Complicated, Engaging Crime Drama For Older Children
(No Spoilers) What parents need to understand about this movie can be compacted into one statement: this is not the movie you think it is.
For one, it is a brilliantly written film. But for another, this is not a superhero movie. It's not a comic book movie. It's not a Marvel movie. There are no superpowers. There is no 'bad guy getting his face punched in for entire final act' as we frequently see in today's films.
This is a twisted, dark crime film about what happens when you turn supposedly good-and-decent people against each other. The Joker is a menacing character to watch. He is not a clown. He is an absolute psycho. Scenes in the movie do not generally involve blood or gore, but include: shooting with pistols, a knife murder, the Joker's head being slammed into a window making it shatter, a man getting severe burns on half of his body, guns being held to a person's head or a knife to their neck at several times, having two ferries full of people almost blown sky-high, and a little boy having a gun held to his head.
There are positive messages and good role models throughout the movie, but it's mostly dark, albeit realistic and important. The overarching point of the film that all of us are corruptible individuals, even the best of us. The main positive idea embedded in the film is that Bruce Wayne gave up the comfortable life of a billionaire to clean up a city that never thanked him in return. And he pays everything for it. Ultimately, the movie is incredibly heroic. But that's only because the conditions are so dark.
This movie requires a very mature audience that understands violence. What it is, why it happens, and what we can do to prevent it. Proceed with caution.
This is honestly my Favourite movie ever, and lots of others would agree. Definitely get your kids to watch it- but make sure they are older. Very intense and the joker is very disturbing. Amazing film.
This is my favorite movie. It is so cool. 100% do not watch this at night. There is some creepy stuff. TwoFace really does have a bad face. It is burned really bad on one side. Over all, I give it a 10/10.
This One Darker Than The First, Still Worth Watching
I watched this for the first time on my 16th birthday. I love action movies, but marvel is more my go to. However, I used to be a fan of batman when I was younger so I figured I should watch this trilogy, while getting a feel for DC in general. I was really excited, especially after enjoying the first one.
However, this second instalment was a bit of a let down. I was still able to laugh at the funny parts, but overall the movie was way to dark for my personal tastes. And I'm not just referring to DC's famously low lighting. There were several bodies found, but that wasn't the problem. (they are shown in a similar fashion to murder mystery series' minus much gore) Joker is supposed to be creepy and insane. (Heath Ledger did an exemplary portrayal) However, it could have been more tasteful overall. Lots of horrible things are heavily implied (everything except the actual shot in most cases) and, in my opinion, being left to imagine the consequences is far worse that actually seeing the deed in some detail. We are also shown recorded tapes of the Joker teasing/torturing his victims before their inevitable deaths. Joker's mind is a dark and twisted labyrinth, and I like watching the insane, but clever, villains 'play' with the heroes. I think that it was worth watching (its pretty much a classic) but be very, very, mindful of your and/or your child's tolerance and previous exposure to thriller type violence and (of course) action movie violence.
This was the first movie I've scene of its kind (marvel being far less... rough) and I was immediately startled by its brutality. All this being said, it was a nice enough movie-- thus the rating. It was "just fine". I might even watch it again sometime.
(edit-- this movie aged well in my mind, I've updated rating to 4 stars)
I don't know if this will be useful, but I've left some bigger points/triggers to take into account before watching Dark Knight (this list is by no means exhaustive):
-Joker talks about enjoying victim's pain
-Person is slammed onto table embedding a pencil in their skull
-Mob members forced to fight to the death for survival (implied)
-Several pre-murder tapes implying torture and subsequent deaths
-Two face's destroyed half is quite graphic (in a cartoonish way)
-Man gets a phone/bomb sewn into their stomach by Joker (the victim is quite happy about this)
-Batman kinda goes hulk on an unarmed and captured Joker
-Fake batman is lynched from building and is seen banging against a widow of an occupied room
Update #2: I have watched this movie 3 times in the year since writing this review. One of my favs now. Definitely still grossed out by a couple things (thankfully). This was the most violent thing I had watched (rivaling hunger games) and was a huge shock to 16 year old me. I have read far more graphic books, but seeing it on the screen was a new experience. 17 year old me loves this movie. Just please, for the sake of enjoyment (and maybe mental health) wait until you or your child is ready to watch this movie.
“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero action sequel film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Eric Roberts.
Language(3/5): The film has 2 uses of “bloody” and 1 use of “s**t”, “g****mn it”, “a**holes”, “J*s*s”, “son of a b**ch”, “a**”, “G**”, “hell”, “damn” and “balls”. The film has 12 total curses.
Sex, Romance and Nudity(1/5): Bruce Wayne walks in on a couple making out, and sexual intent from the couple can be inferred. Some women in bikinis are shown. Brief kissing is shown. The Joker briefly uses the word “balls”.
Drinking, Drugs and Smoking(2/5): A character is revealed to have been a drug dealer in the past, and Scarecrow briefly uses fake hallucinogenic drugs. Social drinking is casually shown, including consumption of cocktails, champagne, liquor and beer. Cigars are also used. Joker mentions that his father was a “drinker”.
Violence(4/5): The film has intense and frequent action violence throughout. The Joker is a scary villain who is violently unpredictable but calculating, and he has a frightening appearance, with his face being horrifically scarred. In the beginning of the film, a bank is robbed and people are threatened by robbers with guns and clown masks. All of the criminals betray each other and shoot each other with a gun, with all except one man dying, and a bus crashes through the bank windows so that the group can escape. One of the robbers takes off his mask, revealing himself to be the Joker, and he ties a man’s feet and hands together before placing a live bomb in the man’s mouth. The Joker leaves, and then the bomb turns out to be a smoke bomb, so the man doesn’t die. Joker does a “magic trick” by making a pencil “disappear”; he holds a pencil upright on a table and brutally slams a goon’s face onto the table, stabbing him in the head, though no blood is shown. Joker’s dead body is brought to a gangster, but after the body bag is opened, Joker reveals that he’s still alive and he puts a knife in the gangster’s mouth while his men hold the gangster’s bodyguards hostage with guns. Joker monologues to the gangster while holding the knife in his mouth, stating that he got his facial scars from his father, who was an alcoholic, and that after he came back in a crazy drunken stupor, his mother grabbed a knife to defend herself. Joker’s father then took the knife from his mother and that his father put the knife in his mouth and gave him permanent scars, and after the story, Joker stabs the gangster in the mouth and the bodyguards are shot in the head; no blood is present but it’s an intense scene. Suicidal bomb threats are staged, and a man breaks his legs after falling from a great height. A dead body hanging from a noose is slammed into a skyscraper window in a jump scare, with blood staining the window, and blood is briefly shown on the corpse’s mouth and chest. Joker disguises himself as a guard and shoots many people in the middle of a ceremony, including Commissioner Gordon, who appears to die, but he survives. The Joker and his men crash Harvey Dent’s dinner, and Joker threatens a man with a knife, bringing it up to his mouth before Rachel intervenes. Joker then grabs Rachel’s head and brings the knife close to her face while saying that he got his scars after his wife’s face was carved by gambling “sharks”; Joker states that since they didn’t have money for surgery, he stuck a razor in his mouth and stabbed himself, which he mimics with the knife. Rachel then knees Joker in the groin, and before Joker can harm her, Batman comes in and fights Joker, and an action scene involving lots of fistfighting occurs. Joker grabs Rachel and pushes her out of a window, but before she hits the ground, Batman catches her mid-air. Batman falls on top of a car and breaks all of its windows before knocking out the thugs inside. A car chase occurs between Joker and Batman with gunfire a few car crashes and explosions, and Joker manages to gain control of a semi-truck, which flips over after Batman traps him. In a suspenseful sequence, Joker then encourages Batman to run him over with his motorcycle, however, Batman crashes his motorcycle instead and gets Joker arrested. After Joker is unsuccessfully interrogated by Commissioner Gordon, Batman appears after the lights go dark, and he slams Joker’s head on the table before punching his hand, punching him in the face, throwing him around the room and slamming in multiple times, with Joker simply laughing during the pain. Joker reveals that Rachel and Harvey Dent are being held hostage in two different rooms with oil drums that are going to explode soon, and the cops and Batman race after the locations. A cop watches Joker while he’s in the room, and Joker taunts the man by saying that he uses a knife because people show more emotion when they die; the cop then starts hitting Joker. One of the criminals brought into the prison is revealed to have a bomb in his stomach that was placed there by Joker, and we see the scar in the man’s body before the bomb goes off, with the explosion seen from outside of the building. Rachel is killed in a massive explosion before she can be saved, and Batman manages to get Dent out of the building before the explosion, however, the explosion’s flames catch onto Dent’s body, lighting half of his body on fire, which is quite gruesome. Joker burns a huge pile of money, and the fire kills a man in the process. Dent is later seen in the hospital with half of his body horribly burned, with his teeth, bones and eyeball showing from the burned exposed skin. Dent is mentally unstable because of his grief after Rachel’s death, and the Joker rigs the hospital with explosives and abuses his instability to manipulate him into becoming evil, causing him to become Two-Face. Two-Face sticks a gun up against Joker’s forehead and flips a coin to decide his fate, but Joker gets to live, and Two-Face leaves the hospital. Joker then blows up the hospital, which is empty, but the explosions are destructive. Two-Face holds a gun up to a mobster’s head and shoots several people in a car offscreen, and the car crashes as a result. Joker holds a ferry carrying prisoners and a ferry carrying passengers hostage with explosives that are set to go off at midnight, but the catch is that one of the boats can live if they blow up the other, and there are a few tense scenes where the people debate the option. Batman finds the Joker on a building and is briefly attacked by Joker’s rabid dogs, who he quickly deals with, and he then gets into a fistfight with Joker before they end up dangling in the air from a skyscraper. To the Joker’s shock, neither of the boats decide to blow each other up, and he tries to set off the explosives himself before Batman beats him up and hangs him by his feet. The Joker taunts Batman and tells him about Two-Face before he is apprehended by the police. Two-Face holds Commissioner Gordon’s family hostage and puts a gun up against his young son’s head in an intense scene, but before he can kill him, Batman kicks Two-Face in the chest, saving Gordon’s son. Two-Face falls to his death after a short battle with Batman, and the carnage ends.
Positive Messages(3/5): The film explores the relationship between order and chaos, as well as legality and morality, and many characters are presented as morally complex. Messages about trust and faith.
Positive Role Models and Representations(1/5): Batman is an admirable hero who displays justice, however, he does use vigilante violence to accomplish justice. The Joker’s motivation for his violence is explored, however, he still remains a psychopathic anarchist who doesn’t mind killing people to prove a point. People handle dealing with crime in various ways, which have mixed results.
For intense sequences of action violence throughout including bloody/disturbing images, thematic elements, and some language.
This title has:
Too much violence
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Kid, 12 years old
November 20, 2023
This movie is a Masterpiece but should be rated R.
This is one of the best Christopher Nolan films that I've ever watched, along with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises. But I do not recommend that children under the age of 13 or 14 should watch this. Heath Ledger's Joker is very disturbing for younger children. I thought this movie should have been rated R. I watched this movie when I was 11 and was perfectly fine, although I was still shocked about how violent this movie was.
I think this movie is a MASTERPIECE, it is the Citizen Kane of Superhero movies. Christian Bale as Batman was awesome, although I also like Robert Pattinson as Batman, but I like Christian Bale's Batman better.
Heath Ledger's Joker was creepy in a good way and Michael Caine's Alfred was excellent. Two-Face was crazy, I mean... everything was amazing about this movie. This movie is definitely a 10\10 for me.
Why So Serious?
This is a brilliant film but is not for young kids, it includes shootings, explosions, violent car chases, helicopter crashes, stabbings, torture, ect ect. It has a bit of alcohol in but nothing bad. The Dark Knight is a very dark Batman film and the darkest in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Main characters are killed, a character is supposedly cut open and a phone put in there chest. While this film is very very very good, it is not for anyone over 14 unless they are good with violence.