Batman Begins 2005

Critics score:
85 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: If you love Batman, then Batman Begins will the best Batman movie ever made. On the other hand, if you love Batman movies, Batman Begins may leave you wondering where the Joker went. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: A mature take on material often relegated to the kiddie file, and it's simply the latest proof that, when treated properly, comic books are a viable art form for all ages. Bring on the sequel. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A superhero saga grounded in the real world. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: It's a wake-up call to the people who keep giving us cute capers about men in tights. It wipes the smirk off the face of the superhero movie. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Nolan turns Batman Begins into something much closer to Miller's 'Dark Knight' interpretation than the glamorous, slam-bang Hollywood jokefests into which the series had slipped by Batman and Robin time. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Batman Begins summons up moments of great eloquence and power. If only its cast of characters was as fully inhabited as its turbulent city. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: This is the best Batman movie ever by far. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It's about the birth pains of a superhero, with the emphasis on those pains as much as on superheroism. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: A rousing, reverent, often brilliant re-creation of a seminal comics character. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Finally, a Batman movie that's actually about Batman. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: In Batman Begins, Christian Bale gives us the best Bruce Wayne that has ever graced the screen. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: With Christian Bale in the title role, this is a film noir Batman, a brooding, disturbing piece of work that starts slowly but ends up crafting a world that just might haunt your dreams. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: For all the hype about exploring Batman's damaged psyche, Nolan and Goyer haven't added much beyond a corny opening in which he falls down a well and is attacked by bats. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: Batman Begins is a remarkable movie. In making it, Nolan swept aside not only the other Batman films but the whole over-burdened shelf of previous super-hero flicks. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Bale, in his first venture into superhero status, hits just the right balance between Bruce's uncertainty and the intensity of his alter ego. Besides, Caine and Freeman elevate any project in which they appear. Read more

Michael Booth, Denver Post: Here's a legend sometimes proved true: Sharp writing and thoughtful directing make the oldest tales seem new. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A confidently original, engrossing interpretation, with a seriously thought-through (but never self-serious) aesthetic point of view that announces, from the get-go, someone who knows what he's doing is running the show. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It's not just the birth of Batman we're seeing in this triumphant interpretation, it's also the dawning of Gotham City's age of greed. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Director Nolan remains true to his own vision, which is largely that of the original Batman comics. As a result, Batman Begins has a unity not often found in these extravaganzas. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: [Bale plays] a Batman who, even demystified, still manages to cast a long, dark, mythic shadow. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Maybe, now that this version of the franchise has drained itself of explanatory residue, the next chapter will have more bounce. Read more

Ken Tucker, New York Magazine/Vulture: A nonstarter. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's all a little disappointing, particularly given the talents involved. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: The earlier Batman movies were charades. With Bale, it's a biopic, filled with nuance, emotion and contradictions. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: What makes this Batman so enjoyable is how the director Christopher Nolan arranges familiar genre elements in new, unforeseen ways. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: For all the effort and expense that went into this salvage job on an old, abandoned property, I would have preferred that Batman -- now past 66 years old -- be given his pension and sent on his way. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Batman Begins is for morons. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: When you shine too much light, you take away the shadows. And without those, the Dark Knight is just a guy in a rubber suit mugging muggers. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Christopher Nolan has gone back to basics, jettisoning both the silliness of the TV incarnation and the gothic and fetishist elements of the '90s version. This is a hard-core, down-and-gritty origin story. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Batman Begins at last penetrates to the dark and troubled depths of the Batman legend. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Batman Begins leaks existential phoniness from the first frame. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: There's just the pleasure of seeing something that's both fantastic to the eye and emotionally dimensional. This is how to make action movies. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: Bruce Wayne's invention of Batman is the story of Batman Begins, and it's an epic one, with a suitably epic cast of A-list actors. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: If comic books must be a staple of our movie diet, please let them be as thought-provoking and thrilling as this. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Without the biff! bang! pow! of pop signifiers, this intelligent, well-made film is too heavy to transport us anywhere but down the dark hole of its good intentions. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Nolan takes an admirable stab at developing a character-driven drama, only to give in to generic action-movie conventions with a blinding, deafening, explosion-laden finale that could have capped off any number of interchangeable Jerry Bruckheimer flicks. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: The action sequences feel like generic studio product, frantically and confusingly edited, and the lengthy Batmobile chase scene feels like a good opportunity to take the kids to the bat-room. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: Apart from the lumbering pacing and embalmed tone, the movie is densely forested with oaken dialogue, wasteful in its casting...and incoherently over-edited in its action sequences. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: [Nolan's] effort is not dishonorable, but what it needs, and doesn't have, is a Joker in the deck-some antic human antimatter to give it the giddy lift of perversity that a bunch of impersonal explosions, no matter how well managed, can't supply. Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: The muscular grit of the action sequences is leavened with nicely judged sarky banter. Read more

Mike Clark, USA Today: No fan of cult director Christopher Nolan is going to regard this respectable effort as anything but a comedown from 2001's Memento. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: There is talent and cleverness here, but not much excitement. Read more

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: It's still an old-school superhero summer movie, the plotting tortuous, the characters relegated to one-scene-one-emotion simplicity, the digitized action a never ending club mix of chases and mano a manos. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: A ponderous, deeply unironic psychological portrait with such a pervasive sense of gravitas that it borders on self-importance. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Here's how any great franchise should start: with care, precision and delicately wrought atmosphere. Read more