Batman Begins

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

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 56 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 176 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 this movie 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.

User Reviews

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...
Adult Written byPoli April 9, 2008

Entertaining but scary

Batman Begins tells the story of a conflicted young man trying to deal with the idea of evil in the world after the loss of his parents. Because he overcomes hi...
Teen, 16 years old Written byAshinthehouse May 30, 2011

must see movie

This is a really good movie almost better than the dark knight the only real issue is viloence i think
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpielberg00 June 8, 2011

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'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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

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