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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Reviews Are Out!

The Dark Knight Rises comes out this Friday on July 20th, and the first reviews of the film are starting to role in! I'm actually very surprised to see that there's mixed reviews, some of the critics thought the film had some problems. The movie also got some very positive reviews as well. None of these reviews sway my insane excitement for the movie, and I still think it's going to be an incredible film! 

I've gathered together snippets from several reviews of the film from around the net for you to read. Check them out and let us know if they've changed your opinion of the film that you've built up in your head.

Empire

...He raised the bar so high, no-one could be expected to clear it. Still, whether you believe this betters Begins or eclipses Knight, it is certainly a satisfying conclusion to what is now — we’re calling it — the best superhero series of all time. 

As ever, Nolan’s Batman is at its best in the more intimate moments — whether it’s a man finally realising a hero’s identity, or the scene- (and jewellery-) stealing introduction of a new character. As slinky burglar Selina Kyle, Anne Hathaway is superb: physically dangerous, emotionally intriguing and sexy without milking it. (It’s a very different take from the Catwoman portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, but no less enjoyable.) As ambiguous as Kyle is, her journey shares with Wayne’s a sense of struggling for a fresh start, for a clean slate, ultimately for redemption. 

With spectacle in abundance and sexiness in (supporting) parts, this is superhero filmmaking on an unprecedented scale. Rises may lack the surprise of Begins or the anarchy of Knight, but it makes up for that in pure emotion. A fitting epitaph for the hero Gotham deserves.

Hitfix:

We may never see superhero films quite like these again, and that's fine. Nolan had something special to say with his time in the trenches, and he's ended on his own terms. I suspect that the reaction to the film will be hotly divided, but I'm firmly on the side that this is a triumph, a victory for all involved, and one of the year's most impressive efforts so far in any genre, on any subject. "The Dark Knight Rises" confirms that these films have always had an endgame in mind, and it has been a remarkable ride, one I would not want to follow. Whoever Warner Bros hires to reboot the "Batman" films a few years from now, I wish you luck. The bar is as high as it could possibly be.

Total Film

Is it perfect? Factor in some clunky catch-up exposition near the start, a cringey log-fire love scene and moments where Hans Zimmer's score nearly foghorns the actors off the screen and the answer's no.

An even bigger question: is it up there with The Dark Knight? Not quite. The Joker in the pack still gives part two the edge. But there's no shame in coming second to Nolan's Michael Mann with masks masterpiece.

And rather than replaying it in your head, you'll be busy agog at Wally Pfister's cinematography (the harsh beauty of the city under snow); the seamless interweave of genres (police thriller, disaster movie, psychodrama); how Nolan implies brutality without riling the censor; or the equally sly way he slips in possibly controversial elements from the Bat-mythos without risking outrage.
 
Spider-Man 3, X-Men: The Last Stand, Blade: Trinity… third time's often the harm for superhero movies. Not on Nolan's watch.

Coming Soon: 

Trying to pile so many ideas into the first hour leads to an incredibly convoluted plot set-up that's all over the place as it introduces new characters like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's police officer, whose first meeting with Wayne seems as forced as his later romance with Marion Cotillard's Miranda Tate, something that comes from out of left field and may not have been necessary. It takes a long time for the existence and purposes of these characters to become clear, making the first half of the movie that much more frustrating. 

The story isn't quite as solid as "The Dark Knight" and the main villains aren't quite as memorable, but having a director with such a strong vision and conviction to fulfill it makes Nolan's Batman finale pay off at least as a bookend to "Batman Begins" even if it may require quite a bit more patience than both previous films. 

Variety:

Few blockbusters have borne so heavy a burden of audience expectation as Christopher Nolan's final Batman caper, and the filmmaker steps up to the occasion with a cataclysmic vision of Gotham City under siege in "The Dark Knight Rises." Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan's trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world. 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. Global B.O. domination awaits.

The Hollywood Reporter:

The real world threats of terrorism, political anarchy and economic instability make deep incursions into the cinematic comic book domain in The Dark Knight Rises. Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. 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. It's a blockbuster by any standard. 

The director daringly pushes the credibility of a Gotham City besieged by nuclear-armed revolutionaries to such an extent that it momentarily seems absurd that a guy in a costume who refuses to kill people could conceivably show up to save the day. This is especially true since Nolan, probably more than any other filmmaker who's ever gotten seriously involved with a superhero character, has gone so far to unmask and debilitate such a figure. But he gets away with it and, unlike some interludes in the previous films, everything here is lucid, to the point and on the mark, richly filling out (especially when seen in the IMAX format) every moment of the 164-minute running time.

Despite all the advanced technology deployed to make The Dark Knight Rises everything it is, Nolan remains proudly and defiantly old school (as only the most successful directors can get away with being these days) when it comes to his filmmaking aesthetic, an approach indicated in a note at the end of the long final credits: “This motion picture was shot and finished on film.

IGN:

The film has several exciting action set-pieces, many of which utilize the aerial vehicle The Bat, but none of which provoke the kind of jaw-dropping reaction that the truck flip did in The Dark Knight. Still, there are enough brawls, chases, and stuff going boom to satisfy hungry action fans. The battle in the streets pitting Bane’s army against Batman and the GCPD is quite a sight to behold in IMAX. Speaking of which, far more of this film was shot in IMAX than The Dark Knight, but the transitions here between full screen IMAX and the almost “letterbox” effect of regular film can be jarring. That said, IMAX really is the best way to watch this movie.

The aforementioned gripes aside, director Christopher Nolan and his team have delivered the grandest, most emotional and superheroic chapter in their Batman saga. The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting emotional and narrative conclusion to this particular interpretation of the enduring story of Bruce Wayne the man and Batman the legend.

The Playlist:

In a season filled with big movies that somehow ask even bigger questions, “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the superego to its competition’s id. An action opus that manages at to be both viscerally and intellectually engaging, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated third Batman film comes full circle, examining both the Dark Knight and the society that produced him without sacrificing any of the sweeping thrills for which the series is known. A literate, thoughtful and invigorating finale, “The Dark Knight Rises” delivers everything audiences ask for and then some, albeit in fewer of the ways that they might expect. 

If, as Badass Digest argues, “The Avengers” “defeated irony and cynicism,” then “The Dark Knight Rises” feels like the rock-bottom, lowest-point examination of ourselves which provides the substance to make Joss Whedon’s optimistic vision endure. Because Nolan’s film is a reminder that superheroes aren’t merely a frivolous distraction, or even a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but an embodiment of our best selves – or at least what we want our best selves to be. A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph, “The Dark Knight Rises” is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope."

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