Batman Begins

Taking a cue from the caped crusader's comic book rebirth in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, this 1992 animated series saved the TV Batman from a fate worse than camp and drew an unexpected audience for an afternoon cartoon: adults. The initial five episodes gathered here feature such supervillains as Man-bat, the Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, but the deliciously demented Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) steals the show in his two appearances, especially in the twisted "Christmas with the Joke." Escaping Arkham Asylum in a rocket-powered Christmas tree, the clown prince of crime preempts a TV showing of It's a Wonderful Life with his own homicidal holiday treat. It's a solid start to a sleek, stylized, smartly written series that only improved with time. Ages 7 and up. --Sean Axmaker

Genre: Action, Adventure
Director(s): Christopher Nolan
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 72 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.3
Metacritic:
70
Rotten Tomatoes:
84%
PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Year:
2005
140
$204,100,000
Website
3,400 Views

Man:
Are you so desperate to fight criminals that you lock yourself in to take them on one at a time?

Bruce:
Actually, there were seven of them.

Man:
I counted six, Mr. Wayne.

Bruce:
How do you know my name?

Man:
The world is too small a place for someone like Bruce Wayne to disappear no matter how low he chooses to sink.

Bruce:
Who are you?

Man:
My name is merely Ducard, but I speak for Ra’s Al Ghul, a man greatly feared by the criminal underworld. A man who can offer you a path.

Bruce:
What makes you think I need a path?

Ducard:
Someone like you is only here by choice. You have been exploring the criminal fraternity, but whatever your original intentions, you have become truly lost.

Bruce:
And what path can Ra’s Al Ghul offer?

Ducard:
The path of a man who shares his hatred of evil and wished to serve true justice. The path of the League of Shadows.

Bruce:
You’re vigilantes.

Ducard:
No, no, no. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.

Bruce:
Which is?

Ducard:
A legend, Mr. Wayne. Tomorrow, you will be released. If you are bored of brawling with thieves and want to achieve something, there is a rare blue flower that grows on the eastern slopes. Pick one of these flowers. If you can carry it to the top of the mountain, you may find what you were looking for in the first place.

Bruce:
And what was I looking for?

Ducard:
Only you can know that.

Rachel Dawes:
The D.A. couldn't understand why Judge Faden insisted on making the hearing public. Falcone paid him off to get Chill out in the open.

Bruce:
Maybe I should be thanking him.

Rachel:
You don't mean that.

Bruce:
What if I do? My parents deserve justice.

Rachel:
Well, you're not talking about justice, you're talking about revenge.

Bruce:
Sometimes, they're the same thing.

Rachel:
No, they're never the same. Justice is about harmony. Revenge is about you making yourself feel better. Which is why we have an impartial system.

Bruce:
Your system is broken.

Rachel abruptly turns the car down a side street, taking them through the poorer sections of Gotham:

Rachel:
Look beyond your own pain, Bruce. This city is rotting. People talk about the Depression as if it's history, and it's not. Things are worse than ever down here. Falcone floods our streets with crime and drugs, preying on the desperate, creating new Joe Chills every day. Falcone may not have killed your parents, Bruce, but he's destroying everything they stood for. [comes to a stop outside a bar] You want to thank him for that, here you go. We all know where to find him, but as long as he keeps the bad people rich and the good people scared, nobody will touch him. Good people like your parents who will stand against injustice, they're gone. What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?

Bruce:
I'm not one of your 'good people', Rachel.

Rachel:
What do you mean?

Bruce:
All these years, I wanted to kill him. [shows her the gun he planned to use on Chill] Now I can't.

[Rachel slaps him twice]

Rachel:
Your father would be ashamed of you.

Ducard:
Amusing, but pointless. None of these people have long to live. Your antics at the asylum have forced my hand.

Bruce Wayne:
So Crane was working for you.

Ducard:
His toxin is derived from the organic compound found in our blue flowers. He was able to weaponize it.

Wayne:
He's not a member of the League of Shadows?

Ducard:
Of course not. He thought our plan was to hold the city to ransom.

Wayne:
But really, you are going to release Crane's poison on the entire city.

Ducard:
Then watch Gotham tear itself apart through fear.

Wayne:
You're going to destroy millions of lives.

Ducard:
Only a cynical man would call what these people have "lives," Wayne. Crime. Despair. This was not how man was supposed to live. The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats. Burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.

Wayne:
Gotham isn't beyond saving. Give me more time. There are good people here.

Ducard:
You are defending a city so corrupt, we have infiltrated every level of its infrastructure. When I found you in that jail, you were lost. But I believed in you. I took away your fear, and showed you a path. You were my greatest student. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world.

Wayne:
I'll be standing where I belong: between you, and the people of Gotham.

Ducard:
No one can save Gotham. [nods to henchmen, who begin vandalizing the house and set it on fire] When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural. Tomorrow, the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable this time.

Wayne:
You've attacked Gotham before?

Ducard:
Of course. Over the ages, our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham, we tried a new one - economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens. Such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger, and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself, and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time, no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart.

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