By Rachel DeSantis
February 10, 2017 at 11:14 AM EST

The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Movie

Holy blockbuster, Batman! The Gotham-saving hero is back and, though he’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket, The LEGO Batman Movie star is aiming for an opening weekend of super proportions.

The spinoff of 2014’s surprise hit The LEGO Movie (Will Arnett’s Batman was enough of a scene-stealer to nab his own feature film) hits theaters Friday, and so far, the Caped Crusader has garnered positive reviews from critics. The star-studded cast, also including Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, and Ralph Fiennes, also helps to round out the film.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty gave the movie a B+, calling it a bit more “devious” than its predecessor, and praised it as “irresistibly clever.”

See more of Nashawaty’s review below, as well as excerpts from other critics.

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“Arnett’s hilariously humorless Batman turns out to be the fun-size star of what’s basically a comic-book movie for kids who are too young to see comic-book movies…Good thing that beneath all of the semi-Dark Knight propaganda is an irresistibly clever and visually intoxicating adventure that once again shows why it’s more fulfilling to play with friends than brood alone in your Batcave.”

Jesse Hassenger, A.V. Club
“In rampaging through Batman mythologies like a child through a playroom, the movie makes an admirable attempt to reconcile kid-friendly adventures with the character’s psychological pain. Arnett plays Batman as, essentially, a young Bat-fan determined to maintain the invincibility of his favorite hero (in this case, himself) even as reality encroaches on his lone-vigilante fantasy; it’s no accident that Alfred can be glimpsed reading a child-rearing book at one point. Cera syncs with this interpretation by playing up Robin’s more innocent childlike qualities. He finds such endearment doing so that despite the spoofy trappings, this Robin rises above mere parody to become a flat-out charming iteration of the superhero sidekick.”

Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“The characters are Lego minifigures with pegs for heads and crudely etched faces that barely move, yet they have more personality than the majority of human actors. Most delicious of all: The Lego Batman Movie comes on like a kid-friendly sendup of the adult world, yet there’s a dizzying depth to its satirical observations that grows right out of the spectacularly fake settings, which are hypnotic to look at but have the effect of putting postmodern quotation marks around…everything.”

Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“One reason that the first Lego movie worked as well as it did is that its novelty and trippier moments conveyed a sense of play and unboundedness, which is part of the appeal of Legos themselves. (It’s the better movie and ad.) The Batman story, by contrast, proves to be a prison, one its creators never escape. They toss around the superstuff and giggle at the legend, but they’re finally confined by the superhero story and its corporate sanctity. It’s a bottom-line bummer.”

Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
“While on the subject of teamwork, the writers — including novelist Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (Community) and Jared Stern & John Wittington (the upcoming animated Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham) — find no shortage of satirical targets, taking sly aim at everything from Suicide Squad to Donald Trump’s taxes. But they and director McKay prove less adept at finding that terrific balance between the blissfully inspired and a non-syrupy sweetness that made the first brick-and-knob feature excursion so successful.”

Stephanie Zacharek, Time
“The film, directed by Chris McKay, is a spin-off of 2014 hit The Lego Movie, an unapologetic product unapologetically selling a product. Sometimes brash, sometimes wearying, that movie at least felt like it was made by the brightest kid in the class. Not so for Lego Batman.”

Rafer Guzmán, Newsday
“Much of the material hinges on Batman’s un-superhero-like behavior, as when he throws a childlike tantrum before the stoic butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes, dry as gin) or stands at the Wayne Manor microwave while his meal rotates for two boring minutes. These conceits work because director Chris McKay (who assisted on The Lego Movie) has sharp timing but also because Lego Batman plays everything so straight.”

Amy Nicholson, MTV
“Warner Bros. seems delighted it doesn’t have to coddle a man-size ego like, oh, Zack Snyder’s. It uses The LEGO Batman Movie to apologize for last year’s DC Universe mistakes. “Get a bunch of criminals to fight other criminals? What a stupid idea!” mutters Batman in a swipe at Suicide Squad.”

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“The kids are gonna love it, even if the inside jokes, Freudian subtext and subversive jabs at corporate America sail right over their towheads. As for the, grown-ups, they’ll eat up the antics of this newly lighthearted DC vigilante. “I have aged phenomenally,” he beams. And for the under-10 crowd – pampered with poopy-level sight gags and “wanna-get-nuts” action – everything is PG awesome.”

Episode Recaps

The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 104 minutes