10 Best The Batman Moments

Since his first appearance in DC Comics in 1939, the world has loved The Batman. The universe of The Caped Crusader has been consistently reimagined, originating in comic books but appearing across animated series, video games, movies, sculptures, and toys; Batman has even manifested as a LEGO character. Something about The Dark Knight has always drawn us in, even as the world has developed across generations and war. Perhaps this is due to his extensive line-up of iconic villains or his gothic ambience? Whatever it is, Batman connects to a truth within us all – we love him and we keep coming back for more.

2022 film The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, is one such manifestation. The three-time Oscar-nominated feature (Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound, Visual Effects) took the classic Batman formula and steered it in a new direction – one that is edgier and darker than in previous big screen iterations. Reeves’ $772million box office hit went back to Batman’s roots in Detective Comics by placing The Batman in a detective thriller, putting more emphasis on Batman as The World’s Greatest Detective (an early moniker that was largely ignored across the character’s nine other movies).

What resulted was a gothic tale about a moody Batman, where its setting, The City of Gotham, was as much a character as The Batman himself. The film explored a morally grey hero, in a world where there was no black and white, where corruption had seeped into every crack of pavement on the streets and every inch of political red tape. It was a booming success, earning more money at the box office than Christopher Nolan’s critically-acclaimed Batman Begins (2005) and becoming a cultural phenomenon. The Batman is richly crafted, with thought carefully poured into every seam, and it shows when you sit down to digest its 2 hours and 56 minutes of meaningful, pointed action.

The Batman is filled to the brim with exciting, poignant, and important moments, each of which explain just a little about how great this film really is, but we at The Film Magazine have carefully picked out the best of the best. These are the 10 Best The Batman Moments.

10. Becoming Catwoman

“Listen, baby, we’re gonna get the hell out of here. I promise.”

Meeting Catwoman for the first time is a quiet moment in the sense that we are very removed from the scene. We view her from Batman’s perspective, who is peering through Selina Kyle’s apartment window from a rooftop. At this point in the movie we don’t even know this woman’s name, so we are learning about her as The Batman is. We watch her strip down to her underwear and pull on a skintight catsuit. The score gently purrs over the scene, evoking the musical cues of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns or the video game iteration of Catwoman in ‘Arkham City‘. It isn’t a very long moment – Selina progressing through her apartment, her words muffled by the distance we keep from her – but it’s here that we witness her vastly important transition from comforting friend to femme fatale.

This is such an important moment regarding our understanding of this version of The Batman, too. The lines between Bruce and The Bat are blurred by the choice to have Pattinson dressed in street clothes as he voyeuristically peers down the lenses of his binoculars into this woman’s apartment, violating her privacy. There is a sense of righteousness that is missing here; one that previous iterations of Batman would have held as a core value. This scene vitally highlights how this Batman is flawed, his morals no more black and white than the murky world of greys he occupies. Just as aptly, this image of our proposed hero peering through a window unbeknownst to the occupants draws a parallel between The Bat and The Riddler, who moments earlier we saw watching his first victim through binoculars from a rooftop across the street. It encourages us to ask: what is the difference between our hero The Batman and our villain The Riddler?

We are also encouraged to understand how similar Catwoman and The Riddler are. Selina Kyle is representative of the failings of her society, of “the system”, just as The Riddler is. She turns to a life of crime out of what she deems as necessity and justice, just as The Riddler does. She is on the same end of the financial ladder as The Riddler, and their relative lack of money, power and authority is represented through their do-it-yourself costumes, each of which starkly contrast the tailored body armour and branding of The Batman’s.

This is a relatively quiet character introduction – one that is in stark contrast to that of Michelle Pfeiffer’s or Halle Berry’s (Catwoman, 2004) – but one that illustrates a lot of what the filmmakers are trying to achieve thematically, that illuminates a lot about the characters in the scene as well as those key figures beyond it.

Recommended for you: 10 Best Batman Begins Moments

9. Facing Falcone

“You don’t think this hurts me? My own flesh and blood, huh?”

As the film reaches its climax, we follow the Cat and the Bat into 44 Below, the underground “club within the club” inside The Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge. Selina Kyle has entered as herself, on a mission to face her father, who happens to be the corrupt man in charge of the whole of Gotham: Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). This is the hub of all corruption, a place where the law doesn’t reach and men can live out their darkest fantasies. After Selina reaches Falcone and reveals herself to be his daughter, she shoots at him but misses as the club is plunged into darkness by Batman cutting the power. As her pink wig flies from her head, she stops being the young woman who works at the club and becomes Selina Kyle – daughter of a murdered mother, vulnerable but real.

What follows is a brawl in the dark. The scene cuts between Selina Kyle desperately shooting at Falcone and Batman fighting his way in, wrestling his way through the hordes of goons sent to stop him. There is one shot where Batman fights his way through a dark hallway – so dark that the only action we can see is illuminated by the flashes of gunshots. This is a spectacular moment from a visual perspective, and one of the most memorable in all of The Batman – Pattinson’s Batman exudes a Darth Vader-like presence as he takes out everyone in his path.

John Turturro’s performance is frankly disturbing, his dead-behind-the-eyes acting really selling the dialogue in which he tells Selina that he doesn’t want to have to kill her but that she has brought it on herself, just like her mother. There is a struggle as she claws the skin off his face in one steady movement whilst he pins her down by the neck, attempting to strangle her like he did to Kyle’s friend Annika. What makes this so memorable, and distressing, is witnessing someone we’ve come to care about head towards becoming another fatality in a vicious cycle of abuse. The Batman intervenes just in time, as is a trope of Batman movies; our hero saving a new favourite from further hurting herself by taking the killshot. It is such an important moment in terms of Selina Kyle’s narrative, providing her with what will hopefully be closure, but it also brings our antagonist’s own arc to a close.

This is where justice lives; in the space between revenge and consequences. Of course Selina wants nothing more than to kill this man – a man who was never there for her, who killed her best friend, who killed her own mother – but what after that? This moment makes this list because Batman not only finds the source of corruption in his town, but he perhaps even more importantly saves Selina Kyle. “You’ve paid enough,” he says. And she has.

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