The Dark Knight (2008)

the dark knight poster 2008 movie why so serious
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

The Joker

A toned down Two-Face would have been better

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Dark Knight

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  July 18, 2008

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Broody…check…mysterious…check…raspy voice…check

Batman (Christian Bale) is patrolling the nights of Gotham City trying to control crime by rounding up criminals like the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy).  When a new player comes to town in the form of a psychopath called the Joker (Heath Ledger), Batman faces a new challenge.  Batman, Gordon (Gary Oldman), and a hot shot D.A. named Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) try to stop the crime while Bruce Wayne tries to win back Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) back from Harvey.  When tragedy strikes, will Bruce be strong enough to stop the Joker and a new threat in Two-Face?

Christopher Nolan directed The Dark Knight and took the already good Batman Begins to a whole new level.  Critically acclaimed, The Dark Knight shattered tons of records and even tops tons of critics Top-Ten lists for the year.  It won the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger who received it posthumous) and Best Sound Editing with nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.  It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2020.


Want to see my pencil trick?

It will be tough to top The Dark Knight for a “comic book film”.  Many dismissed it as a comic book film by saying it was really more of an action/adventure or drama…which is a slight to the genre, but has some validity because despite costumes and crazed villains it has a real feel and texture (I do think X-Men:  First Class did a great job as a more traditional comic book movie).

Nolan just gets what makes Batman great.  He’s mortal, and the movie shows it.  He pretends to be confident in the mask but he seems to be racked with guilt and fears.  I like that and that he wears two masks (Bruce Wayne and Batman).  Yeah, the gravelly voice is a bit over the top, but I can forgive them.

With Heath Ledger’s death, buzz began to circulate immediately about his Oscar status.  I am always hesitant when I hear this before a movie comes out.  I always think it is hype…I was surprised by the performance.  Ledger makes the Joker scary.  He is dark and psychotic.  He doesn’t have any of that funny ’60s Cesar Romero Joker which Nicholson borrowed from in Tim Burton’s Batman.  Every scene he is in is captivating and very intense…the buzz for once was right.  I’m glad the character’s arc ended where it did and it is far creepier that he still could be out there.


What’s wrong? Do I have bed-head?

The style of film also improved upon the original.  The first film felt real and this film feels even more real.  Gotham City, Batman, and his toys all feel much more realistic than previous films.  The only part of the movie I wish they had toned down a bit was Two-Face’s appearance.  He looks like the comic and I would have liked a more realistic look to fit in with the feel of the film (plus I don’t think Two-Face would be able to talk as clearly with his injuries in a real world setting).

The Dark Knight is a great movie.  It is the first Batman movie not to have Batman in the title and it is the best Batman movie yet.  It has everything you want.  The Dark Knight will go down as another Star Was:  The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather Part II…sequels that arguably surpassed their originals.  The Dark Knight was followed by The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 which did not quite live up to the level of this film.

Related Links:

Batman Begins (2005)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The 81st Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "The Dark Knight (2008)"

  1. Matthew Ritch August 12, 2014 at 11:09 am -

    That is why it is a hyper reality. The dark knight is basically extraordinary characters in extraordinary situations in our world, or reality. By the way, Bob Kane’s interpretation of batman was the one in this film. Read Batman: The psychology of the dark knight. Chapter 5. That is why two face looks like this. My only complaint about this movie is it should of had more two-face. But, considering the route they were going, making it more realistic, he would have only survived for another day or two without surgical grafts or medication.