Director: Christopher Nolan Cinematographer: Wally Pfister
The second of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, that redefined the comic book movie, sees Batman (Christian Bale) joining forces with Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to combat a new criminal threat from the sinister Joker (Heath Ledger), a criminal mastermind who seeks to undermine the caped crusader and cause chaos in the city of Gotham. Influenced more by crime dramas, such as Michael Mann’s Heat, rather than superhero movies of the past, the film features a terrific ensemble cast and a particularly outstanding performance by Ledger (who sadly died of a drugs overdose just months after filming was completed and won a posthumous Academy Award). While there are hugely entertaining and technically impressive action sequences, its the bold narrative, complex characterisation and stunning visual work that moves the film far beyond its comic book origins into the darker territory of haunting, tragic and sometimes even poetic art.
Buy or Rent (watch online)
The Dark Knight Trilogy Special Edition (BD) [Blu-ray]
Ultra HD/BD [Blu-ray]
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Two-Disc Special Edition (DVD)
Christopher Nolan Batman Collection (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight 2 Disc Special Edition) DVD
The Dark Knight: The Film Music Of Hans Zimmer Volume 3
- No. 73 on The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films of All-Time (2020)
- No. 96 on the BBC’s 100 Greatest American Films (2015)
- No. 7 on The Pendragon Society’s 100 Greatest Films 2000-2009 (2010)
- No. 7 on American Cinematographer’s BEST-SHOT FILMS OF 1998-2008 (2009)
- No. 6 on The 50 Best Movies Of Total Film Magazine’s Lifetime (2012)
- No. 8 on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra’s Favourite Movies (2011)
- No. 6 on Flicks.co.nz’s 100 Greatest Movies Ever Made (2015)
- No. 80 on Time Out’s 100 Best Action Movies of All Time (2016)
- No. 2 on ABC News and People Magazine’s Best Action Film (2011)
- No. 5 on Playboy’s 15 Sequels That Are Way Better Than the Originals (2016)
- Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker was placed No. 8 on The Pendragon Society’s 100 Greatest Film Acting Performances of All-Time (2019)
- The Joker was placed No. 3 on Empire’s The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time (2008)
- Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker was placed No. 2 on The Hollywood Reporter’s 50 Greatest Superhero Movie Performances of All Time (2017)
- Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman: A billionaire socialite who dedicates himself to protecting Gotham City from its criminal underworld as a bat-masked vigilante who is hailed as its “Dark Knight” at night.
- Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth: Bruce’s trusted butler and confidant, who supplies useful advice to Bruce.
- Heath Ledger as the Joker: A murderous, psychopathic criminal mastermind with a dark sense of humour who portrays himself as an “agent of chaos” and rises to power by terrorising Gotham and plunging it into anarchy. Some mocked Ledger’s casting when it first became public but Nolan had wanted to work with him on a number of previous projects (including unsuccessfully approaching him for the role of Batman in Batman Begins) and was agreeable to Ledger’s chaotic interpretation of the character. Nolan dedicated the film in part to Ledger’s memory and the actor’s remarkable transformation was widely praised, changing the perception of what might be possible for actors to achieve in a superhero film.
- Gary Oldman as James Gordon: A lieutenant in the Gotham City Police Department and one of the city’s few honest police officers, who forms a tenuous, unofficial alliance with Batman and Dent and is given the position of Police Commissioner by the city’s mayor following the recent commissioner’s assassination.
- Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent / Two-Face: Gotham’s district attorney, hailed as the city’s “White Knight” but becomes a psychotic vengeful killer obsessed with Rachel’s death after half of his face got disfigured.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes: Gotham City’s assistant district attorney and Bruce’s childhood friend, who is one of the few people who knows Batman’s true identity.
- Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox: The recently promoted CEO of Wayne Enterprises who, now fully aware of his employer’s double life, serves more directly as Bruce’s armourer for the Batsuit in addition to his corporate duties.
- Monique Gabriela Curnen and Ron Dean as Anna Ramirez and Michael Wuertz respectively, corrupt detectives in Gordon’s unit.
- Nestor Carbonell as Anthony Garcia, the mayor of Gotham.
- Ng Chin Han as Lau, a corrupt Chinese LSI Holdings accountant at Wayne Enterprises and Triad boss.
- Eric Roberts as Sal Maroni, an Italian mafia boss who takes over Carmine Falcone‘s mob.
- Ritchie Coster as the Chechen, a Chechen mafia boss in charge of drug-trafficking for the mob.
- Anthony Michael Hall as Mike Engel, a Gotham Cable News reporter.
- Keith Szarabajka as Gerard Stephens, a detective in Gordon’s unit.
- Joshua Harto as Coleman Reese, an M&Alaw accountant at Wayne Enterprises who deduces Bruce’s persona of Batman from Fox and plans to reveal it to Gotham.
- Melinda McGraw as Barbara Gordon, Gordon’s wife.
- Nathan Gamble as James Gordon, Jr., Gordon’s ten-year-old son.
- Michael Jai White as Gambol, a Nigerian mafia boss in charge of illegal gambling and extortion for the mob.
- Colin McFarlane as Gillian B. Loeb, the Police Commissioner of Gotham.
- Nydia Rodriguez Terracina as Judge Janet Surrillo.
- Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr. as a prison inmate on one of the bomb-rigged ferries.
- William Fichtner played the Gotham National Bank manager.
- Cillian Murphy returns in a cameo as Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow, who is apprehended early on in the film by Batman.
- David Dastmalchian appears as Thomas Schiff, the fake Guard of Honor who disrupts Loeb’s funeral and is later held at gunpoint by Dent.
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Music by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard
Cinematography Wally Pfister
Edited by Lee Smith
Running time 152 minutes
Country United States, United Kingdom