Dark Knight Rises Review: What Critics Are Saying

With The Dark Knight Rises finally opening this Friday, early reviews for the guaranteed-blockbuster are starting to come in. So far, director Christopher Nolan's last installment of the Batman trilogy is receiving reviews that indicate his mega-movie will live up to its mega-hype. 

"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," writes Justin Chang of Variety. 

Many of the reviews pay homage to the film's ties to both 9/11 and the Occupy movement. 

"Because of the explosions, the dust, the panic and the sweeping aerial shots of a very real-looking New York City — invokes the Sept 11 attacks. It’s unsettling enough that some may find it tough going."So writes Manohla Dargis in her review review for the New York Times.

Reviewer Todd Gilchrist writes the film is, "A cinematic, cultural and personal triumph ... emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself – as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope."

Some reviewers were not as kind. Dana Stevens wrote in her review for Slate, "The Dark Knight Rises bursts at the seams with the kind of urgent, vague political references that fall just short of being ideas."

While most reviewers credit the film, and Nolan, there are a fair share of course naysayers in the mix as well. David Fear of Time Out New York wrote in his review, "But grand scale or no, this feels like a blockbuster on autopilot more often than not, curiously detached and self-importantly somber even by the director’s standards—and without the cerebral heft of his best work." 

Early reviews give big ups to Anne Hathaway in the role of Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Critic Drew McWeeny writes, "She would have been enough of a character to support an entire film." 

Even reviewers who wrote that the movie "falls flat", like Mick LaSalle of the San Fransico Chronicle, share their support for Hathaway calling her a "nicely reimagined Catwoman." 

From the 140 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes the film is so far receiving an 87% approval rating. 

The Dark Knight Rises will be released (finally) on Friday, July 20. 

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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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