Box art for The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

action & adventure, drama


In this epic conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy, the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist with ruthless plans for Gotham, drives Batman out of his self-imposed exile.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    88%
  • Audience Score
    90%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
2 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Arguably the biggest, darkest, most thrilling and disturbing and utterly balls-out spectacle ever created for the screen.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rotten: The story is dense, overlong, and studded with references that will make sense only to those intimate with Nolan's previous excursions into Batmanhood.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Monday, July 30, 2012

Fresh: The biggest surprise may just be how satisfying Nolan has made his farewell to a Dark Knight trilogy that many fans will wish he'd extend to a 10-part series, at least.

- Bob Mondello, NPR, Thursday, July 19, 2012

Audience Reviews

2 stars

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a mess of a film full of many plot holes and underdeveloped characters. Many use the term epic for this film but I strongly disagree. Christopher Nolan's attempt to create something epic, or memorable, is laughable. The film has a slow start as we are introduced to many boring, one-dimensional characters. This then leads to a dull second act until we get to the bloated, pointless action at the end. The film does not flow; this is due to the many unnecessary side stories. It would have worked better if John Blake and Miranda Tate were done away with. Bane is one of the worst villains in the franchise. He is not menacing, he talks weird, and the plot twist involving him is a giant slap in the face. Selina Kyle is somewhat interesting but her motives are unclear, especially at the end. So the film could have used a better villain or better handling of them. There are plot problems all over the place. Many of the things that happen are implausible; any sense of realism is lost. We also have strange plot devices such as the prison that has no guards and a way to escape. Really? "The Dark Knight Rises" comes off as a poorly written, rushed film. Definitely the weakest in the trilogy but you may like it if you don't mind underdeveloped characters, bloated action scenes, and plot holes. "The Dark Knight Rises isn't an intelligent film; it fails because it tries too hard to be complex.

- edfilmreviews, Monday, February 11, 2013

2 stars

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a mess of a film full of many plot holes and underdeveloped characters. Many use the term epic for this film but I strongly disagree. Christopher Nolan's attempt to create something epic, or memorable, is laughable. The film has a slow start as we are introduced to many boring, one-dimensional characters. This then leads to a dull second act until we get to the bloated, pointless action at the end. The film does not flow; this is due to the many unnecessary side stories. It would have worked better if John Blake and Miranda Tate were done away with. Bane is one of the worst villains in the franchise. He is not menacing, he talks weird, and the plot twist involving him is a giant slap in the face. Selina Kyle is somewhat interesting but her motives are unclear, especially at the end. So the film could have used a better villain or better handling of them. There are plot problems all over the place. Many of the things that happen are implausible; any sense of realism is lost. We also have strange plot devices such as the prison that has no guards and a way to escape. Really? "The Dark Knight Rises" comes off as a poorly written, rushed film. Definitely the weakest in the trilogy but you may like it if you don't mind underdeveloped characters, bloated action scenes, and plot holes. "The Dark Knight Rises isn't an intelligent film; it fails because it tries too hard to be complex.

- edfilmreviews, Monday, February 11, 2013

5 stars

I'll be the first to admit this movie has flaws, but for me a 5 star movie is not constituted by something flawless because there is no such thing. No other movie this year has got my blood pumping and put my emotions through a roller coaster ride like Christopher Nolan's epic conclusion to his Batman saga. Where the Dark Knight was dark and depressing, The Dark Knight Rises is action-packed and full of redemption. I'm not saying that was a flaw in The Dark Knight (especially during the first watch), but after watching it so many times it can wear you down how dark it is. It is simply not as enjoyable of a movie to me than this one. The Dark Knight is certainly the best made Batman and superhero movie made to date, but The Dark Knight Rises to me takes everything that worked so far for Nolan and ratchets it up to 10. This is still thoughtful blockbuster film making, just with a more ambitious and epic scope than the previous two, which in itself will present some flaws the other two did not have. While there is no iconic Oscar worthy performance like that of Heath Ledger as the Joker, Tom Hardy as Bane is still great and the rest of the returning cast are as good as they have always been. The other newcomer, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, is also good and keeps the film in the realistic tone that Nolan has established since Batman Begins. The Dark Knight Rises is not the best film in Nolan's Batman saga, but it is definitely my favorite.

- jlewis07, Monday, December 10, 2012