‘Dark Knight Rises’ Reviews Are In: What the Critics Are Saying

Early reviews for The Dark Knight Rises hit the Internet on Monday and, as one might expect, the film is already receiving some of the biggest accolades of the year.

Perhaps the strongest praise for the film came from The Hollywood Reporter, whose critic Todd McCarthy called it the best of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

“Entirely enveloping and at times unnerving in a relevant way one would never have imagined, as a cohesive whole this ranks as the best of Nolan’s trio, even if it lacks — how could it not? — an element as unique as Heath Ledger’s immortal turn in The Dark Knight,” McCarthy wrote in his review published late Sunday evening. “It’s a blockbuster by any standard.”

What else did the critics have to say?

Justin Chang of Variety offered similar praise for the movie, which opens nationwide on Friday, calling it both “exhilarating” and “exhausting.”

“If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008’s The Dark Knight, this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe,” he wrote.

Eric Kohn of indieWIRE was slightly less impressed, giving the film a B. Still, despite finding minor flaws with the movie, he says Nolan has brought his Batman trilogy to a “thundering, mostly satisfying conclusion.”

Edward Douglas of ComingSoon gave the film a similar grade — 8 out of 10 — and for the most part seemed to enjoy Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman.

“Anne Hathaway plays one of the more alluring Catwomen since Julie Newmar, creating an incredibly complex character that straddles the line of good and bad enough that you never know whose side she’s on,” he wrote. “Hathaway sometimes takes on a similarly affected way of delivering lines as Bale’s Batman when in costume, but neither of the ‘villains’ ever can quite live up to what the late Heath Ledger brought to the Joker.”

As for The Telegraph, its reviewer, Robbie Collin, gave the film a whopping five stars, arguing it dives deeper than any superhero movie in recent memory.

“The scope here is unashamedly novelistic, and although the plotting of the film’s first act is arguably muddled, Nolan’s sheer formal audacity means the stakes feel skin-pricklingly high at all times: if he is prepared to go this far, I found myself often wondering, just how far is he prepared to go?” he pondered. “Well, the answer is further than any other superhero film I can think of: after a breathless, bravura final act, a nuclear payload of catharsis brings The Dark Knight Rises, and Nolan’s trilogy, to a ferociously satisfying close.”

The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final chapter in Nolan’s Batman saga, after 2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s Oscar-winning Dark Knight. It stars Christian Bale, as Batman, Hathaway, and Tom Hardy, as Bane.