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The second film in Christopher Nolan's Batman film trilogy released in 2008.

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The Dark Knight

  • May 2, 2011
  • by
If you can tell by my profile picture, I really like this movie. It's the best Batman movie and arguably the best comic-book movie ever made. I have great affections for the 1989 original Batman movie, and if we didn't have to rate in multiples of 10 I would give it a 97. However, I would give The Dark Knight a 99 because it's almost a perfect movie, but not quite. Regardless, it is a wholely entertaining action picture and a richly intense, thrilling crime saga. Filled with intense performances, great action, and one scene-stealing villain, The Dark Knight is a must-see.

The difference with this movie and other Batman movies (namely the Schumacher films) was that it didn't try and pander to kids. The Schumacher films were definitely much more family-friendly, whereas The Dark Knight is a movie strictly for adults. Plus, even adults who aren't into comic book movies can find something they like about The Dark Knight, because it's more than just a comic book movie. The movie follows Batman dealing with organized crime in the streets of Gotham. The people he has to battle are the new District Attorney (Aaron Eckhart) and of course, The Joker (Heath Ledger). The movie soon spins into a thrill ride about an hour in with the addition of Two-Face and the ramifications of Batman and how much danger the Caped Crusader is causing the city.

For a crime movie, I was kind of shocked about how well-written this movie is, which actually doesn't always work in the film's favour, hence my giving it a 99. That was the one problem I had with the movie. Sometimes the characters overanalyze things and sometimes it seems more like a character study than an actual movie. However, despite the dialogue problems, there were many greater things happening in the movie. The only other problem was that in the third act, the pacing got a little too fast and it was hard to keep up with. That's not so much a problem, and again, the good things overshadow the one problem that I had with the movie.

The film features some spectacular performances, and the mostly male ensemble cast was fantastic. Fun fact, this is the fifth time I've seen this movie and the only time I noticed Sam Rockwell's cameo at the beginning. Christian Bale was only okay as Batman, and of course that Batman voice makes him sound like he just smoked a pack of cigarettes. Michael Keaton was better, but he was still okay. He has a lot to play through in both this and Batman Begins, and I respect him greatly for that. The rest of the supporting characters, like Maggie Gyllenhaal as the one good movie Rachel, Morgan Freeman as Lucius, and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon were terrific. I have sung the praises of Gary Oldman in every movie I've seen him in, and this movie is no exception. The only other supporting performance that I feel the need to mention is Michael Caine as Alfred, who maintains a sense of kindness and fatherly caring towards Bruce, seeing as he was much more of a father to Bruce than Bruce's actual father.

However, like No Country for Old Men, the reason this movie transcends into greatness is the villains. More than a few eyebrows were raised (my own included) when it was revealed that Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker. However, everyone was taken aback by just how spectacular he was as the best Batman villain in existence. We don't know anything about him, and the creepiness of the character is partially because of the element of mystery. Not knowing his motivation or whether he was just born bad makes him all the more terrifying. Speaking of terrifying, one of my main pet peeves is when people compare Heath and Jack Nicholson as Jokers. You can't compare Jack and Heath, because they both play the same character differently. In the 1989 Batman, Jack played the Joker much more creepy. However, Heath plays the Joker much more...terrifying. Anyway, any line that came out of Heath's mouth was pure gold and his Academy Award-winning performance was what elevated the movie into greatness. Aaron Eckhart was good as well as Two-Face, but he was overshadowed by The Joker and he's not in the movie that long. I fin Eckhart to be a generally underrated actor, and he did give a good performance. However, nobody was as good as Heath and it was Heath that made this movie great.

Christopher Nolan is a terrific director, even though I am not well-versed in his works, and everything he's done has been a critical and commercial success. The visuals and cinematography are fantastic, and every building in Gotham City had a certain feel to it that deserved the Oscar it won. The art direction was also superb, as per Christopher Nolan's usual standard. I only have one other thing to say before I wrap this up. This film was robbed of a Best Picture nomination. In fact, I am one of the opinion that once this didn't get a nomination, the Academy changed the rules.

If you are one of the few people who has yet to see this movie, I strongly encourage you to rent it or buy it now. In fact, this is one of the DVDs I regret not owning, as well as Nolan's other masterpiece, Inception. Steady writing and direction, great acting from everyone involved, and stunning visuals make for a stunning comic book movie and one of the single best movies ever made. All in all, this is a fantastic movie, although some of the violence (like Two-Face's face) may be somewhat jarring. So in short, a simply unforgettable movie. See it.

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More The Dark Knight reviews
review by . July 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    In "Batman Begins", Christopher Nolan brought an entirely new vision - a much darker vision - of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) to the screen. We witnessed his origins and his even further beginnings as a crime fighter for the scum-infested city of Gotham. The same motive has driven the Batman to keep on fighting for the city all the way into this next chapter of the Caped Crusader's legacy. "The Dark Knight" begins with a heist involving the psychopath donning …
review by . November 29, 2010
This is one of the best comic book movies ever made. I like the 1989 Batman film better and I always will, but I can't really compare the two because this is great in its own way and will go down as its own creation, and defnitely as a great one.      This is a comic book movie for everyone, and marketing to children had little to nothing to do with anything. This is a movie strictly for adults, and even people who don't like comic book movies can find something they …
review by . March 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I love it when a filmmaker takes a well-known character and gives him a reinventing makeover. Director Martin Campbell found success twice giving James Bond the badly-needed breath of new life, first in Goldeneye and again in 2005's outstanding Casino Royale. It was also in 2005 that Christopher Nolan, best known for his cult indie film Memento, accomplished this same feat with Batman. Batman needed it. I admit I've always been fascinated with the Caped Crusader. But the movies tore him from his …
review by . February 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Christopher Nolan Does it again
Where do i begin to talk about The Dark Knight, I'll start at Batman Begins. When I first saw the trailer for this movie I said "great another sequel thats gonna be terrible cause they all are" The Dark Knight is more than just a sequel to Batman Begins its one of the greatest movies Ive watched in years. This movie is bigger and better in every possible way than every other batman flick combined. When the critics say "you will be Wowed" dont take it lightly cause you will be. The Dark knights plot …
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie was by far the best batman movie that has been made yet. The acting was really good on all points but Heath Ledger totally took center stage as the joker. Everything from his facial expressions to his voice and the way he moved was absolutely perfect! I was also surprisingly impressed with the costumes. The joker costume was perfect, it really looked more like the costume from the comic books than previous jokers did. And the batsuit was actually kind of sexy looking, it lacked the hard …
review by . July 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The Batman franchise got off to a great start in the 1980's when Tim Burton directed the first film.  Despite upsetting comicbook fans and pleasing other comic book fans at the same time, the movie was a monumental success.  Unfortunately problems arose afterwards.  While Batman Returns was not a flop by any means it was a lot darker and sexualized.  So much so that Warner Bros. gave Tim Burton the boot because they wanted a more kid friendly Batman.  See, at this time, …
review by . December 20, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Rarely has a film left me speechless, much less a comic book inspired film. Christopher Nolan's rendition of the DC comic character has. "THE DARK KNIGHT" may well be the best comic book film I have ever seen. Christopher Nolan, along with Jonathan Nolan has crafted a screenplay of nearly unbelievable proportions. The duo has taken the "Batman" mythos and has turned it into their own; what results is a film that captures the essence of the comic book and combines it to a …
review by . September 12, 2008
Finally, after what seems like an eternity of buzz, waiting, hype, and tragedy, what could easily be the biggest movie of 2008 is upon us: Christopher Nolan's second installment in his re-imagining of DC Comics' Batman, The Dark Knight. Does this mammoth two-and-a-half-hour superhero magnum opus live up to expectations? The simple answer is yes. With The Dark Knight Nolan has crafted what may be the greatest superhero film to date. In a summer where Marvel blew the doors wide open with the …
review by . December 19, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Batman takes flight...
Three years have passed since audiences thrilled to the exploits of the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins and now writer/director Christopher Nolan (Insomnia and The Prestige) brings us the second chapter in the unfolding Batman saga. Rather than creating a sequel that relies entirely on action, Nolan has decided to go another route. The Dark Knight is even more intense, violent and psychologically complex than its predecessor.             …
review by . August 29, 2009
The Dark Knight
By now, The Dark Knight is known to be the best of the best when it comes to super hero movies as well as Heath Ledger's final Oscar winning performance.  What some people fail to realize about Christopher Nolan's masterpiece is that it is also the best crime drama of the decade.  Forget that Batman is in this movie for a second.  Without him you have a movie that focuses on the Mob, dirty cops, inner city politics and a mad man watching all of this unravel as he adds his own breed …
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About this movie


The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins. Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against his arch-nemesis the Joker and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent. For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The director used an IMAX camera to film six major action sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. The Batsuit was redesigned, with a cowl allowing Bale to move his head.

The film was released on July 18, 2008 in North America, and on July 21, 2008 in the United Kingdom. During its opening weekend, the movie brought in over $155 million, breaking nearly every box office record.
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Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Release Date: July 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
Runtime: 152 minutes
Studio: Syncopy Films, Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Studios
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