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Batman Begins Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A confidently original, engrossing interpretation.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is the Batman movie I've been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn't realize that more emphasis on story and character and less emphasis on high-tech action was just what was needed. The movie works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment. There's something to it.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The early going -- say, an hour -- is spent in a fatigued daze. A few powerful jabs eventually punch things up.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Batman Begins summons up moments of great eloquence and power. If only its cast of characters was as fully inhabited as its turbulent city.

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    For Christopher Nolan to turn Batman Begins into such a smart, gritty, brooding, visceral experience is astonishing. Truly, Batman does begin again.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Smart and entertaining, but also very violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features hard and fast violence, martial arts and shootings conveyed through dark, abrupt, sometimes scary imagery. Less cartoonish than the Spiderman and X-Men movies, these scenes are loud and rough. The caped crusader's origin story includes the murders of his parents, his ensuing depression and attempt to shoot the shooter, martial arts training and fighting, frightening subjective images brought on by hallucinogenic drugs, brief debauchery (drinking, smoking, and swimming-in-a-hotel-fountain with vacuous starlet-types), an even briefer kiss with his romantic interest, a faux drunken speech, and some raucous driving in a seriously armored Batmobile.

  • Families can talk about Bruce Wayne's relationships with various father figures, including his biological father (who is murdered), his martial arts trainer, his butler, and his gadgets-maker.
  • What's the difference between vengeance and justice as the film presents it? Do you agree?
  • How does Bruce put his anger to use for the "public good"? How does the film differentiate between "good" and "bad" uses of violence?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's overall dark tone gives a sense that the world is a dangerous place, filled with people with bad intentions. There is an attempt to wrestle with the ideas of good and evil and whether the end justifies the means. But overall there is a sense that there are some heroes in the world who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Batman is obviously a hero. He fights for justice and fairness, though his tactics are sometimes just as violent or sneaky as the bad guys'. He is a flawed character, but that's what makes him so compelling. One character seems like a good guy at first, but ends up being a scary villain.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Some violence is harshly rendered, with sharp, fast editing. Martial arts, gunplay, references to the murder of the hero's parents which he witnessed as a child. Some scary imagery.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Romance is implied (one kiss); one "playboy" excess scene, with girls in a pool.

  • language false2

    Language: "Damn," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "crap," etc.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some smoking, drinking, and hallucinogenic drugs effects.