Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman, co-written and directed by Christopher Nolanand starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe and Morgan Freeman. The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of Bruce Wayne from his initial fear of bats and the death of his parents to his journey to become Batman and his fight to stop Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow from plunging Gotham City into chaos. Comic book storylines such as The Man Who Falls, Batman: Year One and Batman: The Long Halloween served as inspiration.
As a child, Bruce Wayne falls down into a dry well and is attacked by a swarm of bats, subsequently developing a phobia of the creatures. While watching an opera with his parents, Thomas and Martha, Bruce becomes frightened by performers masquerading as bats and asks to leave. Outside, mugger Joe Chill murders Bruce's parents in front of him. Orphaned, Bruce is raised by the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Fourteen years later, Bruce grows up to become a rich, thrill-seeking, and drunken playboy with no real sense of responsibility or direction in his life. Bruce and his friend Ethan Bennett end up in a lot of social scandals such as assaulting a paparazzi bystander, driving while intoxicated, stealing a taxi, and urinating on a police officer. Everything changes when Selina Kyle, now an assistant district attorney, reveals that her boss Carl Finch had Chill freed in exchange for testifying against Rupert Thorne, the new CEO Of Wayne Enterprises whom the D.A's office is trying to prove is responsible for all the corruption in the city. Bruce intends to murder Chill, however, one of Thorne's assassins, Harleen Quinzel, does so first. Selina berates Bruce for attempting to undermine the justice system, saying that his father would be ashamed. Bruce confronts corrupt Detective Arnold Flass, who tells him that real power comes from being feared.
Bruce decides to travel the world and learn how to confront injustice. While serving a prison sentence for theft in Bhutan, he meets Henri Ducard, who trains him as a member of the League of Shadows, led by Ra's al Ghul. After completing his training and purging his fears, Bruce learns that the League intends to destroy Gotham, believing it to be corrupt and beyond saving. Bruce rejects the League's cause and burns down their temple during his escape. Ra's is killed by falling debris, while Bruce saves the unconscious Ducard.
Bruce returns to Gotham intent on fighting crime. Inspired by his childhood fear, he takes up the vigilante identity of "the Batman" and sets up a base in the caves beneath Wayne Manor. He takes an interest in his family's company, Wayne Enterprises, now being controlled by Thorne. Company Chief Technology Officer Lucius Fox allows Bruce access to prototype defense technologies, including a protective bodysuit and a heavily armored car called the Tumbler. Bruce poses as the immature playboy he once was to avoid suspicion.
Batman intercepts a drug shipment, provides Selina with evidence against Thorne, and enlists Detective Ethan Bennett, one of the few honest cops left in Gotham, to arrest him. However, Commissioner James Gordon despises the Batman and immediately orders him to be outlawed.
In prison, Thorne meets with Dr. Jonathan Crane, a corrupt psychiatrist whom he has helped smuggle drugs into Gotham, and threatens to reveal his complicity if he does not declare him mentally unfit for trial. Crane puts on a scarecrow mask and sprays Thorne with a fear-inducing hallucinogen that drives him insane, and has him transferred to Arkham Asylum.
While investigating "the Scarecrow", Batman is exposed to the hallucinogen and left incapacitated. He is saved by Alfred and given an antidote developed by Fox.
When Selina accuses Crane of corruption, Crane reveals that he has been pouring his fear-inducing drug into Gotham's water supply. He drugs Selina with it, but Batman saves her and subdues Crane, who claims to work for Ra's al Ghul. Batman evades Gordon and the police to get Selina to safety, administers the antidote, and gives her a vial of it for Bennett and another for mass production.
Ducard reappears at Bruce's birthday party and reveals himself to be the actual Ra's al Ghul. Having stolen a powerful microwave emitter from Wayne Enterprises, he plans to vaporize Gotham's water supply, rendering Crane's drug airborne and causing mass hysteria that will destroy the city. Ra's attempts to get Bruce on his side again by revealing how Rupert Thorne hired Joe Chill to murder his parents since Thomas Wayne was going to expose the corruption at Wayne Enterprises back when Thorne was a young executive. Bruce refuses and Ra's sets Wayne Manor on fire and leaves Bruce for dead, fortunately, Bruce is rescued by Alfred.
Ra's loads the microwave emitter onto Gotham's monorail system, releasing the drug as the train travels toward the city's central water source. Batman rescues Selina from a drugged mob and indirectly reveals his identity to her. He pursues Ra's onto the monorail and fights him just as Bennett uses the Tumbler's cannons to destroy a section of the track. Batman refuses to kill Ra's, but also chooses not to save him, gliding from the train and leaving Ra's aboard as it crashes and explodes.
Bruce gains Selina's respect but loses her love, as she decides she cannot be with him while he is Batman. Bruce buys a controlling stake in the now publicly traded Wayne Enterprises, has the corrupt high ranking members of the company arrested for their corruption, and appoints Lucius Fox to be the new CEO. Gordon promotes Bennett to Sergeant of the Gotham City Police Department, shows Batman the Bat-Signal, and mentions a criminal who leaves Joker playing cards at crime scenes. Batman promises to investigate, and disappears into the night.
- Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
- Liam Heeson as Henri Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul
- Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle
- Emma Lockhart as Young Selina Kyle
- Gary Oldman as James Gordon
- Andrew Stewart-Jones as Ethan Bennett
- Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow:
- Tom Wilkinson as Rupert Thorne
- Ken Watanabe as decoy Ra's al Ghul
- Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
- Mark Boone Jr. as Arnold Flass
- Linus Roache as Thomas Wayne
- Larry Holden as Carl Finch
- Christine Adams as Jessica (Rupert Thorne's secretary)
- Sara Stewart as Martha Wayne
- Richard Brake as Joe Chill
- Gerald Murphy as Judge Faden
- Charles Edwards as a corrupt Wayne Enterprises executive
- Tim Booth as Victor Zassz
- Rade Šerbedžija as a homeless man
- Risteárd Cooper and Andrew Pleavinas as uniformed policemen,
- Shane Rimmer and Jeremy Theobald as Gotham Water Board technicians.
- Jack Gleeson as a younger admirer of Batman who is later saved by him from Ra's Al Ghul
- John Foo, Joey Ansah, Spencer Wilding, Dave Legeno, Khan Bonfils, Rodney Ryan and Dean Alexandrou as members of the League of Shadows