Batman: The Dark Knight is the best movie of the year so far!

I can’t believe I coined a movie the best superhero movie ever twice in the same year, but here goes: The Dark Knight is the best superhero movie edging out Ironman! Ironman is extremely high quality entertainment, but it does not transcend the typical super-hero movie. Batman is much more than a super-hero movie – it’s a fantastic movie in its own right. It’s dark and gritty and you get high quality entertainment, brilliant performances and hefty topics (death, illegal wiretapping, anti-heroism).

I loved the original Batman, but the sequel is on a whole other level. Director Chris Nolan does a fantastic job at telling a complicated tale. It’s the fastest two and a half hour movie I ever saw. Not once did I feel the movie the plot was moving too slowly. Most of the performances are fantastic. It’s an all star cast and everyone seems to be doing that extra something special. I had read Heath Ledger’s performance in particular was fantastic, but I wondered how much of that praise came from sympathy over his terrible fate. My cynical doubts were put to rest: Heath Ledger’s performance is gripping. His speech on anarchy is terrifying!

The movie is not perfect. I did not buy Maggie Gyllenhaal as the love interest to Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart – she’s a great actress, but she’s just not pretty enough! I also had a hard time buying Aaron Eckhart’s transformation.

These minor quibbles aside, this is the best movie of the year and you should all see it!

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  • Completely agreed on most counts. A couple of other thoughts though (WARNING, SPOILERS):

    1. In terms of pacing, one of the things I loved about the movie is how well it maintained my interest for 2.5 hours, and I think that in addition to just being action-packed, it did a fair job of creating false endings so that you really didn’t know when it would come to its conclusion. Notably, in most superhero movies, there would still be loose ends before the next big plot twist, e.g., the Joker would come close to being captured but somehow escape, so that if you knew he had to end the movie in captivity, you knew there was more to come. Here, the movie “tied up” the loose ends and then completely unwound them again, leaving me surprised a couple of times that there was more still going on.

    2. I loved how much the people of Gotham were a focus of the movie, and how their reactions to events played out and shaped what was going on.

    3. I disagree completely about Maggie Gyllenhaal. Sure, she’s no Catwoman, but the character isn’t meant to be beautiful. I was skeptical of her in the role when I first heard the casting, but I actually liked Rachel much better as the the sort-of-plain girl next door. It makes her a contrast to the models and starlets that Wayne is hanging out with all the time, and that contrast helps to emphasize why he is still carrying a torch for her. Also, it keeps our image of Dent as an ordinary guy, the “anti-Bruce Wayne.” I don’t know if I would have believed the purity of his conviction as much if his woman had been really hot. Neither of the men have a very sexual relationship with Rachel, it is much more emotional and intellectual. Then again, maybe I just give Maggie extra credit because I have the image of her masturbating to a red pen burned into my memory from Secretary . . .

  • kudos to the makers of Dark Knight for their record breaking opening weekend… it’s no wonder there’s talk of another one coming out ASAP