Early ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Reviews Are In, As Batman Faces His Greatest Challenge: Critics

Early reviews for Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to his epic Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, are in. Though you’d think the film is damn-near bulletproof, boasting a solid and tested cast, a budget on par with that of some small countries, and a critical darling/money snatcher director, some reviews were less than stellar. Don’t get me wrong here, most early reviews sung the praises we all expected, but as shameful as it is to admit, most of us have been wondering if the latest entry can top The Dark Knight, and the moderate reviews behind the film suggest only that.

Let’s explain.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a glowing recommendation come wide release. “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,” though specially notes that the film is, “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.”

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,” writes Nev Pierce of Empire, noting that the superhero film was made on an “unprecedented level.” Drew McWeeny of HitFlix concurred with the latter assessment, opining that, “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.”

Finally, Justin Chang’s Variety review sums up the critical round-up nicely:

“Few blockbusters have borne so heavy a burden of audience expectation as [director] 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 […] 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 comic book-driven Hollywood universe.”

Four more days…