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The Dark Knight Rises movie poster

The Dark Knight Rises: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
Released by: Warner Bros.

In Short: Writer-director Christopher Nolan closes out his Batman trilogy with an eye-popping, clever take on the Dark Knight's reluctant return to action after going into hiding for eight long years.

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Nolan and Bale Go Out with a Bang!

"The Dark Knight Rises" proves once again that writer-director Christopher Nolan was definitely the right guy to reboot the Batman franchise. This, his third and (as he insists) final take on the classic DC Comics series, is a rousing good time at the movies, packed with a pitch-perfect combination of emotional moments, terrifying tortures, sexy interludes and balls-out action sequences.

Christian Bale also returns for what he agrees is his last time playing the dual role of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego the Batman. As the story begins, he's a shell of his former self, still battered and bruised by the events chronicled in the 2008 blockbuster, "The Dark Knight." Using a cane and looking drawn and haunted, he's spent eight years in seclusion, with only Alfred, his trusty butler, as a companion.

All that changes quickly as a series of unexpected events unfolds. Although Gotham City has been a place of peace and prosperity during Batman's absence, all that changes when a frightening masked terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) begins to wreak havoc on the populace. Meanwhile, Wayne has encountered the fascinating cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and the gorgeous and wealthy Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard); both women spark emotions in him that have long lain dormant.

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale face off as Bane and Batman in The Dark Knight Rises Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises

As the action and romance heat up, Gotham City falls under Bane's iron grip, and Batman must once again "rise," donning his Batsuit and heading out of his still-functioning Batcave to take on the evildoers. But Bane proves to be a more-than-worthy foe for Batman, thus leading to the first of several plot twists — twists that keep the audience guessing right up until the final frames of this intriguing flick.

Nolan's vision of Batman's world continues to be a striking one, as he weaves together dizzying camera angles, arresting visual images and seriously fantastic Bat toys — the latest Batcycle is incredibly cool — into a movie-going experience that leaves the viewer gasping for air with excitement. Add in the thrill of a huge-screen IMAX theater, and "The Dark Knight Rises" becomes a truly satisfying, close-to-three-hour cinematic adventure.

We'd guess that in the end, most moviegoers will be sad to see this prolific filmmaker leave the Dark Knight behind. But at the same time, fans should be thrilled that Christopher Nolan has given us a Batman trilogy that truly captures the excitement and adventure of its iconic source material.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

Related Content:
Batman Begins review
The Dark Knight review

(Updated: 07/19/12 NW)

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