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Batman Begins (2005)

 -  Action | Adventure  -  15 June 2005 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 724,092 users   Metascore: 70/100
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After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

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Top 250 #107 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

When his parents were killed, millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne relocates to Asia when he is mentored by Henri Ducard and Ra's Al Ghul in how to fight evil. When learning about the plan to wipe out evil in Gotham City by Ducard, Bruce prevents this plan from getting any further and heads back to his home. Back in his original surroundings, Bruce adopts the image of a bat to strike fear into the criminals and the corrupt as the icon known as 'Batman'. But it doesn't stay quiet for long. Written by FilmFanUk

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batman 5  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$119,727 (Sweden) (19 August 2005)

Gross:

$205,343,774 (USA) (28 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | (IMAX version)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of this film's release, Forbes Magazine did a breakdown of how much it would actually cost to become Batman. The magazine estimated that total expenses in US dollars would be around $3.5 million. See more »

Goofs

When Bruce Wayne loads up his older model snub nose Taurus Model 605, the .357 Magnum rounds have dented primers, indicating they were already fired to turn the rounds into inert "dummy" bullets. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bruce Wayne - age 8: Rachel, let me see! Can I see?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In some countries, the film title is shown at the very end of the closing credits, whereas in most other countries it's seen at the beginning of the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Het uur van de wolf: Rutger Hauer: Blond, blue eyes (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday To You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Cavendish String Quartet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. And such is the case for the Batman franchise
15 August 2005 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

It sickened me in the past to see the Batman movie franchise slowly digging it's way to an early grave. After the quality Tim Burton films, the series pretty much went down the toilet, beginning a horrifically campy age of 'Bat credit-cards' and an armored Arnold Schwarzenegger tossing cringe-worthy puns at a Batman who seemed to be trying not to be embarrassed by the fact that his costume had nipples. So what could Warner Brothers producers hope to do to resurrect the franchise? Pretend it never happened, and start the whole series over again with a talented director, compelling story and capable cast.

Enter Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind 2000's 'Momento', widely praised as one of the most innovative films of the decade. As director/co- screenwriter, Nolan creates a richly dark, atmospheric world for Batman to inhabit, similar to that of the Burton films, but less cartoony. The film's screenplay, written by Nolan and David S. Goyer is quality stuff, it's true that some of the dialog exchanges can seem kind of contrived, particularly between Wayne and Liam Neeson's character, Ducard, but it sounds so classy you tend not to care.

Nolan also puts a lot of trust in his audiences to stay put while the first hour of the film comprehensively explores Bruce Wayne's backstory, with no cape donning and few fight sequences. Nevertheless, the pace never slows, and the story is so unexpected and fascinating (who would have expected a Batman film to begin in a prison in Tibet? only Nolan could pull it off!) there's little chance of us losing interest. And this way, we really get a sense of who Bruce Wayne is, a trait none of the past movies were able to capture, including the Burton films. We see what drives him, what leads him to become this iconic crime fighter, and the reasoning behind the mask.

Of course, to help the audience get under Bruce Wayne's skin, it doesn't hurt to have such a talented lead as Christian Bale. Bale has been emerging as one of the most talented actors of his generation, and he brings that talent to a peak here, playing the darkest of all superheroes. If you were to break down the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, you would find that it is essentially three characters: Wayne as Batman, behind the mask; Wayne's public facade as the billionaire playboy; and the real, brooding Bruce Wayne. Bale plays all three of the characters to absolute perfection, and molds them together well enough to make it clear to show they are still the same person. He has been given tons of accolades for his performance already, and needless to say, he deserves every one.

And the sheer quality of the supporting cast is mind-boggling, if for the number of big names only. It's very hard to find a weak spot in the incredibly strong array of performances here, but if one had to be found, it would have to be Katie Holmes. It's not that she gives a bad performance, on the contrary, but just she seems too young to be convincing as a district attorney. For me, Michael Gough will always be the definitive Alfred, but Michael Caine does an excellent job of taking over the role, giving a very strong (and often funny) performance. Liam Neeson is sheer class as Ducard, Wayne's mysterious mentor, as is Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Wayne's arms manufacturer and provider of the Batman gear. It's wonderful to see the incredibly talented and much underrated Gary Oldman as Sgt. Gordon, the only decent cop in Gotham, and he truly makes the role his own. Even cult favorite Rutger Hauer makes an appearance as Richard Earle, the ambitious head of Wayne Enterprises. And (surprise surprise!) the villains are also actually menacing for once, as opposed to cartoony and corny. Cillian Murphy just about walks away with the show as the truly chilling Scarecrow (the sequences involving his 'fear gas' are surprisingly frightening) Ken Watanabe is mysterious and creepy as guild leader Ra's Al Ghul and Tom Wilkinson is very convincing as Carmine Falcone, head of the Gotham city mob.

Nolan's knack for realism also comes as a breath of fresh air in this age of CGI bloated blockbusters - there are next to no computer generated shots in the movie, even a sequence with Batman standing on top of a high building staring down at the city was filmed with a stuntman. And it really works, the Batmobile actually interacts with it's environment, and looks so much better real than computer generated. But don't think that the film will come across as too serious and stuffy because of Nolan's realism - true, Gotham seems too dark and dirty to come across as a fantasy world, but Batman Begins retains that unmistakable sense of fun that seems to only be present in comic book movies. We jeer and fear the villains, and cheer the hero as he lays his life on the line to vanquish evil and save the city. And that is how it should be. There's even a surprising twist near the end, which is doubly surprising because it actually comes as a shock. What's not to love here?

(and, further cudos to director Nolan for finally managing to make a swarm of bats actually frightening for once)

Overall, I'd have to label Batman Begins 'The must see movie of the summer' - it's a well written, authoritatively directed, impeccably acted (especially by Bale's powerhouse lead performance and Cillian Murphy's sickly menacing Scarecrow) and very high quality production. Indeed, most other summer blockbusters could learn a thing or two from Batman Begins. If the Batman franchise died under it's own gaudiness years ago, let us rejoice this glorious rebirth - Batman truly does begin here.

-10/10


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