is clever, creative, and funny, with nonstop action. It's a little darker/edgier than its predecessor -- there are tons of bad guys, battles, explosions, bombs, weapons, destruction, and general mayhem. But because it's all made out of Legos, there's zero gore, and very little is permanently damaged (lots of things are put back together in a literal snap). Still, the main characters are constantly in peril, which could upset some younger/more sensitive kids, and one key character momentarily seems headed for a more serious end. Words like "butt," "loser," and "sucks" are used, and there's a little flirting, plus humor related to Dick/Robin's preference to go without pants when wearing his costume -- but nothing gets too risque. Batman is forced to give himself a pretty hard look over the course of the movie, eventually realizing that he can't do everything by himself and that working with a team/having a family is more fun and fulfilling than going it alone (no matter how awesome your pecs are). As with all Lego movies, shows, and games, it also serves as a feature-length toy ad -- but you may not care, you'll be laughing so hard.

User Reviews

Parent Written byabdelhakim b. February 6, 2017

my kids liked it a lot

good for kids who love batman and legos.
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byMary W. February 23, 2017

I'm Disappointed in you, Common Sense Media.

I used to love Common Sense Media. I really did. They gave me great age-appropriate reviews that I could trust. But now, I can't trust them anymore. I have...
Kid, 10 years old February 12, 2017

Funny... But weird.

I didn't expect them to make fun of other movies when they had king kong and dudes from the matrix and stuff like that in this. I also didn't expect a...
Teen, 15 years old Written byelijah batz February 9, 2017

I don't know why parents are saying 12+?

Fun movie. Most of the jokes didn't make me laugh, but the ones that did landed hard. After watching this film I wanted to buy the products. I want to buy...

What's the story?

In THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Will Arnett), is pretty sure he's got it made -- sweet Batcave, awesome tuxedo wardrobe, endless Bat-vehicles and gadgets. But without anyone to share it with (other than long-suffering butler/minder Alfred, of course), what does it all mean? Even Gotham City's biggest bad guy, he Joker (Zach Galifianakis), can't break through Batman's "I don't need anyone" defense mechanisms. Things start changing when Batman accidentally adopts earnest young orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and meets Gotham's new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson). She wants Batman to work alongside the cops, rather than as a solo vigilante. He's skeptical, but after the Joker engineers a mass breakout from the galaxy's most secure prison, the Caped Crusader may have no other choice than to finally give teamwork a try.

Is it any good?

Smart, funny, and fast-paced, this second big-screen Lego movie shows that the first one wasn't a fluke: The folks behind this franchise definitely know what they're doing. Jokes and pop culture references fly fast and furiously in The Lego Batman Movie -- adults are likely to get a particular kick out of the many references to earlier Batman movies and TV shows -- and the animation is colorful and creative. It never gets old to see all the inventive ways that Lego pieces and characters are used, built, taken apart, and rebuilt. Plus, the writing is snappy, and the voice cast is spot on. Arnett stole the show as the Dark Knight in The Lego Movie, and he has no trouble taking center stage here. Cera's Dick Grayson/Robin is perfectly chirpy and wide-eyed; Dawson is cool, calm tough-chick perfection as Barbara; Ralph Fiennes is drolly amusing as Alfred (who gets several memorable scenes); and Galifianakis is a great mix of quirky and menacing as the Joker.

All of that said, what's particularly pleasing about this franchise (so far, at least!) is how much attention has obviously been paid to story development and positive take-aways for kids and families. No, the Lego movies aren't going to give you quite as many feels as something like Inside Out, but they've got distinct, memorable characters who change and grow over the course of their adventures in ways that even kids will understand -- in between their bouts of giggles, of course. Barbara's message to Batman -- "you can't be a hero if you only care about yourself" -- is simple and clear, but you never feel hit over the head by it because you're too busy marveling at the movie's technical achievements and clever humor. Bottom line? The Lego Batman Movie is as at least as much fun as one of Batman's tuxedo dress-up parties.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence/action in The Lego Batman Movie. Is it less scary because all of the people and buildings are made out of Legos? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • How does the Batman in the Lego movies compare to other versions of Batman you've seen in movies and/or TV shows? Why do you think Batman is usually portrayed as so serious and angry? Is he a role model?

  • How does Batman learn the importance of teamwork and humility? Why are those important character strengths?

  • The Joker is definitely a villain, but it's clear that we're also supposed to sympathize with his frustration and hurt feelings regarding his relationship with Batman. Is it OK to feel sorry for a bad guy? How did you feel about him in the end?

  • How do the Lego movies stack up to other toy-based franchises, like the Barbie or Transformers films? Does watching them make you want to get the Lego characters in the movie?

Movie details

Character Strengths

See which skills this movie can help your kid develop.

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Legos and superheroes

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