The Dark Knight ★★★★★

A crime film dressed as a superhero movie, "The Dark Knight" builds on the foundation set so well by "Batman Begins." It retains its predecessor's serious tone and quasi-realistic gloss while telling its story on an even-more epic canvas. The film is fast-paced, bold, and elegant; it is expertly shot, edited, and cast. Moreover, "The Dark Knight" offers one of contemporary cinema's great villains in Heath Ledger's maniacal and mesmerizing Joker.

"The Dark Knight" is political and timely, asking how far will society go to protect its safety; and its narrative is wrapped around themes of sacrifice and the sometimes-manufactured nature of heroism.

An ideal second chapter to cinema's great superhero cycle, "The Dark Knight" lays the groundwork for its sequel but also stands apart as its own, able cinematic entity. This film, like Christopher Nolan's preceding chapter, is a grand spectacle.

Travis liked these reviews