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The Dark Knight

In <em>The Dark</em> <em>Knight,</em> Christian Bale&rsquo;s Batman meets the Joker&mdash;played with a terrifying ruthlessness by the late Heath Ledger&mdash;and confronts the questionable morality of his o

The Dark KnightDirected by Christopher Nolan (PG-13)

Batman meets his archnemesis, the Joker.

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The Dark Knight “goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind,” said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. When director Christopher Nolan reinvented the Batman franchise with 2005’s Batman Begins, he “brought a gravitas to the superhero that wiped away the camp and kitsch that had shrouded Batman in cobwebs.” In this follow-up, Christian Bale’s Batman meets the Joker—played with a terrifying ruthlessness by the late Heath Ledger—and confronts the questionable morality of his own unhinged vigilantism. The showdown between these two nut cases sets up a “workable dramatic conflict,” said David Denby in The New Yorker. But where Batman Begins was “methodical” and moody, The Dark Knight is “jammed together” and utterly morose. The film seems to be in “constant climax,” bolting from one sadistic scene to another and piling ominous music on top of “thunderous violence.” At least Nolan gives audiences something to chew on, said Scott Foundas in The Village Voice. Rather than play it safe for the sake of big box-office numbers, The Dark Night takes viewers down “some dim alleyways where most Hollywood movies fear to tread.”

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