The Dark Knight Reviews

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Timothy Mangan
Orange County Register
August 20, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
April 10, 2013
An exceptionally smart, brooding picture with some terrific performances.
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
November 24, 2011
The Dark Knight is a film that's fantastic on the action front, seeds its acrobatics in its own reality, and always feels relevant even when its ideas are drowned out by clatter.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
July 6, 2010
Christopher Nolan is much, much smarter than your average filmmaker.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
The symbiosis of good and evil is the film's philosophical core, and images of duality and cloaked identity are strewn through it like shards from a fun house mirror.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
July 18, 2008
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.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 18, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 18, 2008
Watching The Dark Knight is like gazing into a mirror on a waning moon night: chilling and mesmerizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
July 17, 2008
Despite the tensions between its form and its function, The Dark Knight succeeds far more than it fails, and lingers provocatively in the mind.
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Ruth Hessey
Time Out Sydney
July 17, 2008
There is an exquisite order in the chaos, a fascist formality and video game surrealism that resists the forces of disintegration with a sort of superhuman determination.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 17, 2008
Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, The Dark Knight goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind.
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
July 17, 2008
An explosively provocative [film]. ... Exhilaratingly straightforward action sequences matched by moral complexity of a sort not usually associated with comic-book movie franchises.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.5/10
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
July 17, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Dana Stevens
Slate
July 17, 2008
For all The Dark Knight's occasionally bombastic excess, it sort of does top them all, and not only in star power and sheer number of things blown up.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
July 17, 2008
[Ledger's] performance is also the most interesting thing in the film, and when the Joker is absent, The Dark Knight loses most of its energy and dynamism.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
July 17, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
July 17, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 17, 2008
The Dark Knight is easily the most entertaining bummer of the summer.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 17, 2008
Let's face it: If you're any sort of pop-culture or movie freak, you're going to see this flick. And you should, just for Ledger.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
July 17, 2008
Christopher Nolan's second Batman adventure is the rare blockbuster that left me engaged and thoughtful instead of bored and bummed out.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 17, 2008
You come away impressed, oppressed, provoked, and beaten down, holding on to Ledger's squirrelly incandescence as a beacon in the darkness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 16, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 16, 2008
Shakespearean but overlong, The Dark Knight is two hours of heady, involving action that devolves into a mind-numbing 32-minute epilogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 16, 2008
It's still too long, especially for a comic-book movie. But with Ledger's last performance director Nolan was blessed with the gift of light.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 16, 2008
Whatever trepidations Ledger may have had about taking on such an iconic role, he blows past them brilliantly, carrying The Dark Knight along with him.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 16, 2008
[Ledger gives] a fine performance regardless, and I wish the movie around it were more deserving.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 16, 2008
As much as this is Ledger's movie, that should not diminish the notable accomplishments of other key cast members.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 16, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 16, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 16, 2008
It's a comic-book movie, but it's also a dark and highly complex drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 16, 2008
Nolan hasn't simply made a popcorn movie for brainiacs. He's an increasingly self-assured director of action sequences.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2008
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.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 16, 2008
The Dark Knight is insurmountable fun.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 16, 2008
I previously have had my own auteurist doubts about Mr. Nolan's work, but after The Dark Knight, I may have to rethink my past reservations about Mr. Nolan's place in the 21st-century cinema.
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
July 16, 2008
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.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 16, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
July 16, 2008
Twisted, tortured, terrifying -- and terrific.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 16, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 15, 2008
It's a hugely entertaining bit of eye-candy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 15, 2008
Batman takes a fierce stance in favor of untruth, surveillance and (but?) the American way. Bruce Wayne says, 'Batman has no limits,' and there are two sides to that coin.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 15, 2008
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 15, 2008
Nolan has provided movie-goers with the best superhero movie to-date, outclassing previous titles both mediocre and excellent, and giving this franchise its Empire Strikes Back.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 14, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 14, 2008
The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 14, 2008
This is a rich, complex, visually thrilling piece of pop entertainment, as strong as any superhero epic we've ever seen.
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David Denby
New Yorker
July 14, 2008
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.
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David Ansen
Newsweek
July 11, 2008
Nolan wants to prove that a superhero movie needn't be disposable, effects-ridden junk food, and you have to admire his ambition.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 11, 2008
An epic that will leave you staggering from the theater, stunned by its scope and complexity. It's also, thankfully, a vast improvement over his self-serious origin story, 2005's Batman Begins.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
July 10, 2008
The Dark Knight is bound to haunt you long after you've told yourself, Aah, it's only a comic-book movie.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 7, 2008
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.
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Justin Chang
Variety
July 7, 2008
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.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 25, 2008
The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4