RECOMMENDED: Few filmmakers have climbed higher, faster than Christopher Nolan. It’s been only 12 years since Nolan’s first film with a real budget, 2000′s mind-bender Memento. Since then, he’s turned out a Pacino-driven thriller, a story of rival magicians notable for casting David Bowie as Nikola Tesla, a story about the maze of the mind, and perhaps the most financially and critically successful trilogy of all time, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. The trilogy’s third film is already an unquestionable success, with a majority of critics praising it; as it stands now, the film has a fighting chance to unseat this year’s The Avengers in the #3 all-time highest grossing spot. But where the success really lies is his ability to complete the trilogy in a way that would give filmmakers hesitation to even attempt making one again. The Transformers films (which will soon number at 4) make tons of money and are popcorn fun, but no one will be talking about them in the “great films” conversations of a few years from now. Nolan’s films will be in that discussion, and they should be.
The finale wraps up the series with both grace and brute force at once. It introduces new stories and completes old ones, all while relying heavily on solid-and-better performances by Christian Bale (who always looks like he’s just about to sneeze), Tom Hardy‘s Bane, a surprisingly well-performed Catwoman by Anne Hathaway, the always-great Gary Oldman, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, and Michael Caine‘s strongest performance in years. It’s great, it’s worth seeing, and it’s packed to the brim. At nearly 3-hours, you might want to avoid that 44 oz. soda they’re trying to up-sell you in the lobby or you’ll miss something great.
And on a side note: What’s your over/under number on how many years until the reboot? We’re sitting on 5, maybe less depending on how badly The Man of Steel flops.
[Editor's note: Our thoughts are with the victims of last night's tragedy, their families and friends, and the community of Aurora, CO, at this time.]
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS: QFest 2012 is still going on at all the Ritz theaters in town, check out a listing of showings here.