The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman must protect Gotham City against The Joker, a deadly, devilish agent of chaos. Director Christopher Nolan’s first Batman movie (Batman Begins) attempted to apply as much realism and logic as possible to a comic book hero’s motivations. The Dark Knight continues that effort (to the point of not feeling like a “comic book” movie), but this film is much more ambitious, both in scope and thematically. It presents interesting moral dilemmas and brings up compelling questions about what people need from their leaders. This brain food is combined with filmmaking that feels epic. The action never lets up for long, and the movie is furiously entertaining. For such an economically edited, quick-moving film, it’s quite wordy, packed with ideas and plot details, all of which feels like a lot to process at times. The story might have benefitted from some paring down. Heath Ledger is captivating, creepy, and believable as the disturbing, darkly funny Joker. The film’s music score is unconventional and powerful in equal measures.