Reviews - The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Country: USA, UK

Genres: Action, Thriller

Taglines: The Legend Ends

Director: Christopher Nolan

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

Stars: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, ...

Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent's crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane's plans to destroy the city.

100 | 2012-07-23 | Todd Gilchrist

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.
Read More: The Playlist

100 | 2012-07-19 | Joe Williams

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.
Read More: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

100 | 2012-07-18 | Andrew O'Hehir

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.
Read More:

100 | 2012-07-18 | Kenneth Turan

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.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

100 | 2012-07-18 | Rene Rodriguez

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.
Read More: Miami Herald

100 | 2012-07-18 | Lou Lumenick

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.
Read More: New York Post

100 | 2012-07-16 | Richard Corliss

"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.
Read More: Time

100 | 2012-07-16 | Nev Pierce

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.
Read More: Empire

100 | 2012-07-16 | Matthew Leyland

A smart, stirring spectacle that faces down impossible expectations to pull off a hugely satisfying end to business.
Read More: Total Film

100 | 2012-07-16 | Todd McCarthy

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.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

91 | 2012-07-18 | Scott Tobias

The miracle of Nolan's Batman trilogy is the way it imprints those myths with the dread-soaked tenor of the times.
Read More: The A.V. Club

90 | 2012-07-16 | Justin Chang

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.
Read More: Variety

88 | 2012-07-18 | Ty Burr

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).
Read More: Boston Globe

88 | 2012-07-17 | Brad Wheeler

It's not only packed with high-toned classical and contemporary cultural allusions, but manages to wear its popcorn inspirations on its sleeve.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

88 | 2012-07-17 | Ann Hornaday

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.
Read More: Washington Post

88 | 2012-07-17 | James Berardinelli

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.
Read More: ReelViews

88 | 2012-07-16 | Peter Travers

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.
Read More: Rolling Stone

85 | 2012-07-20 | Bob Mondello

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.
Read More: NPR

80 | 2012-07-18 | Manohla Dargis

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.
Read More: The New York Times

80 | 2012-07-17 | Joe Neumaier

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.
Read More: New York Daily News

80 | 2012-07-17 | Bill Goodykoontz

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.
Read More: Arizona Republic

80 | 2012-07-16 | Joe Morgenstern

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.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

80 | 2012-07-16 | Xan Brooks

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.
Read More: The Guardian

78 | 2012-07-19 | Marc Savlov

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.)
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | 2012-07-19 | Michelle Orange

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.
Read More: Movieline

75 | 2012-07-19 | Lawrence Toppman

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.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

75 | 2012-07-19 | Shawn Levy

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.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

75 | 2012-07-18 | Claudia Puig

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.
Read More: USA Today

75 | 2012-07-18 | Steven Rea

If you just give yourself over to Nolan's sweeping, symphonic Cowled Crusader saga, The Dark Knight Rises is, well, a blast.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

75 | 2012-07-18 | Nick Schager

Christopher Nolan's capper of his Batman trilogy is a summer blockbuster of grand inclinations in both form and content.
Read More: Slant Magazine

75 | 2012-07-17 | Roger Ebert

The film begins slowly with a murky plot and too many new characters, but builds to a sensational climax.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

75 | 2012-07-17 | Steve Persall

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?"
Read More: Tampa Bay Times

75 | 2012-07-17 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

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.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

75 | 2012-07-16 | Eric Kohn

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.
Read More: indieWIRE

70 | 2012-07-23 | Anthony Lane

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.
Read More: The New Yorker

70 | 2012-07-16 | Amy Nicholson

A fine film in a strong summer, but it lacks the spark that made its immediate predecessor a masterpiece.
Read More: Boxoffice Magazine

63 | 2012-07-17 | Michael Phillips

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.
Read More: Chicago Tribune

60 | 2012-07-18 | Mike Scott

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.
Read More: New Orleans Times-Picayune

60 | 2012-07-16 | David Fear

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.
Read More: Time Out New York

58 | 2012-07-20 | Peter Rainer

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.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

50 | 2012-07-18 | Mick LaSalle

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.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

40 | 2012-07-19 | Dana Stevens

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.
Read More: Slate

40 | 2012-07-17 | Nick Pinkerton

The Dark Knight Rises is a shallow repository of ideas, but as a work of sheer sensation, it has something to recommend.
Read More: Village Voice

30 | 2012-07-20 | J.R. Jones

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.
Read More: Chicago Reader

25 | 2012-07-18 | Rex Reed

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.
Read More: New York Observer