The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 3453 Ratings

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  • Summary: It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lieIt has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Expand


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Todd Gilchrist
    Jul 23, 2012
    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: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 18, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 18, 2012
    The miracle of Nolan's Batman trilogy is the way it imprints those myths with the dread-soaked tenor of the times.
  4. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Jul 16, 2012
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 18, 2012
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jul 17, 2012
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 18, 2012
    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.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 83 out of 816
  1. Jul 28, 2012
    Incredible. This is really what you call entertainment. While watching this I truly experienced something I have never experienced before. YouIncredible. This is really what you call entertainment. While watching this I truly experienced something I have never experienced before. You could call it a movie orgasm. Through it's glorious 164 minute run time I went through phases of anger, anxiety, happiness, and sadness. Tom Hardy does not match the performance of Heath Ledger, but I don't think anyone expected that anyway. He was brilliant as Bane, providing a chilling and more powerful replacement for the Joker. The rest of the outstanding cast was brilliant as well, including Anne Hathaway, who I was previously concerned with not being able to fit the character of catwoman. Hans Zimmer does a brilliant job with the sound. This in my opinion is what brought the movie that extra step in providing its astonishing intensity, and climaxes. The storyline was masterfully written; I expected no less. If you want a movie that provides every single penny spent for those pricey theater tickets, look no further. Expand
  2. Jul 21, 2012
    Another Nolan masterpiece. I love the Batman films and thankfully the last one didn't disappoint. 10/10. Bale comes back to reprise his roleAnother Nolan masterpiece. I love the Batman films and thankfully the last one didn't disappoint. 10/10. Bale comes back to reprise his role as Batman and as always does a fantastic job. Michael Caine is as brilliant as ever as is Gary Oldman, Ann Hathaway, Tom Hardy who did an awesome job as Bane and the entire cast. The start was a little slow but overall the film was fantastic and a great way to wrap it up, the ending was brilliant. I had always wanted to see an all out war in Gotham were the stakes seemed incredible high, thankfully this film delivered that with some great twists along the way. A strong plot, awesome cast and overall I was extremely impressed. Shame to see it end but least it has gone out on such a high. :) Expand
  3. Jul 20, 2012
    The Dark Knight Rises was gloriously the best moment of my life in a movie theatre. It stands alone, peerless in the pantheon of superheroThe 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
  4. Jul 30, 2012
    There's a particular idea thrown around in Hollywood these days. Large-scale blockbusters that were created with a budget of millions ofThere's a particular idea thrown around in Hollywood these days. Large-scale blockbusters that were created with a budget of millions of dollars seem to be praised for the sake of it, claiming the effort that was put into the film was what made it successful, rather than how much money was put into such a project. Of course, that doesn't mean to say that every blockbuster is veiled as clever and breath-taking. The Dark Knight didn't resort to such cheesiness. With actors and actresses like that, the plot became a rainbow of viewpoints. It might feel over complicated, it might pretend to look clever, but with the introduction of new characters and continuation with previous ones, it takes into account the usefulness of each of their contribution to the plot. We gained an unusual power balance and for once, we discovered how different it felt for Bruce Wayne to not have the upper hand for longer than we expected, which was fresh. Not all blockbusters can create multiple characters and remember to include them so they feel part of it - sometimes directors neglect certain characters that could be important to the story. I loved the perception of Bane to create a politically and socially fuelled attack on the rich which was executed with such precision. It wasn't all out action - emotional aspects of action films need to be performed quite carefully and we were given a deeper and darker meaning within the film, rather than not having to explain things and so take them at face value. Christian Bale could be the only possible one to pull off such insecurity and determination, no one could look like they had another side that was properly executed, or be empathised with better. The acting was brilliant and the atmosphere gave you whatever feeling you were seeing on the screen. It wasn't at all dragged out, which I worry about with these particular lengths of film. What I didn't like about the film was the beginning, which often just peters out at the beginning of films as it just wants to get on with the film. Directors and writers shouldn't be afraid that the beginning will just go on too long so they miss out on such great achievements with the rest of the film. It also took so long for something proper to happen that Nolan usually pulls off with the Batman films. Talking isn't a problem - it's if you talk continuously and try to form the idea in a clever way when it doesn't work. In some parts, this film did try to look clever, but it tried in a particular way that is attributed to these sort of films, instead of 'hey look, I'm looking all meaningful and clever, in your face' kind of way, where you actually knew that it was pretending to be clever. In the meantime, despite some of these flaws, which you could perhaps think are significant, didn't stop it being one of the greatest films of all time. The pros majorly outweighed the cons, but what was the best attributes to this film was the mind-blowing acting of Christian Bale, where, despite being THE main character, didn't take first position in screen-time. He let other people have a chance, and director Christopher Nolan certainly helped create this film to be so breath-taking in personality as well as looks. Expand
  5. Sep 22, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What impressed me the most about The Dark Knight (yes, I mean the previous film) was that it brought some very deep ideas into play, namely morality, but also chaos, motive, madness, monstrosity, and resilience. All are absolutely brilliant in the film. And so, The Dark Knight Rises falls (haha) a little short to me, because it is mainly just a story. I will concede that the film very effectively addresses the fall of an icon and its subsequent return, the heavy toll paid by a hero and his loved ones, and, most of all, faith. All of these elements of the film are exceptionally well done. Christopher Nolan has not yet lost his power to guide, appal, and uplift an audience.

    But it is, after all, mainly just a story. It feels like a long 2 hours and 44 minutes, winding through layers of plot to reach an inevitable conclusion. It is a very good story, of course, but it feels as though, in his haste to get it all out, Nolan overlooked the important details. He forgot his strong characters, already thoroughly developed by the previous two films, but falling short here. He forgot the brilliant, anarchic pulse that drives The Dark Knight to make it one of the most captivating films ever. And he welcomed Hollywood. He welcomed meaningless action and cheesy one-liners, while tossing aside the realism that made the first two films so unique as superhero flicks.

    The film begins, as The Dark Knight also did, by introducing its villain. Bane's reputation is very quickly established by nothing more than a few comments and glances, which is incredibly efficient. However, Bane's entrance in TDKR does not wholly compare to the Joker's in TDK. The skillful mastermind that is Bane is not truly made evident to me until later in the film. While Hardy's performance in this scene, and the rest of the film, is great, the series of events just do not stack up to the Joker's brilliant (and totally original) bank robbery. The opening scene in TDKR gives me enough a sense of how terrifying Bane is, but it does not adequately display his genius.

    As the film moves on from Bane, it introduces quite a few brand new characters, most notably Miranda Tate, John Blake, Selina Kyle, and Deputy Commissioner Foley. This is too many new characters. Of these, only Selina Kyle is sufficiently developed, with Blake a close second, though I feel he could have used a lot more development. These characters end up using a lot of screen time for the sole purpose of plot advancement. They steal the screen from Batman, Alfred, and Bane, and they do not accomplish a whole lot in return.

    But let's talk about some good stuff. In this film, we see Bruce Wayne brought all the way down from his high point in The Dark Knight. He is completely broken from the start. We get the sense that he wants to face Bane just so he can end his own misery, and the thought tears Alfred to pieces. We also see Bruce broken even further from this point, which is disheartening, until he finally rises from it all the splendid hero that he deserves to be. The ups and downs are very powerful. There is a broad theme of faith throughout the film:

    The common man has faith that the Batman will rise again in a time of dire need. The children of Gotham have heard legends, and their world has darkened since his departure, so they long to see him return. John Blake draws a chalk bat wherever he goes. He's tyring to keep the idea alive - after all, Batman is not a man but an idea, as we have been told time and time again since Batman Begins.

    Alfred sees his own faith torn to pieces - faith that he once held in both himself and Bruce, and the power of an ideal. This is the most powerful part of the movie, emotionally. Michael Caine's performance is amazing; he is so, so heartbroken. He considers it a personal failure to have Bruce feeling so alone and miserable.

    And Bruce Wayne, once so confident in his symbol and his gadgets, finds himself utterly broken and shackled by fear, the very thing that he taught himself to manipulate in Batman Begins. He has truly come full circle, defeated by his own alter ego.

    But despite Bruce Wayne's defeat, it seems that the symbol itself is eternal. This movie, continuing the tradition of the previous two, exercises the idea that a hero can be anyone. That Batman is not the man, but the mask. I think it's a powerful idea, and the film executes it well. In fact, Christian Bale does not even have a lot of screen time (this is both good and bad, but good for now). The movie has quite a few unsung heroes.

    For a much more lengthy and in-depth review, see my blog at
  6. Jul 23, 2012
    The biggest problem with this film is the writing. The dialogue was rife with awkward exposition and a character that was completely comprisedThe biggest problem with this film is the writing. The dialogue was rife with awkward exposition and a character that was completely comprised of one-liners. Despite this, one gets the feeling that the actors delivered their lines with as much conviction as they could and performances were solid all around (Bale, Levitt and Cotillard are consistent performers), with Tom Hardy's Bane being the highlight. The notable exception is Anne Hathaway, who was gratingly cheesy as Catwoman, and her performance just didn't fit the tone of the movie at all. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were sorely underutilized. Too many characters keep us from getting to know any of them well. The movie would have been better if it focused on developing fewer to a greater extent. Okay, so it's not Shakespeare and the dialogue isn't of paramount importance, but much of the action felt a little lazy and uninteresting as well. The bar was set so high with Begins and TDK, and after the fanfare and buzz surrounding this film have died down, it will be viewed as the weakest of an otherwise solid trilogy. It's not to say this movie is all bad, there are definitely some compelling scenes that will deliver the goods to action and drama fans and you can tell that Nolan did have a grand vision with this epic, and though he falters at some places, there is visceral satisfaction where he succeeds. Expand
  7. May 20, 2015
    What a steaming POS movie. 3 hrs of drudgery with no payoff. Cliche ridden, boring lifeless characters, Waste of 3 hrs of my life. I'm notWhat a steaming POS movie. 3 hrs of drudgery with no payoff. Cliche ridden, boring lifeless characters, Waste of 3 hrs of my life. I'm not the biggest Batman fan, but Batman begins was good, Dark night was so so, and this one was awful. Someone should have just shot Bane in the head. End of story.

    Cute that they used Pittsburgh and NY as skylines. So many things wrong with this movie, I don't know where to begin. The other 0 ratings are spot on, so I won't repeat the plot holes and absurdity.

See all 816 User Reviews


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