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George At 

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The Dark Knight Rises

To say that The Dark Knight Rises is a great film doesn't do it justice. Writer/Director Christopher Nolan equals his amazing last film "Inception" and in some ways, exceeds it in sheer spectacle and power. Taking place eight years after the conclusion of "The Dark Knight", (and I highly recommend watching that film again as a great refresher for this one) Gotham is nearly crime-free. The entire city has been inspired by Harvey Dent to be the best that they can be. But literally underneath Gotham, a storm of discontent is rising. A mysterious madman, Bane (in a menacing turn by Tom Hardy) is preparing a revolution of staggering and violent proportions. Nolan is flat out brilliant here in scenes IMAX large such as the opening skyjacking sequence, the destruction of Heinz field and the concluding battle, but its the quiet moments that resonate here as well. The first scene here in which Batman comes back to battle Bane in the streets of Gotham will get you cheering. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman all have expanded screen time in this conclusion of the trilogy, and the film is much better for it. Newcomers Joseph Gordon Levitt as an everyday Gotham patrolman and Anne Hathaway as the Catwoman are both strong. With Catwoman potentially being such a distracting character, I was surprised how well Nolan has woven her in and how good Hathaway is in the role. Christian Bale is flat out fantastic as Bruce Wayne/Batman and its a bit sad to know that this is Nolan & Bale's final Batman film. But WOW, what a way to go out. Don't let anyone share the final ten minutes with you. It ranks with "Inception" and "Heaven Can Wait" for me as one the greatest film endings of all time. Powerful, smart, exciting and fantastic movie-making. My favorite film of 2012 so far and in my all time Top 100 films. A+

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