Batman Begins - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Batman Begins Reviews

Page 1 of 3402
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2012
Hands down the best "reboot" movie of all time, this one has it all. Nolan takes great care in setting up the backstory of the Caped Crusader in the first half of the film. The second half kicks into overdrive and ends with a fantastic finish.
Super Reviewer
½ May 6, 2013
The first chapter in the proposed "Dark Knight Trilogy" is dark, compelling, and articulate. Christopher Nolan's marvelous input to the origins of the Caped Crusader gives a good start to the trilogy. With a strong cast (Bale, Caine, Neesen, Freeman, Holmes & Oldman) along with an ominous plot, Batman Begins enthralls its audiences worldwide. 4.5/5
Super Reviewer
November 5, 2006
Christopher Nolan had already proved he could do characters and dialogue and in this latest reinvention of the classic comic book character, he proves emphatically that he can do action too. Taking cues from Tim Burton's previous attempt to bring the character back to its dark roots, Nolan's vision is so gritty and believable it makes Burton's film seem as comparatively camp as the Adam West TV series that preceded it. This origin story has no radioactive spiders or associated sillines; just an intelligent examination of a man's guilt and desire for revenge and the psychology of fear. This combined with unlimited resources that wealth can provide, Batman is born utilising some brilliant production design that not only looks fantastic, but also looks plausible. Bale was the perfect choice for the role, bringing a single-minded intensity to the character and is just as convincing in his pimpernel-esque role as billionaire playboy. The supporting cast of genuine actors including Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman add a lot of dramatic weight and the script is cleverly fleshed out. Possibly the only flaws are the fact that although Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy are both great it lacks a focal villain (something obviously rectified quite spectacularly by Heath Ledger in the sequel) and Katie Holmes is a bit of a dead zone but these gripes are insignificant compared to Nolan's achievement in bringing Batman to believable life. For me, this is easily one of the best superhero movie ever made and it stands up handsomely to repeated viewings. A future classic.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2007
Batman Begins re-established the Batman franchise as something that can deliver the blockbuster goods while also delivering a grounded and human story that connects with everyone. This is not a gothic Burton freakshow, nor is it the soulless special effects drivel that Schumacher made. Nolan understands the importance of a good origin story and delivers. This is not wall to wall action, but it holds your attention from the get go and the pacing is just right. Christian Bale is the Batman the series has always needed. He is by far the best actor to ever play the role and will be hard to top if WB ever decides to continue on after Nolan's saga. Everything Nolan set up in terms of the origin story with the League of Shadows and Ra's Al Ghul (played by a fantastic Liam Neeson) has not been attempted before and it was the perfect way to start his vision of the character. Add in Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox, Michael Caine as Alfred, and Gary Oldman as Gordon and you have the pieces in place for something special. Katie Holmes is the weak link, but she isn't awful. Overall, Batman Begins is probably the most traditional made of Nolan's series before he forever changed the landscape of superhero films with The Dark Knight, but it is still fantastic.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2012
I love action and I love Christian Bale. This film won't disappoint!
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2012
A great opening chapter to a sucessful trilogy. Featuring a superb cast, a strong script and plenty of action. Faith towards the comics is strong and can be easily seen through the dark atmosphere, along with the performances of Christian Bale,Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2012
I know following up Batman & Robin isn't the hardest feat in the world, but this film did so much more then that. This is the true story of a phoenix. Batman went from being a complete joke to being one of the greatest film trilogies in recent history. This being the first and some would say the best of the trilogy. Casting perfect, direction amazing, and the music made it an instant classic. Christopher Nolan was always a great director but this was the first sign of what was to come from the one we all have grown to know as Nolan.
Super Reviewer
April 17, 2011
Christopher Nolan's sweeping first chapter in the rebooted Batman is a much needed breath of fresh air in the super hero genre. Batman & Robin was a travesty of cinema; Joel Schumacher butchered something that Tim Burton worked hard at making. Batman forever was an average flick, but its follow-up tried to outdo everything, with much bigger effects, over the top villains and ridiculous costumes. The film was like a nightmare, it was like the equivalent of attending a Justin Bieber concert or getting your teeth pulled out. Schumacher made the worst superhero film ever made with Batman & Robin, his total disregard of the material and wanting to make everything flashy was a slap in the face to the fans. I've been a diehard Batman fan since childhood, and loved the Tim Burton films. But the series sunk to whole new low with Batman & Robin. However Warner Brothers delivered hired Nolan to helm Batman Begins, and the rest is as they say history. Christopher Nolan crafts a unique new take on the Batman tale. His understanding of what makes a good action film by giving us some real villains that can exist, unlike the stupid villains Schumacher gave us with Batman & Robin, these villains were real, and they were believable. Nolan has made a fantastic picture with this first entry of a stunning trilogy of films. This film brought back my fate in the franchise, and re-established Batman as a superhero to take seriously and not make fun of. The aspect that stands out the most about the film is Bruce Wayne's conflict, and what he tries to do to clean the streets and eventually become the Batman. Really, this is an astounding film, one that erases all the mistakes that Schumacher has made with his second Batman feature. This is a real treat to watch and is the definitive Batman film. This film was only matched by its sequels, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. This is a brilliant film that brought back faith in the character, and as a diehard fan of Batman, I was simply blown away. Christian Bale has made the character his own, and he is the best Batman since Michael Keaton. Batman Begins is the beginning of the darkest saga in the character's history. Brilliantly effective and with memorable action this film is a fine return to glory for the legendary Dark Knight.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2012
Epic, dark, and intense, the film is a fantastic start to the Dark Knight trilogy. Though it lacks the power the following film runs on, Batman Begins has its own iconic feel to it and is a thrill to watch.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2006
For years, I always held the two Tim Burton Batman films as the best in the series. I am now (kinda) wrong. Batman Begins revitalizes the series, focuses more on character development and plot (more importantly on Batman, and not the villains), and provides a dark, dreary, gothic atmosphere that's even better than the one Burton provided. All of this, along with an excellent cast, especially with Bale's intense brooding performance, and Murphy's deeply creepy and unnerving one, make this one of the better superhero films out there.

I will nitpick it and say that the editing (especially during the fight scenes) is quite choppy, and its hard to tell what is going on at times, and also that the film is maybe a bit too heavy handed and pretentious. However, even then, I think that's sort of a welcome thing, and it helps elevate this type of genre movie, it just goes a bit far with it. This is more grounded in reality, and is a welcome change from the past versions, but I still really like the stylized comic book elements from the old ones, though this take is great too.

I used to really love this, but now it's worn on me, and I think that, while it is really good, it's not the full on masterpiece I thought it originally was.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2009
There is a small passage at the start of Frank Miller's comic book, "The Dark Knight Returns." It speaks of a bar, a small saloon which is usually filled with the long-forgotten villains of Gotham city. "They talk about a Man of Steel. An Amazon Princess."

"But they never talk about the mean one. The cruel one. The one who couldn't fly or bend steel in his hands. The one who scared the crap out of everybody and laughed at all of the rest of us for being the envious cowards we were... Not a man among them wants to hear about Batman."

And until Batman Begins, we never really had. In film anyway.

When a young Bruce Wayne experiences a tragedy, his life is taken down the path of vengeance and retribution upon the criminals of Gotham.

Batman has always been a favourite of filmmakers; iconic imagery, fantastic setting, great villains, heaps of source material to draw from. And yet, before Batman Begins, there had never been an origins story for the world's greatest masked detective. Tim Burton's Batman touched on the beginnings but we had never seen the transition from tortured adolescent to caped vigilante. Starting with this in mind, and keeping the movie firmly cemented in the real, plausible world, Nolan and his team created a Batman who was first and foremost Bruce Wayne and a film in which the man inside the suit is just as interesting as the one throwing himself from building to building. Nolan's attitude towards what was once simply a comic book character is what has given Batman Begins and its sequel such incredible status in the comic book movie genre. Nolan and Goyer's screenplay manages to recreate this superhero with all of his flaws and triumphs while making the human underneath just as complex and interesting. As much as the script is filled with huge action pieces, Nolan focuses on the smaller, heartfelt moments even more. Bruce Wayne meeting Rachel at a hotel and struggling desperately to make her think better of him. A young Bruce surrounded by the dead bodies of his parents, suddenly an orphan. While the script may be broadly funny and often plot-driven, it's moments like these when Nolan's understanding and love for this character beyond his suit and cape shines through. The suit and cape themselves have a clever and expanded history now, as well as the legendary Batmobile. Lifting the prototypes from his company's Research and Development department is a stroke of genius which only adds more to the illusion of plausibility. It's a long time before Batman puts on his suit, but the time spent figuring out Bruce Wayne is well spent. But then, when the suit is finally donned, the script soars even higher. Nolan doesn't shy away from or ignore the real world consequences of a masked vigilante beating up criminals, nor does he over-imbue his character with power. It's always obvious that our hero is just a man in a really thick suit; by no means invulnerable and hardly infallible. It's this factor which gives the action a nerve destroying edge, as it's never a guarantee that our hero will win; cape and all he may still fail. He's not faster than a speeding bullet and he doesn't have spidey sense. This reality makes every victory magnified exponentially, as you're just relieved Bruce actually survived, much less won.

And it's not just the script which makes these action scenes air-punch brilliant. Nolan's masterful work behind the camera gives the viewer a sense of scale which belies its studio limitations. Though limitations is actually a misnomer, as Gotham City was built inside an airplane hangar to the scale of an actual city. The city itself is a sprawling, expressionist wonderland, with the twisting, constantly raining narrows giving a sense of claustrophobia before any prisoners are let out of their cages or the monolithic skyscrapers of Gotham City looming large over a young Bruce Wayne. Nolan's mantra for Gotham's surrounding was 'eliminate whimsy,' and the result is a believable yet subtly effecting environment for his hero. This mantra carries over into the rest of the film as well, with a practiced and precise filming style throughout the film. Nolan's decision to "film Batman from the point-of-view of the criminals" is a brilliant one. Batman's first attack on organised crime at Falcone's shipments gives Batman an almost magical, supernatural ability to appear and disappear at will. And while you realise that it's all theatricality and deception, it never dulls the effect. When Batman appears in the middle of a group of henchmen, all the action takes place in the viewer's mind as all we truly witness is a flurry of feet and the occasional flap of a cape. But Nolan knows that the smoke and mirrors approach only works in moderation and during Batman's climactic battle, he shows Batman in all his glory, soaring through the narrows, perching crouched on railings and beating the hell out of his opponents. It's a clever journey from ducking and weaving through the action to exposing it in all of its balls-out glory and it makes for exhilarating viewing.

Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's collaborative score only adds to this feeling. Not since Jaws have two notes been so successfully used to create an unmistakable theme. The film's score beautifully underscores and accentuates the action onscreen.

But all of this would be for naught without the man underneath the cowl. Christian Bale, just coming off his exemplary work on The Machinist looked anorexic and frail, not the ideal look for a billionaire who spends his nights beating up the criminal underworld with his bare hands. But his understanding and complete inhabiting of Bruce Wayne, coupled with his incredible ability to be whatever size he needs to be for a role, means that his version of the Batman will live on in history as the definitive performance in the minds of many. His performance isn't overly showy or screen hogging, but its purity and simplicity make it utterly believable and totally convincing both as the man in a cape and a man trying to seem perfectly normal to the outside world. Bale has said that his favourite part about the character is that his public persona of Bruce Wayne is the man's real performance, that the Batman is who he really is. Bale's understanding of this character makes this one of his best performances of one hell of a career. The supporting cast do great work as well. It's hardly strange considering that the support consists of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Rutger Hauer, but the cast are uniformly convincing in the respective parts. If there's a weak point it's Katie Holmes' Rachel, but Bale's performance brings hers up by association. The standout of the supporting cast, however, is Cillian Murphy, a relatively small-time star before Batman, who turns in a clever, twisted and often terrifying performance as Scarecrow. He's menacing and cold in equal parts as well as being utterly despicable at all times.

Batman Begins is the first fitting origin for one of the world's favourite superheroes, as well as being a brilliant piece of cinema and a detailed study of a difficult character. That'd be Christopher Nolan's work then.

Defining Scene:
Batman's first assault on organised crime ending with a very special signal lighting up the sky. A hero is born again.

It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2012
Its goofier than its two follow-ups, with some inane plot details and Katie Holme's disappointing performance, but Batman Begins is still a highly entertaining origin story, mostly thanks to its script which tells a fascinating story about fear and justice.
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2012
This is a top notch Batman film and an awesome beginning to an amazing franchise. Not only does this film have a great score, killer acting and an awesome telling of the Batman story, it has superb sets. It makes Gotham city the dark brooding place that its meant to be. Nolan truly knows what he's doing with the Batman.
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2007
Christopher Nolan has breathed amazing new life into the Batman saga with this incredible reboot that finally treats the iconic comic book character with the respect, tone, and seriousness that he deserves. Right from the opening sequence, Batman Begins gets right into the mind of billionaire Bruce Wayne. Haunted by guilt over the death of his parents - a guilt that quickly turns to anger - Bruce leaves Gotham City to fight petty criminals all over the world, only to be indicted into the League of Shadows and trained under Ra's Al Ghul.
Batman Begins is an origin story in every sense of the world. It also shows Gotham City as a terrifying place to live, an urban metropolis that is filled with crime, corrupt politicians, a massive gap between the rich and the poor, not to mention the Scarecrow, a villain who works for some very disturbed people. Among this dark portrayal of the city and of Bruce Wayne`s transformation into Batman, Nolan`s film is essentially about a masked vigilante who is able to scare criminals into making them completely fearful of committing another crime. Batman has become the stuff of legend amid the city`s underbelly,and yet Bruce Wayne struggles to fit back in to life in Gotham.
Christian Bale is the best Batman to date. An accomplished actor in so many other roles, Bale ignites Bruce Wayne with a sensitivity and an inner monologue that creates a fantastic performance. In the suit, Bale has made Batman as scary and intimidating as never seen before. His raspy voice, cold stare, and unsympathetic tone show the audience that this Batman is not only committed to stopping crime, he is very capable of doing it himself.
Everything about Batman Begins works. Liam Neeson, Katie Holes, Cillian Murphy, Tom WIlkinson, and Gary Oldman create some of the most memorable interpretations of their respective characters. The action is expertly staged. The story is entirely engaging, an the tone is undeniably dark - just as it should be. SImply put, Batman Begins is the Batman movie we`ve all been waiting for!
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2012
As a standalone first film in the series, it entirely relies on the viewer already knowing everything about Batman. and is a clumsy start to a franchise. However, as a prequel to THE DARK KNIGHT, it provides valuable insight into what guided Wayne's transformation into the masked vigilante, with atmosphere and intellect to boot. Seriously, THE DARK KNIGHT makes everything better.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2012
Depth had finally met the genre which is usually reserved for the gullible. This was a movie that actually gave me back faith on the superhero genre, where I actually became among the many of those who are bat fanatics. Truly unforgettable film that really surprised the bats out of me when I had first watched it. I expected the same, drab, story and so and so from all those other superhero films one watches these days, but this one really changed that. Even after watching it the second and third time, the flair of Nolan's direction still remains so powerful. It starts and ends a little flawed, but in between and as a whole, it is as fascinating as great movies get.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2011
New Review

Ra's al Ghul: Gentlemen, time to spread the word. And the word is panic. 

"Men fear most what they can't see."

Christopher Nolan washed away the after taste of Schumacher's Batman & Robin when he released this dark and visually stunning superhero masterpiece. This is THE origin story when it comes to superhero films. It's the best origin movie I have ever seen and is my second favorite superhero movie ever behind only(surprise, surprise), The Dark Knight. What Nolan did for the superhero movie can't be overblown because he showed everyone that we don't need silly, campy, cartoonish characters just because a movie is based on a comic book. These characters can be real life people and that's how Nolan presented them. Batman is a human being, as are the villains. They aren't cartoons. Thank God someone finally realized that.

Like I said, Batman Begins is an origin story. We see why Bruce Wayne fears bats. We also see his parents die in front of his eyes, and we see him get his training from Ra's al Ghul. From there, he starts to establish himself as Batman, obtaining all his equipment and going after the head of a major crime family that is tearing Gotham apart. Soon he finds himself matched up against more then just the mob when Scarecrow begins to plot his own little fear factory. Just when you don't think it could get any worse for Batman, Ra's al Ghul shows up. 

The best part about Nolan's intro to his trilogy is the introduction to his characters. Bruce Wayne and Batman have never been done better, but he also presents characters like Alfred in a light they haven't been shown in. Lucius Fox is also another great character that we are shown, along with Gordon. The casting decisions could not have been any better either. Bale is now thought of as Batman. Caine is perfect as Alfred, as is Freeman as Fox and Oldman as Gordon. If there's a weak spot in either of the first two movies, it's Rachel Dawes. Katie Holmes portrayal of Bruce's love interest is sort of wooden, but she's easy to look at, so it isn't all bad.

There's just so much awesomeness going on in Batman Begins. The sound is amazing, the score fantastic, the cinematography eye popping, the acting superb, the direction flawless, the choreography intense, and the overall movie insane. The movies pacing is great. Nolan always knows when to slow down for character development and when to speed up for intense action. He made Batman more then just a children's hero, he made him something much deeper.

This was the biggest superhero movie ever made up to this point in cinema history. Nolan would top himself with The Dark Knight, and we'll see how things go with The Dark Knight Rises. The good money is on that it will be amazing. Twenty years from now, Batman Begins will be remembered as the perfect start to the perfect trilogy. If you still for some reason haven't seen this or The Dark Knight, watch them soon and then go see The Dark Knight Rises. You will be in for a treat. I can guarantee that.

Old Review

Before Christopher Nolan dove into the superhero genre with Batman Begins he was already an established director with three good to great movies already in Following, Memento, and Insomnia. Batman Begins resurected Batman after Joel Shumacher single handedly destroyed it. Ok, Arnold may have had something to do with it too. Nolan brought a great amount of darkness and intensity into this film and really makes the movie shine. The movie shows us the backstory to how Bruce Wayne became Batman and the difficulty of balancing both his life as Bruce and as Batman. The film features two really cool villains in Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul. The cast is phenomenal, the cinematography and music are great, and the writing is smart and explosive. All of these are trademarks of a Christopher Nolan film. He always puts the right people around him. Wally Pfister is a great cinematographer and has been doing Nolan's films ever since Memento, Hans Zimmer is always outstanding, and Nolan's trusted cast members never fail. As a start to the trilogy, it's perfect and I like aspects of this movie better then The Dark Knight, even though The Dark Knight is my favorite movie. Obviously Katie Holmes isn't amazing, but I do like her more then Maggie Gyllenhaal. I also like Bruce Wayne aspect of this movie more than in the second, but it was much more important here. Ultimately Nolan has a chance with The Dark Knight Rises to possibly make the best trilogy ever or at least rival the likes of The Lord of the Rings. This my second favorite superhero movie ever and the other one is The Dark Knight.
Super Reviewer
½ January 11, 2010
Christopher Nolan's reboot/re-imagining of the classic comic book story is better than all of the previous attempts to make a Batman film. This time it is covered with darkness, with only a few silly scenes to make the audience chuckle. Personally, I think this addition is absolutely fantastic. The story of how he becomes batman has never been shown on screen before, so that was a nice surprise, and the fact that Nolan uses realistic sets, other than CG effects, is simply awesome. It may drag on a little bit before throwing insane amounts of action at us, but at least it has a good balance of both. As a whole, this film succeeds both on a technical level and a story level, and that is saying something. "Batman Begins" is one of the best batman films out there!
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2012
This is exactly how a Batman movie should be made. Forgetting the four previous movies, this completely restarts the franchise. It's the first in a trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, one of my favorite directors. This is just as the title says, an origin story. It follows Bruce Wayne(Christian Bale) through is child, to his parents murder, to his training, and up to him trying to save Gotham City as Batman. Sports 3 villains, Carmaine Falcone(Tom Wilkenson), Henri Ducard(Liam Neeson), and the Scarecrow(Cillian Murphy). Unlike "Spider-Man 3", the villains all fit perfectly, and the story never gets bogged down or over done. Actually, when I saw this in the theater, the first time Scarecrow appeared with the mask a kid sitting behind me starting screaming and crying in sheer fear. Definitely not a Batman movie for kids. The rest of the cast is perfect. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, it's literally a who's who, and makes for a special movie. I like "Dark Knight" more, but this is a fantastic start to the story, and a must watch for Batman fans, action fans, heck just movie goers in general. Great movie.
Page 1 of 3402