The Dark Knight Movie 2008
Quite easily the director's most famous and monumental film, The Dark Knight is an absolute game-changer. Not merely for the superhero genre, which was given a validity and a reverence it only partially received prior to this movie's debut, but for blockbuster cinema as a whole. Particularly with blockbusters proving that they could be just as intellectually dense and thematically stimulating as any other form of media — while never sacrificing the enriching entertainment value and gripping stories that make going to the movies, at their peak, one of our most deeply satisfying experiences.
Meant as a continuation of Christopher Nolan's previous film, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight succeeds as both a sequel and as a standalone triumph, providing one of the most intensely dynamic and dramatic movies — especially of this size and scale —in cinema history. The film's bold, intrinsic influences on their well-celebrated characters provided a whole new depth and nuance to some of the most popular literary and cinematic characters in history, particularly with the introduction of Nolan's take on The Joker, played phenomenally by the late, great Heath Ledger, in what became the tragically young actor's best performance — even if he heartbreakingly never got to celebrate its powerful success.
Through the weighted dichotomy of order and chaos, civility and anarchy, which feeds The Dark Knight's incredibly well-realized morality play, Christopher Nolan made a masterpiece of this genre, a film that richly and impressively fed comic book adaptations with a vibrant and engaging look at humanity in heroes and what it means to be good or evil — if such concepts can be boiled down in such a simplistic manner — and whether or not it is in humanity's best interest to value themselves or each other in times of grave destruction and disorder. It is undoubtedly the finest adaptation of this character we've gotten to date, and it is easily one of the greatest superhero movies that has ever been made — and possibly the absolute best.