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Overall Rating
4.43

Awesome68.49%
Worth A Look: 18.49%
Just Average: 5.88%
Pretty Crappy: 2.1%
Sucks: 5.04%

10 reviews, 178 user ratings



Dark Knight, The
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by Lybarger

"Heath Ledger is dead, and Andy Dick is still living."
4 stars

The late Heath Ledger will be missed because of his ability to make a green-haired clown into the most terrifying sight in recent memory.

Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” may be the latest Batman movie, but Ledger’s eerily mesmerizing turn as the villainous Joker is the film’s crowning jewel. While Ledger’s passing is undeniably tragic, his final completed role ensures that his brief career will still leave a lasting impact.


From his first moment on screen, Ledger’s Joker quickly dominates the screen. Even as the Joker’s face is hidden by a mask, his shambling but energetic walk quickly establishes his identity. His awkwardness belies a quick but lethal approach that subdues anyone foolish enough to cross him.

This includes all the mobsters in Batman’s troubled Gotham City. The Joker is as audacious as he is psychopathic, so robbing a mob-owned bank isn’t unlikely for him. He also has a unique way for ensuring that his accomplices will never bungle their work or betray him.

Just the sight of Ledger’s Joker is eerie. Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson knew how to make this character entertaining, but Ledger knows how to make him threatening.

With his smeared makeup, disheveled hair and high, almost whiny voice, the Joker gives the impression that he doesn’t really care what others think of him and can be as unpredictable as he is conscienceless.

Ledger may dominate “The Dark Knight,” but thankfully his unforgettable turn is hardly the only virtue of the film. It takes an inspired actor to upstage Christian Bale, Sir Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart. If you can take your eyes of the Joker, you’ll see some other engaging performances.

Bale’s close-to-vest portrayal of Billionaire Bruce Wayne and his altar ego Batman doesn’t leap out a viewer, but if you watch his face closely, he can convey a lot of emotion in just a few quick glances. Bale’s Wayne vacillates between foolish certainly and paralyzing doubt. He’s not as guilt-ridden as a typical Marvel superhero, but he’s occasionally surprised at the toll that his vigilantism has taken on his life.

Caine and Morgan Freeman are both terrific as Alfred the Butler and Lucius Fox, the Caped Crusader’s mentors, and Aaron Eckhart might have walked away with the film if Ledger hadn’t been assigned the most intriguing character.

Like the characters, he’s played in “In the Company of Men” and “Thank You for Smoking,” Eckhart’s Harvey Dent is an eloquent District Attorney whose spiritual development has fallen short of his compelling rhetoric.

His zealous prosecution of criminals belies a rashness and a fanaticism that could undo all the effort that Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon’s (Oldman) put into ending a troubling crime wave.

One noticeable improvement over Nolan’s 2005 “Batman Begins” is in the casting of prosecutor Rachel Dawes, whom Wayne pines after. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a vast improvement over Katie Holmes. Gyllenhaal projects enough intelligence and nerve to make a viewer believe she could hold her own in a courtroom. She can certainly hold her own against the unusually strong male leads.

Nolan and his brother Jonathan, who co-wrote “Memento” and “The Prestige,” have a lot more on their minds than simply having costumed characters duking it out. One intriguing touch is that Batman often has the unenviable task of trying to stop less able amateur crime fighters from imitating him.

The Nolan brothers handle this material far more intelligently than the posters might imply. Batman is obviously on the side of good, but he occasionally makes mistakes. As a result, he has more than simply the Joker’s unrelenting bloodlust to deal with.

Throughout the film Batman and his cohorts wrestle with the question of whether the Joker’s ruthlessness requires an equally merciless response. The answer is not clear cut because the Joker’s capriciousness renders any subsequent action moot. In addition, mercy and vengeance have surprising consequences regardless of intent.

These ideas make the film more involving for adult viewers, but some of the violence and the dark tone make this a questionable choice for showing children.

If your experience with Batman is limited to fond memories of the campy 60s TV-series and the Joel Schumacher-directed movies from the 90s (“Batman Forever,” “Batman and Robin”), you may be unpleasantly surprised. Nolan’s take owes more to writer Frank Miller (“The Dark Knight Returns”) than to Adam West.

Because “The Dark Knight” is mentally sharper than the average superhero adventure, it’s shame that the action scenes are fitfully engaging. The quick, shadowy movements are sometimes appropriate because Batman often creates dark, confusing environments to subdue crooks. But because the fights are sometimes tricky to follow, they’re not as gripping as they should be.

This is a minor quibble about what is an otherwise fresh and thoughtful take on what could have been a stale subject. After having raved about Ledger’s work for the first several paragraphs, it’s worth noting that his performance might not have been so memorable if the film behind it weren’t worthwhile.

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originally posted: 07/18/08 00:12:58
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell AWESOME GRITTY EXCITING 5 stars
2/20/17 Dave One of the better superhero films out there, but I am not a huge fan of Nolan's direction 4 stars
4/26/16 Ken Amazing film. Heath Ledger was a great Joker, even though Jack Nicholson was great, too. 5 stars
3/13/16 Charles Tatum One of those films where everything absolutely works 5 stars
9/11/15 misterfilms my top 3 films of 00s: LOTR, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, THE NEW WORLD 3 stars
5/02/15 Cooler One of the greatest movies ever made 5 stars
3/02/15 mira storm all nolan's film is shit 1 stars
2/16/15 roxelena it waste my time and my money when i watched this film in theatre 2 stars
2/14/15 enicmatic al is this gay movie? YES 1 stars
2/14/15 jason gracio this movie are GAY! 2 stars
2/08/15 russel fuck you fanboy this is the most SHITTIEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!! 1 stars
1/08/15 vendoza overrated piece of shit in cinematic history 1 stars
1/06/15 brando i hate this crap! 1 stars
1/04/15 crovie i didn't like this movie 1 stars
6/18/14 Haley S. This was such a great movie. It's one of my favorites! 5 stars
3/23/14 Justin R. Mesmerizing! 5 stars
1/13/13 austin one of the best movies of the century 5 stars
10/11/12 austin wonderful 5 stars
9/18/12 Gabrielle Barnard The Best Superhero Movie. Dark, dramatic, intriguing, riveting...I could go on all day. 5 stars
9/06/12 austin fantastic 5 stars
8/28/12 Alex Figueroa Epic! 5 stars
8/08/12 Kcaj fuck yeah 5 stars
7/26/12 Amanda Smith Captured my attention. 5 stars
7/24/12 the truth yes 5 stars
6/19/12 Jordan Kentris Holy cow, this movie blew me away. Heath Ledgers performance was amazing. 5 stars
12/21/11 Isaac Simply the best comic book film ever made; it works on every level. 5 stars
12/14/11 cr Even if christian bale is not my fav batman, this movie and heath ledger perf. were soild. 3 stars
10/18/11 Magic An apocalyptic movie, Wagnerian in scope. The escalation in nihilism is exhilarating. 5 stars
5/25/11 Glenn Laurence Hardy Junior this movie is great. no question or doubt in my mind. friend me on facebook!mypic. is sonic 5 stars
4/26/11 the rock one of the best action crime films around 5 stars
3/10/11 bored mom The DC Comics equivalent of Chinatown? In the end, there is only madness and death. 5 stars
11/30/10 Barbara Leaf I cried every time I saw Heath Ledger, r.i.p.,but he was the best thing in the fillm 3 stars
2/05/10 Jessica Pretty long, Ledger was absolutely amazing though! 4 stars
1/23/10 MP Bartley Ledger is quite terrific. I'm not convinced the rest of the film is as good as he. 4 stars
1/19/10 Stanley Thai One of the best movies of 2008 and easily the best in the entire mythology. 5 stars
1/10/10 David Overlong and overblown. Not impressed with Bale, Ekhart or Gyllenhaal. 2 stars
7/03/09 Jonathan Birch Very Overrated. Boring, pales in comparison to other crime films it tries to imitate 3 stars
6/28/09 budo Poor performance by Ledger? He won by the greatest margin in Academy Award history. He was 5 stars
6/14/09 R Lan Simply the best of the Batman movies. A perfect marriage of a great script and great action 5 stars
6/08/09 freak awesome 5 stars
4/28/09 Dr.Lao One of the few things in this world that actually lives up to the hype 5 stars
4/09/09 Raul Valdez Jr POSSIBLY THE BEST MOVIE OF 2009 5 stars
4/08/09 Chris F such a poor performance by heath ledger not a patch on jack nicholson 1 stars
3/28/09 Dani O. Epic win. 5 stars
3/16/09 austin wertman best superhero movie ever 5 stars
2/23/09 man best superhero movie ever 5 stars
2/11/09 Stewart Sadistically violent with no moral purpose. Boring convoluted story and bad action scenes. 1 stars
2/02/09 Piz great adaptation of the comic book, but felt a little too rushed in the end. 4 stars
1/31/09 lo& Kinda overrated.I must be the only person alive that thinks 'Begins' was better than this. 4 stars
1/14/09 dude best movie of the year 5 stars
1/03/09 Lucy whoever gives this film a bad rating is crazy. 5 stars
1/02/09 FrankNFurter Gritty, chilling thriller--probably the first superhero Academy Award contender! 5 stars
12/29/08 Flounder This is a dark, morally complex crime drama - and one of the best I have ever seen at that 5 stars
12/28/08 the dork knight my only complaint is my mom didn't like it. :P 5 stars
12/18/08 Craig D. It's not The Godfather. It's not even the best movie of 2008. Get a hold of yourselves. 4 stars
12/11/08 Richard Remington Adam West is and always will be the best Batman,the rest are all clowns! 1 stars
12/10/08 K. Sear Surprisingly complex. 4 stars
12/10/08 Hope people are going far in saying "the best movie ever"but it is great and i saw it 2x =] 5 stars
12/06/08 Jared Robb Very epic film, casting was perfect. Excellent acting all around. 5 stars
11/30/08 killer feels epic this film 5 stars
11/27/08 little Red best movie ever. Heath Ledger was perfect as the joker. to bad hes dead 5 stars
11/25/08 Leo T very dark, but never lost the Batman 'feel'.... awesome 5 stars
11/19/08 Joker Fan one of the best films ever created 5 stars
11/16/08 killer one of the best crime films ever 5 stars
11/15/08 Meep Has it's moments certainly, and better than Begins, but still just ok 3 stars
11/11/08 Michael M Not perfect, but indeed a great film. And like all Nolan films, has an incredible ending. 4 stars
10/31/08 ldavies Could have used some editing. Ledger and Bale were fantastic. 4 stars
10/19/08 heath electrifyimg 5 stars
10/17/08 AshleyRockO The Best Superhero movie ever made. Period. The acting from everyone is impeccable. 5 stars
10/13/08 The Dork Knight A bit too much speechifying by the villains but otherwise good 4 stars
10/09/08 man best superhero movie ever 5 stars
10/09/08 dude best superhero movie ever 5 stars
10/05/08 jokera mindblowing 5 stars
9/30/08 Danny BEST...MOVIE...EVER!!! 5 stars
9/26/08 Ken It's not a great movie if at least one person in the world didn't like it 3 stars
9/16/08 joker face mindblowing cinema 5 stars
9/16/08 Brad The Joker is the best villian in the DC universe and Heath Ledger nailed the role 5 stars
9/15/08 Carla A. Amazing film, brilliant performances, intelligent script. What more could you ask for? 5 stars
9/15/08 g. AWESOME 5 stars
9/11/08 Joker's Younger Brother incredible movie....The Joker is the best villian EVER....!!! 5 stars
9/09/08 dark knight ledger is the new hannibal lecter 5 stars
9/06/08 Halad65 Amazing film. 5 stars
8/30/08 another one fucking kicks ass 5 stars
8/30/08 AnnieG Better than ‘Begins’, although it could have ended much sooner. 4 stars
8/27/08 Quigley Amazing, brilliant, well-acted/directed, this film is unforgettable. Ledger was incredible 5 stars
8/22/08 pantera best film ever 5 stars
8/21/08 black_queen_marches Ledger's performance was the best i've ever seen, awesome movie, ending was anticlimatic 5 stars
8/21/08 Jen Minor flaws aside, the most earnest, thought-provoking and satiating movie in years. 5 stars
8/20/08 Christ An ok movie, but certainly not great. 3 stars
8/17/08 jonathantstorm mindblowing cinema 5 stars
8/16/08 Ricky This film honestly blew me away. The ending gave me chills. Top notch in every respect 5 stars
8/15/08 Allan Jackson not the great film that I had expected to see, but satisfactory. Michael Caine was good and 3 stars
8/14/08 Melissa Ledger was wonderful. If you get the opportunity you should see it at IMAX! 4 stars
8/14/08 Alice Heath Ledger was very very good as the psycho Joker.He is the reason I give 4 stars. 4 stars
8/13/08 jessica speechless! cristian bale and heath ledger were great! 5 stars
8/13/08 snakeeyes awesome 5 stars
8/11/08 RB The best of the Batman movies. Ledger, Oldman and Eckhart carry the movie though 4 stars
8/11/08 M Took it self a bit too seriously, but nonethe less great. Heath was perfect! 4 stars
8/09/08 JW Heavyhanded, confused storytelling. Good performances. Good explosions. 3 stars
8/08/08 Bnorm Freaking amazing. with out a doubt the best superhero movie ever made 5 stars
8/07/08 Tiffany Losco LOved it!! Heath was crazy lookin though. But he is a great actor. 5 stars
8/06/08 Ameisha It was long...but worth it! 4 stars
8/05/08 Paul Sweet, sweet brilliance. 5 stars
8/05/08 E K Zimmerman Am I the only one who loathed this garbage flick? 1 stars
8/04/08 Zim my favorite super hero movie 5 stars
8/02/08 Mark Glazer The Joker was the scariest ever. Great movie!!! 5 stars
8/02/08 J Smaltz Boreing, fell asleep somewhere in the final hour, never did see Ledger die or what ever 1 stars
8/01/08 R.W. Welch Chaotic actioner is carried by Ledger's inspired Joker characterization. B+ 4 stars
7/30/08 johnnybgoode Ledger was great. This film overall was well-done but a bit over-rated. 4 stars
7/29/08 zenny top-10 action movie, all-time 5 stars
7/27/08 austin wertman best superhero movie ever 5 stars
7/27/08 Samantha Pruitt too long, dragged a bit, the only good part was the Joker. 3 stars
7/26/08 Roland same old bat...boring..exept for heath ledger who actually carrys anoter ways tired pot 2 stars
7/26/08 christy this movie is thoughtful and incredible. best in '08. 5 stars
7/25/08 Ry Great film with a message! 5 stars
7/25/08 erick definitely, the best superheroes movie ever. heath ledger deserves the oscar. 5 stars
7/23/08 Albert Darmawan L Fantastic&Superior.The best Batman movie i`ve ever seen. 5 stars
7/22/08 Roy Smith This should be 6 Stars ------------> 5 stars
7/22/08 mr.mike First half rocked , 2nd half fell off 4 stars
7/22/08 The Talking Elbow TDK WAS flawed. Tried to fit too much into one film. Choppy editing. This made it boring. 4 stars
7/21/08 COUSINSEXx TDK is not your tweeny superhero flik but an epic crime saga in the realm of The Godfather2 5 stars
7/21/08 mike Ledger was freakin awesome. One of the best villains ever 5 stars
7/21/08 Luisa Heath Ledger is very disturbing, what a great performance. Movie is good but ran too long! 4 stars
7/21/08 Koitus Just - "wow." BUT - I checked the rating as I left; totally a border-line "R", IMHO. 5 stars
7/21/08 Heat1996 Good story, okay script, excellent acting, really good cinematography...Ledger, genius. 4 stars
7/21/08 ES It was good, but something was missing, i just didn't get absorbed into the story 4 stars
7/21/08 orpy Am I the only one who was bored, bored, bored? 3 stars
7/21/08 Simon Wow. What a loaded film, so many thoughts and themes to ponder.. THIS is why we love movies 5 stars
7/20/08 I Luv Heath Heath Ledger was so good in this movie, I couldent ask for a better joker than him 5 stars
7/20/08 Jiz Bale continues his ridiculous scowl, Eckhart hams it up, and Ledger/Nolan own the movie. 4 stars
7/20/08 Adi Wonderful! I loved it, every moment of it. Will probably go watch it agian in IMAX!!! 5 stars
7/20/08 Toni Awesome, best movie of the year by far. 5 stars
7/20/08 carlos G I wish 2face was held off til next film, but NO JOKE, give Ledger and Nolan their Oscars! 5 stars
7/20/08 james Aaron Eckhart steals the show 5 stars
7/20/08 Diana Kee Awesome movie. Far exceeded my expectations!!! 5 stars
7/20/08 Jonathan This is a deep great philosophical and action pact movie, you keep your eyes off of it! 5 stars
7/20/08 Ryan W Ledger lived up to the hype 5 stars
7/20/08 Adrian Want to see a magic trick? 5 stars
7/20/08 Pete K I agree; Batman and robin was more my cup of tea over this muddled in your face overly long 2 stars
7/20/08 Dan While Ledger's Joker was great, the rest was mediocre. Batman/ Wayne wasn't written well. 3 stars
7/20/08 Tripp Speechless. Beyond anything I expected..god help us all. 5 stars
7/20/08 Dave Yep...This is going in my top 10...ever! 5 stars
7/20/08 D Somehow exceeds the hype....simply put an incredible film 5 stars
7/20/08 Paul Levinson eons beyond any prior Batman ... infiniteregress.tv 5 stars
7/20/08 Obi Wan Absolutely amazing...Best SuperHero movie EVER! Joker/Ledger best Villian EVER!! 5 stars
7/19/08 jm I think ledgers performance is overrated. Sad but great ending. Batpod intro was brilliant. 5 stars
7/19/08 Phil B Truly Epic 5 stars
7/19/08 paulette This was a beautiful, well-acted, dark, intense film for 110 min, then long & gratuitous. 3 stars
7/19/08 Moose This is possibly one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. Heath was incredible. 5 stars
7/19/08 Darkstar I'm fucking speechless. 5 stars
7/19/08 Dimu Brilliant...just bloody Brilliant!!! 5 stars
7/19/08 Drew Simply Amazing 5 stars
7/19/08 Michael S T Simply amazing.. Actually the movie shies away from CGI in the action-heavy scenes. 5 stars
7/19/08 kimryan an amazing, scary, great story. You glory in Heath's performance and mourn at the same time 5 stars
7/19/08 twilightbringer Brilliant and brutal, The Dark Knight is now the defining event of our cinematic era. 5 stars
7/19/08 Gazza Jack Nicholson STILL personifies The Joker, ledger more hannibal lecter. 3 stars
7/19/08 Eugene True to it's comic book roots, excellent film. 5 stars
7/19/08 TyrantisTerror The polar opposite of Batman and Robin. A defining movie of our generation. 5 stars
7/19/08 Dab Great friggin movie. 5 stars
7/19/08 joker steals the show.very good but too damn long. damalc 4 stars
7/19/08 bullit16 Went in thinking, "it can't possibly be as amazing as the reviews say." I was dead wrong 5 stars
7/19/08 TheClown Ledger is vastly overated. Any hack with that makeup would have made a great joker! RIP 4 stars
7/18/08 Stacy It was just perfect. 5 stars
7/18/08 long johnson liked batman and robin better 1 stars
7/18/08 David V Believe the hype, this is absolutley a fantastic movie. 5 stars
7/18/08 Gerard Espiritu THE WORD "GREAT" IN OUR EXPECTATIONS OF THE MOVIE ARE SORELY INADEQUATE! 5 stars
7/18/08 larkin Good Lord 5 stars
7/18/08 Gary Simply Outstanding! Ledger is The Joker. 5 stars
7/18/08 KieranDraven Considering other countries hate us but want to live here, the movie was great! 5 stars
7/18/08 Matt Craven It can not be said enough - Ledger was one of the best villains in history. 5 stars
7/18/08 PAUL SHORTT NOT JUST A GREAT COMIC BOOK FILM, BUT A BRILLIANTLY CRAFTED, SOLID AND ENGROSSING THRILLER 5 stars
7/18/08 Flounder Saw it in IMAX last night. I was BLOWN away. One of the best films I have seen 5 stars
7/18/08 Shaun Wallner The Joker looks pretty wild in this film. 5 stars
7/18/08 Guy Smiley Considering Americans have the attention span of a peanut, I'm not surprised by the review. 5 stars
7/18/08 ben dover the best comic book film ever and yet so much more 5 stars
7/18/08 BrianWilly I cannot believe how good this movies was. 5 stars
7/18/08 tmcmistress Absolutely fantastic. 5 stars
7/17/08 alex r. not just a great comicbook movie--it is a great movie! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Jul-2008 (PG-13)

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Australia
  18-Jul-2008




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