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.

Comments

filmmaniac123

Aakash Kumar

Hey that's a good score. Even if it got a 40 I'd be excited to see it!

Jul 19 - 04:46 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

ROFL!! But still, I'm glad that it got positive reviews.

Jul 19 - 05:59 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

Great movie, anyone familiar with this series (basically everyone who likes movies) needs to check this out!

Jul 21 - 10:41 AM

Arthur Vascherault

Arthur Vascherault

This is the Bane from the Knightfall story arc. Truly menacing and unstoppable power, with the mind of a war strategic. I love how they tied that character so close to that storyline, yet breathed this entire new storyline into the movie so you could be like "Oh my god, they DID GO THROUGH with it!" and then five minutes later, totally surprised at something else. The only thing that sucked for me, honestly, is that this is his last... Or so he says (I still think it could be a marketing ploy for sales for this one, even if unnecessary lol).

Jul 23 - 10:37 AM

Alec Low

Alec Low

The hero flicks have been very satisfying this year. Avengers and Spidey were good so I bet DKR will be good too.

Jul 21 - 11:32 AM

A Wise M.

A Wise Man

It will be better. If you think That joke of a remake Spiderteen was good then TDR will blow your mind.

Jul 21 - 05:31 PM

Mr. Dufresne

Chip McNair

The Amazing Spider-Man was awesome. The Dark Knight Rises is also awesome.

Jul 23 - 12:17 AM

Dean Wirth

Dean Wirth

Spiderman is more interesting than Batman in my opinion, the character is more human and there is humor as well as action. The new Batman can't top the 2nd one with Heath Ledger, that was and always will be the definitive Batman.

Jul 23 - 04:45 AM

ap sirius

karl anderson

I agree mate.....TDKR is good but the Dark Knight is elevated by Heath Ledgers performance..... Hard to top #2 but they gave it a good try

Jul 23 - 03:41 PM

Mukesh Singh

Mukesh Singh

the dark night rises is better then both...a masterpiece..

Jul 23 - 11:41 AM

Dean Mitchell

Dean Mitchell

A master piece? have you lost your mind? a good end to the best superhero trilogy to date, but this is no masterpiece. Way to many plot problems and faults, and is Nolan's worse film.

Jul 24 - 02:02 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

No, the Dark Knight Rises was a terrible end to the trilogy. Before i am flamed though i am going to write up my rant and the problems the movie had. then i will accept flaming.

Jul 25 - 04:05 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

My rant is posted here:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/user/909106/reviews/

Flame Away!

Jul 25 - 06:57 AM

Kirbyderby

A E

I agree (with Mukesh Singh, I mean).

Aug 7 - 12:24 PM

THGhost

THGhost .

You can't expect a villain like Bane to match Heath Ledger's Joker, or any Joker for that matter. That'd be like (sorry for the comparison, DC fans) trying to compare Spider-Man's Rhino with Doc Ock, it just can't be done.

Jul 19 - 04:55 PM

Kyle VanderHeyden

Kyle VanderHeyden

rhino to doc ock? are you implying that bane is just a muscle bound idiot like the rhino (except in flowers for the rhino)

Jul 19 - 06:02 PM

This comment has been removed.

Chris Kaufman

Chris Kaufman

Yes, SECRET SIX made Bane a better literary character, but whatever changes DC did to the JOKER after TDK, you'll see the same with BANE, who will now join the venomous and brutal A listers in rogue pulp history. pun intended.

Jul 20 - 03:26 PM

Bay is .001 Nolan

Bay is .001 Nolan

Ohhh

Jul 21 - 06:54 PM

Mitchell Adams

Mitchell Adams

I was skeptical about the finale using Bane as the villain, because in my opinion it's not the most climatic adversary. but the writing made him seem like a terrifying villain, maybe not as psychological, but defiantly brutal. Even though this movie wasn't perfect. i don't think i, or anyone could have done a better job.

Jul 22 - 12:52 AM

Craig Storey

Craig Storey

Wait until you see Bane in action until you judge. I thought he was even more menacing the the Joker. Tom Hardy did an awesome job for sure

Jul 22 - 07:33 PM

Matthew Ekstrom

Matthew Ekstrom

I'm seeing this in IMAX tomorrow. Can't wait!

Jul 19 - 04:59 PM

Michael Pickhardt

Michael Pickhardt

I hate that one of the biggest complaints was that it wasn't as good as the dark knight. Come on! every rotten review complained about that. THATS NOT A REASON TO GiVE IT A BAD REVIEW!!!! a lot of the positive review said that it was a fitting conclusion, so I'm going to take their word for it and not be disappointed because it not better than TDK.

Jul 19 - 05:01 PM

Luke Vader

Luke Vader

I agree. It's not reasonable to expect it to be as good as The Dark Knight, which is one of the best movies of all-time. My hope is that it's better than the excellent Batman Begins and at least somewhat comparable to The Dark Knight. I would be satisfied with that.

Jul 20 - 05:52 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

Expectations my friend. when they are not met, some people are disappointed. Look at the negative reviews for Brave, it is the same idea. It may not be fair, but it is reality.

Jul 20 - 06:10 AM

Merlin235

Merlin Ambrosius

People review movies based on whatever they feel like. It's totally subjective. Gotta get used to it. Heck, Ebert once said he reviews a movie based on his feelings. Which is great, unless you happen to see a movie while in a bad mood, or maybe you just got engaged, etc.

Jul 20 - 09:21 AM

Travis Touchdown

Travis Touchdown

Well the negative reviews also say the film has a muddled plot and too many characters. Even positive reviews bring those points up. From the majority of reviews it seems like TDKR is a good conclusion to a trilogy, but it's no Return of the King.

Jul 20 - 10:50 AM

Kevin Hullett

Kevin Hullett

The Two Towers was the best LOTR in my opinion but that doesn't hinder the fact Return of the King was amazing. Same with this series. It goes TDK, TDKR, Begins.

Jul 20 - 01:32 PM

Travis Touchdown

Travis Touchdown

The thing about LOTR is that everyone has their favorites. It's funny because my list would go: Fellowship, Return, then Two Towers. I thought Two Towers was the slowest in the trilogy. All three films are great though, but if I were to make a list that's what it would be. With Nolan's Batman franchise TDK is widely regarded as the best in the trilogy. For LOTR, each film in the trilogy is about equal and it really comes down to personal opinion about which film is the best, instead of there being one standout film.

Jul 20 - 03:19 PM

Leo Monteiro

Leo Monteiro

the two towers was by far the worst LOTR movie, deviated from the book greatly and had some silly scenes that didnt add to the story at all.

Jul 22 - 07:50 PM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

Have to agree that the Two Towers was the weakest.

Jul 23 - 03:59 PM

Luvagoo

Tallulah Robinson

I agree it's not quite as good as TDK but that's an honest opinion; I didn't have high expectations for the TDKR or anything.

But it's not because the plot was muddles or too many characters...how are they complaints? It was no more complicated than TDK (decidedly less so, really) and only like 5 main characters, if that...

Aug 7 - 05:49 AM

Will J.

Will Jones

I'll come right out and say it, this is on par if not better than Dark Knight. Nolan has outdone himself.

Jul 20 - 05:31 PM

John Adams

John Adams

I agree with that after seeing it I have to say it's better to judge it as a conclusion to a trilogy. On that end it's mission accomplished.

Jul 21 - 04:33 PM

Bradley J.

Bradley J

Excited to see TDKR at midnight tonight!! Wish the score was a bit better but still impressive.

Jul 19 - 05:05 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I agree with you about the score. I was worried when I first heard that James Newton Howard wouldn't be working on the score again with Hans Zimmer, as he had on the previous two Batman movies. They really brought the right sounds to those previous scores. The new score really feels like half a score. It's missing Newton Howard, who did a good score for the Snow White/Huntsman movie.

Jul 19 - 06:11 PM

Bradley J.

Bradley J

Really well that is disappointing. The score in a movie really impacts my mood of the film so I'm hoping it'll still be good.

Jul 19 - 06:20 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Bradley J., you were actually referring to the Tomato rating score, weren't you? I guess I had the music on my mind when you said score. :)

Jul 21 - 01:58 PM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

I am kinda bummed to hear about the score, that was a highlight of mine in TDK

Jul 19 - 08:23 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

During at least two moments in the movie, the music was so loud in the audio mix that I could barely tell what characters were saying.
Besides some of the already-heard themes from the previous movie, there just wasn't much in the way of the new music that hit me the way certain themes did in both Batman Begins and Dark Knight. Almost all the themes from Begins (particularly the melancholy ballads, the Tumbler theme and Scarecrow's theme) and numerous ones from Dark Knight (including Joker's creepy/disturbing theme, and the music when Batman is making his way up the skyscraper to get to the Joker) were great.
Nothing new here in TDKR is as good as those.

Jul 21 - 02:03 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in missing James Newton Howard. Zimmer is a great composer, but his score for TDKR was overbearing at times. JNH brought a kind of balance to the hard edges of Zimmer. I don't know exactly who wrote which pieces of music, but I always assumed JNH handled the softer melodies, which he brilliant at. TDKR didn't require a lot of softer moments musically so it perhaps made more sense to just go with Zimmer. I think something was lost, however.

Jul 23 - 03:23 PM

shadypotential

Chris Cox

glad TDKR is a great movie


no one wants it to top TDK. just want it to be a great movie and send off of a fantastic trilogy

Jul 19 - 05:09 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Anybody heard of any good movies lately?

I have no idea when there will be an IMAX seat available. I may just go to a regular show, and probably during the week.

I thought "Hara-Kiri" came out last year, but that explains why I haven't been able to find it. Wasn't "Salute" listed last week? Who the hell wants to see the "Real Housewife of Versailles"? Bah. Who has money on a riot at at least one Batman showing? I got a 10 note on 3 trampled in Anaheim, Reseda, or Fresno Cali, with another 5 on a stabbing in East Orange New Jersey. Any takers for Miami/Tampa?

Jul 19 - 05:09 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

I got 5 on a housewives stampede in Versailles based on your comments.

Jul 19 - 05:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Jesus Christ, America, don't you know how to take a joke? Thanks a lot, idiots, for making me the asshole.

Jul 20 - 05:03 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm pulling my comment at the end of the day. It's just not funny anymore. I'll leave it for a while just to say that anyone who wants to blame "fanboys", or movie violence, or even society itself are all a bunch of morons. This was an evil, sick sonofabitch who hopefully will get everything he's got coming to him. Let's not inflate the responsibility beyond that.

Jul 20 - 06:40 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

I just don't understand people. That's just plain fucked up.

Don't be hard on yourself, dude. No one could have seen this coming.

Jul 20 - 07:07 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

You're right. I'll leave it up just to share this front and center on the thread.

"Even as we learn how this happened, and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes someone to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living.

And if there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another."

- Barack "the real goddamn Batman" Obama

Jul 20 - 08:06 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

You Are A Prophet Janson J. . . . 12 DEAD AT BATMAN SHOWING!!!!! MORE KILLINGS? (no doubt based on the current trend of "Violence in America"); /// (We remember Sage Stallone.)

Jul 20 - 03:25 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I doubt it.

Jul 20 - 04:56 PM

Stephen Palmer

Stephen Palmer

Whats with all the negative reviews complaining its too grim, gloomy, dark, and I swear one review even went as far as saying "it lacks humor"!!!! Are you serious look I get it, your critics and you want to make a name for yourself, while everyone else is singing its praises you few have to be trendy and unique and say "well i didn't find it as good as The Dark Knight...Really I haven't seen one legitimate bad review...This isn't spider man or avengers it isn't your son or daughters super hero movie this a tale of Heroism when being the hero makes you the villain, its going to get dark and grim. Christopher Nolan has done for Comic book movies what Graphic novels did for comic books completely re-established the genre as an legitimate medium of morality and depravity don't let theses embellished reviews deter you WATCH it!!!

Jul 19 - 05:23 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Right, they wanted Marvel cheese and jokes and airiness, and unicorns and rainbows. Avengers is good for what it was, but I think Nolan's gritty and dark Batman tops the cartoonish PoW BAM BOOM of other superhero adaptions.

Jul 19 - 09:11 PM

Luke Vader

Luke Vader

The Avengers is great but there's no reason to expect The Dark Knight Rises to be like that. Nolan's take on Batman is more serious and that's fine with me. I'm glad there's some variety in style and tone among the superhero movies.

Jul 20 - 05:56 AM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

Pathetic you are. A movie does not have to be utterly suicidally depressed like Dark Knight in order for it to be serious. If you actually watched Avengers you would know that it is a very serious movie but instead of using drama to show it the movie uses amazing acting, emotions, etc. Avengers is very much a serious movie it just decided to have some humor in it instead of being a wrist cutting exercise. You literally know nothing about any of the movies

Jul 20 - 08:29 AM

sanio s.

sanio stan

lmao. you know nothing about movies, do you? i guess your all time favorites are all comedies.

Jul 20 - 01:09 PM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

Lol you have serious issues sanio. I guess your favorite movies are all depressing as hell since in your pathetic mind you think that the only way to be serious is to be depressing. You know nothing about movies

Jul 20 - 04:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Dark Knight" is hardly suicidally depressed.

Jul 20 - 04:57 PM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

It really is...unless you think an ending where the hero loses his best friend and crush, loses his happy future, loses the man who cleaned up the street, got seriously injured, let the villian win, and ending up as a criminal is happy...

Jul 20 - 05:35 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

So for you there's no middle ground between "happy" and "suicidal depression"? I think they have medication for that.

Jul 20 - 06:18 PM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

Jensen there is a middle, but TDK and TDKR are far from that middle ground.

Jul 20 - 07:20 PM

sanio s.

sanio stan

well i have a healthy mix of both comedies and serious movies in my top ten list. but i seriously doubt yours.

Jul 21 - 05:22 AM

Eric Gyasi

Eric Gyasi

i need your mobile number or mail address

Jul 21 - 08:06 AM

Ranajoy Gupta

Ranajoy Gupta

You are absolutely right and I second you. With Nolan it's all psychic and it embellishes you with the sheer feel of the story. By far this has been Nolan's one of the best.....The Dark Knight Rises is all about a superhero movie without a so called "superhero"

Jul 20 - 06:18 AM

chrissyoung

Chris Young

Love the comics-graphic novels comparision. When it comes to comic book movies, as in comics, it's great to see different creators take on the characters, themes and storylines. It keeps it fresh and interesting. From Burton to Schumacher to Nolan--they were all entertaining. Comes down to the kind of movies you enjoy and the mood you're in. Will be interesting to see who picks up the Batman mantle next.

Jul 20 - 06:56 PM

Marijon Benedict

Marijon Benedict

Or maybe their opinions differed from the people who praised the movie. I'd worry about a movie that gets ALL good reviews. The only way to please everyone is to safe. A movie that takes risks will displease someone. That's a good sign, not a bad one, and people who don't like it shouldn't be discouraged from saying so.

Jul 21 - 10:50 AM

Maurizio Chiappetta

Maurizio Chiappetta

It's an insult to the first two movies. The philosophies surrounding this Batman series between the lessons he was taught by Raz in part 1 and the Joker in part 2 makes part3 non-sensical. And for all the work they did to try and make this seem realistice-no effort was made in this movie. It's like they were just wrapping it up and getting the f out. You can't be a recluse on a cane and go out and kick ass pick someone made you a majiggy for your bummed knee. NO! You cannot utter the words "your vertabrae is protruding" and punch it back in to fix it. It's not a dent in a car. Anyways, I can go on and on. I've seen the first 2, 9x in the theatres and god knows how many times on dvd. This one hear=I want my money back.

Jul 21 - 12:48 PM

Nathan Friend

Nathan Friend

dumbass

Jul 22 - 02:44 PM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

FINALLY HERE! I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS! WATCHING THE PREMIERE!!!

Jul 19 - 05:25 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Lucky dog. Going Saturday at noon.

Jul 19 - 09:12 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

I got 5 on a housewives stampede in Versailles based on your comments.

Jul 19 - 05:26 PM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

First of all I would like to say to all of the commentators that were giving death threats to critics who disliked the movies that they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Dark Knight featured one of the best examples of acting that I have ever seen in a movie through Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. Tom Hardy's Bane in comparison seems rather flat and one dimensional, although it is nice that he is an actual threat and not some lacky like he was in Batman Forever. Because of this I strongly suspected that the Dark Knight Rises would have a lower RT score than The Dark Knight, and I was right. It's also interesting that most negative reviews (as well as more than a few positive ones) mentioned that the movie is overly long and has too many major characters. I guess Nolan may have overdone some of the elements of the film to meet a satisfying conclusion to his Batman trilogy, but even through this film is a solid B rather than a Solid A the previous film is, I and millions of others will still enjoy it alot.

In terms of Box Office, I didn't anticipate that the film would get this much hype on the week of release. Because of it, there is an excellent chance that this film will beat the opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 $170 million. I don't think it will beat Avenger's $207 million weekend because of the lack of 3D prices and the fact that TDKR seems to be generating a lot more interest in men than women unlike the more even split for Avengers. I would say that $195 million would be the most this film will make in the opening weekend in the USA and Canada, which would still be astounding for a 2-D film. If TDKR did make that much, then it would mean that it sold more tickets than Avengers by a substantial margin.

Jul 19 - 05:36 PM

Rebeccachu Elizabeth C.

Rebecca Clark

ROFL!! But still, I'm glad that it got positive reviews.

Jul 19 - 05:59 PM

Kyle VanderHeyden

Kyle VanderHeyden

rhino to doc ock? are you implying that bane is just a muscle bound idiot like the rhino (except in flowers for the rhino)

Jul 19 - 06:02 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

That's a good RT score! Even that boring movie critic from the Associated Press can't even say a damn word on why she doesn't like The Dark Knight Rises. I know it can't match and compare the styles of the Oscar-winning 2nd Dark Knight (R.I.P. Heath Ledger), but I hope it could become another box office hit behind The Avengers.

Jul 19 - 06:05 PM

Rodschach

Rod Guzman

Well 7% less than TDK doesn't mean is worse, of course I was hoping TDKR match or surpass its predecessor but at least I can be happy to see that Chris Nolan created the best superhero trilogy....oh sorry the ONLY superhero trilogy that doesn't suck at the third movie.

Jul 19 - 06:10 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I agree with you about the score. I was worried when I first heard that James Newton Howard wouldn't be working on the score again with Hans Zimmer, as he had on the previous two Batman movies. They really brought the right sounds to those previous scores. The new score really feels like half a score. It's missing Newton Howard, who did a good score for the Snow White/Huntsman movie.

Jul 19 - 06:11 PM

Bradley J.

Bradley J

Really well that is disappointing. The score in a movie really impacts my mood of the film so I'm hoping it'll still be good.

Jul 19 - 06:20 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

Bradley J., you were actually referring to the Tomato rating score, weren't you? I guess I had the music on my mind when you said score. :)

Jul 21 - 01:58 PM

Andrew Kruzel

Andrew Kruzel

I am kinda bummed to hear about the score, that was a highlight of mine in TDK

Jul 19 - 08:23 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

During at least two moments in the movie, the music was so loud in the audio mix that I could barely tell what characters were saying.
Besides some of the already-heard themes from the previous movie, there just wasn't much in the way of the new music that hit me the way certain themes did in both Batman Begins and Dark Knight. Almost all the themes from Begins (particularly the melancholy ballads, the Tumbler theme and Scarecrow's theme) and numerous ones from Dark Knight (including Joker's creepy/disturbing theme, and the music when Batman is making his way up the skyscraper to get to the Joker) were great.
Nothing new here in TDKR is as good as those.

Jul 21 - 02:03 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in missing James Newton Howard. Zimmer is a great composer, but his score for TDKR was overbearing at times. JNH brought a kind of balance to the hard edges of Zimmer. I don't know exactly who wrote which pieces of music, but I always assumed JNH handled the softer melodies, which he brilliant at. TDKR didn't require a lot of softer moments musically so it perhaps made more sense to just go with Zimmer. I think something was lost, however.

Jul 23 - 03:23 PM

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Transcendence is a Sci-Fi Snooze

Total Recall
Total Recall

Johnny Depp's Best Movies

Highlights
Highlights

Picture gallery of stoners in film

Good Friday
Good Friday

50 movie posters gallery

Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile