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Nominee for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Sound
Movie Review

The Dark Knight a.k.a. “The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience,” “Batman Begins 2,” “Batman—O Cavaleiro das Trevas,” “El Caballero oscuro,” “Il Cavaliere oscuro,” “Yön ritari”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.

Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Drama Mystery Thriller Sequel
Length:
2 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
July 18, 2008 (wide—4,300 theaters)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures

Justice

Ugliness

I’m ugly. Why was God so unfair to me this way? Answer

Reviews of other Batman movies

Prequel: “Batman Begins” (2005)

Batman and Robin” (1997)

Featuring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Cillian Murphy, more »
Director: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Batman Begins,” “Memento,” “The Prestige
Producer: Thomas Tull
Christopher Nolan
more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures

“Welcome to a world without rules.”

Whether you are an avid fan of the Batman franchise, a casual summer moviegoer, or someone curious about the performance of a young actor gone far too soon, rest assured, you will not leave the theater disappointed. You will, however, likely leave the theater mesmerized by a film, and a performance, that will be talked about for a very long time to come.

With director Christopher Nolan once again at the helm, “The Dark Knight” picks up pretty much where “Batman Begins” left off. However, with the story of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Caped Crusader taken care of in the first film, Nolan throws us right into the action this time and doesn’t let up for the film’s two-and-a-half hour running time.

As the film opens, the criminals of Gotham City are facing an enemy as intimidating as Batman in District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who makes strong efforts to rid the city of the filth it has become accustomed to. Batman has slowed down his crime fighting efforts, due in large part to copy-bats who attempt to imitate his style. The public is in an uproar, believing these phony heroes are actually causing more harm than good. Batman, they deduce, must be the responsible party and therefore demand him captured and “demasked” to put an end to the vigilante brand of crime fighting. But one person in particular is extra keen on the idea of Batman revealing his true identity, and has made it his goal to see that it happens.

We are introduced to this man, The Joker (Heath Ledger), nearly right away, as he orchestrates a multi-faceted bank heist with a chilling nonchalance. It means very little to him to take the lives of his victims, or his henchmen for that matter, and he leaves a long trail of bodies in his wake. As the crime bosses of Gotham feel the heat coming from three different sources—Batman, Harvey Dent, and Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman)—they are forced to seek the help of The Joker, who is more than willing to take on Gotham’s finest single-handedly. What makes The Joker a far more dangerous villain than any Gotham has ever seen is the way he appears to fly by the seat of his purple pants, but has strung together an ingenious, diabolical master plan that will test the resolve, and dedication, of everyone who hopes to stop him. The Joker isn’t out to gain anything in particular, which makes him all the more terrifying. As Batman’s trusty butler Alfred (Michael Caine) warns, 'Some men just want to see the world burn.'

The content of “The Dark Knight” is far darker than the already bleak “Batman Begins,” and Christian parents should use caution in whether or not to allow children or younger, impressionable teenagers to see the film. The violence is heavy handed, and far more ruthless than in the original. Frankly, The Joker makes The Scarecrow from “Batman Begins” look like a Saturday morning amateur. The Joker maims and kills without remorse, and one of the very first scenes features a “disappearing pencil” trick that is stunning in its quick brutality. The mood is dreary, which we expect from Batman movies, but Harvey Dent explains to us “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Well, the rising sun is still a long way off for Gotham, and caution is urged for parents wondering whether to expose their children to that darkness. There is very little profanity in the film, much less than the first film, and practically no sexual content (some women are seen lounging in their bathing suits on Bruce’s boat, but the camera is on them for a minuscule amount of time), but the violence more than makes up for what other content is left out.

The film hits on all sorts of different spiritual topics, and I could probably write a dissertation on them all. I won’t get in to everything here, for the simple fact that doing so will reveal specific plot twists and developments that I don’t intend to spoil. Suffice it to say, themes of sacrifice, redemption, fear, selfishness, revenge, and the basic sinfulness of man all present themselves in the film, along with a various host of other. Characters are forced to choose who lives and dies, while others are forced to decide whether to continue fighting evil when it seems like nothing will work, or simply giving in and joining the forces of evil. Each character has their own world cave in around them, and each must persevere, or be sucked into the maelstrom.

The performances in the film are basically great all around. Christian Bale matures a little this time around as Batman, and his Batman is devastatingly human, with real feelings and reactions we might not be used to seeing from our “superheroes.” The supporting cast of Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes (originally played in “Batman Begins” by Katie Holmes) is uniformly good. Eckhart was an interesting choice as Harvey Dent, and while he is fine in the role, I am not quite sure he was the best choice. As the film winds down, his character experiences changes, both physically and psychologically (in his case they go hand in hand) and becomes something completely unlike Eckhart’s nice guy persona. Had he been given more time to develop his characters (which, granted, was not his fault), my misgivings about his casting would likely have been nonexistent.

But “The Dark Knight” doesn’t belong to Bale’s Batman or any of the other afore-mentioned characters. This is The Joker’s movie, and boy does he run with it. Of course, the hype surrounding the film has centered on the performance of Heath Ledger, who died earlier this year from an accidental prescription drug overdose. I suppose many will be morbidly drawn in to seeing the film simply to view the role that supposedly drove Ledger into depression, but people should go just to see a performance that they won’t be able to shake from their minds for quite a while. The word that kept popping in to my head to describe Ledger’s performance as I watched the film was “mesmerizing,” and that doesn’t even come close to doing it justice. It is unfair to compare Ledger’s Joker with Jack Nicholson's in the original Batman, because they required two totally different approaches. Nicholson’s was tailor-made for the campy style director Tim Burton was going for, and had Nicholson taken the approach Ledger did in this one, it simply would not have worked. And vice versa. But that’s where the genius of “The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan (who co-wrote the screenplay with brother Jonathan Nolan) is evident. He gave Ledger free reign to dig deep in to his character, and bring out the true essence of The Joker. Let’s face it, a man who basically wears a clown suit and goes around ruthlessly killing people is at the very least deranged, and at most purely demonic, but not at all campy. Ledger toes the line between sadistic mastermind and homicidal lunatic, with a skill that gives you genuine chills. I haven’t seen a performance like this since Anthony Hopkins made Hannibal Lecter a household name so many years ago. Ledger uses everything at his disposal, from that creepy accent to lip-smacking facial tics, to create a character that would have lived on well after Ledger, even if he had lived a long, full life.

As I watched “The Dark Knight,” which is a summer movie like we have never seen before, or may ever see again, I could not shake the feeling of sadness I got watching Heath Ledger. His death, like so many others, came far too soon, and left a void not only in Hollywood, but in a family who loved him dearly as a son and a brother.It can be difficult to see these stars as real people, but tragedy always finds a way to bring that truth painfully home. One of the many things I love about this Web site is that on the main page every day it gives Christians a few names to pray for every single day, that God would touch the lives of celebrities in a way only He can. We often pray for our church, state, and national leaders, and rightfully so, but so frequently we neglect to pray for those we invite in to our homes every time we rent one of their movies, or who we visit each time we head out to the theaters. These people influence so many others, young and old alike, and we forget to pray that God will work in their lives and use their talents for His glory. But, as Heath Ledger sadly proved, Hollywood stars desperately need hope, the hope that can only come from a relationship with Christ. I urge all Christians to pray for Hollywood, for each and every performer they see, and to never stop. We may not be able to personally intervene, when a celebrity is plunging headfirst into a downward spiral that may claim their life, but we certainly know the One who can.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This film is good. Its beyond good. It is excellent. Violent? Yes. But Batman is not a happy comic book. It is gritty, dark, but does this to capture the source of the material. The movie shows outstanding morals, in that Batman will not kill no matter how he is pushed and that this is how we should live, holding to our morals no matter what. It shows the evil and chaos that can erupt if we do not do this in the form of the Joker.Personally as long as the child is not too young, I would recommend this as a good way to explain why moral value is important in the world. And to Elaine or whatever at the bottom of this page who wrote that it was very offensive and had a movie making quality of 1, maybe you should study up and realize that whether you like this film or not, it was very well done and great detail and craft was taken with it. Don’t judge on what others say. Watch it. If you still don’t like it, well theres no cure for bad taste in movies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Colt, age 19
Positive—This was a well crafted, well written, well thought out piece of work. Masterfully done. It reminded me of Heat with its character focus and intense atmosphere. The blue color scheme of the movie made the backdrop incredible! The sweeping shots of the city and well choreographed, well conceived action sequences were stunning. (somewhat spoiler) there is an action sequence in a building under construction that from its start was a sequence that played out intensely. I loved every minute of it. The craftsmanship was top notch!

Morally, its really up to your own conviction. I am an apologist in training and purpose to reach the “Athens Audience” like Paul on Mars Hill. Movies have been an instrument which the Lord has used to speak to me and have been handy reference points when talking to other people. No different that the parables Jesus taught with: Fictitious stories to prove a point. You think Disney classics are the only ones I use. The profanity riddled Good Will Hunting has loads of material to minister with. We are a body of believers. A body is comprised of different parts and some parts have dirtier jobs than others. Rather than badmouth what offends you, voice your take on the film and leave it at that. Don’t try to use the bible to prove why it should never be seen. Where is the protest against Robin Hood since he is not “obeying the law of the land”? Or perhaps the boycotting of Ocean’s 11,12,13 since criminal activity is being glorified. ?how about the hulk, since anger is his weapon and violence is how everything is solved. Get serious people. The Dark Knight is what Batman Films always should have been.

Well, I have been reading these posts and I just shake my head in disbelief. One guy asks if we could picture Jesus watching this film. He is watching the whole world at every second of the day. You think 2½ hours of this scripted act is going to offend His delicate senses? You are likely the same folks who boycotted The Golden Compass. I have no objection to your opinion or conviction. Golden Compass was an apologetic from the atheistic side. Keeps me informed of what I am up against.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bryan, age 25
Positive—Wow is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the dark night. I would not take anyone 12 and under to this movie because it can be very scary at some parts. Heath Ledger's performance as the joker was amazing and he should get an oscar for it. The movie was the darkest batman that I have ever seen and by far the best. The movie making quality was great and I enjoyed all of the actor’s in the film. And I also love how they put the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) at first. Overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lisa, age 26
Positive—I went with a friend of mine to see “The Dark Knight.” This was a great movie in every way. First of all, it was action-packed. For two-and-a-half hours, I sat there completely spellbound by the stuntwork and the special effects, particularly the visual ones. I would be surprised if the effects are not considered by the academy at Oscar time. Also, the acting was superb. Christian Bale is the best Batman since Michael Keaton. Yes, he’s even better than Val Kilmer. But, perhaps the most memorable performance was the late, great Heath Ledger as The Joker. He is even creepier than Jack Nicholson in 1989’s “Batman.” And that’s really saying something. The director, Christopher Nolan, who also directed the awesome “The Prestige,” knows what it takes to get great performances out of his actors.

As for objectionable content, except for the violence, which may be too strong for little kids, there really wasn’t too much to talk about. There were just a few minor cuss words, but, no sex or nudity. Still, because of the violence, I can’t recommend taking anyone under the age of 13 to see this otherwise terrific film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jared, age 28
Positive—“The Dark Knight” was an excellent film in every way I can think of. It was far different from any Batman movie I’ve seen, and left me in a bit of shock for quite a few minutes after it concluded. Like “Batman Begins,” the acting is superb, as is the action. It’s a different animal altogether, however, and it really delves into the “escalation” that Gordon warns about at the end of the first film. In this one, the criminals are all but forced to hire the Joker to kill Batman after he offers his services. His plan? Turn the people against him. Joker begins murdering city officials and wreaking havoc upon Gotham, saying he will only stop when Batman turns himself in.

I don’t want to comment much on the rest as not to give the plot away—but it is a brilliant, touching, and disturbing movie. Heath Ledger's Joker is pure evil, hellbent on anarchy, death, and destruction. His ultimate goal is to show the people of Gotham that they are no different than himself, and no less evil. There aren’t any shades of gray here, just black and white. And though Batman says “I am not a hero,” he comes off more heroically than ever. Not only does he save the day several times throughout the movie, he also is, in many ways, a self sacrificing man who thinks nothing of his own reputation. Harvey Dent’s character is a tragedy—one which started out with all the right goals and morals but due to a horrific incident (not his scarring, either) becomes Two-Face.

From a Christian perspective—I think it’s a great film for Christians. No, it’s not a “Christian movie,” but it’s not one that I, as a follower of Christ, would have a problem saying I enjoyed. There is none or very little profanity, and to my surprise, only one instance of blasphemy. No sexual scenes, although there are a few scantily clad women here and there. And… well, I’ll say this, if the finale doesn’t warm your heart… I’d be shocked. There is an interesting scene where a group of prisoners begin praying together and the way it comes out is amazing. I’d recommend this film to Christian teenagers and adults. Definitely no kids under 12 or 13. It’s very frightening at times, especially thanks to Heath Ledger's awesome performance as the maniacal Joker, and there are some scenes of graphic violence. The “blood and guts” is never shown, but it’s implication can be disturbing.

To sum it up, excellent movie, period, and probably the best Batman movie by far. Great for Christians, but the themes are too mature for children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ryan Callaway, age 23
Positive—In an age of pornographic gore from movie series like “Hostel” and “Saw,” it’s hard to believe that a restrained, barely-bloody superhero movie can creep anyone out. Behold, THE DARK KNIGHT, the brain child of director Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and his night-crawling alter-ego, the Batman. Bale might be in the title role, but it is Heath Ledger as the grungy, maniacal Joker that steals the show.

Set in the crime-torn east-coast city of Gotham, the story begins with a bank heist in which five men masked as clowns rob mob money from a Gotham bank. Standard “get down on the floor” scene ensues, but the creepiness climbs as the criminals kill one another by order of “the boss.”

It’s not until the two remaining criminals are loading the cash into the back of a school bus (I forgot to mention, they BACKED A SCHOOL BUS INTO THE BANK) that one of them reveals himself to be the Joker after he casually shoots his last crony. He peels back his mask, revealing his horribly scarred face, and speaks gravely to one of his hostages. “What doesn’t kill you… only makes you stranger.”

From then on, the movie is a roller-coaster ride through the Batman’s efforts to catch the Joker and maintain his “no-kill” code at the same time, Harvey Dent’s quest to put the mob behind bars, and James Gordon’s efforts to keep the two of them from getting killed in the process.

As a comic-book fan, and of the Batman mythology in particular, the film is rife with self-references and in-jokes. Those “in the know” will likely realize that the plot is a clever synthesis of two seminal Batman comics, THE KILLING JOKE which deals with the Joker’s origins and his quest to prove everyone else is as insane as he, and THE LONG HALLOWEEN, a comic series that laid the frame for the Batman-Dent-Gordon vs. The Mob plot.

Every member of the cast performs beautifully, from the wise and somber Sir Michael Caine as Alfred, to the heart-wrenching and ultimately terrifying portrayal of Harvey “Two-Face” Dent by Aaron Eckhart.

I’m sure I’ll be repeating every secular reviewer and their dog when I say that it is Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker that sets the bar higher than even Jack Nicholson could. He doesn’t PLAY the Joker; he LIVES the Joker, speaking in his voice, moving in his body. His performance only makes me sadder that drug addiction took such a wonderful actor from us.

Biblically and morally, this film shines much brighter than its predecessor. I won’t reveal any details, but the final act of the Joker’s plan to prove people are naught but “intelligent animals” has a conclusion that will definitely get you to think.

On a deeper level, the Joker represents the physical embodiment of the question we as human beings have been asking since time immemorial—what if it all really doesn’t matter? What would we become if we simply stopped caring about not only society’s rules, but ALL the rules? He is a man who somehow came to believe that order and reason were simple walls to be broken down to see the true face of humanity.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Batman, a man who, on some level, agrees with the Joker—people will reduce themselves to animals if you give them the chance. Unlike the Joker, Batman has realized that if you set an example, if you are willing to make the choice no one else will, people will follow that example. While Batman fights to maintain an order that he believes is only as good as we believe it to be, the Joker fights to expose order and reason for the farces he sees them as. It’s a representation of our own eternal, internal struggles with our own maniacal, selfish monsters.

Harvey Dent, unlike Batman or the Joker, believes not in anarchy or order, but in pure, dumb luck. When he finally falls into the abyss of his own rage and lust for vengeance, he decides the fates of his victims with a simple flip of the coin, abiding by the half-dollar’s sentence. While the Joker and Batman fight for their version of the world, Harvey Two-Face sees himself as only a pawn of something bigger than himself, obliged to obey, guiltless in his slavery to chance.

Each of the three men show a different side of ourselves—some of us see life as a fight for order and right, some of us see life as a 50/50 equation with good and evil kept in balance by the law of averages, and some of us see life as the bad punchline at the end of an equally bad joke.

What I respect about the direction Nolan and Ledger took with the Joker is that he is not a villain you can root for or feel sorry for. He has wholly committed himself to his life and his choices. It is a fervor and a zeal and a drive I wish I saw in a lot of Christians for their own choices and beliefs.

Should a Christian see this movie? I believe so. As secular as it is, it touches on many issues we need to face and resolve within ourselves. More than a mindless action film, more than a simple crime drama, THE DARK KNIGHT will stand for many years as the Batman movie to beat. well, I’ll say this, if the finale doesn’t warm your heart… I’d be shocked. There is an interesting scene where a group of prisoners begin praying together and the way it comes out is amazing. I’d recommend this film to Christian teenagers and adults. Definitely no kids under 12 or 13. It’s very frightening at times, especially thanks to Heath Ledger's awesome performance as the maniacal Joker, and there are some scenes of graphic violence. The “blood and guts” is never shown, but it’s implication can be disturbing.

To sum it up, excellent movie, period, and probably the best Batman movie by far. Great for Christians, but the themes are too mature for children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sean
Positive—This film was entertaining despite the dark theme. For all those people who posted negatively, do you sleep with the lights on or something. Is it too dark for a bunch of grown adults like you to handle. I think that we can all agree that there will never be a real life batman/joker show down and though it may be pretty convincing the violence is fake. Most of the negative posters are fundamentalists and think that we are directly affected by what we see. When I was in high school, we learned from our religion teachers that seeing movies with explicit content is okay as long as we are aware of the real life consequences. And I’m sure that its not the devils big plan to get all to watch violent movies…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—John Johnson, age 22
Positive—This movie was amazing! It was of course dark and somewhat brutal but I believe it is totally true. Our society is getting to that breaking point where everything will just blow up into chaos. I believe that this movie’s points were true and real. Not a sugar coated “everything is perfect” movie but a true picture of each side of humans. Batman was the good guy struggling with heavy decisions, winning some battles and losing others. His choice at the end of the movie was based on not letting evil take over, something all of us Christians face. Do we give in to the devil like Harvey Dent? Or do we decide to sacrifice ourselves to not let Satan win like Batman? The Joker, like the Devil, doesn’t have mercy. Anything he can whisper in someone’s ear (like Joker did to Dent) will help him in spreading the chaos and darkness and evil after he is gone. The Joker wants to “…see the world burn…” just like Satan. I loved the film and didn’t find a thing wrong with it.

It was very dark but so is the world we live in and a lot of Christians don’t like talking about it. It is one thing to say “The world is dark” and leave it at that. It’s another to actually talk about reality… of course without giving in and just accepting and being okay with it all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Caleb, age 19
Positive—I agree with those who advise parents to keep young children from this film. However, that does not make it morally offensive as I define it, unless one considers the insipid Bibleman to be a morally high-ranking superhero. To avoid offending parents, this nonsense has the hero fighting the evils of gossip and cheating on one’s schoolwork when kids have to face bullies at best and molesters at worst in the world in which they actually live. The point is that the evil opposed in this film is virtually demonic, and its confrontation by human beings exacts from them a terrible price, and some who do are brought down by it. In a real world in which children are abducted and abused and killed by real maniacs, to have fictional heroes oppose silly world-conquest schemes is just absurd. May I recommend to anyone with the courage to do so, that they read a novel titled Batman: The Ultimate Evil, in which he opposes a child prostitution ring operating out of Thailand. That book, and this movie, are Batman at his best.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Douglas Milliken, age 51
Positive—I saw this movie with my wife and 16 year old daughter, and was quite worried about how course it might be from what I’d read. I needn’t have worried, though clearly not for young children it also was not a slasher flick—any real gruesomeness was off screen (though hinted at enough that all three of us averted our eyes when we feared such would not be the case). On the other hand, it is not a mindless “have fun” summer super hero movie like “The Incredible Hulk” or 'Ironman'—as much as I enjoyed them as well. “The Dark Knight” gives the viewer a lot to think about: are we who think ourselves “good” capable of real evil if pushed hard enough? Are those whom we judge not worthy capable of embarrassing us “good people” with their ability to do what is right and do so with better moral clarity? Are we willing to do what is right even at the risk that the world thinks we are in the wrong? These are issues that speak to our daily lives as Christians and are not often the point of summer blockbusters. In short, Christians see this movie—don’t take young children, do take your willingness to examine yourself.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Dan, age 49
Positive—The Dark Knight is nothing short of brilliant.



While I strongly suggest NOT to bring children, or easily-disturbed young adults to see the film, mature viewers will leave the cinema in a state nothing short of awe.

Batman represents the very kind of hero Christians today are called to be. He displays tremendous courage and perseverance in the midst of chaos, despair, and the diabolical madness that is the Joker.

I strongly disagree with reviewers who insist the movie’s violence is evidence of nothing other than an evil Hollywood plot to desensitize viewers and praise wickedness—they are missing the bold-faced message of the movie: the forces of good can ALWAYS overcome the forces of evil. Being a Christian is not about sticking your head in a hidey-hole until the day of Judgment, leaving the rest of the world to devour itself in evil. Jesus descended to Earth to bear all the horrors of sin and cast out demons specifically so that we may be empowered to do the same—even if the entire world is against us.

The Dark Knight, while not citing any Biblical reference per say, exemplifies this kind of unyielding, righteous courage. Bruce Wayne, like us, is human and must deal with very human problems (sacrifice, grief, betrayal, self-doubt, etc) which makes the message universal to all people—Christian or not.

In short, the movie is dark. Much darker than any previous Batman film (Nolan or Burton). Definitely not for children—some moments can be very frightening and suspenseful. If you are squeamish or cannot handle some scenes of intense, brutal violence, do not see The Dark Knight. Do not, however, condemn the movie before watching it simply because it’s violent (there is hardly any cursing and virtually no sexual scenes). The twisted, white face of evil is always frightening, but good will always endure.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jimm, age 21
Positive—I honestly think most people do not give this movie a fair review. For one thing it has no sex, vulgarity, swearing, taking god’s name in vain, and it does not promote New age religion or evolution as do most movies now a days. There are a lot of good things to take out of it and it is a real deep thinker. As far as movie quality goes it was simply amazing and Heath Ledger was nothing short of perfect. This movie is rated 14a in Canada and PG-13 in the States, its rated for violence and frightening scenes. This means that there is obviously going to be some disturbing images and content in it and viewers who are generally bothered by these things should not go see it in the first place. I personally thought that it was hardly violent at all for a crime movie, and yes this was one of the genres mentioned along with about a dozen others, although. Even though it did show people getting killed it didn’t show any gore or at least hardly any. As far as what the joker did it was expected in my opinion. If you read the comics or saw the cartoons of batman then you would know that the joker was a sick and twisted serial killer. Why is it then when he is presented like that in the movie people are apparently offended. Perhaps because watching a silly cartoon or reading a comic is simply not any where close to being as dramatic as it is in a realistic life-like movie with amazing acting. I personally thought that what the joker did was very clever and showmanship like. For instance when he had the fire truck on fire. CAUTION SPOILER HERE!!!… or when the clowns ended up being the hostages and the supposed hostages were really the criminals. One good thing that I got out of it was in the end of the movie. This is when Batman took on the guilt of two face (Harvey Dent) so that the people could have hope that there is still some good left in the world, this reminded me a lot about Christ dying on the cross for our sins so we could have hope in our salvation from sins. Although I would not recommend this movie to little kids seeing how 2 face and the joker might give them nightmares for a week, I would recommend it to everyone else cause this movie is simply superb
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joshua Coombs, age 18
Positive— While “Batman Begins” restart the origin of Bruce Wayne into the iconic Cape Crusader, “The Dark Knight” reignite the comic book hero into real dimensional character with real and terrifying story telling. Here, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), had inspired copycat do-gooders and the crime rate had decreased immensely with the help of Gotham’s DA, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), but then, a new demented criminal called the Joker (Heath Ledger) appeared on the scene with a scheme that will destroy all that our hero had long been fighting to rid off. Once the action set in motion, no one is safe. From the newly minted Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and his families to Rachel Dawes’ (Maggie Gyllenhaal) relationships with Wayne and Dent, and yes, even Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) came under an enormous epiphany about the use of great power for one man’s responsibilities.

There is a lot here. The script, the director, the actors, the story and the themes there in, and the technical details are all superb. I like to offer my two cents about the theme in this fine film. I’ll focus on the one where good can be corrupted. MAJOR SPOILERS ALERT, AHEAD!

If you’re a Batman fan, you’ll realized that Harvey Dent will become the criminal known as Two-Face. Dent was a true shining knight in armor without the mask but when put under a great stress with a burn to one side of his face and the loss of his love, Gotham’s favorite son turned to killing based on the flip of his most trusted two-headed coin. But Dent was just one man fallen, as opposed to the multitude on the two ships that ferry a group of convicts and those of the ordinary citizens of Gotham. Planted on the ships are bombs and each with a detonator that will detonate the other ship per directed by the Joker that within a certain amount of time, if one of the ship was not blown, the Joker will blow both away. It’s an intense psychological battle of good and evil. Will the convict push the button first or the average citizens under stress? This is where the heart of the film bloomed. When a man on a podium fell, the citizen of it’s people arise to the occasion.

Under most extraneous condition, even some of the most level headed people will do the most un-compromised action. Christians are no different. As Christians, there is God, but He is not there on our errant decision without His purpose. What is the right thing to do when we’re at a junction of grueling decisions? Even a simple action about our neighbor. Are we just as guilty and sinful when we say we love them yet we don’t give them a hand when needed? Don’t start pulling the planks out of the eyes of the other until we have pulled our own planks. “TDK” is just as much a film on par with Mel Gibson's “Passion of the Christ.” I’m not saying that it has a religious experience, some people may do, but as a film, both served a purpose for the well being of good faith.

“TDK” is great for mature audiences. As a last note, Heath Ledger is a remarkable actor, and his Joker is definitely one to remember. Chillingly creepy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mang Yang, age 36
Positive—I watched this film TWICE over one weekend. Ledger’s acting was magnificent, but the entire cast was great: from Christian Bale to Morgan Freeman. This is definitely the summer’s best movie thus far.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Cornelius Christian, age 20
Positive—This was truly an amazing film. The acting and cinematography, as well as special effects are stunning. This is what Batman is supposed to be. Finally there is a film that discards the absurd campiness and ridiculous humor of the other entries in the series. It even manages to surpass Batman Begins which surprised me. I went on opening night at midnight and was so glad I did. Heath Ledger captures the essence of the Joker like no one else before him. To any who say the Joker was too dark, have you read the comics? The Joker of the comics is just as dark if not darker than the one portrayed in this movie. But he steals every scene he appears in. And yes the movie is dark, but shows that no matter what happens Batman has morals he will never break and that sometimes we get the heroes we deserve, but not ones we deserve. By all means see it in theaters before it is gone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Colt, age 18
Positive—It’s been a week since I saw The Dark Knight, and I can’t think of a movie that’s stayed with me so powerfully in quite a long time.

Perhaps I am reading too much into the movie, but just from my first viewing I couldn’t help but be struck by what seems to be strong Christian symbolism. I posted some of the following thoughts on Internet Movie Database, and I post them here for your contemplation and benefit.

Frankly, if my understanding of the movie’s symbolism is correct, this movie impressed upon me the weight and preciousness of Christ’s sacrifice and redemption more than just about anything (other than the Bible) I’ve ever read, heard, or seen before. After I saw the movie, I wept for my sins and I couldn’t do anything else other than pray and read Isaiah 52-54.

Yes, this film has many mature themes, and I agree with others that it probably should have been rated R. But this is not necessarily something to avoid. Many things in the Bible are also for a mature audience. The woman cut into twelve pieces, the rape of Dinah, incest, murder, crucifixion—all of these things are grim and disturbing, but God wants us to read them and come to terms with them. (Note that I am not defending exploitation, but a deep probing into mature issues.) I understand if some feel that should not see movies that deal with some of these issues, and that’s a choice between them and God. But for those who are willing to really examine them, I believe The Dark Knight will give you plenty of meat to chew on.

Here are some thoughts on the Christian symbolism in the movie (this contains spoilers, so you may want to skip this until you’ve seen the movie):

*Batman fights for good and wants to destroy evil. (symbolic of Christ’s purity and goodness)
*In Harvey Dent, Batman sees an opportunity to “increase” his goodness and make it a permanent force in Gotham. (symbolic of God creating man in His own image and wanting man to express Him in His authority and nature)
*The Joker brought destruction to Harvey, so that he became Two-Face, and Two-Face forsook the goodness Harvey Dent stood for. (symbolizing man’s fall and alienation from God and all things good)
*At the end of the movie, Batman is shot (pierced) and appears to be dead. But he “resurrects” to thwart Two-Face. (symbolic of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection)
*Also, Batman allows himself to take Two-Face’s penalty by receiving public scorn. He sacrificially takes the penalty (with regard to public opinion) for Two-Face’s evils, even though he was innocent. (symbolic of Christ’s being sinless, but taking the penalty of a criminal)
*The Joker is just plain evil, loving torture and destruction. (symbolic of Satan’s evil nature)
*The Joker keeps putting people in nearly impossible right-or-wrong ethical situations (symbolic of Satan’s association with the knowledge of good and evil).
*I also noticed that Batman, when he wasn’t fighting criminals, was often in all-white rooms. Throughout Scripture, literature, and film, white is often symbolic of purity. So it seems that Batman’s “natural” dwelling place is white, pure. But he must take on the dark persona to defeat evil. (this could be symbolic of Christ’s taking on the likeness of sinful flesh, though He never sinned, just as Batman was never corrupted)
*Batman was tempted again and again to follow the Joker’s evil ways, but he never succumbed to the temptations (symbolic of Christ’s temptation by Satan)
*The Joker may represent Satan and destruction, while Two-Face may represent a trusting in fate. Both of these forces were ultimately defeated by the choosing of life—with the decision by the people on both boats not to blow the other up and with Batman’s choice to save Gordon’s life. (this could be symbolic of how choosing eternal life defeats both Satan and the concept of fate)
Perhaps I’m reading too much into some of this, but these were just my initial impressions after one viewing. Of course, Christ’s redemption is THE story of the universe, so perhaps good story-telling always contains some element of fall and redemption. (Christian Bale even briefly notes that redemption theme is a strong theme in TDK in an interview I saw with him). If all of this symbolism was unintentional by the writers and director, then it’s amazing how excellently it works. I have not come across such a vivid picture, apart from the types in Scripture, that so powerfully conveys the cost of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Just realizing the darkness that Batman had to confront made me very aware of my own sinfulness. And then his taking upon himself the penalty for someone else in order to redeem the city… Wow. Like I said, I was overwhelmed by God’s love and mercy after seeing this film. If you view it through a symbolic lens, I think you will be too.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James Christian, age 27
Positive—I’m having a difficult time understanding how TDK has been deemed “offensive.” It depicts ill intentions, the fall of good men, violent acts, evil in general. But it also depicts those who are willing to stand up against such evil.

Skimming the comments, I found that the most common complaint was that it, well, basically depicted bad things. That alone is not grounds for calling something offensive. It all needs to be taken into context. If a film shows horrible, gratuitous acts like murder or rape for nothing more than shock value, I can fully understand how somebody might think it offensive. But if a film shows people standing up against such atrocities, I think that that’s not at all bad or offensive; it’s even good.

I’m remembering reading a Christian review of Michael Bay's movie “The Island” back in '05, I think it was. It struck me as odd that somebody would watch and review a movie with Christian ideologies in mind, and I still think it’s a somewhat odd practice. I would consider myself very religious. I’m Catholic, I pray, I’ve had respectful debates with atheists, I try to think and act bearing in mind Christian teachings, etc. But a movie’s a movie. It’s escapist entertainment. A few people shared that “The Dark Knight”'s gritty and dark atmosphere made them feel less in touch with God, but I question the initial faith of somebody who feels less in touch with God after watching a movie that has virtually nothing to do with theology at all. The problem is not with the movie.

Sorry about that digression, back to “The Island.” The aforementioned Christian review of “The Island” praised it as being a subtle pro-life advocate. I can definitely see where a Christian might like it. Sure, Sean Bean's character is an evil dude killing people for body parts, but the movie is “redeemed” by the actions of the people who stand up to him, who stand for justice, for good, for life. “The Dark Knight” too has an evil, nihilistic character who kills people and basically does his best to create total anarchy. Yet, there are those who stand up to him, those who stop him, those who take the moral high ground every step of the way.

It’s a basic morality tale. There’s a bad guy, and there’s a good guy. The good guy prevails. It would be ridiculous to knock a movie just because it has a bad guy, especially when the movie shows the good guy winning.

I’ll make a last comparison. Jesus came to what some would describe as a decadent and sinful world. Jesus did his best to show people a better world, one where there could be less evil and more good. Jesus was then crucified. I could make the argument that this was a bad world, a dark world, a world where evil prevailed. But in the face of that evil stood a man who labored for peace, for justice, for good, and that man illuminated the darkness of the world. How could that be considered offensive?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Deltajuliet, age 18
Positive—I’ve been keeping track of the comments here and even posted mine on this movie. I feel the need to speak again. I respect everyone’s opinion’s, but in all honesty, I don’t think a lot of people here are fair to this movie. Yes, it is violent, yes, it is bleak, yes, it is dark, but I do believe everyone is missing the big picture. I won’t go into a long speech, but this movie shows us life when everything comes crashing down around us and the choices we face when, not if, that happens. All of us have in one form or another our Jokers to face. When, like The Joker, our enemy comes to work his ways, we can either stand firm against it as Batman did or tragically fall as Harvey Dent did, in the end falling to his own ruin.

This movie shows the face of evil for what it is. Telling people to avoid it for that reason is like trying to seal yourself off from it and encouraging others to do likewise. I would encourage a mature Christian (most certainly not a child) to see this movie. And while I don’t approve of lying, I think Batman’s sacrifice at the end was touching. For the people of Gotham, he was willing to take the blame for Harvey’s deeds, no matter how much Dent didn’t deserve it. This movie is far better than an entertaining, action film. It really makes you think.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeff, age 21
Positive—The most telling scene is the Joker’s merciless stripping away of Batman’s societal-based values. Joker knows both himself and Batman far better than Batman knows either of them. This brings a chilling moment of catharsis for the viewer to participate in and grow because of this chilling yet necessary self-discovery.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Peter Hilton, age 65
Positive—I thought this movie was AMAZING!!!…The best batman I have ever seen. I have already seen it 2 times and one was the 12:00am showing. I cannot wait to go see it again. The acting was great and I would not change anyone in it. Heath Ledger did a great job as the joker. At times I actually found it very funny and also dark. I would not bring anyone under the age of 12 years old to this. It would scare there pants off or scare them for life. I would recommend this movie to anyone !!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Peggy, age 28
Positive—Well, I believe that as Christians, we ought to judge films, plays, books, etc in the following way: Does the film portray evil as good or good as evil? If so, We should not see the film. In my opinion, The Dark Knight portrayed evil as evil and good as good; therefore, it is acceptable for Christians to see the movie. Numerous viewers have ruthlessly bashed the film for portraying violence. But the character of The Joker would not be believable without it. He would not have been able to control the crime lords of Gotham City without posing some kind of threat. Without this threat, The Joker is just some fruity guy in a purple suit with scars and weird makeup. The Joker displays total human moral depravity.
Others have scorned The Dark Knight for a 15 second segment where Bruce Wayne walks into a room of his penthouse during a party and sees an older man and a woman who apparently slept together (nothing is shown—all u see is a unmade bed). Although I, in no way, condone sexual immortality and do not believe that there are such things as little sins, the scene could have been worse and was mild in content compared to many other films that many people have seen.

So, altogether The Dark Knight has excellent character development and I would recommend this film to anyone over the age of 14 or 15. The Dark Knight is one of my all time movie favorites and is better than any other super hero movie out there.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mary, age 33
Positive—I think that there is a profoundly moral aspect to this film that has escaped many commenters. Before I start, I would like to clarify—yes, it is a very violent film. No, the fact that much of the violence (for example, a man’s face being sliced by a knife, or a heavy being stabbed in the eye by a pencil) occurs offscreen does not excuse it. Yes, it is one of the most violent films of this certificate I have ever seen, and I would not take an under-15 to see it.

Yet something has been overlooked. Be warned, there are spoilers for the rest of the film to follow.

As we open the film, Batman is settling in to his identity as a vigilante. He has a warm and believable relationship with Alfred and is looking forward to the day when Gotham can move on with a non-superhero protector. He believes Harvey Dent, the new DA, could be that protector.

Then comes a different kind of criminal. The Joker is a theatrical supervillain, as different to the standard mob boss as Batman is different to the standard police officer. The Joker—and this is constantly highlighted in Heath Ledger's performance and the Nolan brothers’ script—doesn’t want money or power, he just wants to create chaos.

This makes him very frightening. Just as people initially didn’t know why the terrorists attacked us on 9/11, so the people of Gotham don’t know why the Joker is attacking them. But he turns out to have a hidden agenda.

In “The Killing Joke,” a comic by Alan Moore which Christopher Nolan cites as a main influence on this film, the Joker abducts Jim Gordon’s niece and tortures her to prove a point. He wants to show that every law-abiding citizen is just one bad day away from becoming a psychopath like him. Although this plotline does not exist in The Dark Knight, the Joker’s motivation turns out to be exactly the same.

And I think it is vitally important to note that The Dark Knight concludes that the Joker is totally wrong. When he banks on Batman becoming so desperate that he breaks his “don’t kill” rule, he may push Bruce Wayne to the edge, but ultimately Wayne does not kill. Even when the Joker uses game theory to try and persuade two boats full of civilians to murder each other, the ordinary people of Gotham prove that they are better than the Joker.

Adam Curtis’s BBC series The Trap (which is available to view, with Curtis’s blessing, online) addresses the use of game theory by politicians to “prove” that human beings are purely self-interested and will act in accordance with their own interests. But in fact people have a strong altruistic streak that this mathematical theory cannot account for—a conclusion reached by Curtis and The Dark Knight alike. Ultimately, the Joker is wrong; his sociopathy does mark him out as a freakish, aberrant case, and most people are not as vicious and as callous as him. Even his corruption of Harvey Dent rests on Dent already having a violent streak; the true colour of humanity is revealed by Batman doing what is best by Gotham at the end of the movie. The Dark Knight takes you to some dark places, but it ultimately concludes that the human race is a good thing, worth fighting for. In that, I feel it is redemptive; it may show you the worst of humanity but it also glorifies the best of us in a way that few action films do.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Graham, age 25
Positive—Some reviewers who left negative comments said they couldn’t recommend this film to Christians because it was dark and made them think serious thoughts. I believe, as a Christian, that it is our responsibility to tackle the negative ideas as well as the positive. The Christian church in America labors under the delusion that anything that makes you sad is a sin, which is utterly incorrect. “The Dark Knight” is as dark, and darker, than its title implies, and it challenges our notions of good fighting evil.

Some say it is sinful that this film portrays The Joker corrupting some of the good characters. I say it’s realistic, and it gives us Christians a realistic idea of what evil is TRULY like. If we try to deal with sin with the mentality that it takes a few quick prayers and some easy words to get rid of it, then we will fail every single time. We must realize that our word is as dark and morbid as Gotham, and that the fight against evil will be just as hard as Batman finds it in this film. Knowing this, we can pray to God and ask Him for the wisdom to apply to our newly-found knowledge of how the world works. Then He will give us the opportunities to use that knowledge and wisdom. But He won’t do everything for us—in His infinite wisdom, He knows that solving all our problems for us without expecting us to put forth any effort would only make us weak.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jm, age 18
Positive—Those who think the film is ungodly clearly don’t see its possibility as a Christ parable.

Now, I don’t think it was intended as a Christ parable, but like so many things, you can read into it whatever you want. And, as an earlier review mentioned, fall and redemption are universal themes.

The roles require a little work to puzzle out. Since he’s the hero, Batman of course is Christ. He is not what we expect of our heroes. We expect them to be shining, flawless, perfect. Batman dresses like a frightening monster, stalks the night like, uses fear to intimidate and interrogate, and lies about what he is except to his most trusted loved ones. (Note that the metaphor is that he’s not what we expect; it is not a 1-to-1 “Christ is merciful, therefore Batman must be merciful” allegory. Many of the Christ-era Jews expected Jesus to be a military leader who would conquer the Roman Empire, not seeing the greater good he would serve by instead washing away sin.) And, at the time of his life, he is blamed for things that go wrong… but more on that later.

The Joker is an obvious Satan. He seeks evil for the sake of evil, and chaos for the sake of chaos. The only sane way to live in the world is without rules, he says… and even with that he does not see himself as evil. He’s “not a monster, [he’s] just ahead of the curve.” He even manages to convince many people that he isn’t the problem; it’s Batman. And yet at the same time, he sees things others do not, and uses that knowledge to manipulate and twist others. “They’ll cast you out,” the Joker tells Batman. “Like a leper.” [emphasis mine] In a way, he thinks he’s helping Batman; by convincing him to not just man’s law but of scruples and principle, he’ll be freeing him. And—this is the important part—he is, in his own way, weirdly charming. I can’t count the number of times I found myself laughing, almost involuntarily, at even the most brutal or twisted jokes he spat or gurgled out.

Harvey Dent—and this is probably more controversial—is an Anti-Christ. (Read the scripture; there’ll be more than one.) No, hear me out. Harvey Dent seems to be everything we not only need but everything we want: someone who can help us, protect us, fix what’s wrong with society. He’s handsome, charming, knowledgeable, funny. And yet… he is not perfect. He has a temper. He is possessive. He holds others to high standards that he himself doesn’t meet. And in the end, “Satan” tries to use him to destroy all the good he’s done. (I’ve always preferred the idea that an Anti-Christ is someone who believes they’re doing the right thing but is slowly being corrupted.) But from the start, you can tell he’s melancholy: he says that you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.

The next two roles, God and the Spirit, are trickier, because both the remaining people they apply to could fill either role. However, in the end, Lucius Fox functions as even Batman’s moral and ethical center, as well as providing him with all the tools he needs to get the job done. Alfred, for all that Bruce loves him, is a servant or, at best, a subservient equal and friend. Fox, though he too works for Bruce, is an authority figure in a way Alfred can’t be. In the end, while Alfred uplifts Bruce’s spirit when it’s needed, it’s Fox that ends up providing him with everything he needs to overcome evil.

As for Rachel, I admit I don’t know what role to assign her. Perhaps she represents humanity itself: she is what it’s all about, what all the effort is truly for, not just for Christ but the Anti-Christ, but even with the guidance of God, death (though not oblivion) must still come to humanity.

Finally, Gordon seems to be Simon Peter. He is the rock on which the 'church'--the new and improved Gotham—is being built. He works with and sometimes it seems for the Batman. His job is to 'spread the Word'--remind criminals that Batman is out there, by sometimes keeping the signal on even when Batman doesn’t come. But unlike Batman, he doesn’t have the luxury of idealism—he has to work with what he has, even if that includes a Judas (or two).

(SPOILERS AHEAD.)

At the conclusion of the film, even Satan acknowledges that Christ is truly incorruptible, but mocks him for it, and points out that it’s not over. (The metaphor falls apart slightly: Batman’s code means he will actively try not to destroy the Joker, only contain him; Christ will destroy Satan, but it will be at the correct time and place.) Batman takes on even sins he can honestly say he’s never committed. Gordon protests, before realizing that by taking blame that should go to others, he is saving everyone. So the police will hunt him. His name will be reviled. Yet still he will watch over us… because he can take it. He’s not Gotham’s mere hero, but their true guardian, their protector, watchful and vigilant and uncaring of their slings and arrows.

The Dark Christ.

(I’m so sorry for the pun.)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Michael, age 24
Positive—…at the end of a very dark film, we see a blast of light in the darkness. We see a man take on the context of Christ. By the end of this film, Batman displays extremely Christ-like behavior. …The Joker and Batman are polar opposites. The Joker kills at whim—often because he finds it sickly funny—and Batman refuses to commit murder despite the nature of what he does and who he deals with.

…Even though I give it a “better than average” rating, it is absolutely prudent to mention this film is not for children and parents should exercise caution before bringing their young ones who are younger than 13 to this film. The PG-13 rating fits this film perfectly. …

My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Chris, age 32
Positive—OK. I know a lot of people found this movie to be dark and violent, which no doubt it was! It’s obvious those who gave it a negative have not read a Batman comic in some years, because it’s dark, violent and at times hopeless—EXACTLY what Gotham City is supossed to be! I am a huge Batman geek and have been collecting Batman stuff since age 11 and have noticed a darker tone overtake him from the 80’s into 2000’s. Basically if you know anything about Batman and love the comic, this is the movie for you! If you just like movies and do not understand the mythos or the crimminal elements of Batman you may or may not like it! Yes, the movie goes into areas that the Bible speaks of that are dangerous to our souls, and sometimes even the heros fall (but is that not the reality of life?)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brian, age 32
Positive—I am more offended by the negative reviews of this film than I am the film itself. They all read as though they were victimized by some depraved diabolical filmmaker. None of them seem to get that Batman Begins was a good solid foundation on which they could build this much bigger, more elaborately scoped film. We are taken deeper into Gotham city and deeper into the lives of our already established characters. Understand that Chris Nolan wanted to keep Batman in a more realistic tone. You want fluffy batman with Mr. Freeze and batgirl be my guest. This film is not it. Yes, the Joker was a character without rules. Thus, any killing went off without a 2nd thought. His performance was stellar and was quite the adversary. The intense battle of wits was exactly that. A battle of wits of which the outcome is critical. I loved the film for its sweeping shots of the city. The scenes of Batman in hand-to-hand combat were not choppy and impossible to follow, like that last one. The color scheme was spectacular, and the character work was incredible. This movie does embody the enemy attempting to divide and conquer.

We all must admit, if not for the villains being so incredible, most films would be a bore. Take Agent Smith in “The Matrix.” He is the reason I liked those films, at all.

I am a minister in-training and an aspiring apologist. I found this film to be masterfully crafted with an intensity I have not seen since “Heat.” Yes, the film is dark. Yes, it is psychologically stunning, but in no way is it some gross, depraved film. We live in a dark world that is assaulting our young people at younger and younger ages. “The Dark Knight” should be the least of your worries. Use these films as tools to teach your kids either how or how not to navigate through dilemmas that come along.

It created intense moral dilemma, and lets face it, not every choice we face as believers is all that cut and dry either. Personally I have found movies no matter their rating to be a good place where I have grown in my spirit. Parents, every child is different in their sensitivity. For some, like me, this is the best way to observe a world without having to enter it and be a part of it. Good still triumphs, yes it is costly sometimes. This film demonstrated that. The Joker’s quote to Batman: “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.” How appropriate. Batman is still the immovable symbol of justice and morality in the face of the worst dilemma. He is still human and not every choice will be an easy one. Teach your kids that the enemy can seem overwhelming but the Rock of Christ is immovable.

When films like these come out, do not avoid them like the plague. Avoid “Hostel” (I did) and things of that nature. Use your best judgment. Be there with your kids to see it. If your spirit is sensitive in a way that does not permit going into darker atmospheres, then allow them to take the journey. Teach them how to think… not what to think.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bryan, age 25
Positive—I am a Batman fan. I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series with Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. Those two, in my humble opinion, were never outdone. Tim Burton’s Batman wannabe was distasteful and not enjoyable at all, but Batman Begins grabbed my attention and I was ready for The Dark Knight.

I was not disappointed. The Christian Bale was amazing as Batman and Heath Ledger was a phenomenal as the Joker. The one who stole the show was Daniel Eckhart as Harvey Dent. He deserves an award for his performance, but it will probably go to the late Heath Ledger. The special effects are amazing and the stunts fantastic. It is probably the best superhero movie ever made.

The Joker comes to Gotham City with no agenda except to kill the Batman, but as the mobsters, who are in panic after Batman’s appearance, find out, Joker is playing for keeps. At first, Joker is referred to as a punk, but he soon becomes a full fledged terrorist after murdering city officials.

As far as moral content, the movie is loaded with violence and some very unpleasant scenes. Such as the Joker killing someone with a pencil or half of Dent’s face being burned. No gore is shown and the only bloody scene is when Bruce nurtures a wound brought on by a dog. The language is minor and God’s name is taken in vain a few times. Dent’s scarring looks more shocking than gross, and in some places fake. I recommend this movie to anyone 16 and older.



My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Jacob Airey, age 20
Positive—OK. I know a lot of people found this movie to be dark and violent, which no doubt it was! It’s obvious those who gave it a negative have not read a Batman comic in some years, because it’s dark, violent and at times hopeless EXACTLY what Gotham City is supposed to be! I am a huge Batman geek and have been collecting Batman stuff since age 11 and have noticed a darker tone overtake him from the 80s into 2000s. Basically if you know anything about Batman and love the comic this is the movie for you! If you just like movies and do not understand the mythos or the criminal elements of Batman you may or may not like it! Yes, the movie goes into areas that the Bible speaks of that are dangerous to our souls, and sometimes even the heroes fall (but is that not the reality of life?)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brian, age 32
Positive—This is without question the best comic book film I have ever seen. Make no mistake, “the Dark Knight” is intense and, as the title clearly says, dark so this is NOT a film for children. So take the rating seriously and for that matter, only take your teenager if you think he/she is mature enough to handle the film’s violence and menace. The Joker (play brilliantly by Heath Ledger) is one of the most intense and evil villains I have ever seen portrayed on the screen. He would’ve given me nightmares when I was a kid no questions asked.

The rest of the cast is quite solid. Christian Bale is perfectly believable as Batman / Bruce Wayne and Aaron Eckhart was solid as Harvey Dent (though I must admit, I found him slightly unconvincing as Two Face but he does deliver the goods in the final scene before the credits). The actors gave it their all, that’s for sure.

The content of this film is, as mentioned, intense due to the violence. There are shootings, explosions, and stabbings and there is one brief scene involving a couple putting themselves back together after sex. It’s played for laughs so there is no nudity thankfully, but it was out of place and unnecessary. The language is iffy in the end as things get more intense with Jesus’s name being misused 3 times along with some other mild profanities.

***NOTE: SPOILERS HERE*** The film’s ending has been something I’ve thought about for quite some time. At the end of the film after Harvey Dent / Two Face dies, we see Batman make the choice to take the blame for the people Dent killed and thus become an unjust fugitive hunted by the very people he is protecting. I have a personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ and I am thankful that He loves me despite the fact that I am still an unworthy sinner. First, Batman is not a perfect picture of Jesus Christ, but then who is other than Christ Himself? But when I saw that scene I was reminded of what Christ did on that cross for me. He died in my place. I should’ve been nailed there. As a result of what Batman did here, we see Harvey Dent is left pure and clean for the citizens of Gotham. It’s an interesting picture and there is another scene on the ferries where we see an inmate leading the others in prayer just before a dramatic choice is made. I wish it wasn’t so brief, but this is a secular film alas.

All in all, the film gives plenty of food for thought and it ultimately ends with a ray of hope despite the fact that Batman is now truly the Dark Knight more than ever. So I recommend this film for mature teenagers and adults who can handle the film’s content. So, once again, take the PG-13 rating seriously and for that matter, I would classify it as PG-16.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stanwise, age 20 (Canada)
Neutral—After reading the authorized review posted on this site for this particular film, I have came to a decision that I still do admire this film for, in general, the values/morals portrayed in each character, even though some of these values changed in some characters throughout the story and yet some stayed firm on their morals. This change of values only describes our own human nature which is since the beginning of sinful kind, and which we can not change. I liked the character of Joker because he reminded us this sinful nature we have no matter how much we try to be good. I like Batman’s character even more because he too has his weaknesses. But inspite that, he chooses to stand his ground and do what is right according to his morals. This is the contrast between Joker and Batman. They both were human, mortals, with weaknesses and failures. and both had made mistakes. Batman’s mistake was to become what he is now… Joker’s was the same. But Batman knew he was human, and the he had made mistakes and he may make more… His character is still shown as a firm strong one but we are viewers see more. He had morals and values but this is where the movie fails.

On one had we have Joker, who has accepted that fact that humans are mortal/natural being doomed to make mistakes and sin. But instead of, find a better road, Joker uses this to take advantage of this vulnerability that we all share. He even uses this vulnerability of Batman to use it against him.

ON the other hand, we have Batman, who also recognizes the fact that he is a human doomed to sin. but strives to become something better. the death of his parents becomes the drive in his life which, though on the outside seems like a good cause, within we all know and understand is the drive of revenge. and revenge we all know is best left to GOD.

so, now we have Joker a man knowing he is sinful, driven by the powers of this world, to sin more because to him it doesn’t matter, to him its in the nature of every human. Joker becomes the man who cant see the redemption he can receive in Christ or he chooses not to, perhaps because the freedom to sin, knowing its in his blood, makes him feel good.

we also have batman, who is fighting crime, to make himself believe he is doing a good deed, but instead it is only his revenge. Here, once batman fails to see that the redemption he seeks and strives to achieve on his own can only be received through Christ. he fails to see the freedom he can receive in Christ from the clutches of vengeance and from the life of struggles to become a better person. He fails to see that he can only be that better person through Christ not on his own.

this movie does who morals, and values… but after what I read in the review above, I learned that any morals or values or principles we hold humans hold do not mean ANYTHING without acknowledging the true source of these morals, values, principles, and righteousness… and that True source it God. if God is not in our lives, these morals are useless and pointless. they have no purpose or meaning. That, I believe, is what this movie lacked. That, I believe, is what Batman lacks in his character. Thank you for this review, it made me see this movie in a whole different light. despite I do still admire this movie greatly. because the actors were great, the acting was great, filmmaking was great, story was great, and even the message was great…

but it could have been much much better… if only they had acknowledged true source of our redemption, God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Molly, age 19 (Canada)
Positive—I think that “The Dark Knight” was an excellent movie. It’s a little violent, so I wouldn’t recommend it to kids under the age of 13 and to people who can’t take violence at all. But, for people who love action movies and Batman, it’s good!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—MA, age 19 (USA)
Positive—“The Dark Knight” was an amazing movie. The movie contrasts light and dark in a nice way. While the Joker was very horrifying and violent, Heath Ledger did an amazing job at portraying evil and insanity in a negative light. Anything the Joker does is clearly shown to be evil, ugly, and unattractive. Harvey Dent shows disdain for the crime in Gotham and legally seeks to punish the criminals and practically destroys the mob criminals” empire(s) even when it means his life could be claimed.

I also LOVED the part where a repentant criminal throws a bomb trigger device out the ferry’s window, which would have sealed his own fate if not for Batman; beautifully displays self-sacrifice. Batman is a heroic character who wishes to help Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon end the crime in Gotham. When the Joker falls, Batman saves his life; it would have been so easy and understandable to have let the Joker meet his judgment, yet Batman glorifies God’s mercy by saving the life of an unrepentant criminal.

The main part that saddened me is when Rachel Dawes dies in the explosion while tied in a chair; this is when Harvey also becomes Two-Face and goes on a rampage to kill the people responsible for the horror done unto him and Rachel. To make matters worse, Batman finally breaks his “do not kill” rule and ends Harvey’s life and chooses to take the fall for Harvey’s murders.

Still, Batman just wished to give Gotham the hope of incorrupt and heroic politicians, something that the world needs. One more thing: Just because someone enjoys this movie, it does not mean we are promoting Heath Ledger’s death. While it is saddening and his family needs our prayers, legalism will just add more conflict than needed. I recommend this movie to anyone 15 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Peter, age 22 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I was compelled to comment out of fear that all the praise of this film might convince some Christians to take their your children. KEEP THEM AWAY. I am in no way saying that this is not an entertaining movie, but it is an entertaining HORROR movie, not an action/adventure. Make no doubt about it. Although no blood seems apparent this is EXTREMELY violence and cruel movie with a body count likely in the hundreds. In one scene a pencil is apparently shoved up a man’s eye socket and into his brain (not shown clearly on screen), a man’s mouth is sliced open with a knife (also shown just off screen), and countless other examples. Two face is also extremely gruesome. In many ways, the nihilistic rants of the Joker dilute the intended message of the film. The film is top quality, but inferior to “Batman Begins” in many ways. There are similar streams running through both the nonstop violence and cruelty should make this film off limits to young children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—David C, age 41
Neutral—I’m terribly distraught about The Dark Knight. I’m emotionally torn about being so ambivalent about this movie. I wanted and want so badly to love this movie because I’ve been a fan of the Bat since I was 4. But I just can’t pull myself together. The first act is sluggish and intensely technical. The middle act is a huge step up—very fast paced… very edge-of-your-seat-this-is-that-entertaining. The final act is a huge step backwards, and by the time it rolls around, you’re more than ready for the credits to roll.

In the beginning, Harvey Dent, an ambitious D.A. with truth, justice, and the American way engraved on his forehead, is feverishly working to clean up the city by locking away its criminal element. He has the support and affection of Wayne’s love interest Rachel Dawes but more importantly, the surmounting favor of the Gotham P.D. and judicial system. He is deemed the “White Knight” for his decidedly heroic leadership. Unfortunately, for average viewers like myself, this means wading through a deluge of obscure, almost Greek-like terms indigenous to crime/law. Added to the confusion is a bumbling subplot about… was it a clique of mafioso’s mass-money-laundering? Can’t recall… 'twas definitely over my head. Not to mention the lack of action—a lil’ something that really compounds the rough start.

The middle act is where the story picks up. We see the Joker in action in a way never seen before. He is dark… very dark and morbidly so—calculating and cunning, selectively humorous for only the subtlest or most ironic of moments. He is a man without fear of repercussion. A man who knows no rules. A man willing to take lives without a second thought. A man with nothing to lose. This is the strength of “The Dark Knight.” Heath Ledger left behind a performance unlike any other; his Joker is an uncompromising realization of Batman’s greatest nemesis. Ledger’s breakthrough performance salvages the first act and provides a firm pillar for the movie.

The third act is where the crap rolls down the hill. Two Face, a man who once stood for all things right, is born overnight and summarily killed off before wreaking any real chaos. He’s a tertiary performer in the Joker’s all-star ensemble of psychopaths. A footnote, more or less, in this 2½ hour-long tale. Like Venom in Spidey 3, Two Face is created w/o any extenuating purpose other than to die a half-hour later. Such little screen time does nothing for his development or transition if you will from good guy D.A. to maniac murderer. Unfortunately, Two Face doesn’t fill out the shoes of the sorry hack job of wrapping things up. I.e. Two Face isn’t the only victim of the climax. Everything is rushed towards the end. The Joker is suddenly given the boot w/o any further explanation. Batman volunteers himself to be hunted down by the Gotham City Police. So on, so forth.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jacob Keenum, age 22
Neutral—An appropriately titled jaunt for the new Batman film directed by fast becoming film legend Christopher Nolan and starring his old buddy Christian Bale as the caped crusader.

The themes are gritty, the violence is implicitly menacing and Heath Ledger's astounding performance as the Joker makes Spiderman’s Venom look like Barney the Dinosaur. Ledger is the tower of this movie with a stunning performance so frighteningly unpredictable that each time he is on screen you’re left holding your breath wondering what he will do next.

He’s no ordinary bad guy though but one who has embraced moral nihilism. This is what makes the film so morally offensive. The violence is limited but implied enough to be truly shocking and dark. Not just killing from necessity but for satisfaction, a lick of the lips, a smack of the mouth and absolutely no remorse as he heartlessly picks off his victims by slicing mouths, shooting and, his favourite, knifing. Why is it his favourite? He claims that it’s slower and in the final moments before they die, the victims show who they truly are. Despite it’s sickening and grotesque line one cannot but admire the monumental performance by Ledger, arguably the most evil screen villain in cinematic history. Those moments when he commits such atrocities and sniggers to himself raised plenty of laughs from the audience but none from me. Nicholson was playful, Ledger is deeper, darker and more rancid. There is true menace and pure evil from this character from the outset.

Spiritually the film follows the same Eastern theme as Batman Begins, the Ying Yang / Evil good paradox in each one of us. According to it’s morality, sometimes we must necessarily become evil to fulfill other’s desires or as a result of the happenings in our lives. This is deep spiritual stuff but very messed up.

Coming away from the theatre I was left with a sickened imprint from Ledger’s performance but could not fault the magnificent direction, gritty cinematography and bold theme in this near flawless film. Cinematically perfect, morally reprehensible.

CONTENT

VIOLENCE: Very little blood and gore but heavy implied violence mainly from the Joker. The rest is comic book classic.

LANGUAGE: Minimal. God and Jesus’ name are abused two or three times and the B-word is used once.

SEX / NUDITY: Women in bikinis on a yacht and a brief moment where two people are dressing after doing the dirty.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Steve, age 26
Negative
Negative—Personally, I found this film offensive to my moral spirit. I am a huge Batman fan, and I loved “Batman Begins.” This film was very dark, and it caused me to think about things in a dark, very morbid sense. That may not be everyone, but the Bible tells us to be mindful about what we put into our heads and our hearts. I personally would not recommend this film. It detracted me from the Spirit of God, and that’s just not OK, seriously. If you value your communion with God and being in His presence do not go and see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Adam, age 21
Negative—I have never posted here, nor do I spend time counting curse words during a movie, but I feel compelled to post here for others, like me, who refer to this site for information. I felt this movie was extremely offensive, disturbing and violent. Even though the blood/guts were not always shown, the level of violence definitely was deserving of an R-rating and parents should think twice before taking their children!! Most of the violence is due to the Joker; a character portrayed as a psychopath who kills without regard or reason to a gratuitous degree. Including (WARNING: some slight plot spoiling!) impaling a pencil through a person’s head, surgically implanting a bomb in a man (who is later blown up killing multiple other people), a hanging, other instances of bombings, lighting fire to a stack of money a tied up man is on, slicing open people’s faces and, of course, the plethora of gun-related deaths.

Even the characters originally portrayed as “good” or upstanding succumb to evil-including trusted cops. Even Batman is reduced to lying to cover up for others in the name of “heroism.” True, there is only one instance of using the Lord’s name in vain that I can remember (in this case Christ’s name which drew attention to the instance for some reason) and there is no sex (one scene where Bruce Wayne’s character walks in on a older gentleman and younger woman in his bedroom where it’s inferred). But, the overall, continued, gratuitous violence and sinister plot left me wishing I had not contributed to the box office opening of this film. The overriding theme of the film seems to point to an evil force that even Batman cannot contend with. The acting, etc. was well done, but I wish I’d never seen this Dark Knight. Phil 4:8-9
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Anna, age 27
Negative—Saw “The Dark Knight” on the opening weekend. Although the film gets high quality rating points, I did not like it. Too long and too serious. I liked the earlier Batman films as whole because they were entertaining and somewhat lighthearted. Not the last two with Christian Bale as Batman.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bruce, age 50
Negative—This is a very well made film and the acting is excellent. It will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end; however, you do need to make a decision with yourself as to if you really want to be exposed to this level of depravity that this movie so startlingly brings forth. It is extremely disturbing to see how evil the Joker really is. The thing is, there are people in this world today who are really this evil and will stop at nothing to bring about destruction and mayhem. This movie brings the reality of this vividly to the screen. This is no fantasy—yeah sure it is based on a comic book character, but it makes these people no less real. Having been exposed to real violence in my life, it is extremely disturbing to have it brought to life in front of me on the big screen. There are things that I would rather not think about. Please do not take anyone under 13 to this film. Personally, I would recommend an age limit of 15.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jill, age 34
Negative—“The Dark Knight” is disturbing. Not for the reasons most might think. Certainly it is dark. Certainly it is violent. Certainly it is not for children. Certainly it is a technically stunning film. Yet after seeing it opening night, I was disturbed for a reason which I never expected. I was disturbed because the film was relentlessly and almost unceasingly cruel.

It was cruel on so many levels that it almost makes it difficult to narrow them down. Cruelty is a part of the human experience. We see it every day. One can’t turn too far around the television dial before a newscaster reminds us of some cruelty that has been done to an innocent victim. We live in an age of instant information and often that information has to do with cruelty of one sort or another. Yet, we take respite in films, especially films with cartoon superheroes. We go in with the knowledge that eventually the superhero will vanquish the foe, save the damsel in distress and restore justice to an unjust system. That is our expectation, that is our hope. Unfortunately, this latest installment of the Batman series does none of those things. In fact, it undoes them. Batman not only does not save the damsel in distress he is instrumental in her death. Making what is perhaps the most ridiculous plot device choice of the film, he sacrifices her in favor of her boss. Not only is Batman involved in her death, when the opportunity presents itself to stop the evil perpetrator in his tracks, Batman actually goes overboard in order to save the very person who caused all the carnage in the first place. He pays more attention to the protection of an insidiously cruel villain than he does for the woman he secretly loves. These insane lapses in script plausibility make the film a mockery of all that superheroes are supposed to stand for.

Beyond that, the film itself makes a mockery of all we want to see films about superheroes for in the first place. We don'€™t want them to be flawed and stupid and tragic. We want them to be brave and intelligent and compassionate. This film celebrates nothing decent at all. The only decent thing done in the entire movie is done by a criminal on a boat. Everyone else is misguided, and manipulated and stupidly bumbling their way from one wrong decision to another.

The fact that Heath Ledger died shortly after his scenes in the film were completed only adds to the disturbing cruelty of the film. It seems glaringly obvious as well, that one final scene of him in the movie is conspicuously missing. He obviously died before that scene could be completed. Instead his final scene is one of him hanging upside down, as confused as we are about where this film has taken us. While his performance is fine, though certainly not the '€œmaster stroke of genius'€ that everyone is hurdling at him, we are left to wonder how much of that performance was drug induced. As he is left dangling upside down before us we are left with what appears to be a visual reminder of how upside down our culture has become. We laugh when a man is impaled by a pencil. We grin when someone'€™s face is being cut up. We smile when things blow up and impale and explode through someone'€™s intestines. What are we smiling at? Why is this entertaining?

Yet this is the movie that people lined up for hours to see. This is the movie that sold out the greatest amount of theaters in the history of film. This is the movie that everyone raves about and all the critics adore. This is the movie that we are lead to believe is the best thing out there for us to see.

Perhaps what disturbs me most about the film, and something that haunts me even now, is the the notion that we have become a nation of people who celebrate our villains as heroes and decry our heroes as villains. Perhaps in the final analysis, the greatest cruelty of all is that the whole thing passes as mindless entertainment.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Russell Sterger, age 51
Negative—I personally will not allow even my 11 year old to see this move. It was the most violent sick film that I have seen in a while. I wanted an action movie not a horror movie. Joker did nothing but kill! He had no method to his madness and death was throughout the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tina, age 27
Negative—I only get to the theater a few times per year. I loved Batman Begins and was eager to view The Dark Knight on one of these few trips. I really wanted to enjoy this film, but in retrospect, I wish I had gone to see WALL-E a second time instead. The Dark Knight is exactly what its title says—dark. Not to mention brooding and disturbing. It is far more violent than Batman Begins and lacks the bits of humorous dialog found in that film. In fact, I feel The Dark Knight could justifiably have been given an R rating for violence alone. The senseless killing starts right in the first few minutes and continues remorselessly throughout the film, and in much more graphic style than Batman Begins. Unlike the foolish grandparents who sat a few rows behind us in the theater, do NOT let your children/grandchildren see this movie. It is a PG-13 film richly deserving of the rating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chris, age 45
Negative—I watched 10 min of the movie and was so shocked off the violence that I left. The music in the movies was also way too loud, which made it even more dramatic! would not recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Tamara, age 24
Negative—I, too, wanted to love this movie as I enjoyed Batman Begins, like the action movie genre and enjoy Christian Bale as an actor. So, I went to the theater with great expectations. Sadly, I have to echo the other negative comments on the film regarding its gruesomeness and unrelenting violence. I kept waiting for some redeeming quality to creep in but it never appeared. I left the theater nauseated. The movie should have been rated R and I shudder to think how many kids from mid-teens on down have viewed this disturbing movie. Heath Ledger does turn in an incredible performance but what a tragedy that the role put him in the throes of darkness which very well could have contributed to his early death. Let’s hope the third movie will redeem the series with the qualities that we desire to see when we attend this type of movie… good overcoming evil. As Christians, nothing is more satisfying than to see a movie that mirrors this victory which will ultimately occur at Christ’s return. Conversely, nothing is more discouraging than to see evil reign until that day comes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Pam Atkinson, age 53
Negative—Batman was not the central character here, and the focus was not the fictitious, superhero young men are used to seeing and being inspired or amused by. This movie’s central character was the psycho (only to real) character of the Joker. Went with my son and he had the same reaction, very disappointed, sick movie… out of the Batman genre’ altogether.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Jacki, age 62
Comments from young people
Positive—Although it IS offensive, and violent, to that matter, people cannot understand that when something is a PG-13, or a 12A, it’s not intended for people of that age. It’s with parents’ guidance. Why people say “I took my child to see this and I was HORRIFIED!” is outrageous. Parents should’ve looked into the film online, and should have checked if it’s SUITABLE for children. Overall, this is my favourite movie of 2008. Definitely recommended. This movie is unbelievable.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ashley, age 13
Positive—This movie is definitely not for elementary-aged kids. But I think all these reviews that are saying that this movie shouldn’t be seen because it is so dark is a load of crap! It’s not evil! Granted, the Joker is a very weird, crazy. and grose individual, but IT IS FICTION!

The movie is also very emotional. About 3/4 of the way through a major cast member dies and it is probably one of the sadest things I have ever had to watch. But if you can handle the emotion and the action you will do just fine. Seriously, y’all, IT’S NOT THAT BAD!

And just to add: THIS MOVIE WAS JUST ALL-AROUND FANTASTIC! “The Dark Knight” goes down as my 3rd favorite movie of all time behind “Braveheart” and “Remember the Titans.” Definetly go see it. 10 times better than “Batman Begins,” and 20 times better than the Tim Burton versions.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stephen, age 15
Positive—All I can say about this film is “wow.” I saw two months ago, and it still sticks out in my mind. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker was chilling, to say the least, and it is a tragedy that he did not live to see the rave reviews of his last, and best, performance. All the actors in the film did an incredible job at making their characters believable. I liked the fact that Bruce Wayne was made more human and relatable then in the first movie. The film is quite dark and disturbing. If you can’t stand the Joker in the previews, then definitely don’t go see the film. Joker is easy on the eyes compared to Two-Face (whose make-up is incredible, by the way). The visuals of the movie were amazing, the best I’ve ever seen. The action begins right away, and doesn’t stop for 2½ hours. You leave the film almost exhausted; it’s that intense. As I left the theater, I really wanted to turn around, buy another ticket, and go watch it again. It gives a person a lot to think about, such as 'what would I do if I was in that situation?', and a plenty of other questions that will keep you wondering. It’s the kind of movie you can’t stop thinking about for days afterward, and you remember it for years. I can’t wait to watch this one again when it’s out on DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Amy H, age 15
Neutral—Ok to start I’ll explain why my moral rating is so high. The film DEFINITELY has its share of violence (this is the only reason I think the movie is not suitable for kids and anyone who can’t handle it) but The Passion of Christ has as much violence/min as this and it should definitely have an excellent moral rating. The violence in this movie contributes to the plot in every scene as a necessary example of the rampant crime. I’ll speak more on this later.

Next is the acting, there should not be any doubt in an objective mind that each actor played his/her role in an outstanding manner. The best of these is Heath Ledger who leaves chills in your spine due to his perfect execution of his character. Its a performance that will be the new standard in terms of how much body language and nuances he uses to portray the true essence of his character.

Now the most controversial topic I’ve seen on this site. First, THIS IS NOT A FEEL GOOD MOVIE!! Batman has never and never should be a feel good, all is well film. Violence is the only major reason this film is not suitable for everyone if you can’t stomach the notion of death then you wont be able to enjoy this movie. The good thing about this violence is that it all contributes to plot development and character development. Nowhere in the Bible will you find anything that says “don’t look at violence” welcome to reality. If anything this film shows the consequences of violence. Without revealing the plot I can’t tell you how big a part the violence plays in leading up to the many many themes of the movie (many of which are Biblically correct).

As the name implies, this is a “Dark” film and rightly so if you haven’t gotten out recently its a dark world. Gotham is a representation of how our world is starting to look (ok I concede you probably wont find a guy in a clown suit running around with face paint) but crime and corruption is steadily seeping into our society. This film will provide you with a lot to chew on and discuss after you watch it (you don’t find that much). As hinted at previously many of the themes are in the form of questions, questions that are very relevant to Christians. So if you can face the reality of violence I highly recommend this film as a form of entertainment and also as a way to make you think about how you perceive chaos and order in the world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Arthur, age 16
Positive—This movie is not as “dark” as some people have portrayed it to be in my opinion of course. Yes, the Joker is not the best of characters but he is cast well (Heath Ledger did an awesome job) and actually can teach us all something important. The movie made me think about the world and what is considered good now days. There are things that are not suitable for younger viewers but it is rated PG-13 so that should tip you off in the first place. There were two or three cuss words and no other objectionable things besides violence. But I thought it was a great movie and definitely worth going to. I enjoyed it and it made me think about the moral issues in life. What is a hero? And why some people are heroes and other aren’t. Also about who are we to judge other people and their actions. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I can’t go into depth. But I went to see it with my 24 year old and 12 year old brothers and afterwards my older brother and I talked about it. About how we saw the characters and what we thought were good points and such. And what led to Heath Ledger's death. But overall a great movie but heed to the rating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah, age 17
Neutral—This movie was one of the best made in recent years. Quality is excellent. It is very offensive, not exactly in a violent way (although there was plenty of that) but more in a head-games way. The Joker’s speeches of his past are what made me cringe the most, and it was very hard to keep my mind on godly things then. These head games and violence have a good point, however, no matter how offensive they are. They show how people make choices to go bad like the Joker or good like Batman. Choices are a major theme in this movie. It made me wonder what I would do, as a Christian, if I were in that kind of a situation (like when the Joker holds a knife up to his hostages). Overall, I liked the movie okay but I liked Batman Begins better because it had these same choices only shown in a less fearful, menacing way and the quality was just as excellent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ariel, age 17
Positive—First off, this movie is rated PG-13, and it is dead serious about the rating. The film is very dark with violence, and shows evil winning throughout, at its so called “game.” The Joker is played fantastically by the late Heath Ledger. He fit the role of this insane character. Through out the film, Batman faces the hardships of failing as a hero as innocent people fall to the Jokers crazy hands. The film does get disturbing at times as the Joker has “fun” with his victims. Overall, the film is good and takes you through some twist and turns. Heath Ledger shows how the Joker should have been portrayed since the beginning giving a new meaning to the word villain. This is a must see and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it do well in the box office and win some awards.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tommie, age 15
Positive—Fantastic movie. Was extremely well made, with great acting. There were some very minor swear words, but they were not repeated often, and I don’t even remember any taking of the Lord’s name in vain. Some of the images might be a little too frightening for young children. Much of the movie was tense, with lots of plot twists. I recommend this movie to anyone who can handle frightening images.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sam, age 15
Positive—Another movie reviewer said it best: This film is a dark, disturbing, masterpiece. This movie is the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen, the best crime drama I’ve ever seen, and one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. This film is not for very young viewers. The action is intense, the Joker is scary, and Two-Face’s make up is scarily realistic. My 12 year old brother managed to watch this, but it is up to you to decide if your younger ones can see it. The film is very psychological and brings up many questions for the viewer. How close is humanity to chaos? What would YOU do in the movie’s various situations? As a warning, this movie’s mood is very dark, but to me the ending was bitter sweet. This movie is one of the most complex movies I’ve ever seen and I recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Daniel, age 14
Positive—This film is a pure work of art. The special effects are breathtaking, every single actor gives an amazing performance(Heath Ledger most of all), and kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The only thing to worry about as far as content is the violence. The entire movie is definitely too intense for young kids. I’d recommend it for at least 14 and up. Personally I loved every second of it and don’t think any Batman fan will be disappointed. Go see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Linda, age 17
Positive—Going into this movie, I had very high expectations. Besides reading reviews of critics, I had watched the trailers several times, and looked up some of the cast/crew. I was not disappointed at all. THIS IS THE BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN!!

Christopher Nolan also directed Batman Begins, and portrays Gotham as completely differently setting. Batman Begins shows Gotham as the slums, while this one makes Gotham look like a city (Chicago), with different camera angles, and brighter colors. However, even with the color scheme, The Dark Knight is a much darker film. Batman was considered a hero in the last film; now the public considers him a vigilante.

There are 6 main characters in this film: Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bale), the Joker (Ledger), Gordon the policemen (Oldman), Rachael Dawes (Gyllenhaal), District Attorney Harvey Dent (Earheart), and Alfred the Bulter (Caine). Unlike Batman Begins, screen time is given to them pretty evenly. But the Joker, Heath Ledger, steals the show. He has done one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Heath clearly had fun in his role. It’s a tragedy that he died, but I imagine we will hear more about him come Oscar time. The Joker was THAT good.

This movie had one of the best plots I’ve ever seen, with incredible action sequences. There are so many twists and turns that a 2½ hour movie feels very short. I’m not going to spoil anything, but you are in for a treat.

From a content point of view, this movie was quite violent, and would probably be scary for young viewers. And there is very little sex or language. I would say 12 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—William, age 15
Positive—This movie was a movie that left you with a heartache. Not just the wonderfully horrifying performance of Heath Ledger, but all the different spiritual topics that it touched so well…

All the acting was more than superb; and so was the script. It was violent and the Joker was entirely …Demonic. But what a fantastic movie! It will probably be the best that I will see all year. It leaves you thinking…

This movie was dark, as the title infers… and very sad. But very good. Definitely a movie worth the money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Anna, age 15
Positive—This movie is, by far, the best suspense film I have seen. I believe my heart was racing the whole time. It might be a little scary for kids, considering it is a movie with a villain wearing clown makeup, and his companion with clown masks. But I would say that the acting is great and I’m sure Heath Ledger would have been glad to see the turnout of this film.

From a Christian perspective, I’m going tell you what I would tell my pastor. ha ha. There is violence with guns and the joker uses knives, but I can’t remember him actually cutting anyone with them in the movie. This movie is more intense than “Batman Begins.” There were kids in the theater, and nothing seemed wrong with them.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jesse, age 17
Positive—I’ve been waiting for this movie for about half a year. As the time went, my excitement grew. When I got to see The Dark Knight on its opening day, I found it to meet my expectations. I have to admit that I liked the first one more. There is much more action in this film, but it’s also a whole lot darker, and a whole lot more violent. When many people see the darkness in this Batman sequel, they’ll complain that it isn’t a comic book anymore. This is the same reason why I applaud it. The Caped Crusader in the comic books, and the so-called villains, he faces are even more trivial then those of the cartoonish Spider-Man series. All, or at least most, of the villains in the Spider-Man movies are driven by petty vendettas. The villains in both Batman movies are so evil that the viewer feels a need for them to be eliminated. They get all the more satisfaction when they do.

The only real offensive content is the violence and darkness. The language was very minor. I only heard six profanities (including abuses of the Lord’s name) and one reference to male anatomy. The violence is what earns this movie its PG-13 rating. In one quick scene, the Joker slams a man’s head into the sharp edge of a pencil. The Joker enjoys telling people a disturbing story about his abusive father before he cuts their faces gruesomely. Thankfully, this is never shown, but the stories are bad enough. In another scene, the Joker holds Rachel close with a knife in her face while he talks about how he got scars on his face. What I think is the worst scene is when police find a cell phone buried in a man’s stomach with an explosive. You see the light from the cell phone through the man’s skin when it rings, and then it blows. Half of Harvey’s face is burnt off, leaving a pretty disgusting image. Thankfully, his face isn’t shown very much. In several scenes, he has his face turned away, or the burnt half hidden by shadows.

In another scene, Bruce attempts to stitch up a wound, and you see it close up for a few seconds. This scene is really minor, but I thought I should mention it because so many others are. In the first six minutes, a smoke grenade is placed in a man’s mouth. The pin is pulled out, and you see the man groaning as smoke releases from the grenade. There are also many explosions and small fights throughout. If people complained that the first Batman movie was dark, they wouldn’t enjoy this one either. It’s much darker than the first.

You can tell by the title that this thought-provoking sequel to Batman Begins is not a happy summer action film. It is VERY dark. The Joker represents pure evil, perhaps the devil himself. At one point near the end, he mentions destroying the soul of Gotham. In an incredible scene, the Joker sets two cruises full of people against each other in a type of death match. It is wonderful to see both cruises refuse to destroy the other to save their own lives. What’s even more powerful is that it was a convict who decides to throw the detonator out the window into the water. It becomes clear then, that the Joker failed. The only one who succumbs is Harvey Dent. It’s ironic that, when the so-called biggest hope for Gotham succumbs to evil, the lowly convicts and ordinary citizens fight against it.

Once again, Hanz Zimmer and acclaimed James Newton Howard piece together an excellent score. The acting was also amazing. Christian Bale remained the same as in the last movie: awesome. Although Heath Ledger's character was so disgusting in its wickedness, he pulled it off very convincingly, and was also very good. To be honest, Even though I thought her scream needed a little more work, I liked Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel more than last movie’s Katy Holmes. Aaron Eckhart was also excellent, perhaps even better than Christian Bale. Gary Oldman was much better than last movie (even though his British accent came through distinctly in one short scene). He was also excellent. Morgan Freeman came back as Fox, still played with skill. Michael Caine was also very good with his charming role of Alfred. Even Cillian Murphy was good in the few scenes that they had of him.

I believe that this movie is a painfully accurate description of how utterly horrific evil is. It destroys and then laughs about it. Because this is shown in this movie, and because of the strong violence, I don’t think this film is for kids under fourteen. Thankfully, evil is not invincible. It can and will be defeated. In The Dark Knight, Gotham becomes an corrupt world of amorality that even destroys some of the good guys. But in the center, Batman, and his few friends, keep fighting, refusing to give in to it. A good strategy for Christians to consider in the real world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joseph Hughey, age 14
Negative—I personally felt that this movie was very melancholy and dark. I didn’t like it at all. This movie was extremely violent. WARNING SPOILERS Though most of the violence was caused by the joker, it really wasn’t necessary for them to show him put a pencil through someone’s head. He also had put a cell phone bomb into someone’s stomach and the movie shows that the person is in a lot of pain, then The Joker blows up him and many other people. The joker burns a woman to death, and almost kills the hero Harvey Dent. Half of Harvey’s face ends up being burned. Harvey ends up turning evil and killing many people because the woman The Joker killed he loved. In the end he ends up falling and dying himself. One of the good things about this movie was that many people were on two boats out in the water, both boats had their power turned off.The joker gave both sets of people on the boats the choice to blow up the other boat. On one boat there are regular civilians and on the other boat there are criminals. On the boat with the criminals, one of the criminals tells the man with the bomb to give the bomb to him and he would do what they should have done ten minutes ago. The man gives it to him and the criminal throws it out the window. Neither boat ends up blowing the other up. At the end of the movie, Batman says that he wants the people to believe that Harvey was a hero even though Harvey had killed people and for the blame of Harvey having killed those people to be place on him, Batman. That is not only lying to the people, which the Bible clearly states is wrong, but is is also making Harvey appear to be the hero when he, in truth, killed many people and Batman should be the hero. For some reason, the joker doesn’t get caught at the end and the movie should have a much better ending. On my way out of the theater, and on my way home I felt somewhat depressed. The movie made me feel sad because of all the darkness. The movie would have been MUCH better off if the joker hadn’t won. I would not recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kirsten, age 12
Positive—I personally thought the Dark Knight to be a thought-provoking film, which asked the question of what was truly good or evil, right or wrong. It shined a light on the immorality and pure evil of the Joker, and also scrutinized the actions of many other main and supporting characters, testing their morals and questioning them. It also allowed for great discussion of social and moral issues.

Although dark and disturbing, the late Heath Ledger's performance of the dark night was simply stunning, as well as absolutely chilling. The scene were there is absolutely no music, only base, as the Joker leans his head out of the side rear window of a police car sent chills down my spine. Christian Bale was a superb Batman, while Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman rounded out an awesome cast.

The music, sets, and action sequences were gripping, and although the violence was intense, it was not graphic. The film also had very mild profanity, and no real sexual content.

I would highly recommend this film to any adult or mature teen who is willing to sit in a theater for 2 and one half hours; I think it was truly worth it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Katie, age 14
Positive—“The Dark Knight” for the first 2/3 of the movie may seem dark and make you wish you hadn’t seen it, but after that, the movie turns around and becomes not dark. The movie was extremely enjoyable and is now my favorite movie EVER!!! From a strictly christian standpoint, this movie isn’t the best because of the Joker’s way of torture and killing. On the other hand though, there are parts in the movie where people do selfless things for others. In my opinion, no one under the age of 12 should watch this movie. It might be a little to dark for them. I think pretty much anyone else should watch it because of what there is in it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ethan, age 17
Positive—Where to start? Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” was two and a half hours of non-stop intensity. To begin, I would have to say that compared to Batman Begins, which is one of my all time favorites, this sequel was much darker—disturbing, even. The violence portrayed was not necessarily more graphic, but done for really no purpose at all, except “to see the city burn,” which was frightening to think about.

The film concentrates primarily on the Joker—a seemingly schizophrenic, serial psychopath whose announced goal is to rid Gotham City of Batman, but who seems to really be aiming at destroying the city itself. Heath Ledger's performance was one of the most disturbing, yet amazing things I’ve ever seen. Having spent a month in a hotel room alone preparing for the role, even writing down possible thoughts and diary entries for the character, Ledger formed a voice and embodiment that stands apart from other villains. The Joker is calm, and frank, as he bombs various architectural structures or outsmarts city officials. He’s sick; twisted, and unable to be explained, without even a valid past to assist in attempting to justify any of his actions. The Joker is a very strong representative of evil, and even Batman himself finds it a bit too difficult to overcome him. On a side note, I believe people another reason to fear the Joker on account of Heath Ledger's sudden death post-production. When we see the character on screen and then realize his portrayer is in fact dead, it might stir up some qualms.

The bottom line is that we as Christians believe and know that good conquers evil every time, just as Christ erased the sins of humanity through his crucifixion. Although this is not made 100% clear in the final scene of “The Dark Knight,” let’s hope any “threequel” will make evident the good vs. evil message.

I absolutely loved this movie, and would highly recommend it. Although it’s dark and somewhat twisted, a strong mind is able to pick apart the good and evil for himself.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mary, age 15
Positive—I loved this movie. It was extremely entertaining and it kept you on the edge of your seat. The acting was great too, especially Heath Ledger's performance as Joker. He was amazing! I will mention one thing. DO NOT bring any children at least under 12 to this movie. It is way too menacing, scary, violent, and dark. I’ve seen it twice, and the second time I saw it, a little toddler was sitting in the seat in front of me. I do recommend this movie though if you are looking for a good action film!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ellen, age 14
Positive—I really liked this film, the classic good against evil. It was believable, exciting and totally unpredictable. The action scenes were really fun. I would recommend it to any one 13 or older. The joker is extreme and hard to watch with out shuddering. There are some disturbing pictures like Harvey Dents burned face. Also thought that Maggie Gyllenhaal was terrible compared to Katie Holmes in Batman Begins. I do recommend watching Batman Begins before seeing this movie because it will make it easier to understand. But know that The Dark Night is so much darker than the Batman Begins. Overall the actors did an amazing job and the movie was great.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Zoe, age 14
Positive—I’d like to say that, first of all, I loved this superb film. It’s amazing film work, and acting. But it’s also a horror film. I agree with the PG-13 rating, as it is, because there is little to no cussing, very few sexual references of any kind, and almost all violence is merely alluded to, not actually shown. But The Dark Knight is not for the faint of heart. The Joker is a psychopath, plain and simple, and he proves it, over and over again. Heath Ledger brought The Joker alive, making him that much more real, that much more alive, and that much more horrible. So don’t bring your kids. But I do encourage anyone over 13 who is thinking about seeing this film to go, you won’t regret it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jennifer Prefect, age 15
Positive—WOW Is all I can say! Very Very VERY VERY Good movie! I have never really been into Batman, but this is very good it was worth the $7.00!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Katie, age 16
Positive—I want to start by saying that I think that a lot of people were wrong when they commented. Yes, in this movie Joker is completely evil and yes he does some violent and disgusting stuff. I won’t get into the details, because it was pretty much all covered.
Though all of the shooting, stabbing and exploding was done so you didn’t see it, though you definitely got the idea. if just the implication of violence bothers you then I recommend you do not see this movie, though a movie without even the implication of violence is hard to come by these days.
As I said before Joker is evil in every sense of the word, but where would the fun be in rooting for the hero, in this case Batman if the villain were only somewhat evil. Actually I think if Joker were less evil it would be way to easy to root for him.
The moviemaking quality was amazing, no details were left out. The writing was good though I think that joker swallowed up a little too much storyline.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who doesn’t get offended by violence. It was one of my favorite movies ever!

My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Nate, age 14
Positive—This was the best movie I’ve ever seen. At first, I thought Ironman was the best superhero movie ever, but I was wrong… It was pretty violent, but I don’t remember any gore at all. The most disturbing scene to me, was when a hanging man in a batman suit flew down and hit a window, which will freak you out the first time you see it. I think a 13 year old could handle it, if he can handle some violence. It’s not too bad from a christian worldview, due to it not having any sexual content and only 3 or 4 swear words… But, it is violent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—The Wampa King, age 12
Positive—Within the time span of about two months, three comic book adaptations were released; two of them in a row. The first, “The Incredible Hulk,” was a three out of four star endeavor that was entertaining if not lacking a certain click. The second, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” was a step up from the green giant and a step up from its predecessor and stood in my mind at a solid three and a half stars, again, out of four. The latest in comic book adaptations, “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s sequel to his own “Batman Begins,” is deeper, darker, and of better quality then any other comic book adaptation ever brought before us on the screen, and stands as the best film released since either “Little Miss Sunshine” or “The Departed” in 2006.

The film is a step above its predecessor in every possible way. The screenplay is deeper, more complex, has better characters who are more identifiable and written with more depth, and is completely, utterly unforgettable. The execution is top-rate, Nolan’s direction is impeccable, the portrayal of Gotham is more realistic then in the first film, the replacement of Katie Holmes for Maggie Gyllenhaal is a more then welcome exchange, and everything in the film is ten times better then before. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker is the best performance this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was nominated and won Best Supporting Actor even after his untimely death. The Joker is the best villain we have seen in quite a long time, insane yet all too lucid, he is given some of the best scenes in the movie and is all too entertaining in his madness (“Wanna see a magic trick?”).

I have seen this film three times already and plan on seeing it even more. This is the best film of the last two years; if you haven’t seen one film this then you absolutely MUST see The Dark Knight! 10/10
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joshua S., age 15
Positive—I found “The Dark Knight” simply wonderful, even in all it’s morbid nature. I’m sorry to those of you who think negative of this movie. This movie is not a campy cartoon that appeals to six year olds. This movie portrays what Batman, and the Joker for that matter, would be like in real life. The Joker truely steals this movie because Heath Ledger, God bless his soul, was absolutely brilliant. He did something with the Joker that had never been done before. Gone was the neatly put on makeup and the joking laughter. Mr. Ledger’s Joker is gritty with his smeared on makeup, the horrible scars, the greasy hair and his manic laughter. This movie was the best Batman movie I’ve ever seen in my life, and there will never be another like it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kristen Kinlaw, age 17
Positive—I enjoyed this film, and I recommend it to anyone who is mature enough to see it. The reason I do not find it offensive, is because it never really made fun of Christians, or Christianity. It was dark. I will agree with that. There were some pretty disturbing scenes, like the Jokers pencil trick, or his brutal killing of the copy “bat” Brian. The Joker character is vicious and evil, but he is in a very genius way. He is Demonic, and I would not take a child under that age of 13 to go see it. The Batman too, is portrayed to be more dark than he was last. I was a little offended at the darkness and brutality of the Joker, but what do you expect from a villain? I would recommend it to anyone who is mature enough to sit through it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James Hipple, age 13
Positive— I saw this movie a few weeks ago with my dad and see my dad isn’t a superhero kind of guy. So my dad told me as we walked in to the theater that he wouldn’t see it if my brother and I didn’t care to see. And see my dad, my brother and me all enjoyed the movie a lot. The script was a whole lot darker than Batman Begins. The Joker would kill anyone just for the heck of it so he could have power, greed and to kill more people after that. The directing was very good. The director somehow made the intensity go up when the joker was around. The acting was terrific. Heath Ledger was the best pick for the Joker. You know what, now that I think about it, he deserves an academy award for best supporting actor.
After I saw this movie, I thought to myself, the Joker really had this movie. It’s not Batman’s movie like in Batman Begins, this is the Joker’s movie. And also I noticed there was a whole ton of spiritual content in this movie such as forgiveness, love and like Batman in the movie thinks that if he can be the good guy in town he can fix up everything and evil will just go away. But its not like that in Gotham City, New York or anywhere in the world.

“The Dark Knight” wasn’t that much more violent than “Batman Begins.” I mean it was violent and sometimes disturbing but it seemed to me that they really didn’t show any blood or anything graphic except Harvey Dent’s character. The profanity was extremely mild! They said What the ?!/@ like two times and they say the Sh-word once. No F-bombs or anything like that. Although there was like three mentions of using God name in vain. There wasn’t even any nudity or even a reference in the whole entire movie. It doesn’t even have any brief drug content in the movie like “Batman Begins”! So there really isn’t anything too offensive in the movie. Now you may be asking, is it that dark of a movie or are the rest of the viewers just saying that. The answer is that it is very dark. Now if you have seen Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” you would have to say that that movie is pretty dark, too; so really “The Dark Knight” compared to War of the Worlds isn’t that dark. So if you want to see a movie before the summer ends, trust me see this one and you won’t be disappointed. There is enough twist and turns to make this movie great!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Langston, age 10
Positive—I sooo LOVED this movie! It contained extremely good actors which were committed to their roles. It was a good portrayal of the inner self conflict between good and bad. And was very well made and directed.

But I had one problem with it. I did not like the change from Katie Holmes from the first movie, to Molly Gyllenhal in this movie. Katie Holmes is a hard act to follow. And Molly at times seemed cheesy. She overacted during the dramatic scenes which made me laugh out loud. I saw this movie with my friends and, I admit, that the movie did have some freaky parts, but it added to the already intense movie. Out of all the Batman movies I think this was one of the BEST.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Charley, age 15
Positive—My 16 yr. old sistter, our parents and I saw this movie; we loved it. I mean you shouldn’t bring like a 5 year old to this movie. But really it’s not as bad as people might make it seem. I was mesmerized the whole time, and it is now both my sister’s and my favourite movie. It does have a few Biblical principles. However, if you are squemish and easily disturbed, you have been warned, but, if you’re not, I have honestly read a book that was twice as gruesome.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Maggie, age 12 (USA)
Positive—I do not know what all of you people are complaining about! Sure the movie was violent, sure the Joker was brutal, but what do you expect from a PG-13 movie in today’s culture. Parents who toke their young children should be ashamed. It’s not like how it used to be when you could always take your young children to see these movies. Parents should watch them first. I honestly thought that this was a great movie. For a long movie it was packed with action from start to finish. All the actors did a great job and the movie does have a few lessons in it. I would recommend this movie for kids 13 and up. So do not let kids under 13 see it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Michal Waters, age 14 (USA)
Positive—this bat-man movie was great! it was funny, scary, sad, happy just a great movie. but there was some very scary parts like brent skin, alive skeleton and a cell phone in a stomach which dose not sound scary but it is. for this movie I would say any one 14 and up should see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JJ, age 13 (USA)
Positive—This movie was absolutely amazing in terms of acting, special effects, etc. I would not recommend kids younger than 13 to see this because of some of the content in this movie. It is very dark, and there are many scary images through out that were disturbing. However, I enjoyed it and think it was beter than “Batman Begins.” There was much more excitment and action.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Maddie, age 15 (USA)
Positive—“The Dark Knight” is a true achievement, both in technical, and entertaining aspects. Surprisingly the profanity is not heavy for the genre, but God’s name is taken in vain once in an act of anger; also not any sex or nudity to speak of. The violence is pretty intense, however a lot is done off screen, a big step for Hollywood. I would recommend “The Dark Knight” if you’re 12 or older; parents of younger children take caution.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Michael, age 17 (USA)
Positive—This movie is one word. Wow. The acting is superb. Heath Leaguer was great as the Joker, and Christian Bale was awesome, too. The action scenes are super, also. The supporting actors are wonderful, too. Now let’s talk about the morality. The Joker does crazy things, such as shoving a man’s face into a pencil, carving a man’s face with a knife (not shown, but strongly implied), putting a bomb inside a man (not shown putting it in the man, but it shows the cut and the man screaming, etc. But, trust me, it’s not graphic, but it’s disturbing). But it also has some good messages. … See “The Dark Knight.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tyler, age 13 (USA)
Movie Critics
…In its grim intensity, ‘The Dark Knight’ can feel closer to David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’ than Tim Burton’s playfully gothic ‘Batman,’ which means it’s also closer to Bob Kane’s original comic and Frank Miller’s 1986 reinterpretation. That makes it heavy, at times almost pop-Wagnerian, but Mr. Ledger’s performance and the film’s visual beauty are transporting. (In Imax, it’s even more operatic.)…
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…This Joker is simply one of the most twisted and mesmerizing creeps in movie history. …Nolan has a more subversive agenda. He wants viewers to stick their hands down the rat hole of evil and see if they get bitten. With little humor to break the tension, The Dark Knight is beyond dark. It’s as bblack—andteeming and toxic—as the mind of the Joker. … The mayhem and torture wreaked here, by saint or scum, are so vivid and persistent that it’s a wonder, and a puzzle, why The Dark Knight snagged a PG-13 rating. …
—Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
…‘Batman’ isn’t a comic book anymore. 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. …
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…film shines with dynamic duo of Bale, Ledger… Stunning. Spectacular. Extraordinary. …
—Barbara Vacheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
…‘The Dark Knight’ is better than you have heard and as good as you had hoped. … it is the Batman who personifies the film’s overarching theme of finding, and keeping, your humanity in a world of chaos and madness.
—Duane Dudek, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
…The late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is one for the record books. Witty, irreverent, maliciously poised and armed with killer comic timing, he is this film’s Lord of Misrule, a mischief-maker of purebred Satanic Majesty. …contains extremely disturbing scenes and images. …
—James Verniere, Boston Herald
Comments from non-viewers
When are Christians going to stop funding Hollywood’s obsessions? If you are born again and believe the Bible that says, 1 Peter 1:15—But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’

How can we justify or even begin to rationalize permitting our minds to be exposed to the filth that is broadcast on the big screen like this film.

I listened to a non-Christian film critic say this film is dark, sadistic, and pushes PG-13 beyond what it was intended to be. So we flock to the movies just because it’s “Batman” and because its “PG-13” so that makes it okay.

The sinners in Hollywood that make these films and rake in the millions of dollars are laughing AT US all the way to the bank. AND lucifer from the kingdom of darkness laughs at Christians who so willingly walk into theatres to expose themselves to this type of entertainment.

Isaiah 26:3 (Amplified Bible)

3You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Philippians 4:8 (New King James Version)

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

If Christ is returning for a church without spot or wrinkle then we need to start abstaining from mental fornication with the world.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is called to Holiness and this should be our goal… not permitting our flesh to dominate our lives and crave the world of fantasy that lucifer so obligingly provides.

If one Christian reads this and says “No, I won’t attend this film,” then my mission is a success.

Jesus is returning soon, and the world can’t tell the difference between us and them… especially those Christians who are deceived into thinking that we must look like and become relevant to the world to win them so they make their churches look like coffee houses instead of what they are supposed to be; the house of God!

Isn’t the fact that Heath Ledger played a homosexual in “Brokeback Mountain” enough to make Christians think twice about “endorsing” his career by attending “The Dark Knight”?

Can we see Jesus attending entertainment like this?

Let’s be honest, the entire world is obsessed with entertainment, and Christians are following the world,s ways like the Pied Piper.

Wake up brother and sisters! The judgment seat of Christ awaits all of us!
—Jim, age 49
Your final paragraph was especially moving… I am posting this simply to encourage other Christians to begin to do just as you suggested and pray for the people in Hollywood. Sadly, it seems Mr. Ledger may have thrown himself too far into this role. I do not plan to go see this movie based upon the reviews I have read.
—Lisa
My 12 year old son wanted to see this with his friends. I always have to consult my husband on whether or not the children are allowed to attend the movies with friends. I don’t go to movies because they are basically garbage, and I fall asleep (not good use of God’s monies). Our family are all Bible-believing, Christ Followers of The Way and therefore we will not allow our children to watch movies that dark, sexual or profane.

I appreciate the negative reviews and especially agreed with Jim’s comments. We live in the world, but we do not have to be of the world, therefore, we must guard our hearts and mind from movies such as this.

We will not attend this movie nor purchase the DVD. I will also warn my son that if any of his friends purchase the DVD that he is not allowed to watch it and to immediately come home.

To the film makers, please produce good, wholesome films that I, too, can attend and stay awake to watch and enjoy.
—Elaine, age 52