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The 50 greatest Batman movie moments

A silent guardian

The moment: The Dark Knight's epic final scene in which Batman outlines his scheme to take the fall for Two-Face's murders, and Commisioner Gordon explains to his son why Batman must go on the run.

Why it's great: The combination of stirring dialogue ("because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now") with Hans Zimmer's superlative score gives us goosebumps every time. "He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark knight!"

"Some men just want to watch the world burn"

The moment: Alfred attempts to explain to Bruce that the Joker is a different breed of opponent from those he has faced in the past. He makes the point that Wayne has underestimated Joker's sheer appetite for destruction, explaining that when it comes to motivation, "some men just want to watch the world burn."

Why it's great: Caine is an excellent Alfred, and nowhere is his wisdom and importance to Batman illustrated better than it is here. We also get a hint at a badass-sounding backstory. Alfred was in Burma?

The pen vs. the sword

The moment: The Joker bumps off Vinnie Ricorso by plunging the sharpened tip of a quill directly through his windpipe. "The pen is truly mightier than the sword" he quips, gleefully. What is it with him and writing implements?

Why it's great: It's the perfect illustration of just how few actors cross menace with charisma as well as Jack Nicholson.

Sal takes a fall

The moment: Batman dangles mobster Sal Maroni from the top of a fire escape. "From this height, the fall wouldn't kill me," sneers the crim. "I'm counting on it," snarls Bats, before dropping Maroni to the pavement below. Crunch!

Why it's great: If there was ever a question-mark over just how badass Bale's Batman really is, this scene pretty much ends the discussion.

More than a man

The moment: Ducard gives Bruce a pep talk on the nature of crime-fighting. "If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely - a legend, Mr Wayne."

Why it's great: Ducard's motivational speech forms the basis of the Batman's modus operandi, and sets the tone nicely for the rest of Batman Begins.

Crashing the party

The moment: Batman turns up to Two-Face's soiree uninvited, smashing through the skylight and taking down a clutch of henchmen in the process. "You're entrance was good," remarks Riddler to his bi-polar chum, "his was better."

Why it's great: Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever could rarely be accused of being cool, but in this case, the man deserves his dues. It's a nice little scene.

Falcone's speech

The moment: Bruce Wayne goes to confront Carmine Falcone, only to be met with the following verbal volley: "You think because your mommy and your daddy got shot, you know about the ugly side of life, but you don't. You've never tasted desperate. You're, uh, you're Bruce Wayne, the Prince of Gotham; you'd have to go a thousand miles to meet someone who didn't know your name. So, don't-don't come down here with your anger, trying to prove something to yourself. This is a world you'll never understand. And you always fear what you don't understand." Ouch.

Why it's great: It's a brilliantly scripted piece of dialogue, delivered with vicious aplomb by Tom Wilkinson.

Tryouts

The Moment: The Joker does for crime boss Gambol, before telling his hired muscle there's a spot open to run with his crew. However, as there are three newly unemployed henchman and only one vacancy, Joker tells them they're going to have tryouts, ominously dropping a splintered pool cue in the floor between them.

Why it's great: Without actually showing the violence, Nolan makes it crystal clear just what calibre of psycho we're dealing with. "Make it fast," he whispers as he strolls nonchalantly from the scene.

The Batwing takes flight

The Moment: The Batwing takes to the skies in Tim Burton's Batman, soaring above the Gotham streets before casting a bat-signal-esque shadow against the moon. And then come the missiles.

Why it's great: The effects might not have stood the test of time, but there's still something exhilarating about seeing the Batwing in full effect. Let's hope its rumoured return in The Dark Knight Rises lives up to expectations.

Batman flips the truck

The moment: The Dark Knight's big action setpiece comes to a suitably jarring close as the Joker's 18-wheeler is flipped through 180 degrees onto its back. Impressive stuff.

Why it's great: The truck chase is a genuinely pulse-quickening sequence, and the OMG moment that comes when the truck is flipped is the perfect way to bring it to a close. One of several scenes that really benefitted from the IMAX presentation.