Ronan Doyle’s review:
Having never before seen Christopher Nolan's alleged masterpiece of comic book adaptation, I figured I'd better finally get it watched ahead of the third installment's release. I'm glad to say I found it to be well deserving of much—though certainly not all—of its praise, being a significant improvement over its predecessor and a surprisingly involving work of dramatic engagement. Where Batman Begins faltered in the heavy-handed approach it took to its themes, with every second word of dialogue being "fear", The Dark Knight functions as a far subtler work, employing characters who stand not just as relatable human beings, but as astute conceptual embodiments too. Ledger's celebrated performance is decidedly crucial to the film's impact; together with the wise scripting of his character, he gives us a man who just wants to watch the world burn. The function of Wayne and Dent is to offer two alternates to this chaotic world view, an interplay well-realised in the chemistry of Bale and Eckhart. Compared to Begins, where we had impressive character-centric plotting that got pushed aside toward the finale to make room for the typical action ending, TDK constantly and consistently feels as though the action is dictated by the character arcs, and not the other way around. I found it far more involving than I thought I might: this is an exceptionally mature blockbuster both thematically and emotionally.
That said, if you think it's one of the best films ever made you need to watch more movies.