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The Promise: Christian Bale's best on-screen performances

The Promise

Compiled by Jack Foley

CHRISTIAN Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight) and Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) star in the epic story of courage and resistance in The Promise, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.

The Promise is based on actual events that took place during the Armenian Genocide at the onset of the First World War.

To tie in with this release, we have compiled a list looking at some of Christian Bales best performances on the big screen…

Empire of the Sun (1987)

Jamie Graham (Christian Bale), a privileged English boy, is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. Jamie is captured with an American sailor named Basie (John Malkovich), who looks out for him while they are in the camp together. Even though he is separated from his parents and in a hostile environment, Jamie maintains his dignity and youthful spirits, providing a beacon of hope for the others held captive with him.

The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter

For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager. His half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale), once a promising boxer himself, is his very unreliable trainer. Despite Micky’s hard work, he is losing and, when the latest fight nearly kills him, he follows his girlfriend’s advice and splits from the family. Then Micky becomes a contender for the world title and he – and his family – earn a shot at redemption.

Read our review

Rescue Dawn (2006)

During the Vietnam War, Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a U.S. fighter pilot, is shot down over Laos and taken captive by enemy soldiers. Interned in a POW camp, Dengler and his fellow prisoners (Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies) endure torture, hunger and illness while they await their chance to escape.

Read our review

The Promise (2016)

The Promise

Brilliant medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac) meets beautiful dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) in late 1914. Their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend (Christian Bale), an American photojournalist who’s dedicated to exposing the truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred as they join forces to get themselves and their people to safety.

Read our review

Batman Begins (2005)

A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he’s trained in the martial arts by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a member of the mysterious League of Shadows. When Ducard reveals the League’s true purpose — the complete destruction of Gotham City — Wayne returns to Gotham intent on cleaning up the city without resorting to murder. With the help of Alfred (Michael Caine), his loyal butler, and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), a tech expert at Wayne Enterprises, Batman is born.

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American Psycho (2000)

In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem Dafoe), the fiance (Reese Witherspoon), the mistress (Samantha Mathis), the co-worker (Jared Leto), and the secretary (Chloë Sevigny). This is a biting, wry comedy examining the elements that make a man a monster.

The Prestige (2006)

Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in The Prestige

An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), against each other in a bitter battle for supremacy. Terrible consequences loom when the pair escalate their feud, each seeking not just to outwit — but to destroy — the other man.

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The Machinist (2004)

Factory worker Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) suffers from insomnia so severe that his condition has taken its toll on his weight and his mental health. When Trevor unintentionally causes an on-the-job accident that horribly injures a coworker (Michael Ironside), he begins to become even more troubled. Despite a relationship with Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a pretty prostitute, Trevor descends further into paranoia, blaming his problems on an enigmatic figure named Ivan (John Sharian).

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Harsh Times (2005)

Christian Bale in Harsh Times

Unemployed army veteran Jim David, a man who is desperate to land a job with the LAPD who spends most of his days cruising around getting high with his similarly out-of-work friend, Mike (Freddy Rodriguez). Jim wants to settle down with his Mexican girlfriend (Tammy Trull), while Mike is continually urged to find a job by his long-time girlfriend (Eva Longoria). But owing to Jim’s volatile temper, the two constantly find themselves in trouble, whether it’s ripping off drug dealers by posing as detectives or getting high and drinking to such an extent that any career potential is always being undermined.

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Out of the Furnace (2013)

Russell Baze, a hard working, honest steel worker, finds his life taking a turn for the worse when he decides to come to the aid of his brother, Rodney (Casey Affleck), a soldier who has lost his way following tours of duty and who has wracked up gambling debts. When circumstances dictate that Russell has to serve a spell in prison, he re-emerges to find his woman (Zoe Saldana) sharing her life with another man (Forest Whitaker) and his brother now bare knuckle brawling to make ends meet. But just as things couldn’t get any worse, Rodney goes missing with all blame pointed towards a local trouble-maker and fight fixer named Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson).

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The Promise is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.