The Movie Review: 'The Dark Knight'

Home — Essay Samples — Entertainment — The Dark Knight — Analysis of Philosophical Themes Through the Film ‘The Dark Knight’


Analysis of Philosophical Themes Through The Film 'The Dark Knight'

  • Categories: Film Analysis Movie Analysis The Dark Knight

About this sample


Words: 1274 |

Published: Apr 17, 2023

Words: 1274 | Pages: 3 | 7 min read

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Let us write you an essay from scratch

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

Get high-quality help


Prof Ernest (PhD)

Verified writer

  • Expert in: Entertainment


+ 120 experts online

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

Related Essays

3 pages / 1291 words

4 pages / 1797 words

2 pages / 921 words

4 pages / 1738 words

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

121 writers online

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

Related Essays on The Dark Knight

Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange is a novel pervaded by a multifaceted and intrinsic musical presence. Protagonist Alex’s fondness for classical music imbues his character with interesting dimensions, and resonates well [...]

Black and white, morning and night: the world fills itself with conflicting forces that must coexist in order for it to run smoothly. Forces like diversity and the fear of terrorism or competition and the desire to peacefully [...]

Following the publication of his most notable work, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess commented on the function of literature in a mutable society. There is not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility [...]

The literary canon is comprised of texts said to be of considerable value, texts regarded as experimentally profound and which may even be said to change the way the reader perceives the world. A Clockwork Orange can be [...]

Many philosophers have believed for centuries that no intrinsic meaning exists in the universe. From this belief emerged many responses, including absurdism and existentialism. Although all are heavily influenced by the beliefs [...]

"The woman looked at the tree: the fruit would be good to eat; it was pleasing to the eye and desirable for the knowledge it could give. So she took some and ate it; she also gave some to her husband and he ate it. Then they [...]

Related Topics

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.

Where do you want us to send this sample?

By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Be careful. This essay is not unique

This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

Download this Sample

Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

Please check your inbox.

We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

the dark knight film review essay

  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

The Dark Knight

  • The Dark Knight

A sound like a batgloved fist smacking into a cupped palm is what this film delivers: only deafeningly amplified and clarified with crisp, digital precision. It is the sound of all other recent super-hero movies getting their asses well and truly kicked. The Dark Knight is strange, dark, grandiose and mad; it is overlong and overhyped but hugely entertaining. In a simple, physical sense it really is huge, with cityscape sequences filmed on Imax technology, that demand to be seen on the vast Imax screen. Watching the first dizzying, vertiginous overhead shot of the glittering skyscrapers and minuscule streets, I literally forgot to breathe for a second or two, and found myself teetering forward on my seat - timidly, I had chosen one high up at the very back of the auditorium - as if about to topple into the illusory void.

The Dark Knight is the continuation of British director Christopher Nolan's reinvention of the Batman story and it takes the story up to his primal confrontation with the Joker, the villain who among the wrongdoer-gallery ranged against Batman is first among equals: here leading an unspeakable cabal of wiseguys. The caped crusader himself (although this camp designation is now not used) is again played by Christian Bale, clanking around in a kind of titanium-lite exoskeleton and making use of a heavy-duty Batmobile so macho and military-looking it makes a Humvee look like the kind of Prius driven by Gok Wan. Otherwise, he bops around town on a brutal motorbike with wheels the size of rubber boulders, cape fluttering in the slipstream.

The Joker is played, tremendously, by the late Heath Ledger . His great grin, though enhanced by rouge, has evidently been caused by two horrid slash-scars to the corners of his mouth, and his whiteface makeup is always cracking and peeling off, perhaps due to the dried remnants of tears, making him look like some self-hating Pagliaccio of crime, sweating backstage after the latest awful spectacular. Ledger has a weird collection of tics and twitches, kinks and quirks; his tongue darts, lizard-like, around his mouth, a little like Frankie Howerd, or perhaps Graham Kerr, the galloping gourmet of 1970s television.

Batman is still a reasonably novel figure in Gotham city as the action begins. They still refer to this dubious vigilante with a retro-sounding definite article: he is "the Batman". And there is a new, conventional crime fighter in town: the handsome, dashing district attorney Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart, a man who believes that the rule of law has to be upheld by a democratically accountable person, not some shadowy figure of the night. To the chagrin of Batman and his far-from-mild-mannered alter ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, Harvey is dating the love of Batman's life: legal eagle Rachel Dawes, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Gary Oldman plays Lt Gordon, before his historic promotion to "Commissioner" status. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman provide droll performances as Wayne's ancillary staff, his butler Alfred and his Q-like costume designer, Lucius Fox.

There are some really exhilarating set-pieces, especially the one that kickstarts the proceedings: Nolan starts off with a high-tension, high-anxiety bank raid, carried out by a dodgy crew all in Joker masks, all whispering among themselves about the crazy guy in clown makeup who hired them to do the job. Why isn't he there personally? Wait - is he there personally?

With some big masculine face-offs, and a high-speed convoy scene, Nolan appears to have imbibed the influence of Michael Mann, and a sequence in Hong Kong has a touch of the Infernal Affairs movies. Various debates about Jack Bauer/24-type torture methods appear to show modern Hollywood discovering, if not a conscience exactly, then a certain self-consciousness. But the film is better at pure action - particularly one awe-inspiring chase scene Nolan later contrives between Batman on his bike and the Joker at the wheel of a enormous truck. The conclusion to this sequence had the audience in a semi-standing crouch of disbelief.

Perhaps the most bizarre moment comes when the Joker has evidently abducted some unfortunate from the local psychiatric hospital to "impersonate" Batman's lost love: this man does appear to resemble Maggie Gyllenhaal: a joke of considerable malice, sophistication and lack of taste.

Nolan has made an enormously profitable smash with the Batman franchise, but at the risk of sounding priggish, I can't help thinking it may be a bit of a career blind-alley for the talented director who gave us brilliant and disquieting movies like Following (1998) and Memento (2000), whose inventions still linger in the mind. The Dark Knight's massive box-office success has surely given Nolan the means to write his own cheque, and in addition something sweeter still - clout. I hope that he will use it to cultivate movies that are smaller and more manoeuvrable than that great armoured Batmobile.

  • Christopher Nolan
  • Action and adventure films
  • Heath Ledger
  • Christian Bale
  • Morgan Freeman

Most viewed

  • Undergraduate
  • High School
  • Architecture
  • American History
  • Asian History
  • Antique Literature
  • American Literature
  • Asian Literature
  • Classic English Literature
  • World Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Linguistics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Issues
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Political Science
  • World Affairs
  • African-American Studies
  • East European Studies
  • Latin-American Studies
  • Native-American Studies
  • West European Studies
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Social Issues
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Social Work
  • Natural Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Earth science
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Studies
  • Computer Science
  • IT Management
  • Mathematics
  • Investments
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering
  • Aeronautics
  • Medicine and Health
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Communications and Media
  • Advertising
  • Communication Strategies
  • Public Relations
  • Educational Theories
  • Teacher's Career
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • Company Analysis
  • Education Theories
  • Shakespeare
  • Canadian Studies
  • Food Safety
  • Relation of Global Warming and Extreme Weather Condition

Movie Review

  • Admission Essay
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Application Essay
  • Article Critique
  • Article Review
  • Article Writing
  • Book Review
  • Business Plan
  • Business Proposal
  • Capstone Project
  • Cover Letter
  • Creative Essay
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation - Abstract
  • Dissertation - Conclusion
  • Dissertation - Discussion
  • Dissertation - Hypothesis
  • Dissertation - Introduction
  • Dissertation - Literature
  • Dissertation - Methodology
  • Dissertation - Results
  • GCSE Coursework
  • Grant Proposal
  • Marketing Plan
  • Multiple Choice Quiz
  • Personal Statement
  • Power Point Presentation
  • Power Point Presentation With Speaker Notes
  • Questionnaire
  • Reaction Paper
  • Research Paper
  • Research Proposal
  • SWOT analysis
  • Thesis Paper
  • Online Quiz
  • Literature Review
  • Movie Analysis
  • Statistics problem
  • Math Problem
  • All papers examples
  • How It Works
  • Money Back Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • We Are Hiring

The Dark Knight in 2008, Movie Review Example

Pages: 4

Words: 983

Hire a Writer for Custom Movie Review

Use 10% Off Discount: "custom10" in 1 Click 👇

You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

A man who fell into a vat of chemicals and became an evil clown…what a campy idea.  Prior to viewing The Dark Knight in 2008, I had never been able to take the character of the Joker seriously.  How could I?  Sure, he was crazy, but that was essentially all there was too his character: crazy.  In the comics, cartoons, and films he would often laugh maniacally while he fired a gun that shot out a flag that said “ BANG. ”   He would also kill his victims with laughing gas.  Pardon the pun, but what a joke, and not a very funny one either.  This is why I was so pleasantly shocked with Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.  His version of the this villain was anything but a joke.  In fact, Ledger took the part so seriously that in order to truly understand the psychopathic nature of the character, he kept a diary in which he would write down his most gruesome and disturbing thoughts. (Look)  Psychology suggests that playing the part helps one believe they are the part, which is a reason hypnotism exists.

In the Dark Knight, Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne, whose war on crime continues as he battles Gotham City’s assortment of evil each night.  His alter ego, Batman has become notorious and feared by all who prey on the fearful.  In desperation, the mafia looks for help from someone even more terrifying than the Batman: The Joker.  This self-styled clown promises the mafia that he can kill the Batman and bring Gotham’s organized crime back into power for a price.  However, what the mafia fails to understand is that the Joker does not care about money or power.  Instead, he is a sadistic killer who simply wishes to cause as much chaos and destruction as possible.   Many psychologists and philosophers have even referred to the Joker as a true nihilist. (Judy)  Throughout the film, Batman and the Joker are at odds in a battle of wits and a game of attempting to understand each other’s motives. At the end of the film, Batman apprehends the Joker, but the insane agent of chaos tells the capped crusader that he has lost.  The Joker insists that Gotham along with people in general are selfish animals at the core that can easily be manipulated and molded into villains.

This notion is what makes the psychology of the Dark Knight so interesting as opposed to just the Joker’s Insanity.  The Joker constantly talks about people t rying and failing to be civilized and good.  He claims that the people of Gotham are only as good as society allows them to be and think of themselves as much better people than they actually are .  Social psychology refers to this as illusory superiority, and although the Joker never actually mentions it by name, he describes it perfectly and tries to exemplify it multiple times in the film .   On one occasion, he threatens to blow up a hospital if a man name Colman Reese is not killed.  The people of Gotham who have friends and family in hospitals panic and charge the studio where Reese is at, trying to kill him.  Fortunately, Bruce Wayne saves Reese before anyone can murder him, but this still shows that the masses would have commit murder if the could have.  The only thing they needed was a reason to do it.  This raises the issue of human morality and is similar to the trolley problem, which asks if one would directly destroy a life to save many others. (How)

At the finale of the film, the joker conducts something that he even refers to as a “ social experiment. ”   He has two groups of people on two ferries: The citizens and the prisoners of Gotham.  He says that he will blow up both boats unless one boat elects to blow the other one up.    The film shows both groups in their boats struggling with the morality of the situation, and their desire to survive.  Once again, Batman interferes before anything can happen, but this situation truly made me think about social psychology and if the drive to survive is higher than the drive to be good to others.  Thomas Hobbs, a philosopher in the seventeenth century hypothesized that without order and rules, society would be an animalistic hell-hole. (Nowicke)  This is spot on with the idea that the Joker was trying to exemplify.

Despite all of his insane idiosyncrasies, the Joker was a mastermind when it came to driving others to insanity.  He was able to drive Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to the point of madness by killing his girlfriend, and almost brought batman to the point of breaking his own no killing rule.   It seems however that despite all this cynicism, Christopher Nolan (the film ’ s director) takes the humanistic perspective of psychology.  The reason for this is that in the end the Joker loses, and is proven wrong about Gotham ’ s people.  Unrealistic?  Maybe, but films do not have to be realistic when dealing with human nature.  After all, would anyone actually dress up like a bat and fight crime?  Probably not, but the ideals behind being a caped crusader are ones that we as people stand behind.

Works Cited

“How the Trolley Problem Works – HowStuffWorks.” HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

Judy, Logan. “Comics Philosophy 101: The Joker & Nihilism.” A Clear Lens. N.p., 05 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

“Look Inside Heath Ledger’s Joker Diary From The Dark Knight.” – Cinemablend. N.p., 03 June 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

Nowicke, Anthony. “Everything Burns: The Psychology & Philosophy of the Joker.” Pop Mythology. N.p., 03 Oct. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2015.

Stuck with your Movie Review?

Get in touch with one of our experts for instant help!

Cyberbullying From Playground to Computer, Essay Example

Understanding the Developments of the Gothic Style, Essay Example

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Plagiarism-free guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Secure checkout

Money back guarantee


Related Movie Review Samples & Examples

The globalized world, quiz example.

Pages: 11

Words: 2954

Economic Sanctions, Research Paper Example

Pages: 10

Words: 2872

The Descendants, Movie Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 416

Catheter- Associated Urinary Tract Infection Prevention, Term Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1819

Children of Men, Movie Review Example

Words: 558

Deviance and Social Control in Stand and Deliver, Movie Review Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1351

Log in or sign up for Rotten Tomatoes

Trouble logging in?

By continuing, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from the Fandango Media Brands .

By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and to receive email from the Fandango Media Brands .

By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes.

Email not verified

Let's keep in touch.

Rotten Tomatoes Newsletter

Sign up for the Rotten Tomatoes newsletter to get weekly updates on:

  • Upcoming Movies and TV shows
  • Trivia & Rotten Tomatoes Podcast
  • Media News + More

By clicking "Sign Me Up," you are agreeing to receive occasional emails and communications from Fandango Media (Fandango, Vudu, and Rotten Tomatoes) and consenting to Fandango's Privacy Policy and Terms and Policies . Please allow 10 business days for your account to reflect your preferences.

OK, got it!

Movies / TV

No results found.

  • What's the Tomatometer®?
  • Login/signup

the dark knight film review essay

Movies in theaters

  • Opening this week
  • Top box office
  • Coming soon to theaters
  • Certified fresh movies

Movies at home

  • Fandango at Home
  • Netflix streaming
  • Prime Video
  • Most popular streaming movies
  • What to Watch New

Certified fresh picks

  • Civil War Link to Civil War
  • Monkey Man Link to Monkey Man
  • The First Omen Link to The First Omen

New TV Tonight

  • Chucky: Season 3
  • Fallout: Season 1
  • Mr Bates vs The Post Office: Season 1
  • Franklin: Season 1
  • Baby Reindeer: Season 1
  • Dora: Season 1
  • Good Times: Season 1
  • Beacon 23: Season 2

Most Popular TV on RT

  • Ripley: Season 1
  • Parasyte: The Grey: Season 1
  • 3 Body Problem: Season 1
  • Sugar: Season 1
  • Shōgun: Season 1
  • X-Men '97: Season 1
  • A Gentleman in Moscow: Season 1
  • Palm Royale: Season 1
  • The Gentlemen: Season 1
  • Best TV Shows
  • Most Popular TV
  • TV & Streaming News

Certified fresh pick

  • Fallout Link to Fallout
  • All-Time Lists
  • Binge Guide
  • Comics on TV
  • Five Favorite Films
  • Video Interviews
  • Weekend Box Office
  • Weekly Ketchup
  • What to Watch

Best Movies of 2024: Best New Movies to Watch Now

25 Most Popular TV Shows Right Now: What to Watch on Streaming

What to Watch: In Theaters and On Streaming

Awards Tour

CinemaCon 2024: Day 3 – Paramount Debuts Bloody Gladiator II Footage, Announces R-Rated Live-Action TMNT Movie

TV Premiere Dates 2024

  • Trending on RT
  • Play Movie Trivia

The Dark Knight

2008, Action/Adventure, 2h 32m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch the dark knight.

Watch The Dark Knight with a subscription on Max, rent on Apple TV, Fandango at Home, Prime Video, or buy on Apple TV, Fandango at Home, Prime Video.

Rate And Review

Super Reviewer

Rate this movie

Oof, that was Rotten.

Meh, it passed the time.

It’s good – I’d recommend it.

So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

What did you think of the movie? (optional)

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

Step 2 of 2

How did you buy your ticket?

Let's get your review verified.. or AMC App New

Cinemark Coming Soon

We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

Regal Coming Soon

Theater box office or somewhere else

By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie.

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

The dark knight videos, the dark knight   photos.

With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker (Heath Ledger) suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.

Rating: PG-13 (Some Menace|Intense Sequences of Violence)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Original Language: English

Director: Christopher Nolan

Producer: Emma Thomas , Charles Roven , Christopher Nolan

Writer: Jonathan Nolan , Christopher Nolan

Release Date (Theaters): Jul 18, 2008  wide

Rerelease Date (Theaters): Sep 15, 2023

Release Date (Streaming): Jun 14, 2010

Box Office (Gross USA): $2.0M

Runtime: 2h 32m

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production Co: Syncopy, Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros.

Sound Mix: DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS

Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

View the collection: Batman

Cast & Crew

Christian Bale

Bruce Wayne, Batman

Heath Ledger

Aaron Eckhart

Harvey Dent

Michael Caine

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Rachel Dawes

Gary Oldman

Morgan Freeman

Monique Curnen

Cillian Murphy

Nestor Carbonell

Eric Roberts

Ritchie Coster

Anthony Michael Hall

Keith Szarabajka

Colin McFarlane

Joshua Harto

Melinda McGraw

Barbara Gordon

Nathan Gamble

James Gordon

Christopher Nolan

Jonathan Nolan


Kevin De La Noy

Executive Producer

Benjamin Melniker

Michael E. Uslan

Thomas Tull

Emma Thomas

Charles Roven

Executive Co-Producer

Wally Pfister


Film Editing

Hans Zimmer

Original Music

James Newton Howard

Nathan Crowley

Production Design

Simon Lamont

Supervising Art Direction

Kevin Kavanaugh

Peter Lando

Set Decoration

Lindy Hemming

Costume Design

News & Interviews for The Dark Knight

The 50 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time: Your Top Box Office Earners Ever Worldwide

What to Watch This Week: Blue Beetle , Strays , and More

The Best Superhero Movie of Each Year Since 1998

Critic Reviews for The Dark Knight

Audience reviews for the dark knight.

This is the best comic book movie of all time. A dark, gritty, and realistic look on how superheroes would act and how they can remain unidentified. With great lead performances by Christian Bale (Batman) and Heath Ledger (The Joker) I believe this is if not the best comic book movie and a competitor for the top spot in crime thrillers as well. Deserves its fantastic reviews and box office totals.

the dark knight film review essay

About as near perfect of a film as you can get for a comic book or action film. The script was brilliant, Heath Ledger's performance was well worth the Oscar he received. Even the intriguing, yet simplistic first scene sets the tone for the entire film. It says something about a film when every other film in its sub-genre tries to emulate it in some shape or form. This really kicked off the style that Marvel is going with now in that the films are first and foremost genre films but with superheroes added to them (this being a crime thriller w superheroes). Definitely one that should be watched by everyone. This film commonly is called the best comic book movie ever and it is hard to argue with people that make that claim.

Confidently directed, dark, brooding, and packed with impressive action sequences and a complex story, The Dark Knight includes a career-defining turn from Heath Ledger as well as other Oscar worthy performances, TDK remains not only the best Batman movie, but comic book movie ever created.

After Christopher Nolan resuscitated Batman in Batman Begins (2005), he brought us this complex, dark and thrilling sequel that shows us how thrilling comic book films can ultimately be.

Movie & TV guides

Play Daily Tomato Movie Trivia

Discover What to Watch

Rotten Tomatoes Podcasts


© Written by Richard Propes The Independent Critic

the dark knight film review essay

  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

The Dark Knight

Metacritic reviews

The dark knight.

  • 100 Variety Justin Chang Variety Justin Chang Enthralling...An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.
  • 100 The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt Bale again brilliantly personifies all the deep traumas and misgivings of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne. A bit of Hamlet is in this Batman.
  • 100 Time Richard Corliss Time Richard Corliss Beyond dark. It's as black -- and teeming and toxic -- as the mind of the Joker. "Batman Begins," the 2005 film that launched Nolan's series, was a mere five-finger exercise. This is the full symphony.
  • 100 ReelViews James Berardinelli ReelViews James Berardinelli Christopher Nolan has provided movie-goers with the best superhero movie to-date, outclassing previous titles both mediocre and excellent, and giving this franchise its "The Empire Strikes Back."
  • 91 Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman At two hours and 32 minutes, this is almost too much movie, but it has a malicious, careening zest all its own. It's a ride for the gut AND the brain.
  • 88 Rolling Stone Peter Travers Rolling Stone Peter Travers No fair giving away the mysteries of The Dark Knight. It's enough to marvel at the way Nolan -- a world-class filmmaker, be it "Memento," "Insomnia" or "The Prestige" -- brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art.
  • 88 Miami Herald Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald Rene Rodriguez The Dark Knight is dark, all right: It's a luxurious nightmare disguised in a superhero costume, and it's proof that popcorn entertainments don't have to talk down to their audiences in order to satisfy them. The bar for comic-book film adaptations has been permanently raised.
  • 70 Newsweek David Ansen Newsweek David Ansen You may emerge more exhausted than elated. Nolan wants to prove that a superhero movie needn't be disposable, effects-ridden junk food, and you have to admire his ambition. But this is Batman, not "Hamlet." Call me shallow, but I wish it were a little more fun.
  • 50 New York Magazine (Vulture) David Edelstein New York Magazine (Vulture) David Edelstein The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.
  • 50 The New Yorker David Denby The New Yorker David Denby The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.
  • See all 39 reviews on
  • See all external reviews for The Dark Knight

More from this title

More to explore.

Production art

Recently viewed

Finished Papers

Customer Reviews

Free essays categories

260 king street, san francisco.

Updated Courtyard facing Unit at the Beacon! This newly remodeled…

the dark knight film review essay

Tinggalkan Balasan Batalkan balasan

Alamat email Anda tidak akan dipublikasikan. Ruas yang wajib ditandai *


Supported by

‘Fallout’ Finds the Fun in an Apocalyptic Hellscape

TV’s latest big-ticket video game adaptation, from the creators of “Westworld,” takes a satirical, self-aware approach to the End Times.

  • Share full article

A man with a scarred face and missing nose wears a cowboy hat and smiles

By Austin Considine

The scream was just right — bloodcurdling, if also very funny — and the practical effects crew had finally found the proper volume and trajectory of the water cannon. The idea was to film what might happen if you ripped a man from the throat of a mutant salamander, exploding its guts like a giant water balloon.

All that remained was to decide what color of bile to slather on the actor (Johnny Pemberton) and on the salamander’s many teeth, which nuclear radiation had transformed into rows of humanlike fingers.

Based on observations made during a visit to the Brooklyn set of “Fallout” in early 2023, Amazon had spared no expense to make the show, the latest genre-bending series from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the creators of “Westworld.” So it was no surprise when Nolan, on set to direct that chilly afternoon, was presented with not one but some half-dozen buckets of bile to choose from, in a variety of revolting hues. He settled on a pukey pinkish yellow.

“This is the closest thing to comedy that I’ve worked on,” he said later by phone. With writing credits on films like “Memento,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Prestige,” Nolan has tended to skew dark. Comically exploding monster guts — this was new territory.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said.

A fun apocalypse? Amid all the doom and gloom of most sci-fi spectacles and social media feeds? Yes, please.

“Fallout” premieres Wednesday on Prime Video, and at first it may sound familiar to viewers of a certain postapocalyptic HBO hit from last year, “The Last of Us.” Imagine: a sprawling, expensive adaptation of a beloved videogame franchise that features an unlikely duo — a nihilistic old gunslinger with a tortured past and a tough young woman whose mission overlaps with his. Together, they travel a lawless America plagued by criminals, fanatics, killer mutants and trigger-happy survivors.

But where “The Last of Us” had a decidedly serious and heartfelt tone, “Fallout,” in keeping with its source material, is satirical and self-aware, rich with ironic detail. Sets and costumes lovingly blend B-movie conventions from multiple genres, including westerns, horror and Atomic Age sci-fi. The violence is comically over-the-top.

That unlikely duo? The man (Walton Goggins) is a disfigured former western star who, among other things, puts the woman (Ella Purnell) on a leash and tries to hawk her organs. Their overlapping mission? To find a severed head.

“I am still wrapping my head around it to be quite honest with you,” Goggins said during a brief production break on set. He was dressed in the kind of immaculate Hollywood cowboy duds — think golden fringe and a tidy matching neckerchief — that a real cowboy might spit a beer on.

“It’s ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ meets. …” He paused, searched for the perfect comparison. “It’s ‘Strangelove’ meets the ‘Star Wars’ bar.”

Until recently, live-action video game adaptations were mostly a losing proposition for television. “The Last of Us” by most accounts broke the streak . A commercial and critical darling, it earned eight Primetime Emmys in January, and its 24 total nominations included one for best drama.

Such success seemed remote five years ago, when Nolan had his first conversations with Bethesda Game Studios, the company that owns the Fallout franchise. An avid gamer, Nolan had long been a fan. The original game, which debuted in 1997, established the premise: In an alternative America, the postwar optimism and kitschy aesthetics of the Eisenhower Era never ended, only evolved. There was no Vietnam, no Watergate, no Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Then in 2077, a nuclear war between the United States and China wiped out modern civilization worldwide.

Those who could afford it retreated into vast underground networks of shelters, known as vaults, until it was safe to come out. The game begins in 2161 when a “vault-dweller,” who has never known anything but the Beaver Cleaver-ish culture preserved underground, ventures into the irradiated wastelands around Los Angeles on a vital mission. (Later games travel to other cities and times.)

Several Fallout adaptations had been aborted or turned down over the years, said Todd Howard, Bethesda’s executive producer, who is also an executive producer of the show. After seeing and loving “Westworld,” however, Howard approached Nolan and Joy. He had heard Nolan was a gamer.

“He had clearly played a lot,” Howard said — Fallout 3 especially. “He could speak to it with authenticity and had a view of what made it tick.” (“Fallout 3 was a game that you could play comfortably for 50 to 100 hours,” Nolan said.)

Bethesda’s priorities were twofold: A TV series had to stay true to the lore of the games but also be written like a whole new chapter, same as any game sequel.

“It was very important to us not to have a show that translated one particular game story but that told something original,” Howard said. “The main character in the Fallout series is the world of Fallout.”

Amazon signed on to produce in 2020, part of an overall deal with Nolan and Joy’s production company, Kilter Films. To begin building the Fallout world, Kilter brought in two creator-showrunners: One, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, had written scripts for big adaptations before, including “Tomb Raider” (2018) and “Captain Marvel” (2019); the other, Graham Wagner, was a TV comedy writer, with credits on “Baskets,” “Silicon Valley” and 50 episodes of “Portlandia.”

For them it was a “best of both worlds” situation. They had been given a trove of intellectual property to start with, already popular among millions. But they also had freedom to simply craft a good story without worrying so much about satisfying gamer fan police.

“The fans of the games want to hear us say that we take the I.P. seriously,” Wagner said in a joint interview with Robertson-Dworet. “Of course we do, because we like it. But you don’t want to let that burden make it feel like a job. Because then everyone’s watching you do a job, and then it just feels like work.”

Robertson-Dworet later added, laughing: “We talk a lot about the [expletive] we’re going to eat for the show. It’s going to be either too woke, too fascist, not fascist enough. … ” She trailed off. The possibilities were endless.

In a separate video call, Kyle MacLachlan, who plays a guest role in the show, didn’t seem worried. And he knows something about protective fan bases. (See: David Lynch’s “Dune.” Or David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: The Return.”)

“I think it’s evident, when you look at the sets and the production value and the tone of the show, that they’re making a big effort to try to incorporate the reality of that world,” he said. “It’s a perfect place to put a story.”

For all the new material, fans of the game will find plenty that is familiar about the story. The show’s other male lead, Aaron Moten, plays an initiate of the Brotherhood of Steel, a fanatical warrior faction found in all of the games. (They suit up in Iron Man-like robotic armor that, 219 years after the end of modern civilization, is prone to breaking down.) Though Purnell’s character arrives over 130 years after the events of the first game, she draws heavily from it.

“She goes up to the wasteland, and she finds out that everything she ever believed is a lie,” Purnell said on a video call with Moten. “It makes her start to question everything,” she added. “And she has to make that choice, right? Adapt or die. Who’s she going to be?”

However fans respond to “Fallout,” no one can doubt the creators’ commitment. Back in Brooklyn in early 2023, a set tour with the show’s production designer, Howard Cummings, offered a glimpse of the massive scope. Indoors, a mazelike series of corridors and chambers amounted to a multilevel reproduction of the vaults. Outdoors, a ramshackle junk city included whole buses and the front end of a 747 jet, trucked in from California. The New York production alone had 35 welders working at once, Cummings said.

This was to say nothing of the location shoots in the Utah desert, or on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia , a stand-in for a postapocalyptic Pacific Palisades, all shot on widescreen film instead of digital. (“The power of dragging yourself to a beautiful and remote place to capture that beauty on film, it still works,” Nolan said. “It always works.”) Or of the 360-degree virtual soundstage, made up of thousands of LED tiles — for when you need the location to come to you.

“New York didn’t have one,” Cummings said. “But it does now!”

Unsurprisingly, “Fallout” looks great. Still, all the money in Amazon’s coffers can’t make a show good, and the streamer, which declined to share budget numbers, has reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars on large-scale series, like “Citadel” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” that have yet to make much of an impact with viewers or critics. Amid the glut of heavier end-times material out there, it seemed like a refreshing start, at least, that the “Fallout” creators’ goal was to entertain viewers, not pile onto them.

Nolan called making it an “expiating” experience: Coming out of a pandemic, amid global instability and a deterioration of political discourse, you had to laugh sometimes, he said.

“It’s the only way to make it through.”

Because of a surprise programming change by Amazon the night before publication, an earlier version of this article misstated the premiere date of “Fallout.” It is Wednesday, April 10, not Thursday.

How we handle corrections

Austin Considine is The Times's assistant TV editor. More about Austin Considine

Explore More in TV and Movies

Not sure what to watch next we can help..

Even before his new film “Civil War” was released, the writer-director Alex Garland faced controversy over his vision of a divided America with Texas and California as allies .

Theda Hammel’s directorial debut, “Stress Positions,” a comedy about millennials weathering the early days of the pandemic , will ask audiences to return to a time that many people would rather forget.

“Fallout,” TV’s latest big-ticket video game adaptation, takes a satirical, self-aware approach to the End Times .

“Sasquatch Sunset” follows the creatures as they go about their lives. We had so many questions. The film’s cast and crew had answers .

If you are overwhelmed by the endless options, don’t despair — we put together the best offerings   on Netflix , Max , Disney+ , Amazon Prime  and Hulu  to make choosing your next binge a little easier.

Sign up for our Watching newsletter  to get recommendations on the best films and TV shows to stream and watch, delivered to your inbox.


  1. The Dark Knight movie review & film summary (2008)

    Christopher Nolan 's "The Dark Knight" is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we come to care about. That's because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production. This film ...

  2. 'The Dark Knight': Showdown in Gotham Town

    Directed by Christopher Nolan. Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller. PG-13. 2h 32m. By Manohla Dargis. July 18, 2008. Dark as night and nearly as long, Christopher Nolan's new Batman movie feels like ...

  3. The Dark Knight Summary

    The Dark Knight Summary. The criminals of Gotham City are running scared, because Batman is keeping the good citizens of Gotham safe. The film opens with a gang of men wearing clown masks breaking into the bank where the mob keeps much of their money. The mastermind of the heist is someone named the Joker. At the end of the heist, Joker arrives ...

  4. "The Dark Knight" Film Analysis Free Essay Example

    The Dark Knight Rises is a historic film directed by Christopher Nolan in the year 2012. In this film the director and his peers come together to craft a action packed and meaningful storyline following Harvey Dent's death. Inside this movie the executive and his partners team up to create a story with different visuals, thoughts, and insights.

  5. The Movie Review: 'The Dark Knight'

    The Dark Knight 's villain may be a psychopath, but his tools are all too chillingly familiar: the thirsty knife, the patient bomb. (This is not a film for children, and the MPAA should be ashamed ...

  6. Analysis of Philosophical Themes Through the Film 'The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight is also a movie filled with dualism, The Dark Knight of Gotham; Batman wants a Gotham in which he can be replaced with Harvey Dent; the White Knight of Gothams legal system. However dualism is most present in the theme of order and chaos, Harvey eventually comes to represent this dualism through his character arc.

  7. PDF "The Dark Knight" (2008) By Mark Dujsik

    "The Dark Knight" is the best kind of sequel —one that uses its predecessor as a gateway to explore new facets of its characters and its world. At once fill ed with ideas that challenge our preconceived notions of superhero lore and dynamic action sequences, this is an exceptional film.

  8. The Dark Knight

    To the chagrin of Batman and his far-from-mild-mannered alter ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, Harvey is dating the love of Batman's life: legal eagle Rachel Dawes, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Gary ...

  9. The Dark Knight in 2008, Movie Review Example

    In the Dark Knight, Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne, whose war on crime continues as he battles Gotham City's assortment of evil each night. His alter ego, Batman has become notorious and feared by all who prey on the fearful. In desperation, the mafia looks for help from someone even more terrifying than the Batman: The Joker.

  10. The Dark Knight

    Movie Info. With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a ...

  11. Essay on The Dark Knight Movie Review

    Dark Knight Movie Review Essay. Andrew Carrigan Movie Review Professor Leone 7 February 2013 The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan does it again, his new, thrilling, epic masterpiece, "The Dark Knight Rises," blows viewers out of their seats. Every scene is compelling and filled with and insurmountable amount of mind blowing events.

  12. Essay Batman: the Dark Knight Film Analysis

    1806 Words. 8 Pages. Open Document. Batman: The Dark Knight Batman: The Dark Knight directed by Christopher Nolan is non-stop action thriller that continually did the unexpected. The film is based off of the original Batman comic book but additionally changes the perception of the everyday world as good to naturally bad.

  13. The Independent Critic

    Co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, "The Dark Knight" often seems to be as chaotic as the world in which The Joker lives. The script infuses The Joker with the film's greatest lines, lines such as "What doesn't kill you makes you stranger" and a well-placed, cinematic flashback will haunt you long after the closing credits.

  14. Movie Review : The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight is one of the best films ever made in that it perfects almost every element of the superhero action movie. Probably the most important part of any movie is the actual story being told. The writers compressed a very long and elaborate storyline into a two and one half film that flows smoothly from place to place and doesn't ...

  15. Exploring the Complexities of Gotham: A Film Analysis of 'The Dark Knight'

    This essay embarks on a journey to dissect the layers of "The Dark Knight," exploring its themes, characters, symbolism, and the lasting influence it has had on the superhero genre. In the world of superhero movies, "The Dark Knight" stands as a beacon of darkness, complexity, and moral ambiguity. Released in 2008, this film redefined what a ...

  16. The Dark Knight Review Essay

    The Dark Knight Review Essay - Free download as Open Office file (.odt), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. "The Dark Knight" has passed the $900 million mark in worldwide grosses this weekend. "The biggest thing about noir is moral ambiguity, characters who are not easy to pin down," says director Christopher Nolan.

  17. Movie Review : ' The Dark Knight '

    The Dark Knight (2008), directed by Christopher Nolan, demonstrates the idea of good versus evil. Batman is known as the protagonist, and Joker is known as the ultimate villain. The representation of crime in the film is seen from the actions of both characters. The film essentially depicts the act of deviance meaning, "behaviour that ...

  18. The Dark Knight (2008)

    The novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag. The Dark Knight is noisy, jumbled, and sadistic. The Dark Knight is hardly routine--it has a kicky sadism in scene after scene, which keeps you on edge and sends you out onto the street with post-movie stress disorder.

  19. 'The Dark Knight': Movie Review

    Download. 'The Dark Knight' directed by Christopher Nolan, is a very action-packed superhero movie that is fun for people ages 12 to 35. This film tells the story of all the crime that happens in Gotham City and the beginning of the Joker, an insane, but an ingenious and detailed crime planner. The Joker, who is destroying the city, is ...

  20. A Review of the Dark Knight, a Movie by Christopher Nolan

    We all know the name Batman and even might know a few tales or two, but The Dark Knight goes further into the complexity of the characters in a way we all can relate. Batman is no longer just a man in a mask, he has a life outside the suit with relationships and love, and he deals with dile...

  21. The Dark Knight movie review & film summary (2008)

    "Batman" isn't a comic book anymore. Christopher Nolan's "The Darkness Knight" is a spook watch that jaunts beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creative characters we come to care over. That's because from the showcase, as of the aim, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical qualities of the entire production.

  22. The Dark Knight Film Review Essay

    The Dark Knight Film Review Essay - 409 . Customer Reviews. Our Team of Professional Essay Writers. As we are an honest and well-paying essay writer service, writers come flying our way. Nonetheless, in the writers' community, we are known for our strict selection process. You as a client can be sure that you will be working with the best paper ...

  23. The Dark Knight Essay

    The Dark Knight Essay. "The Dark Knight" is grimly magisterial. It's a summer blockbuster that contemplates near-total civic disaster: Crowds surge, tractor-trailers flip, and buildings explode, but the pop violence feels heavy, mournful. Light barely escapes the film's gravitational pull. Yet flitting through this 10-ton expressionist murk is ...

  24. 'The Cat and the Canary: Masters of Cinema Edition' Blu-ray movie review

    Next, viewers can appreciate a 30-minute, scholarly visual essay by critic David Cairns and historian Fiona Watson that explores the dark house comedy thriller genre, touching on works such as ...

  25. 'Fallout' Finds the Fun in an Apocalyptic Hellscape

    Together, they travel a lawless America plagued by criminals, fanatics, killer mutants and trigger-happy survivors. "It's a perfect place to put a story," Kyle MacLachlan said, referring to ...