The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The Dark Knight is probably the smartest and most stylish action movie since the "The Matrix." It thinks and philosophizes. The subject it thinks and philosophizes about, perhaps not surprisingly, considering the times, is the Iraq war.
The film is so relentlessly bleak that, paradoxically, its blackness is not given its full due. But this comic-book movie is more disturbing, and has more freakish power, than anything else I've seen all year.
Where Batman Begins was largely about the considerable personal toll exacted by its hero's decision to fight back against the forces of evil while adhering to a code of honor, The Dark Knight expands those weighty themes to city scale.
This film is not only one of the year's best; it may well end up as the finest of 2008. At the very least, it deserves consideration for Best Picture and Best Director, along with the expected Oscar kudos for Ledger.
See this one on the biggest screen you can (IMAX, ideally), and experience both the magic of top-notch technical filmmaking and the bittersweet pleasure of watching a young actor, gone too soon, giving a performance that won't be forgotten.
Christopher Nolan wanted to make an action movie that was different from other action movies -- darker, more twisted, more despairing, more bleak -- and he has mostly succeeded in this latest Batman installment. He can thank Ledger for a lot of that.
This is not merely a Batman movie. It is not merely a comic-book movie. It is not merely gripping summer entertainment. It is, with Wall-E, one of the two best mainstream films to be released all year and far and away the most hypnotic chiller.
To see it is to understand that Nolan and his co-writer brother Jonathan saw a chance to go deeper into familiar characters and mythology, a chance to meditate on darker-than-usual themes that have implications for the way we live now.
The Dark Knight [sounds] like heavy stuff -- and it is. But I should add that Nolan also delivers the kick-ass goods, from an opening bank heist a la Michael Mann to a climactic episode of vehicular mayhem a la William Friedkin.
Nolan paints an inky portrait of a city falling apart, and in a movie rife with two-faced masquerading freaks, the Joker is merely the least conflicted of the bunch. Ledger's work is improbably droll, impossibly creepy, meticulously detailed.
Iron Man and even more so The Dark Knight move the genre into deeper waters. They realize, as some comic-book readers instinctively do, that these stories touch on deep fears, traumas, fantasies and hopes.
In this, the last performance he completed before his death, Ledger had a maniacal gusto inspired enough to suggest that he might have lived to be as audacious an actor as Marlon Brando, and maybe as great.
This movie is grim and jammed together. The narrative isn't shaped coherently to bring out contrasts and build toward a satisfying climax. The Dark Knight is constant climax; it's always in a frenzy, and it goes on forever.
Pure adrenaline. [Nolan], having dispensed with his introspective, moody origin story, now puts the Caped Crusader through a decathlon of explosions, vehicle flips, hand-to-hand combat, midair rescues and pulse-pounding suspense.