THE DARK KNIGHT RISES Review

by     Posted 1 year, 273 days ago

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Call me old-fashioned, but I like my Batman movies to have Batman in them.  Writer-director Christopher Nolan has always had a peculiar relationship with the Dark Knight.  His approach was to set the character in a “realistic” world, or at least a world as real as one can get with a man in a rubber suit fighting crime.  Despite a seriously flawed third act, Batman Begins brought an interesting new take on the character by introducing an exploration of fear with regards to how it molded Bruce Wayne’s personality and became a weapon he used against his enemies.  However, The Dark Knight started to shift away from Batman, and instead placed the emphasis on the supporting cast, namely The Joker, Harvey Dent, and James Gordon.  The template felt bigger, the stakes were higher, and the canvas was grander, and yet Batman felt like he was competing to be a lead character in his own movie.  With The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan has closed out his Batman trilogy with an intense, epic, grand conclusion filled with terrific performances, exhilarating action, thoughtful ideas, and almost no room for the caped crusader.

It’s been eight years since the events of The Dark Knight.  The legend of Harvey Dent and the passage of the Dent Act have allowed Gotham to crack down on organized crime and bring peace to the city.  The cost has been a moral weight on the shoulders of Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) and Police Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman).  Batman hasn’t come out of hiding, and Wayne has become a recluse with a gimpy leg.  Wayne and Gordon seem resigned to sadly live out their days, but Batman is forced to come out of retirement when the intimidating masked terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) comes to wreak havoc in Gotham.

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That’s the baseline of the story, but there are a lot of other moving parts.  There’s the cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), who’s working to get Bruce Wayne’s fingerprints as part of Bane’s nefarious scheme; there’s the idealistic young cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who doesn’t buy the lie that Batman killed Harvey Dent; and there’s Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), a powerful businesswoman who wants to help the floundering Wayne Enterprises finish construction on a fission reactor, which could be used to bring clean energy to the city.

It’s a big game with a lot of players, and Batman doesn’t get any special treatment.  It’s ostensibly his story, but the scope of the picture makes him feel like a very small piece of the puzzle.  This smallness occasionally works to the picture’s advantage.  We get to see the Dark Knight as Bane sees not only Batman but the whole world: tiny.  Bane doesn’t hate Batman.  He just sees him as an amusing fly in the ointment who deserves a little special punishment, but not as a serious foe capable of stopping the master plan.  The powerlessness of Batman also adds to the enormity of Bane’s threat.  If Batman can’t save the day, then who can?

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And this question is where The Dark Knight Rises begins to show Nolan’s true feelings about Batman and how those feelings conflict with creating the culmination of the character’s journey.  The series has always put Batman up as a symbol for Gotham.  The hero’s journey is about Bruce Wayne coming to grips with death.  Batman is simply the end-result; he can’t grow or develop.  The problem with having Batman serve only as a symbol is that it pushes the focus on to those who perceive the symbol.  Therefore, the story isn’t about the culmination of Batman’s journey, but the culmination of how outsiders view Batman.

Specifically, The Dark Knight Rises shows how John Blake views Batman.  Because of the strange dynamic Nolan has created, Blake feels like more of a hero than Batman.  While Bruce Wayne is figuring out how to get off his crutch and learn how to be Batman again, Blake is the guy who’s actively involved in working the case.  He’s an forceful character played by a great actor, and it’s not until we’re about halfway through that it seems like the movie should be called John Blake Begins.  Nolan wants to push forward a ridiculously populist notion that anyone could be Batman.  It’s a gooey sentiment that people like Gordon and Blake can make a difference just by fighting crime.

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But they can’t be Batman.  The first two movies made sure we knew Batman wasn’t an everyman.  He’s not Peter Parker.  Bruce Wayne has, for all intents and purposes, infinite wealth.  He’s had years and years of fierce mental and physical training.  Batman Begins shows how hard Bruce Wayne had to work to become Batman.  In The Dark Knight, Batman says he has more of a right to be a vigilante than a couple of regular guys because, “I’m not wearing hockey pads!”  Now in The Dark Knight Rises, crime fighting is for everybody.  Nolan wants to take the symbol of Batman as someone trying to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, and change it into a symbol of hope.  The Dark Knight Rises wants us to love the idea of Batman—fighting crime for the good of the city—and forget the specifics of Batman.

The film goes about doing this by trying to strip Bruce Wayne down to nothing.  It’s an admirable approach, but it takes far too long to get Bruce Wayne on his journey.  The movie kicks off with a bravura set piece (and all of the action scenes are mind-blowing in IMAX), and there’s enough propulsive energy to keep the story moving, but the film goes through a remarkably clunky first act as we build up to the first showdown between Bane and Bats.  Thankfully, there’s Hathaway providing the lifeblood to the film, and she’s an absolute joy.  Her Catwoman is everything fans could want from the character: sexy, seductive, sardonic, sly, and dangerous.

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Sadly, her presence is deeply diminished as the film enters its overwhelming second act where Bane’s big plan comes to fruition, and it’s at this point where The Dark Knight Rises forgets about “The Dark Knight” part of the title so it can go all-in on the socio-political dynamic Nolan seeks to explore.   The film appears to suggest that the poor are coming to kill us all.  Bane’s army of mercenaries is able to hide in plain sight by dressing up as janitors, maintenance men, construction workers, etc. They’re invisible to society, and now they’re rigging bombs everywhere so that the middle- and upper-class will no longer be safe and secure.  This would be the cue for some serious social upheaval and seeing how Gotham society crumbles when Bane makes a play at anarchy.

Maybe we would finally see the rotted city that had been talked about in the first two movies but never seen.  Nolan has always told us what Gotham is like.  In Batman Begins, Ra’s Al Ghul says that Gotham needs to be cleansed in order to restore balance.  In The Dark Knight, the Joker, Batman, and Gordon all believe that if the citizens of Gotham learned the truth about Dent’s murders, they would lose hope and tear the city apart.  The Dark Knight Rises follows the same belief: Gotham is a hellhole that’s primed to explode, and Batman is the only bulwark against a madman who’s willing to tip the city over the edge.  Except we’re never shown this Gotham in any of the movies.  We’re shown glimpses of the Narrows in Batman Begins, and there’s a brief scene of social chaos in The Dark Knight Rises, but Gotham never feels like an awful place.  It just feels like any major city.

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And it’s a city with not much room for citizens.  Rather than show a citizen uprising and truly follow through on his notion of social anarchy, Nolan simply sets up his war with two camps: Bane’s army vs. the cops.  The cops are billed as the ordinary citizens, but they’re not.  They have authority, they have weapons, and they’re the legal protectors of Gotham.  John Blake is the common man in that he is not Batman, but that doesn’t make him an everyman.  The Dark Knight Rises hints at serious social revolution, but ultimately falls in line with painting Gotham City as an abstract rather than tangibly showing us a complicated picture.

Nolan’s talent is making us feel that the film is complex, and that we’re looking at a vast, grandiose vision of a superhero’s triumph over evil.  There is not a second in The Dark Knight Rises where I felt bored.  I was captivated, confused, scared, energized, disturbed, uplifted, annoyed, amused, and disappointed at various points throughout the picture, but I was never bored.  I can’t overstate how important IMAX was to the experience, and I worry that the picture suffers without it.  For a movie where the villain is a physically imposing monster devising a plan to bring down an entire city, the IMAX format feels essential.

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But more than any canvas, film format, villain, or social subtext, Batman is what should truly be essential.  Much like it pretends at a depicting a complicated Gotham City, The Dark Knight Rises pretends that this is the culmination of a hero’s journey.  Except how important can this journey be if it’s being pushed aside for Bane’s rousing speeches, widespread destruction, and rise of the common policeman against the common mercenary?  Nolan admirably tries to bring the element of fear back into Bruce Wayne’s journey, but there’s no weight to the element because it’s divorced from every other aspect of the story.  Fear is not a theme, but a character trait, and one that was only brought up in the first movie.  There’s not enough time to truly let the subtext grow because there’s not enough time for Batman to grow.

By wasting time on introducing too many characters and their complicated plans, The Dark Knight Rises has to rush its way through a shockingly weak finish where Nolan indulges on fan-service, half-hearted payoffs, and an attempt to find a heart that the movie never really had (there’s a lot about the ending that bugs me, but I won’t go into spoilers).  There are some teary monologues from Alfred (Michael Caine) in the first act, but there aren’t a lot of strong emotional moments.  Without Batman, without a hero, there’s no soul to the picture.  The Dark Knight Rises uses Batman as a way to get to a big villain, a big war, a big statement on class conflict, and a big damn spectacle.  Batman is a means to an end, which means he’s not a hero or a legend.  He’s just a function.

Rating: C

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  • Leonardo

    I expected this from Goldberg.

    • Thundersauresrex

      And he expected this from you.

      • g

        ^^^^
        hahaha why are you responding to every comment that insults goldberg? why are you so butt hurt? lol i bet you’re him and just have that account to make yourself feel better. lol loser

      • Thundersauresrex

        im responding in hyperbole cause people on this site CLEARLY can’t take other opinions with out discussing things. rather they just vomit on others thoughts while Fevershly masterbate to their own ways of thinking. isn’t a blog to have a discussion?

      • Thundersauresrex

        I am responding in Hyperbole cause it just seems that people on this site cannot take others opinions. instead they vomit upon the person they dislike then fevershly masterbate to their own way of thinking feeling that – that’s an appropriate way of doing things instead of discussing. give whys … Matt gives why’s….why cant we? can we all just get along?

      • g

        “seems that people on this site cannot take others opinions.”
        “evershly masterbate to their own way of thinking feeling that”
        “can we all just get along?”

        looks like you’re no different. the people on this site are just voicing their opinion on matt. no need to whine about it like a baby. haha

      • Griz

        lol “butt hurt” . . . good one, g!

      • Thefundamental

        Thundersauresrex, I’m on your side. Keep fighting the good fight. People who just vomit on others’ opinions are insecure about themselves and their own takes.

    • Nate

      Whoever this guy is who wrote this review must have never read a real Batman comic in his life. It was amazing.

      • John

        I agree, I think the guy who wrote this review is a ‘seriously flawed act’

    • Lance

      I completely disagree with Goldberg’s characterization of this movie. This film is not at war with itself or confused at all.

      In the very first movie, Batman Begins, what does Ra’s Al Ghul say to Bruce? That he can become more than just a man. He can become a legend. And by that Ra’s doesn’t just mean that Bruce can become a big-time player, he means it quite literally. Legends inspire and move people. This was Bruce’s ultimate goal, after all. To provide hope to a people who had given in to despair, to inspire them to take action.

      Watching characters like Gordon and Blake take on Bane’s forces isn’t a distraction, it’s the culmination of everything Batman set out to accomplish. Wanting this movie to focus on one costumed man taking on evil to the exclusion of everything else reveals a failure to understand what this movie series is all about.

      Because in the end, it’s not enough for one man to be Batman. Since Bruce Wayne doesn’t have spider powers, or healing factor, or Kryptonian DNA, he can’t do it all on his own. He needs others to rise up with him. And ultimately, he needs someone to take on the mantle of Batman when he can’t do it himself anymore.

      Everyone in the theater I was at was cheering and applauding at the end. This really felt like a fitting end to a trilogy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan got an Oscar nomination from it. Where The Avengers was a really fun summer popcorn movie, The Dark Knight Rises aims to be deeper than that, and actually tries to move you. I think it succeeds.

      • diles3

        Thank you for an analytic response as opposed to, well, the rest of the responses. I think you hit it on the head,but I think the critique’s technical questions are somewhat on the mark: the film does get bogged down a bit. This is an argument for a longer film, frankly.

      • Jen

        Lance, i totally agree with you! Your response it more insightful than this entire review.

      • Chris

        FINALLY, someone GETS IT. The review has a point in some places, but ur opinion, Lance, is DEAD on.

    • T-Man

      By far one of the most accurate and objective reviews I’ve read so far from either the critics and fans. This movie is C+ at best. Goldberg pretty much nailed it. There was too much exposition in the first act and climax, too many characters introduced, and not enough of the man in the cape. I appreciate and respect the story and approach Nolan was taking with this film, but the execution was lackluster. I enjoyed the ending and felt it was fitting for the series. This film reminded me of Godfather 3: not horrible, but not great compared to the first two films. Just a decent and acceptable way to finish a trilogy. Not wanting to spoil anything, but epic climax should have been done at night and not during broad daylight, perhaps finishing with the sun “rising.”

      • Satchmo

        Co-signed. Whatever d-bag said ‘read the comics its exactly like them’ was dropped on his head as a child. I saw it last night and I’m left with a couple of questions: Seriously Nolan? What the hell was that? Why was the Batwing a leftover prop from Terminator Salvation? Why did Bane just end like that? SPOILER – Joseph Gordon Levitt “call me Robin”, really? That was a C+ movie at very best, 2 hours and 40 minutes of overblown drama and trying to stuff WWWAAAAAYYYY too much into a feature film. Did Michael Caine have to cry in every scene he was in? Why does Batmans mouth and speech sound and look like a down syndrome child? When he was talking to people, half the time I was expecting them to pull out a rag and wipe the drool from the sides of his mouth. When i heard Anne Hathaway had been cast as Catwoman I was uber disappointed – turns out she was the best part of the entire movie! If you all could get the bat pubes out of your mouth for a second you might be able to see what I did: A perfect example of trying too hard, reaching way too far and…coming up short . The Avengers pound for pound took a dump on the drivers seat of the Batmobile. The only positive I came out of this movie with was the fact that the action was much easier to follow then both of Nolan’s previous efforts. I saw the Dark Knight three times in theatre – taking friends and family to it to show them that a comic book movie could be more then just a bunch of dudes in costumes fighting. Granted the third act of the Dark Knight fell apart as well but not nearly as bad as the train wreck which was “Rises”. Keep it up Goldberg, good review.

      • Ash Talon

        I completely agree. This movie ultimately fails. Batman’s journey (if it even is one) has no relevance to the resolution of the film’s conflict (a major problem with most action movies). Despite the attempted scope, the film feels tiny. Empty streets with a non-existent populace. And a lack of any real meaning. Honestly, this movie is about nothing.

  • junierizzle

    Seems like people have problems with characters and story structure. Story is what Nolan does best. I find it hard to believe that Nolan messed the story up, but I could be wrong.

    • The Dude

      You could be wrong or you could be just another Nolan fanboy swinging ever so swiftly from his nutsack?

      Let’s test my theory: Did you like the Avengers?

      • DrewL

        The irony

    • Tucker

      I was disappointed and i could see it on other people’s faces to, i gues our expectations took this film away from us. It was still good just different from what i had in mind.

      • Thefundamental

        Agreed.

  • Scott

    Holy crap he didn’t like a movie that most will love. Shocked beyond belief.

  • Grayden

    Once again Goldberg makes you not want to read his review and skip to the comments to deride his loathing of mostly anything entertaining; all from the first sentence.

    What a joke. Can Collider have someone else review films…like Frosty, perhaps.

    • Thundersauresrex

      Or maybe he just needs different readers. there are actually quite a bit of people that enjoy him. its just that the people that comment tend to self righteous asshats that think their crude demeanor or more important than Matt’s.

      • JayF

        No there aren’t

      • k.soze

        In all fairness, it was a well-written and articulated piece. But Jay F’s right, no one likes matt goldberg.

  • Duane

    Well you are entitled to your opinion, and may well be right. I dont know yet

    But why have I got the feeling that you’ve been waiting to shit on this movie for months?

    • Thundersauresrex

      cause your delusional

      • Duane

        Im not the one taking time out of my life to respond to every single person here who has criticised the guy. Are you his butler or something?

        Pathetic stuff

      • Nate

        @Duane
        I laughed out loud at the butler comment. Good stuff.

      • Thundersauresrex

        Why yes i am his butler. how’d you know? my point was just to show you guys that alot of Commenters here are irrational to alot of things not just Goldburg. who yes is a cynic. BUT a review to be placed on a site with an active comments section is for SOUNDING OFF not shitting on the article. and looking at his review i agree with ALOT of it having seen the film last night. AND at the same time Goldburg didnt ACTUALLY shit all over the movie…he gave it some good praise. it just wasnt the send off he was looking for.
        I personally think alot of the things were underused and the BAT was bit cartoonie at moments though was a good idea. Batman and many things (INCLUDING THE BAT and all those emotional trials that Alfred went through that means nothing by the end of the film with how they chose to end it.) fell by the way side to me and seemed more as MEANS TO AN END.

      • Griz

        nicely done, Duane!

  • Mars

    “…but there aren’t a lot of strong emotional moments.”

    That’s a deal breaker for me. And I’ll believe it when I see it in regards to Anne Hathaway being good for once in a film.

    Informative review for once, explaining Nolan’s socio-political statements. No secret that he’s probably a furious conservative. He also picked the least competent director to helm Man of Steel…Zack Snyder who also happens to be a huge right winger, which means we’ll probably have to sit through their ham-handed attempts at throwing their conservative ideals all over us.

    • JW

      You’re totally right! It’s like, when will we get some strong liberal opinions in a movie?

    • diles3

      Another reviewer suggested that Nolan is not necessarily furiously conservative (in whatever way you mean that), but rather takes the position of Dickens, who saw the rich as having something of a responsibility for the lower classes. However, the use of extreme violence (Reign of Terror) once this responsibility is forfeited is not justified or productive.

  • Tyler

    I know that he is a reviewer and this is his opinion about the movie, but come on. Every damn review I read from this guy is one big article of complaining. Take the movie for what it is, and stop making mountains out of mole hills. Now, im not all too familiar with the “Goldberg Review Scale”, so for anyone who is, what is the actual score after the conversion?

    • Tyler

      B+/A-

    • Backup

      You do realize it’s his job to be critical of movies, right?

  • The13thDoctor

    okay I read this guys reviews and I gotta ask.

    DOES GUY LIKE ANYTHING!!!??? Five reviews of his I’ve read in a row and they always read like he expects every movie to be casablanca, citizen kane, and apocalypse now all rolled into one! And when they fall short of his psychotic expectations he digs into it like Invader Zim hunting for germs

    Now I haven’t seen the film yet so for all I know I might agree with him in this case but seeing as every review of his I’ve seen prior to this one I’ve disagreed with I’d say the likelihood of our seeing eye to eye is slim to none.

    I know it’s different strokes for different folks but maybe there might not be a problem with the movies but perhaps in the way you view them.

    In any case for me I hope to god I disagree with you on this one.

    • keits

      Matt needs to quit his dayjob, which involves heavy rimming. Then he also needs to quit his night job, which is reviewing movies, with sporadic heavy rimming.

  • Richard

    “Almost no room for the caped crusader” was one of my chief complaints too. While Matt is perhaps a little harsher than I have been in my own review, this is a film at war with itself at times. It has a very long middle act that has no need for Batman at all, as Matt rightly points out, and it seems Nolan was trying to get two or three other films out of his system by using Batman as a vehicle

  • Sugreev2001

    Why doesn’t Collider just get rid of this loser ? I’ve yet to come across any regular to this site even like his work at all,isn’t that all you need to remove him.

    • Thundersauresrex

      I actually enjoy reading his reviews. he opens up a lot of good remarks and discussion points about movies. Just cause youre a fan boy doesnt mean you should hate him. i mean if he gets fired cause you don’t like him i think we should burn you and your family cause i don’t like how you slander another human being……..sounds fare right?

      • JayF

        Dear Cuntasaurusrex, we know you’re Matt Goldberg. Stop trying.

      • Prfsr_X

        I don\’t usually take the time to comment, but I\’m a daily reader of Collider and I for one enjoy hearing Matt\’s usually dissenting opinion. I would consent that he tends to be a bit negetive, but also makes some good points that are well articulated, unlike most of the folks in the comments section who can\’t even take the time to check their spelling before blasting out some remedial schoolhouse insult. If you don\’t like Matt\’s take, read your reviews somewhere else. I\’d much rather hear a healthy debate about the latest films here than a bitchfest about Goldberg. I realze that may be too much to ask from this crowd, but please feel free to prove me wrong. Bottom line: If you\’re just gonna complain about the reviewer, do it somewhere else please. I think many of us are here because we like to read and talk about movies not sling shit at each other, and that the mudslinging is just a lot of irritating noise drowning out any real discussion of the films and the craft involved in making them.

      • killerkool90

        are u matt goldberg or his lover?? just saying..

  • Stefano

    Frosty, a second opinion is muchly needed. Matt, I’ve been reading this blog for a while now, and I appreciate your trying to be objective. But I also get the feeling that you enjoy writing bad review and use this attitude to build up a reputation as a “tough one”.

    • Thundersauresrex

      Or maybe he just likes to be objective…..or maybe you just like slandering a person’s judgement without knowing them kinda like all these people who disagree with his opinion but have yet to see the movie come to a conclusion to shit all over matt………makes a whole lot of sense! stay classy asshats!

      • Chris

        U defend this guy WAYYYYY too much, Thundersauresrex. Aren’t people allowed to have opinions? Sheesh!

  • Max

    “I’m Matt Goldberg. I hate everything and work backwards from that”

    • Thundersauresrex

      I bet your one of those guys who lives in his parents basements and makes all those ANNOYING quotes MEMES about wide eyed cats or cats doing SILLY THINGS after you masterbate cause you can’t find anything else to do with your based upon your comment here…..

      • keits

        I’ve never met anyone whose parents have more than one basement. Er, wait.. your moms does. She’s got that secret double dungeon cellar where I dose her with a bit of the strawberry cheesecake. A jab to the face gives her that bloody nose look – then BOOM – money shot to the grill. Bitch be looking like a white stripes outfit up on her mug. Blood and semen just all over her fo’head. Sometimes I throw a little feces up on there and call it the thudersaurusrex.

      • Thundersauresrex

        You must be black……….

      • Griz

        @keits . . . .you’re amazing, dude!

      • Max

        Wow! Thunder slow it down man. You’ve already proven your gross stupidity in your bad grammar, poor spelling and general lack of writing skills. Need I say more?
        BTW, do you like to look directly into Matt’s eyes as you blow him?

    • Duane

      Hmmmm, a bit of racism as well? This guy seems to be what the French call a “cunt”

      • ron

        In America, a douche

  • welles

    Vile review from a Marvel fanboi filled with self-loathing. He’s one of those individuals who considers himself just too fucking cool for school.

  • Dana

    What a negative Nancy!!! How is it possible to criticize Chris Nolan and especially The Dark Knight. It feels like Goldberg didn’t like it just because of its huge anticipation. “Some people just want to see big movies burn.” See what I did there haha

  • Adrian

    This guy has wanted attention for months, he has done shitty reviews for good films, so if he says it’s bad, it means it’s good, I hope “collider does not eliminate my comment”

    One more thing, Slash film and this site should be banned from studios when they got an invitation for set visits to their blockbusters”

    See you never again

  • Other Matt

    Matt,

    If you think it’s appropriate, could you please put a spoiler warning about Selena Kyle working to get fingerprints for Bane? I had no idea she was working for/with him until I read it in your review. I’m not sure if it will be a twist in the film or not, but if it is, feel free to remove my comment as well. Otherwise, thanks for being candid about the film.

  • welles

    “…but there aren’t a lot of strong emotional moments.”

    And name one (1) of those in the insipid The Avengers?

    Oh right, there isn’t a single one.

    • Hunter

      whatt??? i almost cried when agent coulsen died

      …not

    • RAR

      What does that have to do with this movie?

    • R.J. Glenn

      Will everyone PLEASE stop comparing The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises? They are two completely different franchises with two different fan bases and different ways of filming. One has humor, one is serious. There’s nothing to compare. They’re both great franchises in different ways.

  • Twojawas

    It’s difficult to stop garbage reviews like this being posted when the troll is actually an administrator for the website. You were never bored but you give the film a ‘C’? Holy Two-Face, Batman!

    • RAR

      I was never bored during The Dark Knight but I didn’t come out with a very high opinion of it. To be honest, I thought it was mostly terrible, apart from Heath Ledger’s performance and Gary Oldman (and pretty much just because he’s Gary Oldman). Although, in this case, my lowered expectations my help me enjoy this one more.

  • Twojawas

    P.S. There is huge emotion in this film. I was brought to tears twice and I can’t remember that happening to me in a cinema in years.

  • nolanite

    Seriously….seriously….who is this guy?
    Goldberg, I’ve read some of your reviews and you’re very hateful.
    We get it, you don’t like this film…blah blah blah.

    I didn’t even read this whole piece of nonsense you wasted your time on…and skipped to the comments.

    I’ll see the film for myself and ill judge it.
    But im pretty sure it’s not a C rated film as you stated it was.

    • RAR

      It’s called a review, you moron.

  • george

    Why is he the only one that reviews these big movies? let someone else do it for a change.. someone with a better track record

  • rohan

    Matt;

    Your punishment must be more severe.

    Now, hold on!!! don’t get me wrong. I am not threatening him. I just wanted to say that.

    A ‘C’. Okay. Alright.

  • Connor

    Why do we hate on reviewers for controversial reviews of movies we love? Shouldn’t we at least respect the opinion, instead of bombarding him with useless crap about how we hate him and how we don’t like his opinion? Sure, he’s tough on movies, but isn’t that a good thing? I haven’t seen the movie, much like everybody who comments on this today, but I’m sure I’ll love it. Christopher Nolan is brilliant, and I trust him to make a great movie. But come on people, stop complaining and saying this guy sucks, and take his review as one opinion of a movie that most of us will thoroughly enjoy. See the movie for yourself and then decide whether you like it or not, because chances are you all have a very different taste for movies

    • RAR

      Thank you! An intelligent commenter for once!

      Negative reviews often tell you more about the movie than positive ones anyway. Plus, he’s just being honest; he didn’t think the movie was great, and he explained why. Read his explanations and decide if his problems with the movie would probably bother you or not. Use your brains people…

    • Sean

      The problem is that Matt Goldberg doesn’t like the type of movies that this website covers. The readers come to this website because we enjoy the types of movies it covers. Based on his reviews, the PODCast, and his most anticipated films lists, clearly his tastes do not match his readers. For 2 months straight this website has had daily updates on the Dark Knight Rises. Why? Because they know it’s the film that readers are most interested in. Matt didn’t even put it in his top 5 most anticipated films.

      None of this is to say his opinions are invalid or that he’s a bad film critic. It’s to say that he’s writing for the wrong blog.

  • Movie Master

    I didnt read his review, but all his writings sux and I concluded this one will be at his most, so Matt, go to your house to watch Notebook, and all those stories you seemed familiar with hahahahahah

  • Dannyboy3030

    Dear Matt Assholeberg,
    You lost me at “Call me old-fashioned”.
    Regards,
    Me

    • comicbooklosersall

      Probably because (like most comic book fans) reading is difficult,.. if he had had pictures in his review, you’d have thought differently? Get a life people.

  • Connor

    People have different tastes in movies. Get over it and see the movie for yourself

  • Jahanzeb

    It seems I need to stop visiting Collider unless they get someone else for reviews. 87 on RT (175 reviews) and 80 on MC (38 reviews) definitely doesn’t translate to a C. This means this guy hated it more than anyone else.

    • RAR

      Uh, that’s not what that means. Rotten Tomatoes measures what percentage of reviewers gave the movie a positive review. A ‘C’ isn’t super-negative, it just means he was one of the 13 percent who didn’t enjoy the movie. It would theoretically be possible for all those other 87 percent of reviews to be ‘B-’s, if RT considers that a positive review. That’s not much higher than a ‘C’…

  • Eric Nixon

    So let me get this straight: Matt Goldberg – and by extension, Collider.com – think that John Carter and MAGIC MIKE are at least a full letter grade better than The Dark Knight Rises. Am I correct in this assumption?

  • Jake

    Seriously, 99 percent of people here hate you. Somebody please fire this goon for f_ck sake.

  • Chris

    I actually took his review as being kind of positive compared to how negative he usually is. It sounds like his major disappointment was the misuse of Batman and not whether or not it is a finely structured movie that will entertain the crap out of you. I think the misuse of Batman part is a very opinionated thing.

  • Mark

    Well written, but I disagree almost entirely. No Batman? Dude you get that Bruce Wayne IS Batman right? Ok so we don’t see him suited up as much as we maybe should have but that’s because of the nature of the story, which borrows heavily from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Point is Bale..as Bruce/Batman..has more screen time in this than he does in the last movie, and the story is much more geared towards him too. You also really don’t seem to get the ultimate message, and I have read a lot of other reviews that fail to also. But hey, maybe I just took something from it that you didn’t..or couldn’t.

    • kels

      what do you think the overall message is in your opinion? if you think it will spoil the movie you dont have to say. I will probably see it on sat..

      • Mike

        The ultimate message, I think, is that this Bruce Wayne set out to create a symbol. He talked about it in the first two movies extensively. He wanted to create a symbol that would inspire the people of Gotham to save their city so that Batman wouldn’t always have to. And that’s finally what happened in TDKR. But in order for the people to save their city, for plot purposes, Batman had to be gone. It all makes perfect sense as a trilogy.

    • Twojawas

      I’m with you. This is the first onscreen Bruce Wayne that I am happy to see as much or more than Batman. It’s Bruce’s story and it was awesome.

  • BobMann

    Meh
    There was more of a shock factor with Dave.
    This is more expected.

  • Jon L

    Guys, guys….. You forgot to apply the Goldberg formula. (Goldberg rating + two Grade levels = actual rating)
    So C + 2 = A. It is all good now.

    • Tmo

      The Goldberg formula is +1 not +2 letter grades. Therefore the movie gets a B.

  • Ric

    wait DREDD got a B- and TDKR a C??? -> damn I have to see Dredd ^^

    • Jon

      Yea, and he gave Magic Mike a B calling it “ridiculously entertaining.” Yep, Magic Mike was apparently more entertaining than The Dark Knight Rises.

  • Rich

    I’ll take in consideration the review. I liked Batman Begins more than The Dark Knight. It seems like (from the review) The Dark Knight Rises goes further by having too many characters. Of course people usually like movies right after seeing it, like Star Trek. Loved it when I first saw it. As time went on, the time travel made no sense. Now I kinda hate Star Trek.
    I’ll decide for myself. I’m not going to automatically like it because its Batman or a Nolan movie. But it doesn’t mean I’ll be overly critical. I’ll be objective and fair.

    • RAR

      Exactly. Many people seem to automatically assume a negative review must be illegitimate just because they’ve liked all the previous movies they’ve seen by Nolan.

      Personally, I loved ‘Inception’ and ‘Memento,’ really liked ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Prestige,’ and hated ‘The Dark Knight.’ I haven’t seen ‘Insomnia’ or ‘Following,’ but I’m guessing most of these self-acclaimed ‘Nolan-ites’ haven’t either, just because they aren’t as popular.

      On a side note, I also felt the same way about ‘Star Trek.’

      • killerkool90

        you suck

  • Rastapopoulos

    164 minutes, it’s insane for a super-heros movie. We’re not talking about The Godfather or There will be blood…

  • Satchmo

    Great review, I usually find Matt to be a tad negative but he made some really good points. The amount of hype this movie has bestowed on it is ludicrous, its BATMAN for god sakes. People threatening reviewers for their opinions is madness. I look forward to seeing this but am prepared for disappointment. I should say though that I always find myself disappointed by the final act of the first two that Nolan made. Overall id say my list would go:
    1: Batman Returns (i was still a kid when i saw it and it blew my little mind so thats probably why its #1 for me)
    2: Dark Knight
    3: Batman
    4:Batman Begins

    Honorable mention goes to: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Mark Hamills Joker is by far the best, Heath Ledger did the role justice too don’t get me wrong)

    The rest of them I can do without, just pretend they never happened.

    Anyways, thanks for the review Matt.

  • Flyersfan20

    “With The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan has closed out his Batman trilogy with an intense, epic, grand conclusion filled with terrific performances, exhilarating action, thoughtful ideas”. I don’t know how he can make that statement and then give it a C. Isn’t that like saying “It’s the greatest movie ever made! Grade: D”. Maybe, in his opinion, it’s because batman wasn’t in it enough? Who knows.

  • KickYouInTheNickels

    not surprised at all, all the DC fans and Nolanites have put this crap movie on such a high pedestel (spelling) that it has always been doomed to fail, which it has.

    Nolan should of changed batmans stupid looking costume first of all the puzzle pieces on batmans pants look ridiculous

    Nolan should of never made Bale/Batman talk like he eats gravel for breakfast every morning.

    Nolan should of never had ANYONE else make batmans weapons, the whole point in the comics was that bruce wayne made his weapons.

    I just hope MAN OF STEEL doesnt go this same route otherwise Marvel is going to keep on whipping DCs ass like a red headed step child.

    • GET OVER IT!

      wow and in the other corner we have the Nolan haters, jumping into to get there rage out. Tell you something, this film will not fail, in any way ;) This film series is bigger than the Nolan haters will admit.

  • John

    I hate Nolan fanboys. It’s just a movie, it’s just a review. Get over yourselves. You haven’t even seen the movie yet. The important thing is that you like it, not that others follow suit.

    • juanotaco

      Goldberg stop using other alias! We dislike you no matter what nickname you give yourself!

    • Luke

      I wish more people could understand this.

    • Twojawas

      The movie has been out in Australia for nearly 48 hours. Lots of us have seen it. Some of use will being seeing it again in a few hours. :) The movie is great and I am no Nolan fanboy – Inception sucked. I loved this film. Most of you will as well.

    • Nicolas

      Can’t just people accept that someone does not like a movie they like or they think will like ? I am shocked byf most of the comments. It’s not anymore Nolan fanboys, it’s almost Nolan fanbots.

  • Geoffrey

    Interesting. Haven’t seen the movie yet but when Matt talks about the film not being about Batman but rather the supporting characters, it definitely reminds of how I felt about the dark knight with the joker. I agree with Matt. It does seem that Batman serves more as a function. The only difference is that I don’t see this as a pitfall of the trilogy, but rather its greatest attribute. Even though I felt that The Dark Knight wasn’t really about Batman, I think it made the film that much more stronger. I think Nolan has been very conscious of this and is what makes his superhero trilogy far more superior than any other franchise.

  • Hunter

    I knew it. I freaking knew they were going to let this damn bonehead write the review. I do not give a
    shit about your opinion, Matt. I would like to read reviews from people who actually enjoy movies from time to time.

  • juanotaco

    I just came here for the comments, Matt Goldberg Haters are the best! You guys make my day :D Lets get this goon fired :D

    • Mr. Me

      You know Frosty hired Matt for his snark, right?

  • Jim

    Whilst I don’t always agree with Matt’s reviews, I think that this time he (shockingly) has it right. Having seen the film last night (I live in Australia), Matt’s argument makes a lot of sense.

    Before crucifying Matt go and see the film first. If you still don’t agree, then crucify away.

  • Jim

    Whilst I don\’t always agree with Matt’s reviews, I think that this time he (shockingly) has it right. Having seen the film last night (I live in Australia), Matt’s argument makes a lot of sense.

    Before crucifying Matt go and see the film first. If you still don\’t agree, then crucify away.

  • MisterEd

    Well, whadda you know… the readership at Collider is no different from the BATsh**-crazy readership at Rottentomatoes. All demanding Golberg’s head on a stick. Just because he actually SAW the movie most readers here have yet to see. And has formed an opinion on it that is not praising it. How dare he gives the new Batman movie a C.

    I mean, look at how many fanboys crawled out of their basements carrying pitchforks and torches. Here at Collider. At AICN and at Rottemtomatoes and elsewhere on the web.Going after those that said anything that they perceive as a negative against the film. Ridiculous.

    Grow up people. You all sound like JUSTIN BIEBER fans who get angry because someone out there doesn’t think said singer is GAWD.

    Sheesh…. Anyway, I’ll go see the movie and form my own opinion of it.

    • Hunter

      i don’t have a basement

  • Henny

    Not to be a fanboy but Matt gave Transformers 3 a B. To me, his opinion means nothing to me.

    • GET OVER IT!

      that is the most logical thing iv read on here. that really puts he’s reviews in to perspective. Transformers 3….oh dear, no excuses for liking that film, bad taste!

      • Henny

        Sarcasm?

    • Joseph

      Well Transformers 3 was an emotional rollercoster that cataloged the various, deep-seeded problems within society while simulatinously managing an incredibly complex character arch for each of the beautifully written characters within the film; I mean each of them had such rich backstory that really spoke to the core of every human being on the planet.

      Look some people like shiny objects and others like something a litte more complex. I wouldn’t read too much into this fellows ‘C’ rating, or anyone’s rating for that matter.

  • juanotaco

    Matt Goldberg<Richard Roeper

  • Hardison

    I saw it last night and couldn’t disagree more with Goldberg. A lot of his concerns are legitimate, yes, but they aren’t big enough to take away from the overall quality of the movie. You have to treat this like a normal movie, not as the massively hyped successor to The Dark Knight. Definitely an A in my book.

  • Thundersauresrex

    Or maybe he just needs different readers. there are actually quite a bit of people that enjoy him. its just that the people that comment tend to self righteous asshats that think their crude demeanor or more important than Matt\’s.

    • Joshua W.

      you mean u… and that’s it.

      • Grey

        There are more of us…

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