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Batman Begins

 (8,015)
2 h 14 min2005X-Ray12
Filled with dark drama, sci-fi intrigue, high-tech glitz and fast-moving thrills, this BATMAN prequel explains the creation of our hero from privileged childhood, to martial arts training in Asia and return to Gotham City. There he must sort the water system which has been tainted with a hallucinatory substance.
Directors
Christopher Nolan
Starring
Christian BaleMichael CaineLiam Neeson
Genres
ActionSuspense
Subtitles
None Available
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Katie HolmesGary OldmanCillian MurphyTom WilkinsonRutger HauerRutger HauerKen WatanabeMorgan FreemanMark Boone Jr.Gus LewisLinus RoacheRade SerbedzijaLucy RussellSara Stewart
Studio
Warner Bros.
Content advisory
Alcohol usesexual contentsubstance useviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

8016 global ratings

  1. 76% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

"morstaleye"Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 March 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Be aware this is not a documentary!
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I bought this fully expecting to settle down for a nice comfortable evening watching a compelling documentary about renowned bat scientist, Dr. Erbunko Von Western Brownfield, and how he got his start in the hyper competitive world of bat science. What I got was a man dressed up in rubber bat costume doing all kinds of stunts and violence and things. So yeah, I had already poured my scotch and arranged my m&ms by colour so I was on the whole invested in the idea of watching something, so I thought what the hay.
Several hours later I emerged from the experience having been very nicely entertained, though also quite badly intoxicated as, so drawn into the narrative was I that I rather persistently downed and refilled my scotch till I found the bottle’s empty remains laying smashed all over my parquet floor. Thus, blind drunk and filled with energetic zeal I attempted to recreate some of the scenes from the film I had just seen and began hanging out the window and screaming at passers-by in a low, raspy voice (as hard as it sounds!). Buoyed by a freshly instilled vigilante conviction, I descended onto the veranda of my immediate neighbour, whose dog had been making toilet on my front lawn of late, with the intention of using skilful forms of violence to teach him a lesson. Given my state it's fair to say that my execution was poor, and I slipped and got bound up in electrical cables which left me dangling Infront of a rear window wherein I could do little more than peer into a room where said neighbour was making vigorous love to his wife. My presence did not remain unnoticed for long and the irate couple ventured outside to berate me, though having been suspended upside down for so long I could not help giving in to the urge to vomit all over the place, with much of my regurgitation soiling the otherwise lovely and beautifully conditioned hair of my irate neighbour’s wife. The police were soon called who I must say were very helpful and polite in assisting my descent and consequent exit from the property. It’s fair to say that this escapade has tarnished my standing in the community whilst my neighbour persists in fixing me with an unkind stare whenever we cross paths. Having said that, I have no regrets and would certainly recommend this film to anyone looking for a compelling evening’s entertainment, as opposed to an edifying experience about bat science, albeit one consumed soberly though I maintain that m&ms would complement the experience wonderfully.
6 people found this helpful
S P MeadReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 April 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
a very good Batman film
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This is a review of both the film and the Blu-ray - specifically the 'Limited Edition Steelbook' I ordered.

This steelbook case is an attractive item, depicting Batman in fine detail. It is, unfortunately, a rather costly version of the film (as I review, it's priced at £29.99) so I don't recommend it ... the ordinary Blu-ray is a good buy. The picture and audio quality are superb, and there are lots of bonus features.

The film ... this movie re-boots the Batman franchise. Directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Christian Bale, this film effectively defined the live-action Batman character for a decade. This is an origin story, exploring the genesis of Batman. We get to see Bruce Wayne suffer the loss of his parents, and his gradual distancing from normality, slowing becoming more than a man ... becoming Batman! The villains of the film are, for the most part, criminal gangsters - although two 'super-villains' from the rogue's gallery are included: the Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul.

This movie, and the legacy it established, sought to place Batman in a recognisable world - depicting a sense of realism, as omitted from the earlier films. And so, for example, Batman's gadgets and his vehicle are given explanations and backstory (rather than simply just being there). Of course, having a near-immoral enemy - in Ra's al Ghul - does detract from this realism!

When the film was released, it was great to see the origin of Batman thoroughly explored - as it had only been seen in momentary flashbacks in earlier movies. Here, we understand how he's able to engage in martial arts, etc., as we see him train. All the major pieces and elements that are involved in Batman as a character - from Alfred to Wayne Enterprises, from Lucius Fox to the Batmobile - are included here. The film draws on the long history of DC comics, and seeks to create a movie that genuinely reflects how Batman is conceived in the original source materials. Of course, there are deviations - as the director has taken creative licence. Nonetheless, at its core this film does adhere to the comic books.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this movie - and have seen it several times since it's cinematic release - I still feel that it wasn't quite as good as it ought to have been. It lacked that special quality which makes movies truly great. And, in this case, I think that what was lacking was a singular sense of magnificent villainy ... yet what was absent here, in the first of Nolan's Batman film's, was more than made-up for in the sequel - with the arrival of the Joker. The sense of dread created by the Joker, in "The Dark Knight", is simply not apparent in "Batman Begins".

Still, this is a really good film. I thoroughly recommend it. It's suitable for children and adults alike, and serves as family entertainment (although there is quite a lot of violence).

This movie is an important instalment in the Batman saga ... and things go from being 'good' to 'great'. Well worth watching.
12 people found this helpful
Jonny Two DeltaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 March 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
It's my all-time favourite film
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It's not the best film ever made. It's not even the best film Christopher Nolan has ever made. But it's the most well-executed Batman film ever made. People will argue that The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises should be given that title, that there is no contest, but I would argue that there very much is. Both of those films have pacing issues, have storytelling issues, are bogged down by convoluted plots, motivations that don't quite make sense. Batman Begins is precisely executed in every regard. There is nothing about its structure, pacing, story, or characters, that is at all out of place. It is an expertly crafted film, and a loving ode to The Batman.
4 people found this helpful
Mr. P. FoleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 February 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
My Favourite
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I think this is the best of the three Christian Bale outings as it is done on a very limited budget which in Christopher Nolans case, always results in an idea driven film. After this bigger budgets kicked in with diminished returns in the plot dept. I was disappointed with The Dark Knight and somewhat angered by The Dark Knight Rises. But this is fresh, witty and brimming with many clever new ideas. Enjoy.
Len RushtonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good balance, great performances
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I go back some time and can remember the character from comics and when I saw him as part of a serial at the cinema. We used to go for the main film, but also to catch up with what happened to Batman. This probably wasn't the start of leaving people waiting, while the hero is in a dangerous position, but when anybody says "cliff-hanger", that's what I see, the Bat-mobile on the edge of a cliff and us on the edge of our seats.

We didn't see the kind of depths, explored in this genre, that this film and it's two sequels explores. We didn't find the need for any explanations, but were accepting of the hero's right to win and the villain's to provide the reason. As I've grown up, so has the medium and the message. For all the cheesy pieces in the mix, it still doesn't need too much of a depth of reason and philosophy. I think this film and it's following chapters finds the right balance.
3 people found this helpful
MalarchyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 September 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superior Reboot
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Batman Begins is an outstanding reboot of a very familiar setting, raising the bar for reboots and making Batman relevant and interesting again after a set of weaker film and television depictions. The 2005 film directed by Christopher Nolan has since spun out a couple of sequels but Begins is the start of the story and in its own right is a great blockbuster film. Taking Batman back to his origins, Begins offers Bruce Wayne's journey into Batman and a battle with a couple of really excellent villains. The tale of the lost soul that is Bruce Wayne and his redemption through the Batman alter-ego is really well told, vastly superior to previous Batman depictions.

Unsurprisingly, Begins is superior to previous depictions in that it sticks closely to some of the best of Batman lore. As with many comic adaptations, it is the use of high quality source material that makes for such a gripping story. The origins of Batman is in the death of Bruce Wayne's parents. Going back to the source, those parents are killed by a no-mark called Joe Chill. It is the casual and utterly avoidable nature of their deaths that makes it so interesting. Unlike previous screen versions where the meaning is entirely lost by changing the killer, Joe Chill is a perfect character to set Bruce Wayne off on his long journey. Chill is just a meaningless hood yet he guns down the wealthiest and most important citizen in Gotham. That juxtaposition entirely makes sense for the Batman character's motivation, the anguish of knowing his parents died for pretty much nothing.

A decade later as a somewhat tortured teen Bruce Wayne clearly has not overcome the grief and nearly makes a massive mistake. His subsequent journey to what appears to be the Himalayas is an outstanding sequence, probably the strongest part of a terrific film. Finding Ra's al Ghul as a mentor, Bruce Wayne's entire life view is questioned. Coming of age and finding out who you are is an all too common motif but Batman Begins gets it so very right. Wayne is trained physically but more importantly he is trained philosophically. Ra's offers an incredibly plausible case for turning to the dark side. This is fascinating as so often the case is made for turning to the light but Ra's offers argument about being prepared to defend values that really resonates. It is Wayne's eventual rejection of the Ra's philosophy that ultimately leads him to be Batman.

The physical action during the training sequences is amazing. The place really feels cold. The real-life location of Iceland is a decent stand-in with the sequences on the frozen lake being particularly breath-taking. Probably the most impressive physical action takes place when Bruce faces his final challenge. The combat within a maze of ninjas is beautiful choreography.

While the eastern sequences are particularly impressive, the visuals in the return to Gotham are also very nice. Gotham is dark, it is broken, it feels oppressive. In some ways the Gotham of Batman Begins shares the feel of Sin City. While it might not be quite as harsh as Sin City, anything that compares even closely to Sin's brilliance is itself impressive.

Perhaps the two highlights of the return to Gotham are Bruce Wayne's development of a double life and the villains he faces. The angst of the Batman character lives alongside the arrogance of another character. Bruce Wayne himself disappears. All that remains is the grim and unrelenting Batman and the vacuous Bruce Wayne. Neither is the real person. Other double life super heroes have only one alter ego, Batman Begins presents two in the same person - fascinating. The pinnacle of the Bruce Wayne alter ego is his incredibly insulting speech at a party in his honour. It is just dripping with egoistic venom. It serves a particular plot purpose but really pushes character boundaries in a way that other films have not dared.

As with any great character, it is the relations with others that mark Batman out. Love interest Rachel Dawes played by Katie Holmes is the perfect romantic foil. She is sweet but highly intelligent. She sets a standard for Wayne that he cannot possibly meet. This is just so excellent - the romantic love interest should be easily obtainable. Katie Holmes is not a stunner and she's playing a girl next door. Even so she turns the exceedingly rich, handsome, and altruistic Wayne even when she knows all he does. This denial plays so well into Batman's heart-hardened character.

His relationship is far closer with Michael Caine's Albert the butler. Caine works very well in this role. His trademark accent seems to fit which is unusual for a film from this century. Albert is the helping hand Bruce needs but he's also the source of some of the film's underlying meaning.

The corporate angle of Bruce Wayne's life is one of the few areas that doesn't quite work. The antipathy with Rutger Hauer's Earle interacts with Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox doesn't flow well. Earle is one of the few cliches in the film and his line about getting memos is horrendously dated and out of place in such a modern and dark film. Lucius Fox is not much better. Why he is buried down in the basement with all the most interesting gadgets is unclear as after all those are the very pieces of equipment that a corporation would want to avoid falling into the hands of others yet the enemy of the acting CEO seems to be given free run with all the corporation's technology.

Still, the weaker spots are more than made up for with the interaction between Batman and the various villains. Scarecrow and Ra's are both outstanding. Scarecrow is wonderfully played by Cillian Murphy. He is incredibly menacing especially without the mask. The way he inflicts fear upon the vulnerable is truly evil and makes for a great opponent. Ra's is much more of a subtle combatant for Batman and it is right that there seems to be some respect between the pair. Liam Neeson's height, age, and gravitas fit so well.

All of the greatness of Batman Begins would not be possible without Christian Bale. Bale is himself quite a dark and intense person. In the same way that Robert Downey Jr was ideal for Iron Man, Christian Bale is ideal for Batman. He is less believable as the young adult Bruce Wayne in Gotham but he is pitch perfect on the trail towards the Himalayas and fits both the gritty, noble, and self sacrificing Batman and the spiteful and anti-social persona of Bruce Wayne.

The acting is supported by good action sequences. Good use of the utility belt and other traditional Batman effects helps. The batmobile looks great. The chase sequence it is involved in is perfectly fine but not especially interesting given the over-abundance of chase sequences in cinema. Batman's fighting style is interesting. It does not looks like boring wire work but it seems hard hitting and impactful.

As a piece of cinema, Batman Begins is coherent, interesting, and entertaining. Some of the characters are superb, especially Batman and the two main villains. The setting works so well and taking Batman back to the darkness the original exists in makes for a far more thought-provoking plotline than anything television or cinema has produced so far. Christopher Nolan's reboot of this franchise is a cut above many other reboots and everyone involved deserves credit.

The DVD Extras on the two-disc edition are solid. The talking head work is really good, exploring the most interesting aspects of the film. The technical exposition of the costume and the batmobile are both engaging. The miniatures special effects section is a little un-inspiring but the introduction to the fighting style is fascinating even if some of the elbow crunch strikes seem a bit odd. The Extras are a good complement to an outstanding film.
4 people found this helpful
MICHAEL WILLISReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 October 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
BATMAN BEGINS
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Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman along with Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of the character from Bruce Wayne's initial fear of bats, the death of his parents, his journey to become Batman, and his fight against Ra's al Ghul's plot to destroy Gotham City. It draws inspiration from classic comic book storylines such as The Man Who Falls, Batman: Year One, and Batman: The Long Halloween.

After a series of unsuccessful projects to resurrect Batman on screen following the 1997 critical failure of Batman & Robin, Nolan and David S. Goyer began to work on the film in early 2003 and aimed for a darker and more realistic tone, with humanity and realism being the basis of the film. The goal was to get the audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne. The film, which was primarily shot in Iceland and Chicago, relied on traditional stunts and miniatures – computer-generated imagery was used minimally.

Batman Begins was both critically and commercially successful. The film opened on June 17, 2005, in the United States and Canada in 3,858 theaters. It grossed $48 million in its opening weekend in North America, eventually grossing over $374 million worldwide. The film received critical acclaim and has been considered by many as one of the best superhero films ever made. Critics noted that fear was a common motif throughout the film, and remarked that it had a darker tone compared with previous Batman films. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and three BAFTA awards.

The film is followed by The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) in a continual story-arc, which has later been referred to as The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Aman JamwalReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 January 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Touching, Raw and heavy
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The movie paints a dystopian world with accurate precision and in my view works well as an allegory to contemporary life at a psychological level. The hero and antagonist lines are show to develop as polar opposites not in a good versus bad sense but with an undertone of presenting the fact that any individual has the ability to absorb principles that drifts him or her, one way or the other, that the individual is not a key on a piano, that a level of autonomy exists on the inside of people through which they can choose to find the hatch, a means of escape in any situation that overwhelms them.
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