Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Dark Knight Rises Review Critics


Dave White Profile

How about we just call it a summer? Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Filet Mignon among hamburger. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish. 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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While it's the most ambitious of the three films, it's not as mesmerizing as 2008's "The Dark Knight." The plot is occasionally murky, its archvillain lacks charismatic menace, and the last hour is belabored.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Chaos reigns for much of The Dark Knight Rises, often in big, beautiful, IMAX-size scenes that only Nolan could have conceived. Yet when the apocalyptic dust literally settles on this concluding chapter, the character who lingers longest in memory is an average Gotham City cop named John Blake, wonderfully played with human-scale clarity by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Dark Knight Rises reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Bale's final Batman is as gritty and dark as the first two.

What Parents Need to Know

Editor's Note: For tips on talking to your kids about the tragic shooting that took place in Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, we hope our advice helps you manage this difficult situation.Parents need to know that The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment in director Christopher Nolan's dark, violent Batman trilogy. Like its predecessors, The Dark Knight Rises features ultra-violent scenes of torture and death that are too intense for younger kids used to the nearly comic, stylized action violence of other superhero films. A disturbingly high body count is achieved via massive explosions, kidnappings, neck breakings, shootings, and hand-to-hand combat. While there's not a lot of actual blood, there's tons of death and mass destruction. Bruce Wayne enjoys a few passionate kisses and one love scene that shows bare shoulders; swearing is very infrequent (the strongest words used are "bitch" and "damn"). The film's villain, Bane, is monstrously muscled and frighteningly sadistic, and his mask is very scary looking. Despite the violence, be prepared for kids to beg to see the much-hyped Caped Crusader's latest adventure.

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in The Dark Knight Rises. How does it compare to what you've seen in other superhero movies? How does the film differentiate between "good" and "bad" uses of violence?
  • What distinguishes Batman from Bane? Both are angry and rely on violence to accomplish their goals; why is one a hero and one a villain? Is the rule of law more important than the rule of force?
  • Bruce Wayne isn't the only orphan in the movie. How does orphanhood shape the three orphaned characters? While anger motivates each of them, why do some choose to do good and others evil?
  • What does it take to maintain order in the face of those who try to create chaos? Does keeping the public safe from harm justifying curtailing their right to privacy?
  • Would you like to see the story continue with a successor? Which of the trilogy is your favorite?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy explores many philosophical ideas about identity, responsibility, power, hope, despair, sacrifice, and justice. Revenge is also a key theme of The Dark Knight Rises, which is, at its core, a meditation on the duality of humanity -- for instance in how the memory of Harvey Dent contrasted with the reality of how he died affects all of Gotham. What does it mean to be good? The villain Bane questions whether police officers are instruments of justice or of oppression and whether Batman is a man of honor or a man who betrayed a code of honor.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Unlike almost every other superhero, Bruce Wayne/Batman isn't an alien or a mutant. He doesn't have superhuman strength; he's a rich man with some nifty gadgets and an extraordinary need to protect the citizens of Gotham -- as well as avenge the anger that drives him. Bruce isn't perfect, and he often makes mistakes (especially about whom to trust), but he summons his courage for the good of Gotham, even though it comes at considerable personal cost to him, both physically and emotionally. John Blake is an upstanding, responsible, loyal cop who always tries his best to do the right thing. Selina Kyle starts off as just a ruthless jewel thief, but her interactions with Batman/Bruce help her become less selfish and more helpful. Bruce's two mentors and friends, Alfred and Mr. Fox, are loyal and loving toward him. Bane is cruel and callous.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Like The Dark Knight, this movie has frequent, cringe-inducingly realistic violence on top of the standard, high-octane action violence that's so prevalent in superhero films. Some moments are horrifyingly up close and personal: neck breakings, stabbings, hand-to-hand combat, and there's also the enormous collateral damage of wide scale destruction: bombings, fireballs, massive explosions, building collapses, shootings, and more. Many, many people are trapped, held hostage, killed, tortured, and executed, and Bruce Wayne himself is injured in painful, nearly irreparable ways. Villain Bane is very scary-looking, with his mask and bulked-up aggression. The movie opens with a terrifying plane takeover/crash; weapons include guns, knives, bows and arrows, bombs, fists, and more. A dead teen boy's body is shown washed up outside a sewer grate. Batman and Selina are at odds over Batman's "no guns, no killing" rule.

  • sex false2

    Sex: While the romance isn't as central here as in The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne/Batman kisses two different women. In one case, a passionate kiss leads to lovemaking, although the sex is off camera. Afterward, Bruce and his partner are shown (she's bare-shouldered, he's bare-chested) snuggling and kissing in front of a fireplace. In two other scenes, Bruce enjoys brief but passionate kisses with a woman.

  • language false2

    Language: Language includes infrequent use of words including "damn," "bitch," "hell," and "sons of bitches," as well as "Jesus" (as an exclamation) and insults such as "idiot," "stupid," and "hag."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Part of a popular comic book franchise. No overt product placements, though some car brands are seen, and Bruce Wayne's black Lamborghini makes another appearance.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink cocktails at Gotham's ritzy dinner parties and costume galas.