Posted by: steveonfilm | July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: The Non-Spoiler Story Free Review

I saw “The Dark Knight Rises” today with my wife. Now, I’ll be the first to say, and defend, that “The Dark Knight” was not nearly as amazing as some people try to make it out to be. It was good. But it was over-hyped. However, I’m happy to say that, while not perfect (what movie is) “The Dark Knight Rises” lives up to the hype.

If I could give it a one word review, it would be this:


That’s how I felt when the credits rolled. If you can leave an audience member feeling fulfilled when your movie comes to a close, you’ve done your job.

There will be people who have problems with the story. Some will argue this and that. They might be right. They might be wrong. I’ll leave those discussions for someone else to take up. But if you enjoyed the first two films, and you enjoy Christopher Nolan films in general, you will enjoy this movie as well.

My wife typically hates big budget movies. Not because she’s above them, but because most of the time they go after the male demographic without any attempt at appealing to women. She enjoyed “The Avengers” but just said it was “fun.” However, when we left the theater early this afternoon she turned and said to me, “I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I’d be willing to pay to see that movie in the theater again.” So take that for what it’s worth.

Nolan did a great job wrapping up his trilogy. There were a few lines in the movie that could have been cringe worthy had Nolan not had the acting talent on screen that he did. Sometimes the movie was a little slower than I’d liked (one of my gripes from “The Dark Knight” as well). But really, these are nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this was nominated for best picture. I don’t know if it’d win, but I can see it getting a nomination.

One final note, if you have a chance to see this in IMAX, please do so. Nolan shot a very large chunk of the film in IMAX, and if you liked how the IMAX footage from “The Dark Knight” looked, imagine about three times as much in this film. It really was gorgeous to look at, and I’m really happy they didn’t muddy it up with useless 3D. This film looks great in IMAX, period. If you can see it on a full size IMAX, pay the extra. If you can only manage to see it on an IMAX lite screen like I did, pay the extra. Visually it’s worth it.

But most of all, while I was watching the movie, it kept reminding me of why I started screenwriting to begin with… I want to be able to tell stories as good as this one. “The Avengers” might have made me feel ten years old again, but “The Dark Knight Rises” let me appreciate my life and dreams as an adult.

So there you go. No spoilers. No plot points. Not story. Nothing about character acts. Thoughts on the beginning, middle, and end. Just emotion. And feelings of satisfaction. If a ticket costs you 15 bucks, tell me a value for 5 dollars an hour that’s better than sitting through “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Keep writing,



  1. Excellent non-spoliery review. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. I saw the film yesterday. Beautiful review. Christopher Nolan used one word themes for these movies and your one word summary was spot on. I also completely agree with your point about Avengers vs TDKR. Avengers was a great popcorn big budget entertainment movie that made me smile and giddy walking out. TDKR was a great film that could connect to just being human in a sometimes dark and crazy world.

    Also a big gauge for me on whether or not I really enjoy a movie is if I walk out of it with a crazy to desire to continue to write. TDKR did this for me. Stories like this just push me to learn more about the craft and get those words on paper.

    • Yeah, and on the flip side, it’s fun to see some of the places that TDKR sort of fell flat with the writing as well. I still don’t want to talk about the story at all, but I’m sure you could tick off a few things if you really thought about it.

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