The Dark Knight Reviews
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.
Watching the first dizzying, vertiginous overhead shot of the glittering skyscrapers and minuscule streets, I literally forgot to breathe for a second or two, and found myself teetering forward on my seat...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.