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The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of The Dark Knight Trilogy, starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Plot

In Gotham City, a gang of clown mask wearing criminals (Grumpy, Happy, Dopey, Chuckles, Bozo and an unidentified bus driver) rob the Gotham National Bank, double-crossing and murdering each other under the director of their boss the Joker. The bank manager (William Fitcher) tries to stop them, but he's stopped by "Bozo". Grumpy shoots Happy at the vault and the bus driver runs a school bus into him, so Bozo is the only one who remains. He puts a canister in the manager's mouth and reveals to him his true identity; the Joker (Heath Ledger). He escapes with the money and it is unknown what happened to the manager.

Russian crime lord called "The Chechen" is making a deal with Dr. Jonathan Crane/the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) before they confront a group of Batman imposters with guns (something the real Batman never uses). The real Batman (Christian Bale) arrives in his Tumbler and subdues his imposters. Scarecrow tries to escape in his van, but the real Batman catches him and successfully captures him, though Chenchen escapes. Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) informs Batman of the multiple crimes the Joker has commited.

Why it Rocks

  1. One of the most successful attempts to make a superhero movie appear realistic.
  2. Covers several serious topics like organized crime, corruption of politicians, vigilantism, terrorists, etc.
  3. Great scenery.
  4. Scarecrow makes a brief re-appearance.
  5. Rachel's death was an unexpected moment that majorly affects Batman for the rest of the trilogy.
  6. Excellent fight scenes.
  7. Excellent score composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.
  8. Heath Ledger's portayal of the Joker was arguably the best incarnation of the Joker character to date. Ledger make a fantastic job portraying the Joker as insane and unpredictable yet utterly terryfing and menacing. He got an Oscar for the role, making him the first comic-book movie actor to do so.
  9. Two-Face was also a good villain.
  10. The film's dark and gritty tone was done right.
  11. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a big improvement over Katie Holmes as Rachel.

Bad Qualities

  1. The lack of blood in the scenes when the Joker shoves a man into a pencil and when Batman punches Joker during the interrogation.
  2. Two-Face's death was rather anti-climactic.

Reception

Box office

The film grossed over $1.005 billion against a budget of $185 million, making it the highest grossing film of 2008.

Critical response

The Dark Knight is widely considered one of the best superhero movies of all time. The film currently holds a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 325 reviews with an average score of 8.6/10. The site's critical consensus says "Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as richly thrilling crime saga." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 82/100 based on 39 reviews. The film also got a 9.0/10 on IMDb and became the fourth highest-rated film on the site's Top Rated Movies.

Awards

The Dark Knight won two Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actor posthumously for Ledger and Best Sound Editing for Richard King).

Trivia

  • Katie Holmes was planning to reprise her role as Rachel, but chose instead to star in Mad Money with Diane Keaton and Queen Lafitah.

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