Batman Begins

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Batman Begins Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Smart and entertaining, but also very violent.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 141 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 57 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 200 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive 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.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

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

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

Language

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

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some smoking, drinking, and hallucinogenic drugs effects.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Batman Begins features hard and fast violence, martial arts and shootings conveyed through dark, abrupt, sometimes scary imagery. Less cartoonish than the Spider-Man 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byfmikef April 9, 2008

Dark

I think that this movie is a good pre-quel to the stories in other Batman movies. There is a fairly heavy Eastern religion influence(I wish I had known that go... Continue reading
Adult Written byChris_Feher May 13, 2020

Incredible Start to the Trilogy

I just have to put this out there. Christian Bale is the best Batman. Period. His performance is arguably unmatched, and fortunately, that is only one of the th... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 20, 2016

Batman wings it after his heavil critisied movie Batman & Robin

I think Batman Begins is a really good movie, however, it is not as good as The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rise. Content-wise, it is slightly less violent t... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 30, 2016

First Batman film in the dark night trilogy is adult and dark

The film Batman Begins is an excellent Batman film but it is not for younger children. The film has lots of violence although there is no blood the characters u... Continue reading

What's the story?

In BATMAN BEGINS, traumatized by the murder of his parents when he was a child, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) loses his way. When tempted to assassinate the man responsible, Bruce instead watches as someone else guns down his parents' killer. Wayne then disappears for several years. When others try to recruit Wayne to join them in destroying Gotham City, in order to destroy its evil, Wayne instead returns to fight for her and rid her of the evil within. He enlists the help of butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and Wayne Enterprises gadgets-maker Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) in order to create the "image" of Batman. Intended to intimidate villains, the new hero wears an elaborate Bat-costume and drives a frankly awesome Batmobile, a futuristic all-terrain military vehicle painted bat-black and capable of all manner of vehicular acrobatics.

Is it any good?

A meditation on the different motivations for violence, this is smart and entertaining, with some harsh action scenes. Bruce is full of grit and fury in Batman Begins, a well as grim arrogance and a sense of comedy.

Self-righteous, flagrantly emotional as well as coldly rational, Batman's sense of mission aligns him with last good cop Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman). It also means his methods aren't always so distinct from the criminals', but he is effective, as deterrent and as what Gordon calls "escalation." Both villains and Batman can only do more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Bruce Wayne's relationships with various father figures in Batman Begins, 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?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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