The Dark Knight (2008): Christian Bale returns to Christopher Nolan's Batman saga to take on The Joker. (Heath Ledger)
There's no secret on this. I love this movie. One of four perfect 10s I have over the last 13 years. And almost everyone in the world has seen this movie so I'm gonna keep this one short because I'm only writing it out of fanboyism and not because of my love of movies. So why is this movie one of the best movies of recent memory? Well....let's not start with the acting. We'll get there. How about the them? Ok..... So this is arguably the darkest superhero movie ever made. And I love this movie for it. Honestly this movie is so dark that I don't really think of it as a superhero movie. I just think of it as a movie. And man does it benefit because of this. The movie saves itself from having to make grand leaps in its story in order to get to where its going which many superhero movies do, including the former and later in this trilogy. Particularly the later but we aren't talking about Rises are we? No. This movie grounds itself in realism throughout, creating a thrilling and believable villain in the Joker and a believable fall in one of the movie's primary characters. Can I spoil? Yes I can. Harvey Dent's transformation into Two Face is far and away the best transformation we've seen in a movie. It is freakishly believable, unlike the comic book-like transformations we've seen in movies like Batman Forever.
Ok enough exposition about things other than the acting. Let's talk about the acting. This is one of the best written movies of recent memory which in turn creates one of the best acted movies of the past 25 years. Everyone puts in stand-out performances, from Christian Bale as Batman to Michael Cain as Alfred to Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. Even Maggie Gyllenhall puts in a great performance as Harvey/Wayne's female interest. And then there's Heath Ledger. From the first unforgettable moment we see him as The Joker, he dazzles. To the point that it is the single best acting performance I have ever seen unfold before me on a screen. Now is that me saying it's the best performance ever? Hell no. There are 1000s of movies I have never seen, and I do not know what is contained within. But from what I've seen, this role takes the cake. He is threatening, unpredictable, scary, and intimidating. There are so many words to describe this character and him as an actor. It is unfortunate that it also cost him his life. As a result, Nolan has decided to honor his memory by not revealing anything on how Ledger actually got into the role past what he said in interviews before he died, as well as there was no mention of him at all in Rises. I wish I could learn more about this performance, but I will probably have to wait quite a few years before the Ledger family decides it's appropriate. That's what I got here. A fanboy review of The Dark Knight. Maybe one day I'll write a real review of it.
The Critique: Brilliant writing, acting, and cinematography all come together to create a masterpiece and the best superhero movie to date.
The Recommendation: A must-watch for anyone who hasn't already seen it. And if you have seen it, it is certainly worth watching again.
The Verdict: 10/10 Perfect
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