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The most underrated Batman movie came out on this day in history

The most underrated Batman movie (and potentially the best) came out 18 years ago today. Here's why we think the superhero movie deserves more praise.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight

When it comes to the best big-screen Batman movies, fans have a lot of choices. What we think unites most DCU fanatics, though, is the belief that Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies are technically the best, even if they may not be everyone’s favorite (I’ve always been partial to Michael Keaton’s Batman).

Let’s be honest, though, in that trilogy of superhero movies, there’s a film that’s always underrated. We’re talking, of course, about Batman Begins. Now it’s understandable why Batman Begins can sometimes get forgotten. The Dark Knight is literally one of the best movies ever made, and The Dark Knight Rises ended the whole saga.

Batman Begins, though, is the black sheep of the trilogy. Unlike its genre-defying follow-ups, Batman Begins is a more traditional superhero-origin movie set in a far more stylized Gotham than we’d see in The Dark Knight and Rises. It also arguably has the most “super” of the Batman villains we’d see in any of Nolan’s films, courtesy of Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow.

Still, as today (June 15) is the 18th anniversary of Batman Begins release, we thought we’d right a historic wrong and give the film its due. Honestly, Batman Begins is my personal favorite of all the Nolan Batman films for the exact reasons I described above.

Now, The Dark Knight is a brilliant picture, but ironically considering its villain, it’s a little self-serious for my tastes. I like my Batman films to be over-the-top stylized action movies that embrace the lunacy of a billionaire dressing up as a bat and fighting crime. I think Batman Begins taps perfectly into that slightly pulpy world in a way no film starring the Caped Crusader has since Tim Burton’s duology.

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So Dark Knight is great, but let’s be honest, it’s an allegory for the war on terror dressed up in Batman pajamas; it’s not really a comic book movie. Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’ve not written much about Rises, it’s because I genuinely hate that film. It dials the self-seriousness way too high for me, I think the action’s poorly staged, and it fundamentally misunderstands Batman. Sorry, Nolan.

For a more upbeat take on one of the best directors of our time, we have a list of the best Christopher Nolan movies. We also have a guide breaking down everything you need to know about the Oppenheimer release date. Finally, if you’re after something else to watch, you should check out our article listing all the new movies coming this year.