THE DARK KNIGHT
2008, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must protect Gotham City from the Joker (Heath Ledger, in an Oscar-winning performance), whose path of destruction turns Batman’s potential successor, district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), into the disfigured villain Two-Face. The all-star cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. While the bravura action sequences come fast and furious, Nolan’s exploration of the characters’ psyches - and the issue of vigilantism - is equally skilled.


BATMAN BEGINS
2005, Warner Bros., 140 min, USA, Dir: Christopher Nolan

MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan and BLADE scribe David S. Goyer reinvent the BATMAN franchise, with the help of the best cast ever assembled for a comic book film. Christian Bale infuses the Caped Crusader with emotional gravity, an approach that’s underscored by Nolan’s effectively realistic approach to the material. Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson and many other noteworthy character actors provide solid support in this adventure film that’s as smart as it is rousing.


HENRY V (1989)
1989, MGM Repertory, 137 min, UK, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh became an international star with his debut directorial effort, in which he also stars as the warrior king of the title. Emma Thompson is Henry's love interest, and Ian Holm, Christian Bale and Judi Dench are just a few of the supporting players. A film filled with both lyrical dialogue and smashing action sequences, HENRY V is as exciting as cinema gets.


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