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Here are some reviews of The Dark Night, the latest Batman movie.  It’s blowing away almost every critic that sees it, and I suspect it will be nominated for best picture.

How can a conflicted guy in a bat suit and a villain with a cracked, painted-on clown smile speak to the essentials of the human condition? Just hang on for a shock to the system. The Dark Knight creates a place where good and evil — expected to do battle — decide instead to get it on and dance. “I don’t want to kill you,” Heath Ledger’s psycho Joker tells Christian Bale’s stalwart Batman. “You complete me.” Don’t buy the tease. He means it.

…I can only speak superlatives of Ledger, who is mad-crazy-blazing brilliant as the Joker. Miles from Jack Nicholson’s broadly funny take on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, Ledger takes the role to the shadows, where even what’s comic is hardly a relief. No plastic mask for Ledger; his face is caked with moldy makeup that highlights the red scar of a grin, the grungy hair and the yellowing teeth of a hound fresh out of hell. To the clown prince of crime, a knife is preferable to a gun, the better to “savor the moment.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/16155928/review/21477208/the_dark_knight

Viewers who found “Batman Begins” too existentially weighty for its own good will be refreshed to know that “The Dark Knight” hits the ground running and rarely lets up over its swift 2½-hour running time. Nolan directs the action more confidently than he did the first time out, orchestrating all manner of vertiginous mid-air escapes and virtuosic highway setpieces (and unleashing Batman’s latest ooh-ah contraption, the monster-truck-tire-equipped Bat-Pod). In a fresh innovation, six sequences were shot using Imax cameras, and will presumably look smashing in the giant-screen format (pic was reviewed from a 35mm print).

Though not as obsessively detailed as “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” shares with that film a robust physicality and a commitment to taking violence seriously; a brief shot of bruises and scrapes on Bale’s torso conveys as much impact as any of the film’s brutal confrontations. Bale himself is less central figure than ensemble player, but the commandingly charismatic thesp continues to put his definitive stamp on the role, and also has devilish fun playing up Wayne’s playboy persona.

http://www.variety.com/VE1117937619.html

“The Dark Knight” is pure adrenaline. Returning director Christopher Nolan, having dispensed with his introspective, moody origin story, now puts the Caped Crusader through a decathlon of explosions, vehicle flips, hand-to-hand combat, midair rescues and pulse-pounding suspense.

Nolan is one of our smarter directors. He builds movies around ideas and characters, and “Dark Knight” is no exception. The ideas here are not new to the movie world of cops and criminal, but in the context of a comic book movie, they ring out with startling clarity. In other words, you expect moralistic underpinnings in a Martin Scorsese movie; in a Batman movie, they hit home with renewed vigor.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/television/reviews/article_display.jsp?rid=11376

It’s been one of the best summers in memory for flat-out blockbuster entertainment, and in the wow category, the Nolan film doesn’t disappoint. True to format, it has a crusading hero, a sneering villain in Heath Ledger’s Joker, spectacular chases — including one with Batman on a stripped-down Batmobile that becomes a motorcycle with monster-truck wheels — and lots of stuff blowing up. Even the tie-in action figures with Reese’s Pieces suggest this is a fast-food movie.

.. This Joker is simply one of the most twisted and mesmerizing creeps in movie history…. And the actor, who died in January at 28 of an accidental prescription-drug overdose, is magnificent… The Dark Knight is bound to haunt you long after you’ve told yourself, Aah, it’s only a comic-book movie.

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1821365,00.html?xid=rss-arts

And the following reviews were gathered by http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Early-Dark-Knight-Reviews-Award-Godlike-Status-To-Nolan-9381.html

“It isn’t an overstatement to call The Dark Knight the most sophisticated and ambitious work of its kind.” – Todd Gilchrist, IGN

“The Dark Knight is a masterpiece – an almost flawless comic book movie adaptation.” – Peter Sciretta, Slashfilm

“Dark, grim, haunting and visionary, “The Dark Knight” is nothing short of brilliant, the best and scariest comic hero adaptation you are likely to see this summer season, and perhaps during the whole year.” – Emanuel Levy, emanuellevy.com

“If DARK KNIGHT gets anything less than an Oscar nomination it would be a great injustice to the world of cinema. Nolan has delivered an epic masterpiece that will literally take your breath away.” – Brad Miska, Bloody-Digusting

“It’s the “Godfather II” of comic book films and three times more earnest than “Batman Begins” (and fuck, was that an earnest film). Easily the most adult comic book film ever made.” – Kevin Smith, director of Zack and Miri Make a Porno

“All the things you never thought you would see in a Batman film are present in “The Dark Knight.” Christopher Nolan’s dark, disturbing sequel to 2006′s “Batman Begins” pulls off an impossible task: making an epic from a movie with a man in tights.” – Erik Amaya, Comic Book Resources

“The Dark Knight manages to exceed expectation with a villain so maniacal, his desire for destruction begins to make sense to the point you understand his desire for all out anarchy while you are cheering for the opposition in a war that basically boils down to one side against individual terrorism.” – Brad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon

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