THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
If I could give it six stars, I would. When was the last time you can recall a summer blockbuster/popcorn picture, based on a comic book, create so much applause? Box office through the roof, hardcore fans more than satisfied, critics raving and average viewers blown away. This truly was a phenomenon. Nolan approaches the subject matter with such sophistication and intelligence. It's an uncompromisingly dark vision that asks the viewer to pay close attention. The script borrows from '70s crime dramas, where intricate plot details are filled with set-ups and pay-offs. Gone is the comic book feeling, which is replaced with a harsh reality and a plausible story-line. The Dark Knight succeeds on multiple levels; in particular, the various thematic elements are not exclusive to the dramatic sequences. Thankfully, the action moments are integral to the substance of the film. There isn't a single moment where we can shut off our brain. It's a riveting experience both viscerally and intellectually.
Heath Ledger's Joker is a frightening and scene-stealing transformation. It is, quite possibly, the greatest representation of this maniacal character in the entire history of the Batman comic series. His point of view is so clearly realized that we almost agree with his madness. The intense tone of the film is matched by the staggering score. Under normal circumstances, Two-Face would receive tremendous acclaim. The development to his character is outstanding. Also, Commissioner Gordon is finally attributed his worthy attention. Ultimately, the poetry of this very serious and layered masterpiece, is that this is the right film at the right time. What's at stake? The soul of Gotham city. The fundamental questions this film raises are both crucial and profound. "When the Truth becomes Legend, print the Legend." In this film, audiences receive both.
Director: Christopher Nolan