Batman Begins ★★★★★

Stripping the away the comic-gothic veneer that had come in previous incarnations of the character and laying the groundwork for its own cycle (ending here), "Batman Begins" is an epic achievement. With a serious tone and near-realistic gloss adorning the film, "...Begins" is handsomely shot, scored, and edited. Christopher Nolan exhibits a love of the material, sure-handed directing, and puts a near-perfectly-cast troupe of actors on display. The film is exciting and emotionally resonant; it is a grown-up spectacle of the highest order.

Thematically rich, as all of the best superhero films should be, "Batman Begins" is not just about fear and what people will do with it, but how people will learn from it and propel themselves into better existences because of it. This feeds the narrative, appropriately strengthening its archetypal and mythic overtones.

"Batman Begins" does not erase the stories of the character that have come before; it simply adds to the myth, updating it in a fresh retelling. It is an outstanding film and one of the superhero genre's very best.

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