Batman Begins

  • Review Date: October 17, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 141 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Smart and entertaining, but also very violent.
  • Review Date: October 17, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 141 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

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?

QUALITY
 

A meditation on the different motivations for violence, BATMAN BEGINS is smart and entertaining, with some harsh action scenes. Bruce is full of grit and fury, 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.

Families can talk about...

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 15, 2005
DVD release date:October 18, 2005
Cast:Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman
Director:Christopher Nolan
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:141 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements.

This review of Batman Begins was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byfmikef April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 going in). The movie is quite loud. Great car sceens! I also liked the bits of engineering for Batman's gear. My main objection is how frightening is is. The guy with the mask looks creepy--way too creepy. The fight sceens seem very real. When the crazy people are released from the asylum I was quite worried about the kids I was with. Older kids ok, but with parental discussion.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpielberg00 June 8, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Not as good as the next entry, but it gets pretty close.

My rating: PG-13 for intense violence, some frightening sequences and images, and brief language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byAshinthehouse May 30, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

must see movie

This is a really good movie almost better than the dark knight the only real issue is viloence i think
What other families should know
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools