The acting was really top notch in this one, from Morgan Freeman's sly gadgeteer to Michael Caine's pitch perfect Alfred. I thought Katie Holmes was excellent as the DA as well, and I cannot quite understand why others are dissatisfied with her. I have not seen her in anything else. Perhaps others are having trouble with past images? Gary Oldman is perfect as usual. Cillian Murphy is a chilling villain with absolutely ice cold blue eyes. Then there is Liam Neeson, who is just marvelous. Very few actors can portray mature strength and intelligence with the authority he can. Such a shame he could not play Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings films. He would have made an enormous difference to their stature.
Then there is Christian Bale, becoming Batman and Bruce Wayne so surely you are greatly troubled to even remember any acting is going on. Much credit must go to the excellent script as well, but overall the wonderful acting in this film is just a joy to watch.
As good as almost every element is, I have a few complaints that force me to knock off a star.
1) For some reason the abominable POV shaky action camera is used. Modern directors like to say this is more "realistic". I like to think it just saves them the trouble of choreography. Fortunately there are few melee's in this film so its not a huge detraction, but if a stable distant camera was used during the fight scenes, intelligible fighting would have been yet another notch in the belt of this great film. Instead, we have the usual modern action film foggy mush during battle.
2) Soundtrack quite mediocre and uninspired, though its not intrusive.
3)Overdone action mayhem just gets tedious in my eyes, but then this is a so called "summer blockbuster" so no doubt Chris Nolan is trying to dispel any ideas that he is some art-house outsider. Again, not too much of this, but the endless train crash comes to mind as something just in there for summer 150mill budget sake.
Overall however, a stellar effort. If you like intelligent films, your action with a hefty dose of realism, movies that explore philosophical principles, chilling noirish city scapes, great acting, tight direction, or just a good story...you won't be disappointed in Batman Begins.