I'm wary of movies that are over hyped, no movie especially sequels can stand up to the expectations of drooling fan(atics). However the Dark Knight successfully gives the fans what they want while at the same time creating an accessible crime drama for those who might not be so keen on watching comic book movies.
The cast was top notch led by Heth Ledger's Joker whose unrelenting performance holds the audience captive from the magic pencil trick to the end of the film. Christian Bale performs well allowing his co-stars to shine.
The movie score is intense creating several minor motives and themes but leaving any hint of romance or high adventure to the way side. The music pushes you to the edge of your seat and beyond.
The special effects were seamless. There were no obvious CGI work to distract the viewer. And the tech and gadgets in the film all seemed plausible with only one exception with the tech presented at the end of the film that stretch the believability and reminded me that this was a comic book movie after all.
The last third of the film could have been cut. The ending I thought took away from the Joker's story. And I didn't quite understand the logic of the final decision that the characters made.
Anyway this was a great movie, critic proof, go watch it again and enjoy.