Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises Is Certified Fresh

Christopher Nolan's final Batman film is sprawling, ambitious, and emotionally satisfying.

We've only got one new wide release in theaters this week, but it's one of the most hotly-anticipated movies of the summer: The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Tom Hardy What do the critics have to say?

The Dark Knight Rises

88%

With Batman Begins and (especially) The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan imbued the Batman mythos with a unique blend of visceral thrills, intelligence, and realism. His Batman trilogy concludes with The Dark Knight Rises, and the critics say the result is a sprawling, ambitious, emotionally satisfying film with a pulse-pounding climax that (mostly) justifies its epic runtime. With Batman (Christian Bale) in self-imposed exile after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's criminal activity, a couple of costumed criminals have run rampant in Gotham City: the stealthy cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and the muscle-bound terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy). Can the Caped Crusader overcome his personal demons and save the day? The pundits say that while the Certified Fresh The Dark Knight Rises doesn't match its predecessor's brilliance, it's visually masterful and breathlessly exciting -- a fitting sendoff to a series that brought comic book movies to new heights. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we take a closer look at the Caped Crusader's big-screen adventures, as well as our Batman watching series.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Salute, a documentary about the politics surrounding the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, is at 100 percent.
  • The Well Digger's Daughter, a drama about a laborer in Provence whose child has an affair with a wealthy man on the eve of World War I, is at 93 percent.
  • The Queen of Versailles, a doc about how a billionaire family is affected by the economic recession, is at 90 percent.
  • Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, a drama about an impoverished warrior who confronts a feudal lord with his plan to commit ritual suicide, is at 81 percent.
  • 30 Beats, starring Paz de la Huerta and Jennifer Tilly in a comedy about a group of New Yorkers' romantic entanglements in the midst of a heat wave, is at zero percent.

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