Batman Begins (2005)

A superhero franchise in disrepute was revived in glorious techno-Gothic style by one of the most innovative minds in modern popular cinema.

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“[A]n enjoyable, sophisticated film... Christian Bale is persuasively melancholy but less gloomily brooding than Michael Keaton, a sturdier figure than George Clooney and Val Kilmer, and more likable than any of them.”
Philip French, The Observer, 2005

After Joel Schumacher’s camp and widely ridiculed Batman & Robin (1997), the tormented superhero was rescued from the doldrums by Christopher Nolan, whose vision for the franchise proved to be both visually grand and psychologically complex.

Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne, whose training under a mystical vigilante guru (Liam Neeson) underpins his creation of a crime-fighting alter ego. The cast also includes Michael Caine as Wayne’s butler, Gary Oldman as an incorruptible cop and Cillian Murphy as The Scarecrow, whose experiments in fear-inducing stimulants provide the film with its most disturbing images. British production designer Nathan Crowley creates a Gotham City of menace and monorails, strikingly lit by cinematographer Wally Pfister.

Memento shows Nolan at his pre-blockbuster best. Tim Burton, in his 1989 Batman, was the first director to show a brooding cinematic version of the superhero.

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