Reviews - The Dark Knight (2008)
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The Dark Knight (2008)

Country: USA, UK

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

Taglines: Welcome to a world without rules.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Bob Kane, ...

Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, ...

Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new district attorney Harvey Dent successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman's struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to "confront everything he believes" and improve his technology to stop him. A love triangle develops between Bruce Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes.

100 | Kenneth Turan

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.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

100 | Dana Stevens

Nolan turns the Manichean morality of comic books--pure good vs. pure evil--into a bleak post-9/11 allegory about how terror (and, make no mistake, Heath Ledger's Joker is a terrorist) breaks down those reassuring moral categories.
Read More: Slate

100 | Keith Phipps

The film's capes and cowls suggest one genre, but it's a metropolis-sized tragedy at heart.
Read More: The A.V. Club

100 | Justin Chang

Enthralling...An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.
Read More: Variety

100 | Kirk Honeycutt

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.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

100 | Richard Corliss

Beyond dark. It's as black -- and teeming and toxic -- as the mind of the Joker. "Batman Begins," the 2005 film that launched Nolan's series, was a mere five-finger exercise. This is the full symphony.
Read More: Time

100 | James Berardinelli

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."
Read More: ReelViews

100 | Scott Foundas

The Dark Knight will give your adrenal glands their desired workout, but it will occupy your mind, too, and even lead it down some dim alleyways where most Hollywood movies fear to tread.
Read More: Village Voice

100 | Joe Neumaier

Twisted, tortured, terrifying - and terrific.
Read More: New York Daily News

100 | Roger Ebert

"Batman" isn't a comic book anymore. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we come to care about. That's because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

100 | Michael Phillips

Sensational, grandly sinister and not for the kids, The Dark Knight elevates pulp to a very high level.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

100 | Mark Dinning

Ledger's performance is monumental, but The Dark Knight lives up to it. Nolan cements his position as Hollywood's premier purveyor of blockbuster smarts – and the Batbike is kinda cool, too.
Read More: Empire

100 | Sean Axmaker

With The Dark Knight, the cinematic superhero spectacle comes closest to becoming modern myth, a pulp tragedy with costumed players and elevated stakes and terrible sacrifices. It's the new gold standard for superhero noir.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

100 | Maitland McDonagh

That Ledger stands out in such a powerhouse ensemble is a tribute to his radically unhinged interpretation of a familiar character: The lank hair tinged seaweed green, the darting tongue and faint lisp that call constant attention to the ghastly rictus of his mouth, the nightmarishly smudged make up… taken together, they make previous Jokers feel like, well, jokes.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

100 | Claudia Puig

When was the last time you saw a blockbuster that was impeccably executed and simultaneously thought-provoking, audacious and unnerving while consistently being fun and entertaining?
Read More: USA Today

100 | Lawrence Toppman

succeeds as an action film, character study and metaphor for our own terrorism-obsessed time.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

95 | Bob Mondello

The real relationship here is between a Batman in existential crisis and a Joker who'd love to leap with him into the abyss -- tight-a--ed yin and anarchist yang in a fantasy franchise that Nolan has made as riveting for its psychological heft as for the adrenaline rushes it inspires at regular intervals.
Read More: NPR

91 | Peter Rainer

This comic-book movie is more disturbing, and has more freakish power, than anything else I've seen all year.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

91 | Owen Gleiberman

At two hours and 32 minutes, this is almost too much movie, but it has a malicious, careening zest all its own. It's a ride for the gut AND the brain.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

90 | Manohla Dargis

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.
Read More: The New York Times

90 | Pete Vonder Haar

The Dark Knight may not be a masterpiece, but it easily vaults to the top of any list of "best superhero movies."
Read More: Film Threat

88 | Peter Travers

No fair giving away the mysteries of The Dark Knight. It's enough to marvel at the way Nolan -- a world-class filmmaker, be it "Memento," "Insomnia" or "The Prestige" -- brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art.
Read More: Rolling Stone

88 | Rene Rodriguez

The Dark Knight is dark, all right: It's a luxurious nightmare disguised in a superhero costume, and it's proof that popcorn entertainments don't have to talk down to their audiences in order to satisfy them. The bar for comic-book film adaptations has been permanently raised.
Read More: Miami Herald

88 | Kyle Smith

The highest praise I can give a superhero movie is that it makes me forget about its 10-cent-comic-book soul.
Read More: New York Post

83 | Shawn Levy

Because make no mistake: The Dark Knight is many things, some of them deliriously fun, some of them deeply impressive, and some of them puzzling and frustrating. But most of all it is dark.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

80 | J.R. Jones

The moral dilemmas are perfectly fused with the amped-up action and outsize characters, but they're impossible to miss: like all of us, the people of Gotham have to protect themselves from evil without falling prey to it.
Read More: Chicago Reader

75 | Liam Lacey

Mixing bravura filmmaking with flat clichés in about equal amounts, The Dark Knight is all about dualism. Appropriately, the movie's half-inspired, half-frustrating.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

75 | Mick LaSalle

An action blockbuster extravaganza that's sadder than sad and never pretends otherwise.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

75 | Carrie Rickey

Shakespearean but overlong, The Dark Knight is two hours of heady, involving action that devolves into a mind-numbing 32-minute epilogue.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

75 | Ty Burr

You come away impressed, oppressed, provoked, and beaten down, holding on to Ledger's squirrelly incandescence as a beacon in the darkness.
Read More: Boston Globe

75 | Eric Kohn

Nolan's strong suits are maniacal schemers and moody character-driven intrigue, both of which make The Dark Knight a sleek (if, at close to three hours, somewhat distended) detective story.
Read More: Premiere

70 | David Ansen

You may emerge more exhausted than elated. Nolan wants to prove that a superhero movie needn't be disposable, effects-ridden junk food, and you have to admire his ambition. But this is Batman, not "Hamlet." Call me shallow, but I wish it were a little more fun.
Read More: Newsweek

70 | Stephen Hunter

You keep waiting for the movie to clarify, to settle down to its archetypal purity: icon of psychotic evil against icon of neurotic good. Music by Wagner in his "Götterdämmerung" mood, screenplay by Nietzsche, with additional lines by Babaloo Mandel. Oh, what a great big movie wallow, what a transformational blast of cine-pleasure. It never quite arrives
Read More: Washington Post

60 | Joe Morgenstern

Christopher Nolan's latest exploration of the Batman mythology steeps its muddled plot in so much murk that the Joker's maniacal nihilism comes to seem like a recurrent grace note.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

50 | Michael Sragow

A handsome, accomplished piece of work, but it drove me from absorption to excruciation within 20 minutes, and then it went on for two hours more.
Read More: Baltimore Sun

50 | David Edelstein

The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

50 | David Denby

The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
Read More: The New Yorker

50 | Marc Savlov

The only thing here that feels truly, utterly alive is Ledger's maniacal, muttery Joker. The last laugh is his and his alone. It's enough to make you cry.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

50 | Stephanie Zacharek

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.
Read More: Salon.com