The Dark Knight (12A)

Film

Drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jul 22 2008

Christopher Nolan follows the sombre origin myth of ‘Batman Begins’ with a less introspective, more frenetic sequel. Once again there are lots of ideas on the boil, this time mostly to do with community action and leadership, but an endless flow of bullets, bombs and bat business drowns out most debate. Right from the off, Nolan sidesteps the analyst’s couch and plunges us straight into battle.

He starts with a disorienting bank robbery and from there barely allows us to breathe – or think, even – over the next two and a half hours as we swing from the US to Hong Kong and back to the streets of Gotham. Here, the crime rate is soaring, it’s always night, and any daylight leaves you squinting. It’s always downtown too; the city is inescapable, a confusing mix of the pedestrian and the paranoid.

For this sequel, there’s a whole lot of story going on, which reduced to basics involves the wildly unpredictable Joker (Heath Ledger) wreaking havoc on Gotham. This perverse clown’s keyword is chaos – crime without sense – and there’s more than a nod to the post-9/11 order. ‘Some men just want to watch the world burn,’ chips in one onlooker. Later, when a good guy turns bad and half his face is burnt to reveal bone and sinew, it’s hard not to recall those images of charred bodies in Iraq.

Ledger makes a great, freaky Joker, with dirty, lank hair, a voice that soars and dives, and a tongue that slithers and salivates. Two scenes stick in the mind: him walking away from a doomed hospital in a nurse’s dress right before an explosion, and later hanging out of the window of a speeding car, tasting the air like a reptile, with the soundtrack falling silent in tribute, freezing this psychotic, iconic villain in time and allowing for a moment of sadness amid the noise. If he wins an Oscar, who’d begrudge him that tribute?

Meanwhile, Christian Bale’s stately if unmemorable Bruce Wayne/Batman reassumes relationships with Michael Caine’s affable man-servant Alfred, Morgan Freeman’s man-sage Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman’s modest cop, Lieutenant Gordon (whose quietness is drowned out by the film’s bombastics). New to the scene are District Attorney Harvey Dent (a slick Aaron Eckhart), who Wayne wants to promote as a human alternative to his vigilantism (an interesting sideline on the need for humility and choice when picking a leader), and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a replacement for Katie Holmes’s Rachel Dawes, but she barely gets a look-in.
It’s all very monumental, and the film’s more self-conscious moments, of which there are many, would provoke a giggle if you weren’t distracted by yet another explosion, chase or ratcheting up of a score that shrieks importance.

The challenge that Nolan has set himself is to make a comic book film that’s serious, entertaining and popular. It’s a tall order, but an admirable one. ‘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. That said, every once in a while, you’d like to be able to lean into the screen and tickle somebody’s ribs.

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

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Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:163
  • 4 star:12
  • 3 star:11
  • 2 star:10
  • 1 star:0
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TREGGLE2000

There is only one word for this film. EXXCELLENT. I thought that Heath Ledger played the best joker yet, he put it humor and made the film his I also thought that it was a lot more intresting than batman begins. it also had a very good story and kept me gripped all the way batmans never really disappoint and this one was just excellent. 10 million stars

TREGGLE2000

There is only one word for this film. EXXCELLENT. I thought that Heath Ledger played the best joker yet, he put it humor and made the film his I also thought that it was a lot more intresting than batman begins. it also had a very good story and kept me gripped all the way batmans never really disappoint and this one was just excellent. 10 million stars

Jonathan Peirce

This film is a much loved favourite of mine and Heath Ledger's performance as the joker I felt was absolutely incredible, there are too few actors with the dedication to perform just as well as he did!

Jonathan Peirce

This film is a much loved favourite of mine and Heath Ledger's performance as the joker I felt was absolutely incredible, there are too few actors with the dedication to perform just as well as he did!

Kelly

Remix by jorge?? Did nothing but turn what should've been an awesome movie into complete crap and flushed it down the toilet.

Wolfyy

The film is quite good. The characters are good & yes the joker is amazing but the plot is slightly confusing. Even though the characters are great I still felt bored because some of the time i didnt get what was going on & it wasnt that exciting.

Kieran

Best film ever, should have won more oscars, shame it didn't but i still think its the best film

Kieran

Best film ever, should have won more oscars, shame it didn't but i still think its the best film

Krindy

Whoa. You guys are ridiculous. And a little bit mentally challenged, obviously. Just because you are too dense to understand the plot, and never finished middle school, does not mean that this movie sucked. It was gripping, electrifying, and I've seen it six damn times in theatres, and loved it. When you still think about a movie after it ends, it means it's awesome. You guys are all idiots.

Krindy

Whoa. You guys are ridiculous. And a little bit mentally challenged, obviously. Just because you are too dense to understand the plot, and never finished middle school, does not mean that this movie sucked. It was gripping, electrifying, and I've seen it six damn times in theatres, and loved it. When you still think about a movie after it ends, it means it's awesome. You guys are all idiots.

Pippa

Bravo, Heath, a much deserved Oscar (not beaten by Hoffman this time). Still playing at BFI and Odeon IMAX in London for us to relish.

Pippa

Bravo, Heath, a much deserved Oscar (not beaten by Hoffman this time). Still playing at BFI and Odeon IMAX in London for us to relish.

elgimpo

i dont buy dvds but watched this once and bought it next week, films are for enjoying superb. why so seroius

elgimpo

i dont buy dvds but watched this once and bought it next week, films are for enjoying superb. why so seroius

Pippa

Having seen it (for the 7th time) now on DVD, I'm delighted Heath Ledger's performance was honoured by the Golden Globes. Bring on the Oscars (and on 30 Jan the film returns to BFI IMAX).

Pippa

Having seen it (for the 7th time) now on DVD, I'm delighted Heath Ledger's performance was honoured by the Golden Globes. Bring on the Oscars (and on 30 Jan the film returns to BFI IMAX).

Edward Comc

Charred bodies in Iraq??!?....you need to stop going to see Batman and instead see a good shrink...AND FAST!!!!

Edward Comc

Charred bodies in Iraq??!?....you need to stop going to see Batman and instead see a good shrink...AND FAST!!!!

HarleyQuinn

I don't think this was over-hyped. I never liked batman, but now I'm a fan because of this film. I thought the acting was great from the whole cast, but especially Heath Ledger, who is extremely scary and so immersed in the character you forget that he's an actor on screen. I took away a star because the logic of the film didn't seem to work (blaming batman for everything, why?) but really, I think this is a great film, and when you see it in imax it has even more impact. I'd say definately see it, because it has some real drama, and the millions of fans can't all be wrong, right? ;) PS to caitlin dixon - I happen to dislike mamma mia, but most/all of my friends love it and still love the dark knight aswell, so that speaks for itself don't you think?

HarleyQuinn

I don't think this was over-hyped. I never liked batman, but now I'm a fan because of this film. I thought the acting was great from the whole cast, but especially Heath Ledger, who is extremely scary and so immersed in the character you forget that he's an actor on screen. I took away a star because the logic of the film didn't seem to work (blaming batman for everything, why?) but really, I think this is a great film, and when you see it in imax it has even more impact. I'd say definately see it, because it has some real drama, and the millions of fans can't all be wrong, right? ;) PS to caitlin dixon - I happen to dislike mamma mia, but most/all of my friends love it and still love the dark knight aswell, so that speaks for itself don't you think?

Andy S

A little over-hyped to be honest. Ok, Ledger is good, but lots of actors could ham it up and pull off a loony Joker character, really. Bale looks bored and serious (again), and it completely lacked any kind of 'fun' you'd normally find in a superhero movie, to the point of pretention. People say its the new 'Heat'. It really isn't. Its a Batman film and far, far to self aware and self-righteous. It was ok. I won't be buying the dvd.

Beki

Why state you have no right to comment and then do so anyway? Fair enough, Mamma Mia IS a great film, I loved it. But I also loved The Dark Knight. Go post on the Mamma Mia page because it doesn't sound like you've come to the right place. And oh dear god, how can anybody possibly even begin to compare The Dark Knight to High School Musical?!...

Beki

Why state you have no right to comment and then do so anyway? Fair enough, Mamma Mia IS a great film, I loved it. But I also loved The Dark Knight. Go post on the Mamma Mia page because it doesn't sound like you've come to the right place. And oh dear god, how can anybody possibly even begin to compare The Dark Knight to High School Musical?!...

Thomas Noctor

To Caitlin U cant comment on a film u havnt seen. Mamma Mia is a chick flick The Dark Knight is for everyone!!!!!!!! Film of the decade

Thomas Noctor

To Caitlin U cant comment on a film u havnt seen. Mamma Mia is a chick flick The Dark Knight is for everyone!!!!!!!! Film of the decade

Thomas Noctor

Puts all these rubbish Mamma Mia crap in the shade! Seen it 4 times what more do I need to say it was actually under hyped! Best film EVER

Thomas Noctor

Puts all these rubbish Mamma Mia crap in the shade! Seen it 4 times what more do I need to say it was actually under hyped! Best film EVER

caitlin dixon

This movie is well overhyped. I haven't seen it but it is supposed to be really violent for a 12A certificate. I suppose people will think I have no right to think that I should judge a movie I haven't even seen. I suppose to some people it was the best film they have seen in a long time.But I just don't see what is so appealing about sitting in the cinema watching some guy in a black cape saving a city. I would much rather go and watch a good feel good movie like mamma mia!!! But Is uppose everyone has different tastes......

Jase Glenn

TDK was an excellent ACTION film. However, I did think that Batman's voice was annoying as it lacked inflection. The plot was drawn out but did exist at a depth greater than what is usually found in superhero movies. I definitely can think of some improvements

Jase Glenn

TDK was an excellent ACTION film. However, I did think that Batman's voice was annoying as it lacked inflection. The plot was drawn out but did exist at a depth greater than what is usually found in superhero movies. I definitely can think of some improvements

David White

Quite entertaining on its own level, but not as snappy as "Batman Begins" and ultimately defeated by its own inordinate length. Couldn't see what all the fuss was about, really.

mohommed

i think that movie was fantastic and ther film should have been called the joker

mohommed

i think that movie was fantastic and ther film should have been called the joker

Charli

Absolutely bloody brilliant. I was shocked and amazed by Heath Ledger's performance and anyone who does not well and truly love this movie is a total and utter,,,,,,, Oscar for heath! The Joker's cruelty shocked me all through the film and it was interesting to watch batman for the first time as not just a guy in a costume but someone with a responsibility and having to make choices. A high flying ride of octane and thrill. **************************************

Charli

Absolutely bloody brilliant. I was shocked and amazed by Heath Ledger's performance and anyone who does not well and truly love this movie is a total and utter,,,,,,, Oscar for heath! The Joker's cruelty shocked me all through the film and it was interesting to watch batman for the first time as not just a guy in a costume but someone with a responsibility and having to make choices. A high flying ride of octane and thrill. **************************************

footballer13

Outstanding performance by Heath Ledger as the joker Maybe a bit to violent for 12a and a bit long but amazing. I went to see the ovie thinking it was going to be another one of thse superhero movies but I was completely hooked on. The only thing that disappointed me was Batmans voice. But athor than that, BRILLIIANT

footballer13

Outstanding performance by Heath Ledger as the joker Maybe a bit to violent for 12a and a bit long but amazing. I went to see the ovie thinking it was going to be another one of thse superhero movies but I was completely hooked on. The only thing that disappointed me was Batmans voice. But athor than that, BRILLIIANT

smerdz

the best film ever!!!! i cant see why people have bad reviews about this film!! loved it and loved heath ledger!!

smerdz

the best film ever!!!! i cant see why people have bad reviews about this film!! loved it and loved heath ledger!!

Quibsy

I fell asleep during this film about 10minutes after this film should have ended (atleast another hour still to run). Maybe I missed something hypnotic about this film and I will probably rent it out on DVD just to see if there was anything meritable during my nap. The storyline was rubbish, the dialogue was rubbish and Bruce Wayne's fiance was ugly, noticebly so and looked miserable (Eastenders style). I was looking forward to it but it just didn't work. Oh I only fell asleep for about 5 minutes, seat wasn't that comfortable.

ciaron

The best film of the year in my opinion, it was so good i had to go watch it again. i really cannot wait until it comes out on dvd.

ciaron

The best film of the year in my opinion, it was so good i had to go watch it again. i really cannot wait until it comes out on dvd.

Bexx

Absolutely brilliant !!!! Heath Ledger is irreplacable as the Joker, I can't even put into words how impressed I am with his performance :) It was a first-time batman movie viewing for me so I didn't really know what to expect, but now I'm really pleased that I went to see it. A must-see !! :)

Bexx

Absolutely brilliant !!!! Heath Ledger is irreplacable as the Joker, I can't even put into words how impressed I am with his performance :) It was a first-time batman movie viewing for me so I didn't really know what to expect, but now I'm really pleased that I went to see it. A must-see !! :)

SB

The Dark Knight was the best batman movie i have seen. Heath ledger was Very good at being the joker. Quite a long film but altogether was Good. Batman himself was useless in the film all he did was cause more trouble.

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