Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jul 23, 2012
    100
    A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, The Dark Knight Rises is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jul 19, 2012
    100
    The conclusion of Christopher Nolan's superhero trilogy is a hugely ambitious mix of eye candy and brain food. If it doesn't have the haunting aftertaste of the previous serving, that's only because Nolan couldn't clone Heath Ledger. But beefy substitute Tom Hardy is a hell of a villain.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 18, 2012
    100
    If The Dark Knight Rises is a fascist film, it's a great fascist film, and arguably the biggest, darkest, most thrilling and disturbing and utterly balls-out spectacle ever created for the screen. It's an unfriendly masterpiece that shows you only a little circle of daylight, way up there at the top of our collective prison shaft - but a masterpiece nonetheless.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jul 18, 2012
    100
    Potent, persuasive and hypnotic, The Dark Knight Rises has us at its mercy. A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch, this dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 18, 2012
    100
    This is not the sort of movie you can just leave behind in the theater. And like any true finale to a trilogy, the picture doesn't work nearly as well if you haven't seen the previous two installments: It's not designed to stand alone, and it pays off all that has come before with an exuberant, thrilling high.
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 18, 2012
    100
    Christopher Nolan's dramatically and emotionally satisfying wrap-up to the Dark Knight trilogy adroitly avoids clichés and gleefully subverts your expectations at every turn.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jul 16, 2012
    100
    "The Avengers" is kid stuff compared with this meditation on mortal loss and heroic frailty. For once a melodrama with pulp origins convinces viewers that it can be the modern equivalent to Greek myths or a Jonathan Swift satire. TDKR is that big, that bitter - a film of grand ambitions and epic achievement. The most eagerly anticipated movie of summer 2012 was worth waiting for.
  8. Reviewed by: Nev Pierce
    Jul 16, 2012
    100
    With spectacle in abundance and sexiness in (supporting) parts, this is superhero filmmaking on an unprecedented scale. Rises may lack the surprise of Begins or the anarchy of Knight, but it makes up for that in pure emotion.
  9. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Jul 16, 2012
    100
    A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jul 16, 2012
    100
    Makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan's trio, even if it lacks -- how could it not? -- an element as unique as Heath Ledger's immortal turn in The Dark Knight. It's a blockbuster by any standard.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 18, 2012
    91
    The miracle of Nolan's Batman trilogy is the way it imprints those myths with the dread-soaked tenor of the times.
  12. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jul 16, 2012
    90
    While The Dark Knight Rises raises the dramatic stakes considerably, at least in terms of its potential body count, it doesn't have its predecessor's breathless sense of menace or its demonic showmanship, and with the exception of one audacious sleight-of-hand twist, the story can at times seem more complicated than intricate.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 18, 2012
    88
    Nolan brings his Batman trilogy to a close with a majestic, almost completely satisfying crash. Everything feels epic about the film: the characters, the effects, the emotional stakes - even the missteps (and there are more than a few).
  14. Reviewed by: Brad Wheeler
    Jul 17, 2012
    88
    It's not only packed with high-toned classical and contemporary cultural allusions, but manages to wear its popcorn inspirations on its sleeve.
  15. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 17, 2012
    88
    Most important, does The Dark Knight Rises achieve the impossible, which is to bring a cherished cinematic chapter to a close, yet manage to leave fans feeling not desolate but cheered? To that all-important question, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
  16. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 17, 2012
    88
    The Dark Knight Rises ultimately justifies its length (in fact, a good argument could be made for a longer cut) and the last 45 minutes is nothing short of spectacular. From the point where the narrative takes a leap of faith, it never lets up.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 16, 2012
    88
    The sheer scope of Nolan's vision – with emotion and spectacle thundering across the screen – is staggering. The Dark Knight Rises is the King Daddy of summer movie epics.
  18. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Jul 20, 2012
    85
    As you might expect from the creator of "Inception" and "Memento," there are surprises both in the story and in the storytelling. But the biggest surprise may just be how satisfying Nolan has made his farewell to a Dark Knight trilogy that many fans will wish he'd extend to a 10-part series, at least.
  19. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 18, 2012
    80
    Believable and preposterous, effective as a closing chapter and somewhat of a letdown if only because Mr. Nolan, who continues to refine his cinematic technique, hasn't surmounted "The Dark Knight" or coaxed forth another performance as mesmerizingly vital as Heath Ledger's Joker in that film.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 17, 2012
    80
    While director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale's epic of criminality and all-consuming conviction ultimately falls a bit short - missing, for instance, a villainous face a la Heath Ledger's Joker - their Batman trilogy ends with a suitably thrilling mix of guts and glory.
  21. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 17, 2012
    80
    The Dark Knight Rises brings the Batman story to a close in enormous, satisfying fashion, not just on the huge scale it builds for itself, but on a human level as well.
  22. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 16, 2012
    80
    It's spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.
  23. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Jul 16, 2012
    80
    The Dark Knight Rises may be a hammy, portentous affair but Nolan directs it with aplomb. He takes these cod-heroic, costumed elements and whisks them into a tale of heavy-metal fury, full of pain and toil, surging uphill, across the flyovers, in search of a climax.
  24. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jul 19, 2012
    78
    I said once before that every generation gets the superhero it deserves, and Nolan's darkest of dark knights is surely ours – and no more so than in this current incarnation. (Granted, this doesn't bode well for society, but hey, things are bleak all over.)
  25. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jul 19, 2012
    75
    The Dark Knight aspires to the epic and reaches it on a number of impressive and less impressive levels. That it is a frequently, unnervingly glorious triumph of brawn over brains is not despite but in spite of Nolan's admirably stubborn - if persistently, risibly serious - insistence that the modern superhero can have it all.
  26. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jul 19, 2012
    75
    Director Christopher Nolan, who wrote the script with brother Jonathan, gets so many of the big things right that I wished they had taken more time with the little ones.
  27. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jul 19, 2012
    75
    The Dark Knight Rises is reasonably accomplished as a gigantic superhero movie; as a meditation on capital and its personal and social discontents, it's strictly from the funny pages.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 18, 2012
    75
    While it's the most ambitious of the three films, it's not as mesmerizing as 2008's "The Dark Knight." The plot is occasionally murky, its archvillain lacks charismatic menace, and the last hour is belabored.
  29. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 18, 2012
    75
    If you just give yourself over to Nolan's sweeping, symphonic Cowled Crusader saga, The Dark Knight Rises is, well, a blast.
  30. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 18, 2012
    75
    Christopher Nolan's capper of his Batman trilogy is a summer blockbuster of grand inclinations in both form and content.
  31. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 17, 2012
    75
    The film begins slowly with a murky plot and too many new characters, but builds to a sensational climax.
  32. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 17, 2012
    75
    The Dark Knight Rises declares its importance with each scene but seldom backs up the claims. It is a climax more fitful than fulfilling, solemn to a fault and begging the Joker's question: "Why so serious?"
  33. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jul 17, 2012
    75
    Chaos reigns for much of The Dark Knight Rises, often in big, beautiful, IMAX-size scenes that only Nolan could have conceived. Yet when the apocalyptic dust literally settles on this concluding chapter, the character who lingers longest in memory is an average Gotham City cop named John Blake, wonderfully played with human-scale clarity by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  34. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 16, 2012
    75
    A spectacular noir epic that's equal parts murky, bloated, flashy and triumphantly cinematic. Four years after Nolan's "Batman Begins" sequel "The Dark Knight" rattled audiences with a similar audiovisual overload, the new movie falls into the same rhythm and remains viscerally satisfying even when the story falters.
  35. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jul 23, 2012
    70
    Christopher Nolan, for all his visionary flair, wants to suck the comic out of comic books; Anne Hathaway wants to put it back in. Take your pick.
  36. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    Jul 16, 2012
    70
    A fine film in a strong summer, but it lacks the spark that made its immediate predecessor a masterpiece.
  37. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 17, 2012
    63
    Now comes The Dark Knight Rises, which makes "The Dark Knight" look like "Dora the Explorer" and is more of a 164-minute anxiety disorder than a movie.
  38. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 18, 2012
    60
    Doesn't rise as much as it flounders and frustrates, in what would appear to be a case of a filmmaker prioritizing ego over efficiency, and engaging in generally muddled storytelling.
  39. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jul 16, 2012
    60
    Grand scale or no, this feels like a blockbuster on autopilot more often than not, curiously detached and self-importantly somber even by the director's standards - and without the cerebral heft of his best work.
  40. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 20, 2012
    58
    Were it not for Anne Hathaway's Catwoman-ish Selina Kyle, there wouldn't be a single character in "Rises" who cracks a smile. I'm not arguing that "Rises" should be "Singin' in the Rain." But its Wagnerian ambitions are not matched by its material. It hasn't earned its darkness.
  41. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 18, 2012
    50
    Moments are stretched. Every recollection must be illustrated by a flashback. Character motivations shift on a dime, and if you understand even half of what's going on - not generally, but specifically - you'll be doing better than most.
  42. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 19, 2012
    40
    At over two hours and forty minutes long, with repeated scenes of bone-crunching violence and a maddeningly unrelenting percussive score by Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises is something of an ordeal to sit through.
  43. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jul 17, 2012
    40
    The Dark Knight Rises is a shallow repository of ideas, but as a work of sheer sensation, it has something to recommend.
  44. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jul 20, 2012
    30
    The script, by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, takes a few vague pokes at Wall Street and the financial elite but mainly revives the ponderous psychodrama of the first movie.
  45. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 18, 2012
    25
    Halfheartedly, I give The Dark Knight Rises - the third and final Batflick in the Nolan trilogy - one star for eardrum-busting sound effects and glaucoma-inducing computerized images in blinding Imax, but talk about stretching things.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 3132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 777
  1. Jul 20, 2012
    10
    The Dark Knight Rises was gloriously the best moment of my life in a movie theatre. It stands alone, peerless in the pantheon of superhero movies. There will be no spoilers here and if the impulse to spoil yourself before watching the film is too excruciating to bear, remember this, it'll be the equivalent of Selina Kyle robbing you blind. When Batman Begins came out, I was very sceptical about watching another one of those Batman flicks, such is the enduring traumatic impression Joel Schumacher's films left me. Thank goodness I did and from that point on there's no turning back. Christopher Nolan's finale made all the recently released superhero movies look like child's play to be honest, it is the appetizer to the main course that is the final chapter of The Dark Knight trilogy. The typical critique of Chris Nolan's movies is that it might be too cerebral for the casual moviegoer, no it's not. His films are universal, it's so well-layered, directed towards everyone. If you're more of the "intellectual genre" you'll notice the political undertones and social commentaries and what have you, but even if it goes over your head, it doesn't detract your experience from the film. Fanatic fans of the Batman comics will love all the little nods and references, even the major ones from the comic books thoughtfully implemented throughout the film.
    Christian Bale is just magnificent, as he puts it he plays three characters, the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, the true persona of Bruce Wayne still grieving the lost of his parents and the Batman. He's the defining actor of The Dark Knight, his portrayal of all these characters are just perfect and even though he's a man dressing up at night as a bat beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands, we empathise with him. Returning inhabitants of Gotham and Bruce's fundamental foundation of his lifestyle is Gary Oldman's aged and weary morally-strayed Commissioner Jim Gordon, the Q to Batman's James Bond, Lucius Fox and possibly a Best Supporting Actor nominee perhaps, the closest thing to a father figure Bruce can get, his moral compass, oozing with words of wisdom, Michael Caine's Alfred Pennyworth. Scenes between the trio are so poignant, beautifully crafted and presented, it's so hard to watch without getting a lump in your throat, to describe it as tear-jerking ia an understatement. One of the newcomers is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's solid portrayal of beat cop John Blake and Marion Cotillard's enviromentalist Miranda Tate. The chief antagonist is Tom Hardy's full time terrorist Bane, He's frightening to watch, Tom embodies and embraces the sheer brutality and monstrosity of "the mercenary" flawlessly with half his face covered up, the way he conveys his emotions with only his eyes is amazing. Anne Hathaway's morally ambiguous Selina Kyle is a wild card, it's really fun to watch the development and chemistry between Bruce/Selina and Batman/the cat burglar. The 2 hours and 44 minutes running time didn't feel long at all, the story flows seamlessly as it comes full circle with flashbacks from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it's all beautifully balanced between the intimate moments of character development that's unusual in a summer blockbuster film and the really elaborate and simply put awesome all-out war action sequences and the choreography of the brawls between Batman and Bane is much improved than the previous films. The most important element of The Dark Knight Rises however and what makes it a gem is that it manages to amp up the suspense and anxiety to incredible heights knowing that every single character is dispensable including the Batman. When was the last time you watched a superhero film and feel a genuine concern that our hero is not going to come out alive? Exactly.
    Thank you Christopher Nolan for not giving in to the public and I'm assuming studio demands to continue this magnificent 7-year journey we have all been through together, to truly end this great vision of the legend with integrity, to give this great story a great and true conclusion to let the Batman ride off into the sunset if you will. It was the ending this iconic character deserved. And to anyone who thinks the Rises in The Dark Knight Rises is just a convenient way to name the film, it makes complete sense, it
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  2. Jul 25, 2012
    5
    I liked this movie. But the problem is I really wanted to LOVE this movie. There were just so many small plot holes and inconsistencies throughout the film that kept creeping in and jarring me out of the experience as well as several secondary characters that really served no purpose at all. I would list them out but I won't to avoid spoilers. All in all, this felt kind of sloppy for a Christopher Nolan movie. Full Review »
  3. Jul 23, 2012
    3
    It is not our own fault, as a collective audience, that the third film in the trilogy is often so pressurised into being a fantastic, ugly and plot-less mess. We get overexcited and speculate endlessly and wildly about the plot and twists of the film to the extent where the creators are left with no option but to go hell for leather and overload, over-complicate and overextend themselves when it comes to actually making the damned thing! Nolan has in the past provided massively entertaining well written, scripted and directed works of cinema, (TDK, Inception and YES prestige) I do not doubt his talent.

    TDKR was not one of them, the dialogue lacked the wit and pithy impact of the previous film to the point where everything felt rushed and miscued. The plot 'twists' were obvious, unnecessary and entirely un-intriguing. The action scenes were fine, a little drab although I appreciate the 'broken Batman' concept. Bane was good and would have appeared better if the rest of the plot had stood well around him. A suitably frightening bad guy I loved the voice and the interactions between him and his army (although why they are so willing to die at his command is never fully explained). The prison scene could have worked in another film, similar to Batman Begins for example, but were an irritating and contrived side plot, especially the whole rock climbing bit (was this the key scene? Not sure). Give a director enough budget and he will drop your expectations through a trapdoor.
    Full Review »