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Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 4053 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey toBatman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as the Joker. (Warner Bros.) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Twisted, tortured, terrifying - and terrific.
  2. Bale again brilliantly personifies all the deep traumas and misgivings of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne. A bit of Hamlet is in this Batman.
  3. 100
    May be the most hopeless, despairing comic-book movie in memory. It creates a world where being a superhero is at best a double-edged sword and no triumph is likely to be anything but short-lived.
  4. Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind.
  5. 88
    The highest praise I can give a superhero movie is that it makes me forget about its 10-cent-comic-book soul.
  6. An action blockbuster extravaganza that's sadder than sad and never pretends otherwise.
  7. 50
    Nolan may want us to believe in the darkness that lurks within each of us, but instead of leading us to it visually, he chops it up and sets it out in front of us, a grim, predigested banquet.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Jan 21, 2011
    10
    I don't understand why this movie gets bashed so much because it's "overrated." So what? Pretend as though you never heard anyone say how goodI don't understand why this movie gets bashed so much because it's "overrated." So what? Pretend as though you never heard anyone say how good this film is, then watch it, and then talk to me. And don't even get me started on people saying, "People like it just because Heath Ledger died!" Again, pretend as though he didn't die, watch his performance again, and then come talk to me. An outstanding performance by anyone who was ever involved in this film. Expand
  2. toml.
    Dec 8, 2008
    10
    What a fantastic film. Great special effects, a super performance by Heath Ledger. How these bloody American newspapers keep scoring this What a fantastic film. Great special effects, a super performance by Heath Ledger. How these bloody American newspapers keep scoring this film at anything below 100% is beyond me. Expand
  3. JuanF.
    Jul 19, 2008
    10
    It couldn't have been more satisfying unless it was 5 hours long. I can think of 12 critics who are factually wrong, and I'm not It couldn't have been more satisfying unless it was 5 hours long. I can think of 12 critics who are factually wrong, and I'm not sure if it'll ever set in that Heath Ledger's gone, because how can he be? Expand
  4. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    The Dark Knight is truly the best batman film to date. It starts with a great intro sequence and keeps the high quality trough the wholeThe Dark Knight is truly the best batman film to date. It starts with a great intro sequence and keeps the high quality trough the whole film.Dark and gritty the dark knight offers a thrilling plot with great characters, all of whom having their own motivations with the greatest villian of the entire batman franchise. Hans Zimmer also did great work with this soundtrack which fits perfect. A must see Expand
  5. NancyH
    Jul 18, 2008
    9
    The moral dilemma and how far does one get pushed before falling into the abyss? Ledger was brilliant and only underscores the loss of such The moral dilemma and how far does one get pushed before falling into the abyss? Ledger was brilliant and only underscores the loss of such an amazing talent. Bale,Ekhart, Oldman, Caine, et al equally stood up to their roles. My only complaint was that it was a tad long to get to the punch line. Excellent all around. Expand
  6. May 9, 2015
    9
    Consequences. In real life, these ramifications emanate from every action like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. Often in movies,Consequences. In real life, these ramifications emanate from every action like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. Often in movies, especially those that feature characters who don't play by the rules, such penalties are suspended. However, in Christopher Nolan's Batman universe, decisions and actions have consequences. The Dark Knight, arguably the moodiest and most adult superhero motion picture ever to reach the screen, illustrates this lesson in ways that are startling and painful. This is a tough, uncompromising motion picture - one that defies the common notions of what is expected from a "superhero" film. While there are plenty of action sequences and instances of derring-do, The Dark Knight's subtext has a tragic underpinning that would intrigue Shakespeare or the Greeks. It's about power and impotence, sanity and madness, image and reality, selfishness and sacrifice, and - yes - consequences.

    It has often been said that Tim Burton's vision of Batman was the darkest representation we were ever likely to see of a superhero. Compared to how Nolan sees the character, Burton's version was a pantomime. For many long-running franchises, Burton's included, the second volume stands tallest. Nolan has followed up on his gritty and successful Batman Begins with one of the best all-time sequels, and perhaps the most impressive mainstream entertainment experience since 2003's The Return of the King. The Dark Knight builds upon the themes and premises founded three years ago. With the introductions and origins dispensed with in Batman Begins, Nolan uses this opportunity to expand upon his portrait of Batman as a haunted individual who, driven by forces rooted deep in his psyche, must dispense justice according to his own strict code.

    Often in superhero movies, there's a sense that, no matter what challenges the protagonist must face, all will be right in the end. That certainty is missing here, and its absence may represent Nolan's most impressive accomplishment. Batman is fallible and his world is dangerous. No character, no matter how well-established in Batman lore, is safe. This director's Gotham City may be less garish and gothic than Burton's, but it is in many ways a bleaker and more oppressive place. It's a joyless venue and the hero takes his demeanor from his city. Batman is a grim, brooding superhero. He rarely speaks while in costume and, when he does, his voice quivers with menace and his words are devoid of the quips and one-liners audiences have come to associate with action heroes.

    Of the newcomers, the Joker is the biggest addition. One could argue that it's impossible to make a Batman series without facing the main character against the Joker at some point. No superhero and villain are more inextricably linked. Yet this Joker is unlike any we have previously encountered. Cesar Romero's interpretation of the character (in the '60s TV series) was that of a deadly prankster. Jack Nicholson's over-the-top performance made 1989's Batman all about the bad guy. The late Heath Ledger, however, gives us something darker and more twisted - a role that would have been no less memorable had it not been his last and most grueling. There's nothing humorous about this freak. No flowery lines like "You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" This is no caricature - The Joker is a frighteningly vicious and intelligent monster who represents a legitimate match for the title character.

    For all of the heavy lifting done by the movie's screenplay, dealing as it does with substantive issues and existential questions, there's still plenty of the meat-and-potatoes content of any superhero movie: action sequences. There are numerous fights, chases, and races. The Batmobile gets its share of screen time as does a new Bat-cycle. Batman takes on bad guys singly and in bunches. And there's a heart-pounding sequence in which the Caped Crusader must race against time to save a life, where the price is almost as terrible if he succeeds as if he fails. Nolan's inherent sense of how to transform a relatively mundane fight scene into something involving is in evidence here, much as was the case in Batman Begins. He avoids flash editing and allows the action to evolve in a coherent manner, drawing the viewer in rather than keeping him guessing what's going on.

    2008 may be the year that the superhero movie comes of age. Iron Man represents the best screen adventure of a Marvel hero. Now, D.C. has answered with The Dark Knight, a film so impressive in every significant facet that it makes one wonder why it took so long for the genre to reach this high level. Christopher Nolan has provided movie-goers with the best superhero movie to-date, outclassing previous titles both mediocre and excellent, and giving this franchise its The Empire Strikes Back.
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  7. JeffG.
    Jul 21, 2008
    0
    I love dark movies -- Pan's Labyrinth, Apocalypse Now -- but Dark Knight isn't dark: it's sick. If you like horror movies like I love dark movies -- Pan's Labyrinth, Apocalypse Now -- but Dark Knight isn't dark: it's sick. If you like horror movies like Hostel and Saw III, maybe this'll be up your line -- but come on: a cell phone stitched into a guy's stomach and rigged to explode crosses a line for me. There's no point, no message, just sick, disturbing sadism. Expand

See all 1176 User Reviews

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