Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises
doesn’t open until Friday, July 20. (Do you have your tickets yet?) But because Warner Bros. loosened its restrictions on press-review embargoes, the first wave of critical reactions flooded across the Web Sunday evening.
What did our nation’s top critics have to say?
Let’s start with Marshall Fine of Hollywood & Fine, only because he wins the prize for giving Rises the first negative review on Rotten Tomatoes, writing, "At times, the action is so massive and thunderously clunky that I might as well have been watching one of the Transformers movies." Attempts to access his full review have been thwarted, however, as it seems like his servers have crashed. The power of the fanboy.
He’s in the minority, though.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter
calls Nolan’s sequel "big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished," adding "this last installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish."
Bold statement. Variety
’s Justin Chang adds, "Running an exhilarating, exhausting 164 minutes, Nolan's trilogy-capping epic sends Batman to a literal pit of despair, restoring him to the core of a legend that questions, and powerfully affirms, the need for heroism in a fallen world."
Despite the long run time, Eric Kohn of IndieWire says the film "deserves credit for having the gall to speed right out of the gate and never fully slow down."
But the film isn’t earning flat-out raves from everyone. In his middle-of-the-road analysis, our own James Rocchi posted on Movies.com
, "I come not to bury The Dark Knight Rises
but to lightly, passingly praise it, at the very least as big American filmmaking of the kind that makes ripples as it goes by. If we must have these corporate visions of a heroic idea, you could do worse than Nolan's broad-shouldered blue-tinged crime-fiction as escapism, shot on film with, more often than not, real objects and real actors."
Then again, there’s David Poland of MovieCityNews
, who summarizes, "The Dark Knight Rises
is, finally, the best of the Nolan Batman films."
Reviews likely won’t matter. You are going. We know. But at least most of the reviews suggest that Nolan has risen (no pun intended) to the level set by his previous Batman movies. As if we’re really shocked.
If you want to bring a friend to Batman this weekend (or any time), look into Fandango’s exclusive, limited-edition The Dark Knight Rises gift cards
, which you can find right here. We give you an opportunity to customize the card, mail it to someone as a gift, or email it to someone who’d like to use it on Rises
this weekend. For a die-hard Batman fan, we can think of nothing better.
Finally, NowLive and Warner Bros. Pictures bring you a live stream of the Rises world premiere tonight, Monday, July 16. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Nolan, writers Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, and producers Emma Thomas and Charles Roven are expected to attend. The event begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, and can be watched via this player. Enjoy!