Age range: 16 yrs+
Runtime: 152 minutes
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Christopher Nolan
Realease date: July 18, 2008
The Dark Knight - Summary
The people of Gotham have come to know Batman, and many have come to love him. In fact, a whole new group of vigilante Batman wannabe's have started popping up at crime scenes trying to "help out." All of these amateurs only add to the chaos going on in Gotham City, though, as old villains continue to wreak havoc, and a new brand of criminal takes things to a whole different level. Batman and the bat-friendly authorities think they are going to finally get things under control -- that is until they meet The Joker.
Unlike other criminals, Joker has no discernible pattern and no weak spot to speak of. He just loves causing an evil kind of mischief that sends the city into a destructive panic. In order to combat organized crime, Lieutenant Gordon and Batman had partnered with city D.A. Harvey Dent, but the three end up contending with the maniacal Joker instead, and he is more than enough to keep everyone on their toes.
To The Joker, turning Gotham City upside down is a fun game, but people are dying and it is no laughing matter. The more Batman and others try to stop The Joker, the more they play right into his hands. Even the biggest crime lords in the city are getting nervous now, and they have good reason to be.
The Dark Knight - Guide Review for Parents
The Dark Knight is an appropriate title for a movie that can best be described as extremely dark. This Batman movie is more reminiscent of a psycho thriller than a superhero flick, and the maniacal Joker may be terrifying even for older kids.
Beyond what is seen in most of the recent superhero movies with the same rating, The Dark Knight contains scenes with extreme violence involving various weapons such as guns, machine guns, bazookas, bombs and knives. Much of the violence also involves psychological terrorism as well, as the Joker is fond of playing with people's minds. He loves to tell terrifying stories of how he got his scars, just before he inflicts the same scars on his victims. Many people in the movie are cut by him and made up to have a similar red make-up smile. Generally, blood and gore shown in these violent scenes is relatively moderate -- with the major exception being Two-Face, who was in an explosion that burned one side of his face off exposing the muscle, eye socket, jawbone, and more on one side of his face.
Some additional unsettling scenes occur involving families and children. Family members grieve for loved ones, some children are kidnapped and threatened, and people are forced to make choices concerning loved ones and strangers about who lives and who dies.*For more detailed examples of this movie's content, please see the overview below.
The Dark Knight - Content OverviewThe following lists a few of the most prominent examples of possibly offensive content in the movie (may contain spoilers):
- Criminals around the city -- including mob bosses, Scarecrow, Joker, and Two-Face -- commit crimes using various weapons such as guns of many types, bombs, and knives. People are hurt, maimed and killed. Some blood and gore is shown.
- The Joker puts his knife to people's mouths and tells them horrifying stories about how he got his scars. He then cuts many people (the actual cutting is not shown, but at times the after effects are). The Joker blows people up, shoots people, and runs a pencil through a guy's head, among other things.
- Two-face goes after several people for revenge. In order to decide their fate, he flips a coin, and he ends up killing most of them.
- Harvey and Rachael are dating. They kiss, and she also kisses Bruce.
- Some women in the movie wear sexy dresses and show cleavage.
- Words such as "hell," "damn," and "ass" are used.
- The phrase "Oh my God!" and several similar variants of the phrase are used.
- Various people throughout the movie are shown drinking at parties and restaurants.
- A man pours himself a drink, but it turns out that the drink was poisoned and he dies.
Bad/Disrespectful Behavior (Extreme)
- The Joker kills people for fun and enjoys playing with people's minds and emotions. - Mobsters use the Joker to get rid of their enemies, so that the mob bosses can keep making money illegally.
- Two kids are shown pretending to shoot at things.
Scary Scenes (Extreme)
- Two people wired to bombs wait for rescue, knowing that one of them will die.
- Two-Face threatens to harm a fearful child.
- Scenes listed under "violence" are frightening as well.
Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Extreme)
- A woman finds out that her husband has been killed. She falls apart in front of her children.
- A man's fiance is killed, and he blames everyone involved, even the people who were trying to help.
- A villain threatens a young boy and makes his father tell the boy that everything will be fine, even though the villain claims he will make sure that it won't be.
The Dark Knight - Discuss the Movie
- After watching The Dark Knight, kids may have questions about the following topics: evil killers, good people turning bad, the cops' ability to protect citizens, the idea that a deranged man could cause pain and horror for so many people.