July 28th, 2008
01:57 PM ET

'Dark Knight' gets it from both sides

The wonderful thing about a work of art - or a pop-culture phenomenon - is that you can look at it as an allegory for whatever ideology you subscribe to.

"The Dark Knight" has earned almost universal praise, but what does it all MEAN?

Witness the blog frenzy over the op-ed piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that theorized that “The Dark Knight” is “a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush.”

Naturally, other bloggers disagree.

The arguments demonstrate the deep impact that the many-layered “Dark Knight,” which now ranks as the Internet Movie Database’s greatest film ever (move over, “Shawshank” and “Godfather”), has had on the moviegoing public.

Either way, the prime symbol of the film - the Joker as terrorist - is impossible to miss, with many reviewers characterizing “The Dark Knight” as representative of our post-9/11 world.

The debates also remind me of other battles over films’ meanings: Was “Patton” a pro-war statement or a portrait of an out-of-control military leader? Was “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” an anti-Communist diatribe or an attack on American conformity?


- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

Filed under: movies

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  1. last minute

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    May 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bella Hakkinen

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    September 8, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. escort at

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    August 31, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Damon

    First of all, of course the movie has underlying implications; 99% of art does whether it's movies, music, photography, whatever.

    Second of all, I think you're getting a little overzealous about proving your points; it's called an opinion, and yes...people will have a different one than what you think. Commenting on a CNN blog won't change someone's mind, I'll be the ranch on that one.

    Batman's lines are blurred, and that is all.

    Likening the Joker to a terrorist is ridiculous, considering terrorists actually have reasons for their actions.

    Oh yeah, if you say there were 'plot holes' and stuff, you obviously fell asleep.

    Although the movie was long, IN MY PERSONAL OPINION it was one of, if not the best movie I've evers seen. It had every element in it that I enjoy in movies, and there's no amount of badgering me via angry blog comment that's gonna change my mind 🙂

    Also, the military doesn't make their own decisions; if you know anything of our government, you'd know that it is ran by civilians who give the military the objectives and a certain amount of leash to accomplish these objectives. It's not like Army guys said 'Hey, let's go to Iraq and kill people we think are terrorists!' or choosing to get into firefights with insurgents.

    Just reading this, I see that some of you folks REALLY need to relieve your stress.

    Go watch some cartoons.

    August 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ian


    I respect the service and sacrifice YOUR FATHER gave to our country. But that doesn't mean your opinions are automatically right or gives you the right to disrespect the opinions of others. We must simply agree to disagree. And I believe that too is what the previous generations fought for.

    I did not bring up the issue of torture or any specific method. You did. In fact I personally do not believe torture is very effective in extracting information from foreign combatants. My opinions are aimed at more of a general nature. The very moral quandaries this movie and the fictional character The Dark Knight faces when fighting evil in this world. What are the limits when the tactics and methods of evil changes.? To what lengths are we willing go and what are the limits when people's liberties or their very lives are in immediate danger? I brought up past presidents like FDR and Kennedy (both Democrats) who have been accused in the past of overstepping their Constitutional powers and yet they are routinely praised in hindsight for doing "what was necessary" at the time. In hindsight, perhaps we could think up of ways they could have acted but that's a luxury we do not enjoy. And its not just these two but other Presidents and people of power who have been accused of overstepping their bounds and trampling on the Constitution. What I'm saying is, sometimes things have been done "off the book" or "off the reservation" and that its nothing new.

    I think we fundamentally disagree on this one thing. I truly believe this country, with all its faults, mistakes, and crimes, that Americans ARE GOOD and eventually choose to do the right thing. Whether by learning through mistakes or just doing it. Our history bears it. Our most recent example is Iraq. Going into Iraq may not have been a good idea. The way our Military and civilian political leaders handled the "reconstruction" after the Baathists were overthrown was horribly botched with corruption and criminal incompetency. But recently Gen. Petraeus and our brave soldiers have turned things around dramatically when most people wrote off Iraq as a "lost cause". They've learned how to implement an effective counter-insurgency. They've brought former feuding Sunni's and Shiite's together, earned their trust, and convinced them its in everyone's best interest to work together and throw Al Qaeda out. Its a fragile peace but there is undeniable improvement which even mainstream media grudgingly admit. Sunni's and Shiite's might have a chance to live together in peace without a dictator forcing them by gunpoint.

    I also don't believe our democracy our Constitution is teetering on the brink and we're on the slippery slope towards Totalitarianism, like some on the Left would have us believe. The Left accuse the Right of using fear to get what they want. But so does the Left. I believe in the goodness and the "can do" spirit of the American people to do what's right. Again our history and record bears it. And despite the past mistakes our brave soldiers in Iraq is a testament to that fact.

    August 7, 2008 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. MindyM

    Ian –

    I don't need a lecture from you on how we have to sacrifice and get ugly in the defense of our country. My father lived it in WWII. It didn't get any uglier or horrific than what he saw when he helped liberate the concentration camps. It didn't make him any more willing to trample over our Constitutional rights and freedoms. How is it that he was smart enough to know what is really important? Fear is what is driving us now and that is also ugly. If we are scared into giving up our civil liberties, then you will see what is really scary and evil. These are not just principles. The Constitution isn't just an old yellowing piece of paper, it's a living, breathing statement of who and what we are. If we become like the very terrorists we are fighting, then we have lost the war. The reason they attack us is because we are who we are. We are the beacon of democracy in the world. This new government that our founding fathers created was unlike any other ever in history. They knew it would test us to live by these freedoms and liberties. But they thought we had the guts to live up to them.

    For those like you who think it's just words or principles and dismiss it lightly, then you are the ones who are ignorant. You don't even realize what we have. We have what no one else has. We have always been tough and willing to fight and die for our country and what it stands for. There is no reason to abandon that now. I don't need you or anyone else to tell me that we are fighting a new and extremely dangerous enemy, one without any borders, no nation state, hard to find, cunning and evil. But if we torture and incarcerate those who are only suspected of being terrorists without any evidence, then we are no better than these monsters that we are trying to defeat. Then we have lost who we really are. These principals are ones that our brave soldiers have died for through the years. If you give them up, then all of our soldiers and their sacrifice and deaths were for nothing. That's what is at stake here.

    August 6, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ian

    Though Nick's analogy of the Greeks and Spartans isn't necessarily historically accurate I think most people understand what he is trying to say. It takes hard men who are willing to fight, sacrifice, and do the ugly things most people are unwilling to do to protect our freedoms. In similar vein, freedom can't stand alone on principals on mere ideas esp. when today's terrorist main tactic is to attack and subvert our principals and our notion of individual rights. It is our love for individual freedom and that is exactly what they subverted on 9/11 and almost every terrorist attack they wage. The are not a conventional enemy like an army on an open field or hiding behind tree where victory is measured by enemy casualties and territory. They know they can't defeat us out in the open. I know its hard to stomach. But we are just learning how to fight this new kind of enemy and it can't be done if our constant concern is about our own self righteous principals because that's the very thing they are counting on to help them win. I'm not saying we should give our warriors and politicians carte blanche or abandon our principals completely. But just enough latitude to let the other side know we're not a bunch of fools. War, any war is ugly. To deny it is to deny its very nature. If you're not willing to wage war and understand it nature, might as well get out your white flags now. Cause you're not gonna win.....or is losing better as long as you have you're principals?

    August 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MindyM

    Nick –

    If you don't have any freedoms, you ARE dead. I am shocked and appalled that there are people like you who would give up the precious freedoms that the founding fathers gave us. They form the foundation of our democracy. They embody who and what we are. If we lose them, then we have nothing.

    We have always been confronted with threats throughout our history, but we have somehow managed to keep faith our innate civil liberties. FDR said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. In 1932, it was the depression that was our enemy. But we managed to survive and thrive without destroying who we are as a people. We fought two World Wars and came out stronger than ever. We defeated the tyranny of the Nazis. Now are we to become tyrannical in pursuit of Al Qaeda, our new adversary? We have always been able to defeat our enemies and I believe that we will ultimately triumph over Al Qaeda. But we won't do it by throwing out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    My father served in WWII and was with the American soldiers that liberated the concentration camps of Bergen Belsen and Dachau. What he saw there was so unspeakable that he was only able to take about it years later. But my father came out of that experience, that horror more convinced than ever that democracy is a precious idea. He saw the worst in humanity, but it made him believe in our freedoms even more. So don't lecture me about what it takes as a military man to win against our enemies. You are so blinded by your hatred of so-called liberals that you can't even see the irrationality of your own argument.

    If we destroy who we are in the pursuit of terrorists like Al Qaeda, then we won't have to worry about being killed by them. We will have killed ourselves.

    August 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tim

    Quick point. To all those who said it's just a movie. You've obviously never written anything before. Writers (good ones atleast) always give an underlying meaning.

    Does Todd Leopold hit the theme on the head? In my opinion, no. But, there is definitely (almost) always a theme developed behind the story that holds the story together. No, this is not JUST A MOVIE MEANT ONLY FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND NOTHING ELSE. It most definitely stands for something much deeper.

    What it is can be speculated, unless actually expressed by the writer. Usually the writer will be happy that people get anything out of their work, even if it isn't their original message.

    P.S. I enjoyed the film

    August 5, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Niko

    The movie isn't supposed to support G.W. at all. Those who think so are inserting their own twisted, personal bias into the film's narrative.

    Those of you that are pouncing on the movie for various reasons... you went to the same party as a huge amount of people. You didn't have a good time – we all did. It doesn't mean the movie is bad or overrated, it more than likely means that it wasn't for you. There's a big difference. You should about it.

    The thin plot points that anyone has talked about have all been plot points that intelligent viewers were able to follow because they didn't need their hands held unlike those that obviously needed a cliff's notes version of the movie.

    August 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ian


    Are you referring to my last post? Are you referring to the Watchmen graphic novel by Alan Moore?

    A Superhero without a badge can't arrest someone, but sometimes they do leave them tied up for the authorities. But sometimes they don't. Sometimes they dispense judgment and their brand of justice on their own. I'm no philosophy major but in many ways these "superheroes" like The Dark Knight are Nietzchean "Ubermensch" "Over-men" or "Supermen". They create their own rules, live by their own laws, and have their own ideas of justice. It is society that seeks everyone (including those who are exceptional) to follow the same rules laid out by society. But what is society to do when its own infrastructure and rules are undermined and corrupted from within? What is society to do when its own laws are infeffectual in the face of overwhelming circumstances. They'll look away or be complicit when someone is willing to take that risk and work outside those self imposed borders.

    As far as the Presidency its not just Bush. Democratic Presidents like F.D.R. and JFK have also been accused of working outside their Constitutional limits during periods of crisis. While some historians choose to interpret their actions as merely furthering the powers of the Presidency. Sometimes people want or need their Presidents to act like a Nietzchean hero. And sometimes they'll crucify them while benefitting from their actions at the same time.

    August 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. donovansbrain

    J.D. – are liberals the root cause of your spelling and logic errors?

    Nick, do you believe that Sparta operated as a mercenary force for Athens? Read again; they were enemies. Sparta had no art, no music, no kindness or humanity; they produced nothing that lasted except a scary memory; that's us with you military guys in control and every man drafted by age five. Athens was much better, and they had a great military.

    ian, your 2nd paragraph: WATCHMEN. How can a superhero with no badge 'arrest' someone?

    August 4, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Richard F. Kessler

    I agree with those who say Dark Knight is susceptible of an allegorical interpretation. In addition, one can arguably say that George Bush like Batman was a vigilante who follows the credo of the superhero and transcends the moral code of ordinary mortals.
    But at what cost?
    One cannot make this allegorical connection without conceding the ethical dualism which underpins the entire allegory. Dark Knight posits a Manichean universe. The Joker and the Dark Knight are inextricably interconnected. The “good’ as an absolute virtue is one side of the coin upon which the other side is evil. Both coexist as universal values, each defining and giving context and meaning to the other. That is why neither the hero can kill the other. Without good, evil perishes. Without evil, good perishes. Unless there is evil, deciding to do what is good has no moral value. Unless there is good, doing evil becomes meaningless and inconsequential. Who knew Bush Republicans have traded in Christianity for Zoroastrian dualism.
    When a human attempts to act like a superhero and function in accordance with transcendent super morality, it is self-destructive and untenable. That is why the good district attorney failed to transform evil into good and instead transformed himself into a monster who became the agent of his own destruction.
    Conventional morality is an imperfect reflection of the true good but it is what is possible and sustainable here on earth. It is situational, relative and imperfect. If making a heroic moral decision can be postponed or ignored, many people will choose to do so. In the case of the two ferries, circumstances forced a choice upon the passengers. Second the choice is made known to a substantial public. In short, other people witness and know what you have done. Finally there are countervailing values in conflict with the moral choice which confuse and distract the decision-maker. What results from such a process is a stew of imperfect moral decisions where ordinary folk turn out better than they might be but never as good as they should be.
    George Bush wanted to be the Black Knight who saved the country. However, a mere mortal and a shadow of a superhero, he has become the district attorney who paved his role to hell with good intentions. Superheroes do not need to follow the rules. They make their own. However, mere mortals have to follow the rules-Something the Bush Administration never did- because the rules-as imperfect as they are- are all we have to go by.

    August 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JOLENE

    Very well put Ian... I could not have said it any better myself!!!


    August 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ian

    The Dark Knight may be dismissed as pure entertainment and escapism to some but movie icons like Batman is to us what Hercules and other mythical heroes were to the Greeks or Romans. We may not believe these mythical beings actually exist unlike the Greeks or Romans but they are still a reflection of who we'd like to be or wish they actually existed. Comic and movie heroes have a socialogical significance because they are a reflection of our times. Thousands of years from now when people study American culture icons like Batman and Dirty Harry will be on the list.

    If The Dark Knight in this movie really existed he would be villified like he was in this movie. He would be branded a vigilante and a criminal. Mayors like Bloomberg (NYC) Daly (Chicago) Villaragosa (L.A.) and Newsom (S.F.) and chiefs of police couldn't tolerate such a being. The ACLU would slap lawsuits of brutality, profiling, and hate crimes on Batman. If liberals in this country can't trust law abiding citizens to own guns how would they feel about a known vigilante with an armored Batmobile or BatPod with cannons. But what's surprising is the fact that so many people with deep set liberal beliefs went to the theatre and rooted for Batman. Pure fantasy? Sure. But there's something going on there. Something primal. Innate. In all of us.

    And just like Batman, Bush is seen by some as a criminal as a vigilante, a "Cowboy" (like its bad word). He doesn't want to get along. He doesn't want to play nice. He's willing to break a few eggs. But is he truly the destroyer and exploiter as some would have us believe? Is he truly in Iraq to exploit them rape the country? Well, ask the Iraqi people who their best chance at peace is. Ask them who their best chance is from Sunnis and Shiite factions from starting a civil war. Ask them who their best chance is from neighboring countries like Iran or Syria or terrorist groups like Al Qaeda from exploiting their country. Iraqi's and dying side by side with American soldiers for a reason. Because at least they know who the good guys are and who their best chance for sustainable peace is.

    Good night.

    August 3, 2008 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  16. Jeff


    That was pretty deep.

    At the end when batman said he will become the hated if that means saving the people..he would become the Dark Knight.

    August 2, 2008 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  17. Nick

    It all comes down to one very important question... how can you enjoy your freedoms if you are dead?
    I'm personally sick of the GOP and Dems, and all of the bloggers out in the nethespace of the Internet who think that what they see on CNN and the other news broadcasts are how the world really is. Seeing Iraq and the Middle East from the comfort of your suburban home while sipping your mojito and coddling your labrodoodle is one thing. Being there, goggles on during a dust storn, giving water and food to children and their families who are trying their best to get by is another. Aim chair politicking is just what it is... simple, safe, and assanine.
    Liberals say, and preach, that sticking to your 'beliefs' is more important than anything else? Would anyone really be that haughty if they were threatened with imminent, gruesome death? I doubt it, only religion and love of ones family and friends will drive us to sacrifice our precious lives.
    I'll admit to being more conservative than liberal (military member for the past 8 years), but I also have seen that the world is more than black and white. You can't make that fantastic filet mignon without spilling the blood of the bovine to get it on your plate. When you're facing an enemy without rules, whose main objective is to either kill you or convert you (think of the Borg from "Star Trek", it's the easiest way to try to convey radical Islam idealogy in layman's terms), you have to choose whether or not you're going to fight, and if you are, are you willing to get your hands dirty to win...

    So... once again... it's a choice.

    Step off our supposed 'moral high ground', that we never really stood upon, to get the job done?
    Or cower behind our 'love of freedom' and hope the boogeyman that is terrorism forgets about us and goes back under the bed.

    It's time for us to live in the real world. We need to grow up and do the hard, messy work that needs to be done, or, just like our parents and the generation before who chose to ignore the boil of Social Security problems, our children will be forced to face terrorism head on.

    Or look at it from a historic perspective... the Ancient Greeks. The Atheniens championed thought, philosophy, art, and culture. All wonderful things. But they usually didn't have the stomach to do the nasty work of going to war and possibly sacrficing their freedoms. Luckily for them, they had the 'militaristic' people of Sparta to be their Dark Knights.

    Let the politicians be the White Knights. Untie the hands of the military and the CIA and let us fight this war, without the Big Brother of media. The average American doesn't need to know how bad things can get out there, they'd lose sleep at night. Ignorance is indeed bliss sometimes.

    August 2, 2008 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  18. Joe Klemencic

    In California entire athletic departments are folding because 'terrorism' has led us into a siege of endless spending costing us the only things that matter. As if you could storm into your neighbors backyard and make them like you. So how about we just enjoy Batman as the summer movie that it is and stop fueling the greatest downward spiral in U.S. history.

    August 2, 2008 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  19. Liza

    Who in their right mind would think Batman is a terrorist? Who in their right mind would think a comic book character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939 would create terror and fear amongst people. Dude.. it's a movie.. if anything Batman fights for justice and truth.

    I can hardly say that GWB fights for justice and truth. Look at how much *hit we are in economically, financially...and spiritually as a nation.

    We're talking about a freakin movie that helps us escape, the reality of truth.

    I rather watch Batman.

    August 1, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Steve

    Huh. Let's not get ahead of ourselves folks. This is after all a fictional movie. A fictional movie with more holes in it to sink a Titantic like ship.
    Dark Knight is a undoubtedly a great film. What it isn't is an allagory of our times. The characters and the premise has been around for generations. So let's face the realities. For all of us adults it brings back memories of our youth. Memories that we can now share with our kids. This film is pop culture fodder for the dawg days of summer. So lets enjoy it and not bring politics or ill will to the party.

    August 1, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ray Gellner

    Give me a break! Batman has always been against the misuse of power. George W. Bush and his henchmen would be persons that the Batman would bring to justice!

    August 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  22. S.D. Roche'

    Wait a minute..............
    This is a comic book hero fighting a comic book villain! I get so tired of comparisons made to any and all current entertainment happenings, with politics....let's be real for a minute. The movie is what it is...a super great entertainment movie, not a real-life political move in the making. We need to seperate fantasy from non-fiction, instead of always comparing each and every little political move anyone makes, with movies! Get real folks......when we start comparing movies with what we do in our everyday life, is when we lose what is going on in the real world...let's focus instead on where our jobs are going (overseas), the price of gas (it is WAY OVER-PRICED), our children's future (education), instead of fantasy entertainment....let's leave entertainment where it was meant to be.....JUST ENTERTAINMENT!!

    August 1, 2008 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  23. ajmcc

    Copy - paste Mindym's entire post.

    July 31, 2008 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Shelby

    Nicely put, Megan.

    July 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Cap

    Not that I buy into these analogies, but anyone who is dismissing it simply because it is a "comic book" movie are making themselves look extremely foolish. Comics and graphic novels today are not nearly what your grandparents (or even your parents) read; it is an established, accepted medium for all sorts of storytelling, serious and not. No one with any knowledge of the state of sequential art today looks down their nose or sneers at this storytelling format.

    July 31, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Kristin

    This is crazy! Can't anyone just enjoy a movie anymore, without trying to read something into it? The Dark Knight is a great movie! Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine delivered everything we could have wanted in a sequel and more. Let's just leave it at that.

    July 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  27. M

    Ok first of all let me say that I believe creators of this film had no intention of drawing comparisons between Batman and Bush. Instead I think it just happened. From reading all of these comments though made me curious though on how many of you have actually been to Iraq. Many of you are quick to judge him and talk about the illegal war but how much knowledge do you truly have about this war. From what I've seen the vast majority of Iraqi people want us over there and have taken amazing strides for making this country a safe place. The problem has been the Sadam like tactics these AQI and JAM thugs have used to initmidate the locals from working with us. It was easy, you work with Americans and you die. Now that we have rid the world of the majority of the leadership from these insurgent groups the thugs are starting to flee and more and more Iraqis are feeling safe in working with Americans. So the problem wasn't the people didn't want us over here because they did but it was they were scared to work with us because they feared death.

    We make great strides to ensure that we do no harm to the Iraqi locals so much in fact that we do not shoot unless we have been shot at and even then we must place a well aimed shot. I think there are many details that the common American doesn't get from the media. In fact, once havens for thugs such as Adhamiya and Sadr City are now being held as models for what right does look like. Projects and jobs are being made available for the first time in years for these areas and the people really are benefiting and they appreciate the work that Americans have done over there. So in conclusion all I ask is before you judge Bush and his war come over to Iraq to judge for yourself and then you can truly make a informed decision.

    July 30, 2008 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Bardia

    Great Movie? Yes, Best Movie of All Time? No.

    How can you say that when there is Star Wars? I beleived that movie changed not only how movies were made but the world.

    July 30, 2008 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  29. MindyM

    I think The Dark Knight should be taken for what it is – a superbly crafted, brilliantly conceived, endlessly thrilling and entertaining piece of cinema. It's always risky to try to read too much into a movie. Yes, Christopher Nolan has given a nod to the real problems with terrorism in the world today. The Joker is the ultimate terrorist. He kills without reason or conscience. He can't be bought, reasoned or bargained with. He just IS. As Bruce Wayne's butler, superbly played by Michael Caine says, some men just want to see the world burn. Heath Ledger has crafted a terrifying, mesmerizing, wickedly funny villain who just wants to wreak havoc on Gotham City. His performance is the glue that holds the movie today. He is the driving force that propels the story forward. How all of the characters react and deal with the threat presented by the Joker, is one of the basic moral dilemmas that lies at the very heart of this movie.

    The parallels that I see are the lengths to which Batman and law enforcement are willing to go to stop the Joker's reign of terror. Are they willing to step over the line and break laws to stop him? How far are they willing to go? I like how Nolan cleverly interweaves controversial measures such as illegal surveillance of citizens, to remind us of what we may well become if we break the rules of a civilized society. Is that what we must do when confronted with the ultimate threat? I don't see the movie taking sides and I certainly do not see it as any kind of justification for the Bush administration's despicable tactics used supposedly to fight terrorism. Invading a sovereign nation that never presented any real threat to our national security, the suspension of habeas corpus and the detention of suspected terrorists without due process and the illegal warrantless surveillance of American citizens, are just a few examples of the lengths that our government has gone to combat terrorism. Are we willing to give up our precious civil liberties in pursuit of terrorists?

    These are interesting questions, but ones which The Dark Knight ultimately cannot and should not, have to answer. Let's enjoy this movie for what it is – arguably the most thought provoking, unsettling, disturbing and gripping thriller we have seen this year.

    July 30, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  30. james Quinn

    Re: Amy In Tennessee,

    The surge and the war in Iraq are far from done yet. It will be years even decades before we know the actual effects of both or either. It is likely you and I will be long dead before the final history if written about this.

    However I will take a stab at a possible outcome. History tells me that it is very likely that a civil conflict is only being stomped down by the surge and Iran not wanting to provoke to US into a confrontation at this time. So Ithink it is very likely that such a civil war will occur and since we the United States played a role in getting the ball rolling we shall be given the lions share of the blame. Now since Iraq and Afghanistan are sort of tied together and our attention in Iraq has been at the expense of Afghanistan even that nations fate and future are in doubt. Will we put more troops there? For how long? Can we stomp out armed resistance or only stomp down till we leave where it will eventually flair up again? Waht of Pakistan a nuclear armed nation loaded with extremists?

    I agree with Bush on one thing history won't be written on his decisions soon. However that is where we part for I don't see him getting props for this but a whole lot of blame for what he stirred up in the Middle East and what all out attention there meant to hour own home and our own people. We have not paid nearly enough attention to the Unites States and make our nation energy independent make our people more fee by removing the shackles of health care from it's peoples shoulders. Rebuilding and improving our infrastructure. Upgrading our electrical grid. The list goes on and on. Firming up Social Security for instance....... so much to do. So much time money and energy waisted. Sigh.

    July 30, 2008 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  31. Stef

    The movie for me was exactly like Bush, One HUGE let down.
    Half way through I realized I had wasted my money. Again just
    like Bush, wasting money......
    I say save your money and wait for the movie to come out on DVD.

    July 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  32. WTF_over

    I'm just trying to imagine George Bush with enough brains to run the Bat Cave! 🙂

    Batman is more like the personification of the military. Do what you gotta do to get the job done.

    Bush just went into Iraq to clean up Daddy's mess.

    Afghanistan is where this began and should have ended.

    July 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Beth

    It appears that "Kristen" is unaware of the fact that imdb.com's Top 250 list is voted on by users of the site, not its owners/maintainers. Thus, the fact that Dark Knight is at the top of the list is a reflection of the opinion of the general public, not a decision by corporate bureaucrats.

    Also, "Sam" – do you know the difference between a "theme" and a "motif"? I suspect not...

    July 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Patricia

    The greatest movie ever? Oh come on now. How about Koyabashi's "The Human Condition". That is truly a monumental film. Nakadai's performance is unforgettable. Soon enough we will be fast forwarding through "The Dark Knight" on HBO2. I, for one, will be dreaming of Nakadai and an epic, remarkable film.

    July 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jfrank

    Not sure if anyone else mentioned this already, but I thought it was significant that one of the biggest themes of the movies is the fact that there needs to be a Dark Knight hero behind every White Knight. They had to preserve Harvey Dent's image in order to keep hope alive, but the true hereo is the Batman. This seems like a reference to GWBs unpopular policies in the war. As if to say that someone has to be disliked in order to fight terror. Therefore make GWB a hero. I do not agree with the way the war has been handled, and I do not support Bush. The argument is intriguing however, and does bring up debate that could be beneficial. The fact that such discussion can be brought up thorough a summer blockbuster movie is a testament to the quality of the film. Even if Christopher Nolan did not intend to bring up this sort of debate, it shows his skill at creating relevant moral questions in a pop culture icon like Batman.

    July 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  36. JA

    I understand wanting to see all the parallels between one thing and another. From the dark and light juxtaposition or how the Dark Knight, Joker and Gotham fit into today's society but thing thing I don't understand is how people can think its a story about President Bush. I don't see it. Batman is a hero who fights those who come to try to do the world harm. Bush is a president, spouting off badly articulate phrases and gets the US in wars that leave the world in a bigger mess than before. The only way I could see the so-called potlitacl under or over tones is if Hillary Clinton played the joker (really scary looking pictures on google) and McCain or Obama is Robin in the next Batman. But for the most part maybe we should just enjoy the movie and stop looking for all these supposed meanings.

    July 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  37. wh

    Please stop taking the movie sooo seriously.Could we all just be entertained???

    The Dark Knight was a great movie! It was full of action, intrigue and symbolism!It may not be greatest movie of all time but it was by far one of the most crowd pleasing movies createdt to date.

    July 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Bruce Wayne

    It's just a movie. A great one at that, but the parallels mentioned are obtuse and irrelevant.

    July 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Matthew

    Works of art (sculptures, paintings, movies, books, etc.) are much like a Rorschach test. Everyone sees what they want to see in it. Much like Einstein's theory that everyone experiences the same event differently because of the individuals perspective.

    See what you want. Believe what you will.

    The real question should be, in the big picture of life, does it really matter?

    July 29, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  40. kait

    To compare Batman and Bush is as delusional as Bush is.

    Batman is a citizen who has taken up the fight against criminals because the civil authorities have failed – and have become criminals.

    Bush is the head of the civilian and military authority – if there's one person who is required to stay within the realm of law, it's the president

    with Bush going outside of the law, shows that revolution is needed and the system needs replacing

    even in the movie, Bruce Wayne tries to stop because he says the city needs a White Night – it needs civil authorities that are not corrupt – but there are many ways people come corrupt – greed or greif

    If we have real life politicians identifying with fictional superheros, there's even bigger problems in our real society

    and movies, while they are primarily a business to generate money, and secondary to entertain us they also serve to enlighten us, to create discussion and to reflect our world back at us and make us think

    Dark Knight is in my 10 Ten best movies ever – the plot was thin, but these were the most complex characters and best movie villian ever

    July 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Bob

    the only thing Bush and Bruce Wayne have in common is they both have rich fathers that gave them everything they had.

    July 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Bob

    ewwww. G Dub compared to Batman, ouch that hurts. The fact that anyone could even come up with that thought is scary. If Bush had half the brain and quick thinking skills I think we all would be in a lot better situation. This movie to me is amazing, but at the end of the day it is just a movie. To me the main character is Joker, Batman is just playing a role in his world, towards then endwhen Batman hasd Joker hanging upside down and saying his whole monoluge you cant help to notice there is a complete amount of truth behind it, as much as you want to hate the Joker reality is reality and you cant deny that. If you can compare a classic comic book to reality then you can compare any movie, or show, or song to reality. everything is always open for interpretation, but really who cares about a movie when actual lives our being lost for no reason.

    July 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Amy in Tennessee

    You all sound like the Iranians who had a hissy fit over the graphic novel turned movie "300". Get over it.

    If you really want to be ticked off over something, spend some of your precious time researching non-biased news about modern history. Include how the surge has succeeded in Iraq. You've been and are being hand fed a huge pile of the stinky stuff and you're all so myopic and self righteous, you ask for seconds.

    George W. Bush will be looked back on as a President who stood by his beliefs, did not back down to the surrender crowd and made this country and THE WORLD a safer place.

    July 29, 2008 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  44. Joe

    If you want to link this movie with the real world this is what I get from the movie. Its a dark and sad movie.

    The Joker win's in this whole movie. He over runs the mob, He turns Gotham's "white night" into a evil killer and starts killing public officials, including Commissioner Loeb and the judge. Then he turns Gotham against Batman and makes him the badguy.

    This movie the Bad Guy wins everything. He dose get caught but I don't think he cares at all in the end.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  45. Bob is an idiot

    "yea but BUSH was the in office when we got attacked.
    If Gore was there it wouldn’t have happen. That’s for damn sure."

    That has got to be the DUMBEST thing I have ever read. Do you have any idea how long it took to plan 9/11? Bush was in office for eight months. Clinton had eight YEARS to stop it, and didn't do anything.

    If Gore had been in office when we were attacked, he'd have blamed it on global warming.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  46. Chris

    You know....it is a little sad that everyone has to look to find ways to compare a movie to a president that no one really likes right now. I personally don't really care if it is a comparison. I just watched it as a movie and for enjoyment. Maybe some of you should do that as well. If you don't like the way the world is....do something to change it instead of sitting at your computers looking for bizarre connections and whining.

    If you want to watch movies with political commentary...go to Cannes.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  47. Jonathan

    Peter July 28th, 2008 2:29 pm ET

    I see it. Batman used whatever means he could to get the Joker. Same as Bush. Would have worked if they took it a little further. Sad to put Batman and Bush in the same relm. Best movie ever? No, Batman Begins was still an all around more solid movie with nearly everything in the film needed. The Dark Night was too long and had a lot of thin plot moments. Loved the Joker of course. The batsuit is going the direction of Joel Schumacher.

    One, most of the themes and elements of the relationship between the Joker and Batman is the cornerstone of the whole story throughout the comics history. There is no connection to Bush and Batman. Its not post 9/11. The things the Joker does and challenges Batman on have gone on for decades. The History channel did a great job with 'Batman Psychcology' and watch the new Anime 'Batman: Gothem Knight' the history of Batman in the special features discusses little on this discussion. OH, and the batsuit isnt going the direction of Joel Schumacher, watch the History channel's Batman tech. Christopher Nolan is doing what he did in Batman begins weaving the suit etc... in the story, and the suit could exist. AND THERE ARE NO NIPPLES.

    July 29, 2008 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  48. Mark

    The movie took on a more obvious political turn when Batman invents a system to spy on everyone in Gothem! Wow this sounds just like the Patriot Act and it takes Lucius Fox to tell him that the system is a terrible idea and invades people's privacy. Allegory to FISA Bill Controversy....maybe

    July 29, 2008 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  49. james Quinn

    Actually I thought the movie was about the JOKER and the Batman played a secondary role. The JOKER was da man in this movie and the only complaint I have about said is that in the boat scene the movie took a cop out. I say in that boat the one with the mothers and their children and I assume some farther would have blown up the prisoner boat in like 2.2 seconds. The JOKER was correct. FEAR is a powerful emotion and it often over rides our more noble aspirations. A parent looking into the eyes of their child can't help but often do the right thing for the moment and disregard the greater consequences. Of course it would have made for a more interesting ending where the JOKER schools the batman again in the movie and batman has to struggle with his idealism but that in and of itself would have made in my mind the batman more interesting to see that struggle in the face of stark reality.

    The JOKER is not crazy. He's a realist void of idealism and dreams and you know he enjoys being that way...:P

    July 29, 2008 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  50. Neil

    It was an absolute scorcher of a film, I don't see how you can read so much into a film at the end of the day.

    The current state the entire WORLD is in at the minute means absolutely everything is linked to morality. As far as I can see we need a real Batman!

    July 29, 2008 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  51. Gary

    I am so sick of people comparing Batman to GWB, GWB can't even hold a candle to BATMAN. At least BATMAN stood for something and that was ridding the streets of Gotham of the criminals, the corrupt. GWB seems to embrace the corrupt, and he himself is a criminal.

    People need to stop making that comparison, it is an insult to BATMAN.

    However, it poses another question.... if BATMAN is supposed to be GWB, then I assume The Joker is either Saddam, or Osama.

    July 29, 2008 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  52. CelticRobin

    I agree with the comments and Styx & Kiristin.

    Wait and see if in the future people remember it as such a great movie.

    For now it is a good movie.

    Just enjoy going to the movies and stop trying to put politics into it.

    July 29, 2008 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  53. Liberal/Commie/America Hater/whatever

    Well said. Batman is absolutely the embodiment of "terrorism". It's what the Batman Begins was all about. Learning to scare the crap out of people to get them to do what you want them to. Hmm...maybe Batman is like Bush after all...

    July 29, 2008 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  54. Reggie Yamanaka

    Oh and for the haters...Movies and stories are not just for entertainment. They are also for lovers of such stories to live vicariously through the drama and analyze it at a safe distance. It helps create a topic for discussion and self-awareness.

    July 29, 2008 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  55. Reggie Yamanaka

    They already drew this obvious comparison before the movie came out.

    Bush is bound by rules which don't allow him to tell his whole plan in public. So is Batman.

    Bush looks bad for his actions because of those rules and sometimes gets hurt. So does Batman.

    Bush supports a controversial, government-funded listening program, so does Batman.

    Iraq is in chaos. So is Gotham City.

    Iraq is where Bush carries out his battles. Gotham is where Batman carries out his battles.

    Bush's allies seem few and far between. Same with Batman.

    The Joker uses thrid parties to carry out his plans.

    The Joker plans terrorist-style destruction to create anarchy.

    The Butler does seem like Bush's Dick Cheney.

    I don't think Bush and Bruce Wayne are made of the same moral fiber...but they are both rich.

    July 29, 2008 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  56. Dan

    Enough retoric,

    This is not a family movie and is not even close to being good entertainment. Too much hype. Way too dark.

    July 29, 2008 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  57. defender of the dark knight

    Having watched the dark knight for the second time I am here to say that the symbol that batman and the joker hold is in a way very similar to a controlling world of legalism and terrorism in which both meet. The moral awarness we now supposedly live in now in America can almost be seen as being contrived through the eyes of the media. But the moral attitudes our leaders take on can show the same coldness that batman uses when using sonar to tap Gotham's citizens to find the Joker.

    In todays world we are willing and able to give our freedoms away to support the false notion of moral goodness over our own liberties and individual rights. The Joker's lack of morality leads us to believe that a world as crazy as ours deserves a better class of "criminal" or "terrorist". Moral conviction by a terrorist is a joke. If you want something to burn, just burn it don't give a religious reason for doing it.

    Batman is wrong and the Joker is just crazy. George Bush is wrong and Bin Laden is just crazy!

    July 29, 2008 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  58. bret

    and i just thought it was an awesome batman movie. my bad.

    July 29, 2008 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  59. Dan

    I remember the good old days when movies were entertainment. If this is entertainment we need a lot of help. The movie is too dark and terrorizing to be for kids which was the original concept for the comic books.

    Warner Brothers has compromised money for sensationalism in the worst way. Who is their role model over there, Hannibal the cannibal.

    I enjoyed the movies when they weren't so goolish and more fun.

    July 29, 2008 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  60. emma a.

    People are so harsh.

    It really is just a movie, but if we want to know what the movie really stands for, shouldn't we just ask Chris Nolan??

    People will only see what they want to see. Liberals will disagree with the idea of Bush as Batman, and conservatives will praise the thought of The Dark Knight as piece of conservative work. Some will say this movie is the greatest film of all time, and others are quick to disagree. It really depends on how you want to see it.

    But let's be honest with ourselves. In recent years, The Dark Knight is probably the best, as in most honest, well-written, piece of work produced in a long time.

    I don't liken Bush to Batman, although I can see why conservatives would hail Bush as being the Dark Knight. And as fantastical as it sounds, Batman, remember, is incorruptible. Our government by far is not incorruptible.

    I will give credit where credit is due, but really, for the sake of ending a ridiculous argument, Bush is no Batman.

    July 29, 2008 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  61. Phil

    I have yet to see anybody address the theme of 'necessary illusions'. After 9/11, Dick Cheney (in)famously stated that America would have to begin working on the 'dark side' to get things accomplished against Al Qaeda. Most at the time thought that this meant covert ops. But it also turns out to have meant abandoning our own core principles in order to win. Batman understands the world the same way Dick Cheney does - except that he recognizes the fatal mistake. The dark side *must* remain in the dark. The people cannot be exposed to what their rulers do to maintain order and power because it might reveal who they really are. The myth of goodness in the human heart makes goodness possible (see how the citizens failed to take the bait while on the ferries). Before you conclude that this would mean that Batman should be interpreted as a critique of the neoconservatives, you should recognize that this criticism can come from within the neoconservative POV. I think this Batman story is thouroughly on the side of Dick Cheney. It's authors just don't like that it is so.

    July 29, 2008 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  62. Tom Lantzas

    Can a movie just be a movie. Batman was here long before Bush and the Joker has always been a raving maniac. The real people to be scared of are the ones that take meaning out of nothing and craft it into something more than it ought to be.

    July 28, 2008 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Stephen

    Why is bush like batman? Bush has never been faced with the lesser of two evils. Invading Iraq was a dumb move half the country could have told you that when it was happening. It was just that everyone was so affraid what with the terror alerts and the anthrax scares. and him constantly reminding us that another attack was "emm-nt" and probably
    "nooc- kill-er".....Hey ...wait a second. He seems more like the Joker. and not from the dark night. I mean the crazy cartoon Mark Hamil Joker. That barely lucid Grin the pointy nose and those snappy one liners...Yep definitely animated Mark Hamil Joker

    July 28, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  64. AD

    Give me a break people!!! It's a movie!! Plain and simple that's it just a movie.....so shut up!

    July 28, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Mike

    It is really amazing some of the crap people will come up with!
    The Dark Knight is comic book movie, for those who saw it and wish
    to make it into something else please find yourself something to do,
    you are really bored or starving for attention on a comment forum.
    You could have saved yourself 6 or 7 bucks and bought a hambuger,
    and skip the movie, because, it is just a movie. And was great!

    July 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  66. JB

    Regardless of the films good or bad points, I'm truly disturbed that this film was rated PG. What on earth does that say about our culture? The excessive, fetishistic violence should have rendered this an R film. Guns held to children's heads, flares in mouths.....? There was a 5 year old next me for god sake.. How can this pass as the best film of all time?

    July 28, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bud

    George W. Bush never drew a moral breathe in his cowardly and corrupting life. I can see it now with Dick "The Butler" Cheney and Alberto "Robin" Gonzalez fighting crime alongside Condi "Catwoman" Rice. Oh, for a good fantasy. Good over evil as Barack "The Joker" Obama runs the full power quartet over a cliff. No sequel PLEEZE!

    July 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  68. eric

    art imitates life... the movie clearly draws on what supposedly good people can do to uphold what they deem is good in the world and the lengths that supposedly bad people would go to express their beliefs.

    July 28, 2008 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Chad

    Batman is very much like President Bush. Both put their personal reputations on the line to protect an ungrateful public. Now I don't agree with Bush all the time, but give the man his due...he has prevented another attack on this country. Yes, HE prevented it...because all you liberals know that HE would be the one you'd blame if an attack did happen...even though you've fought the man every step of the way. After 9-11 Bush said it would be a long and hard war against terrorism, but that he wouldn't give in. He kept his word even if mistakes have been made...unfortunately, our country's "united front" lasted all of 2 weeks after 9-11.

    July 28, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  70. dart

    'Take 1'...'roll'...'cut'...'wrap'. 'Holy caped crusader!', (bottom line) The Dark Knight is just cinema. And a very entertaining 'keep the pop corn coming' ride I must say.
    Drawing allegories between Bush and Batman is quite comical.

    July 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Lisa Simpson

    Brian C – My comment on Pan's Labyrinth was in regards to a comment posted earlier by JMB, which was not only wrong about the movie, but also history.

    The Dark Knight:
    The Joker is just a criminal with no political agenda, so any comparisons to the overall current political environment are spurious. And yes, the movie bases its Batman and Joker characters on a graphic novel from the eighties.

    The movie is just not good. It's shallow and dull, and the plotting is incredibly sloppy and needlessly contorted.

    July 28, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  72. mc

    For those who say "It's just a movie." Movies (at least well-done ones) are artistic efforts and therefore are subject to individual interpretation. Movies also reflect the times in which they were made. Just look at the clear distinction in older westerns or superhero movies...the good guys and the bad guys are clearly defined. They reflected the times fairly well...American knew who its enemies were, what they wanted and knew how to deal with them.

    Today, superhero movies and westerns (see "Spiderman 3", "Hancock", "3:10 to Yuma" and "The Assassination of Jesse James" for examples) are more about the hero dealing with individual morality...will they choose the right path...will they become like their enemies? Moral ambiguities are rampant in today's movies. This reflects our society and the difficulties we face. How do we defeat an enemy that is willing to kill themselves for their cause? What does it mean to be "good" and how easily can that be changed to "evil"? "The Dark Knight" is a brialliant movie that, while remaining very entertaining, is able to wrestle with very deep philosophical questions.

    July 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Katrina Brocka

    It is hard for me to simply watch a movie, especially after 9/11. Not because it impacted my life- because it didn't- and I do not apologize for that statement- but because certain Americans will not allow society to watch a Batman movie without suspecting political motives. Why must everything be about 9/11? It is a sad day when a society can no longer enjoy it's entertainment, simply for being entertaining.

    July 28, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  74. ondy

    Wow..just wow.

    Is this movie under the documentary section? It's just a MOVIE!

    You can make parallels to ANY MOVIE and tie it in with any political event if you stretch it far enough. People need to stop trying to make it known that they have a college degree by making asinine analyzations on movies made for entertainment purposes.

    Just watch it for what it is and enjoy the ride.

    July 28, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  75. neil

    Boring. I mean George W. Bush.
    Really boring. Bat-person.

    July 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  76. A. Charles

    I have not had time to read all the posts so this point may have already been made. Still it deserves reiterating.

    There is absolutely no parallel between the terrorism of the Joker and the 'pseudoterrorism' of 9/11 or that of most (including Islamic) extremist groups.

    Pseudoterrorists (most of the 'terrorists' we see on TV) are ordinary criminals. They want something and they kill people in order to get it. These are the criminals that Bruce Wayne actually understands. The 9/11 attackers fall into this group. They want the US out of the middle east and they want US weapons and money out of Israel.

    True terrorists are a different class entirely. Their primary motives are neither greedy nor political. Instead they 'just want to see the world burn'. Luckily for us, there are very few people like this in the world who are true terrorists (a few strange groups like the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo subway attackers blur the boundaries).

    So, since The Dark Knight is ultimately a story about fighting a kind of terrorist that is almost never seen in the real world (and certainly never fought by the US), there are very few parallels that can be drawn.

    July 28, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  77. bob

    It's Entertainment Folks – A movie should always be taken a face value. It either entertains your senses or it doesn't.
    Ant to all those who have nothing better to say about the sitting President of The United States ... DIDN'T YOUR MOTHERS TEACH YOU ANY BETTER!

    July 28, 2008 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  78. ryan

    it is stories like this that make me remember why i hate the media so much

    July 28, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  79. moviejunky

    I want to say it’s just a movie!! Then again, I can’t help realizing that I hate horror movies so much that I don't even go watch them. Why do people like different kinds of movies? Does it make us villains if we like Joker? Does it make us heroes, well, terrorists in others’ eyes, if we like Batman? Do we think too much and overanalyze things? Or, is it simply telling us who we really are?

    July 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  80. The Joker

    hahahahahahahahahaha. Wow.

    All these comments prove this blog right. People see what they want to see. If you hate Bush you definitely don't want him compared to Batman, but then again the people in the movie hated Batman too. Those who are actually affected will hate the one who does the right thing. So, if you hate Bush, maybe that is the point, just as they hated Batman, you are falling into exactly what was supposed to happen.

    July 28, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Sourtone

    Lets make sure we know what we're talking about:

    Islamic Terrorists don't terrorize for the sake of pure chaos as Joker does in the film. They have an agenda... a hard one to understand for most westerners and with deplorable tactics, but there is an overall plan.

    While Batman uses "fear" as a weapon he is not a terrorist. He's not setting bombs to blow up the children of mobsters, he's merely using theatrics to throw the criminals off balance while he stops them from committing crimes.

    Bush did not invade Iraq to 'stop terrorism'. He convinced us Sadam was on the verge of building nuclear missiles and so we all cherrily went in to crush a dictator who'd been a thorn in our side since we decided we like Kuwait better than Iraq. Sure, there were other reasons to remove Sadam (his human rights violations made China seem like a bunch of hippies) but the whole "terrorist" excuse didn't pop up until we failed to find the promised nuclear materials. There are dozens of valid theories as to why Bush lead us into Iraq, but only he, Cheney, and Rove know the real reasons.

    Could The Dark Knight be seen as an allegory for today's world? Sure. But really it's a morality play – to what level do you allow yourself to sink to stop a greater evil? If you're stopping bad people from doing bad things are you at fault if they escalate things?

    July 28, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Marc

    While watching the movie, I didn't really try to draw any parallels with its themes to the so-called "post-9/11 world"...that is until the scene towards the end where Batman uses the cell-phone sonar thing and effectively spies on everyone in Gotham. Wow, it was impossible not to think that this was a reference to the Patriot Act. With the fact that Batman (and Lucious) went ahead and used this technology, I can see how people could interpret this as an act of homage to George W. Bush, but one of the other central themes to this movie was that even Batman held to the ideal that his existence wasn't appropriate for the future. He realized the need to have a more public face to continue to fight crime, and within the bounds of the law – neither of which Batman does. An obvious question might be whether or not Batman's use of illegal technology and methods helped him beat the Joker, but I think it's more interesting to ask if the Joker would have done all those evil things if Batman hadn't been around in the first place.

    July 28, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Brian C

    why are you talking about pan's labyrinth? and scott, i think you underestimate IMDB.com. Firstly, not anyone can vote, only members of the site. Secondly, you don't think Titanic is a great movie? me neither. Niether do the voters of imdb, where it only has a 6.1 rating.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Brian

    While I wouldn't say its the greatest movie of all time. I personally enjoy cult movies more then what is considered "great" movies by pop culture. I wouldn't say that it reflects post 9/11. The joker was always considered a terrorist type character. Take Tim Burton's version, the Joker poisoned the entire city just for fun. What the Joker is and what I think was wonderfully protrayed is that he is agent of Chaos. Intelligently demented, and like he said in the movie, way ahead of the curve. No real terrorist could ever compete with the likes of the Joker for they too have a "plan".

    July 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  85. steve cunningham

    this movie isnt about george bush or politics or some other bullcrap, its about batman and the freakin joker... mostly the joker

    July 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Lisa Simpson

    How was Pan's Labyrinth an apology for the Franco regime? DId you see the same movie I saw? Captain Vidal, the bad guy, was a Falangist who supported Franco.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Dazteam117

    There are several analogies that can be thrown at TDK. Many already have been. The film, in my opinion, is in no way shape or form a parallel to a post 9/11 world. Nolan wanted to create a world where the existance of a Batman was a reality, not a fantasy. The Joker does not represent the terrorist threat of the world, but merely acknowledges the fact that "some men just want to watch the world burn." I think terrorists are doing what they're doing because they have a message to spread, the Joker is doing what he is doing because thats all he knows how to do.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  88. ChrisG

    Perhaps a movie is just a movie. Entertainment just to be enjoyed with no deep meaning or allegory.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Brian

    When you say Bush is like The Dark Knight it does in fact sound odd. But what is comparable are the difficult choices both Batman and Bush have to make. Sometimes I wonder why some of you don't fully understand the threat of terrorism. Ask someone who lives in Israel about terrorism. And what I don't understand is how people constantly dismiss Iraq as not a part of the war on terrorism. We invade and WOW, there are terrorists.

    Its a regional problem. Bush did not lie to us, unless everyone elses intelligence reports lied to them as well. Russia, the UK, and so on. Many countries post 911 thought Hussein had WMDs. If you're the president charged with the responsibility of safeguarding your country and you ar handed an intelligence report like that what would you have had him do. Dissent, well most of it didn't arise until things got messy. I remember a poll of 70 percent wanted or agreed to invade Iraq. So with polls like that and a "slam dunk" report that Hussein had WMDs what would you have done?

    Sit back? Hussein is practically Stalin Jr, and while questionable things have been done to obtain a stable democracy there and safeguard America what was the other alternative? Ask countries who are self serving like France to help? As Americans we are sometimes so used to instant gratification that we bring that mindset over to politics and war.

    So how is The Dark Knight comparable to Bush. Both men are stepping on the boundaries of civil rights to obtain something better. Stopping the Joker who is the biggest threat Gotham has seen and stopping terrorism which is possibly the greatest threat America has seen. Both men start off with some admiration and end up being hated for doing what they think is the right thing.

    To clarify I am an independent and did vote for Bush. With that said Kerry spoke of implementing things Bush was already doing when asked about what he would do. And Obama has commited to pulling out US troops without getting all the intelligence on the ground only the president is privy to. Bush is like Batman in that he follows what he knows to be right despite popularity or lack of it. Weather you like Bush or not is fine by me.

    Just remember that anyone who has to make tough choices is going to get hammered in the media and by people in general. Bush has been forced to make some really tough choices. 3k dead in New York and 300 million people looking to you to make the right choice. I think he did and until a democrat actually talks about another strategy instead of fluff like the change we can believe in thats going to be great change and everyone will like US again cause its change you can believe in... So those who criticize what would you do. Just allow rougue nations to slowly arm up. Wake up or will it take another terrorist attack? Know that the people we are fighting would love to saw your head off and get it on TV. Every single one of you. But lets blame Bush.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Brian C

    Firstly, the Dark Knight has been titled the greatest movie ever by IMDB based upon votes–147,000 of them–by regular people and moviegoers. The system is such: people visit the pages of movie titles, each with its own page with information about the production and cast of the film. On that page moviegoers give a rating of the movie from 1 to 10. The system compiles the ratings and gives the movie an average rating. The Dark Knight's average vote is a 9.4, the highest average rating of any movie, usurping that throne from the Godfather which held it for years.

    Secondly, Christopher Nolan recently admitted in Entertainment Weekly that his brother, Jonathan, and himself , the screenwriters, deliberately included aspects of the current political atmosphere in the plot.

    Without revealing any plot details, I will have my take on any political metaphors in The Dark Knight. The Joker, although a fictional character, reflects the qualities of many of the terrorists and lethal criminals of the world today. A lust for chaos, attention, destruction and a disregard for human life, including his own.

    I believe Batman and thus the creators of the film, hold a different view on the penalty of death, than the United States' current national position. Sensibly, such a penalty is not a punishment when it is exactly what the perpetrator wants, which is the case in The Dark Knight and in many instances of sociopathic violence and murder in the United States, not to mention the cases of terrorists in the name of Islam.

    Furthermore, Batman briefly uses a system in which all personal privacy is broken down. In order to catch a criminal, he recklessly invades the privacy of all the residents of Gotham City, to the scorn and disapproval of one of his closest assistants and confidants. In this case, I believe the creators of the film took the viewpoint of the confidant, casting a disapproving view on the Batman's invasion of privacy, which is reminiscent of the Patriot Act and the wiretapping scandal.

    In conclusion, The Dark Knight is an excellent movie–excellent special effects, more action than any Die Hard movie, more suspense, intrigue, and plot twists than any good Scorsese film, (most similar to The Departed I think), and Oscar worthy perfomances from many members of the cast, though, of course, Heath Ledger gets a special commendation. If you don't care about political metaphors, you will still thoroughly enjoy it. This movie really does have something for just about every viewer. If its not the greatest movie ever, which I don't think it is, it is certainly an epic crime drama, executed with great precision. At over 2 and a half hours, every minute is suspense-ridden and enjoyable.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Jeff

    Harvey Dent would have been a closer match to Bush, not Batman. What an absurd thing to even suggest.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Todd Gack

    Of course The Dark Knight is a symbol of a world we could live in, yet thanks to GW Bush, we are safe. How cool is that, President of the free world by day, crime fighter by night!!!

    Now I know what those secret White House tunnels are used for!!!!

    Dunna Dunna Dunna Dunna Dunna Dunna Dunna – GW !!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 28, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Ernie B

    I thought the movie was very good. But it was just a movie.

    I hope this doesn't give the real crooks any ideas.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Ian

    As far as the War in Iraq I feel we have a moral responsibility to leave with some semblage of a stable Gov't, some semblage of economic viability, some semblage of security, and the rebuilding of their infrastructure. We owe it to the Iraqi people and the American soldiers (the real life heroes) and their families that their efforts wasn't for nothing. And if we leave Iraq in chaos there is no doubt in my mind America will be less secure. The fact that many liberals simply want America to leave Iraq in such disarray seriously calls into question where their moral compass truly lies and whether their motives are for their own political ends.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  95. hank

    I'm so glad that guy from the Wall Street Journal gets it, too. The Dark Knight was halfway over when I stood up in the middle of the theatre and shouted, "This is EXACTLY like the fortitude Bush has shown during the last 7 years in the White House!" And the entire theatre stood and cheered and the film stopped and we all danced and hugged and then they carried me out of the theatre on their shoulders as we went out to buy champagne to pop open and pour on each other...
    ...Who really reads the Wall Street Journal anyway? I would hazard to say that not many of those who have plunked down $440 million in tickets so far.

    I think most of Europe would also see the film as a paean to the Bush years, except that in the film Bush is represented by THE JOKER.

    Personally, I think one can make find connections with nearly everything. Sometimes those comparisons make great comedy like Andrew Klavan's satiric piece in the Wall Street Journal. That Klavan's a funny guy.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Joker77

    The only problem with their logic is that Bush would be on the Joker's side. Batman Became what he is because of crime and corrupt figures like Bush. Goes to show that that silver spoon wall street folks who live out of touch with reality inside a bubble would fail to see what Batman actually stands for. What he isn't is a greedy, selfish, corrupt, exploiting individual like Bush. I think the Joker would work with Bush and vice versa.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Scott

    The "greatest films of all time" as posted in IMDB are selected primarily by 12-18 year olds who run home after the movie and rate it a "10". because it "kicked a$$" Don't put any weight on IMDB's rating system.

    Titanic is not the highest grossing film of all time because it was a good film, it was because hoards of teenage girls swarmed the theaters repeatedly to watch Leo during the peak of his heartthrob popularity.

    I enjoyed Dark Knight very much, but greatest film ever? Not even close.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  98. BC

    To The Non-Violent:

    I am not the type that watches gore or the typical hollywood horror fare, but there are many more critically acclaimed films with far more violence than The Dark Knight (Most of the violence in Dark Knight is either blurred by motion or off-camera). You are obviously judging the movie based on your very limited view of what you believe to be acceptable in a movie.

    That *is* entirely your prerogative, but don't go around telling us that the violence is why "we" (because of course you lumped "us" all into one category) liked the movie. I happened to be more fond of the psychological subtext with the Joker than the action scenes.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  99. James

    The Joker is not a terrorist because he has no goal. He may strike fear into people, but fear appears to be the endpoint. Fear and chaos. Terrorism presupposes that pressure through fear is being applied to bring about some desired effect. The Joker is more correctly viewed as a sociopathic anarchist. This was a great movie, but more should not be read into it than is there. It follows the Batman canon which has been around for a lot longer than either Bush or the post 9/11 world.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Brendan O

    I thought this was movie was awesome. The Joker character was very well played. However, it is not the best movie ever. My opinon for that would definitely be Shawshank Redemption. Of course Morgan Freeman in that movie too. Good stuff....

    July 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Ed Wood

    This movie ruled.
    I couldn't help myself during the movie making the GWB Batman connection.

    I think the thing that upsets most people about GWB is the end to the war on terrorism is not in sight for a long time and they fear the "temporary" nature of War Powers could become a permanent situation.

    I can't blame you. but don't blamg GWB blame that Joker Osama Bin Laden.

    I must say If I were president I would have handled 9/11 differently. Afghanastan would have become a smoldering radioactive pool of molten glass.

    To that end that I give GWB a lot of credit for choosing the tough road. He could have done the easy thing and asked for any other takers. It would have been over fairly quick. But then all you hating on him now would still be hating on him or would you.

    Maybe just maybe he did what was moraly right at the time Maybe he thought the death of 32.7 million Afghans shouldn't have to die for the sins of 1 man.

    July 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Anthony

    Wow, to compare Batman to GWB is terrible. Batman is intelligent, GWB is a moron. I can't believe you people who still think GWB is a great leader, and that our terrorist actions in Iraq are justified. Whatever, Batman was an excellent movie.

    Thank God Bush is almost out of office and I think that America in general has grown tired of the lies and crap from this administration. Maybe we will be lucky enough to get a Democrat back in office. Obama may not have lots of experience but he's better that McCain. (A Bush Clone)

    July 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  103. American Voter

    Isn't it funny how people complain about politics in every avenue they get?

    Seriously people.....GET A LIFE!!!!

    It wouldn't surprise me if a new Flintstones movie came out and the idiots would be out saying that Fred represents the working class citizens, and his boss represents corporate America, and how bad Wilma has it because she's a stay at home mom.

    Going back to my somewhat mundane life....

    July 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Mickey

    My, how the mighty have fallen. Not the Joker, but the WSJ. It's become a silly rag since Murdoch got his grubby, greedy hands on it. Batman as an allegory for GWB? Even the staunchest defenders of the G-man (all three of them) must be hanging their heads in embarrassment over this one. The op-ed says far more about the political motivation and future tabloid journalism direction of the WSJ than it does about the movie, but I'll never be able to watch the movie again without thinking of this ridiiculous (and pointless) effort of the WSJ to rehabilitate GWB's legacy by attempting to manipulate public approval of a cultural phenomenon to serve their ends. Durn neo-con's. They just have to go and ruin everything!

    July 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Jess

    While an excellent film, the movie did not live up to the hype, at least for me. As an IMDB user, placing The Dark Knight above The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption is just sacrilegious.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Jeff

    It is a movie about a comic book hero that was created before anybody knew what a terrorist was. Get a life people and stop reading to much into everything.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Joe

    Here's a difference between Bush and Batman: Batman is competent. Batman picks his battles because he wants to win. Beating the snot out of criminals is a very concrete thing. Invading Iraq with the intent of democratizing and civilizing the Middle East is far more abstract. Oh, and should I add, Batman does his own dirty work. I wonder, when was the last time George Bush ran into one of DC's aggressive homeless at night, perhaps around McPherson Square?

    George Bush: Not Batman, not even a real conservative.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  108. David

    Once again the great "over-thinkers" of the world seem inspired to write theory regarding what is frankly, expensive entertainment.
    This is a movie...it comes from the books...from the comic books and the like regarding a "caped crusader". While the film is indeed a testament to the acting skill that was Heath Ledger, it should be viewed only as entertainment. Attempting to read into or otherwise evaluate the "nuances" of this film seek only to create a disservice to it's actors anbd producers, all of whom I'm sure were seeking only to create a solid, wonderful piece of film that might well endure the ages and certainly legacy of the franchise.
    If anyone thinks it's more than that, perhaps they are better suited to reading the political pages, not the entertainment columns.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  109. Commissioner Gordon

    To say a movive is "just a movie" does a disservice to movies. And to say tht a movie can't parallel reality has never seen the movies of Frank Capra, Stanley Kramer, or Francis Ford Coppola.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  110. ED

    All this talk about Batman, GWB, and the Joker is making me crazy. hehe heHEhe HEHEHEHEHE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA IT"S JUST A ENTERTAINING MOVIE!

    BTW: Now why aren't you comparing Gotham's pubic with the whiny voters supporting wishy-washy politics. GWB at least has been trying to bring freedom in the world. Freedom of choice, freedom to vote. freedom to grow. Terrorism is designed to suppress all that.

    Now shut up and go to bed. No treats for you.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  111. jon

    Megan you hit the nail on the head.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Linda Feldman

    Dark Knight stands for cliche after cliche wrapped in explosives and sado-masochistic behaviors. It stands for a bankrupt morality that takes a comic book character that is already a satire and produces a film not about a hero but about the Joker who wins in the end because there is no good guy. If the Wall Street Journal finds something redeeming in this hysteria, I finally understand why Wall Street is taking the country down the wrong road. The joke is on us.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  113. douglas

    As with any successful work of art- conversation is generated... and that is wonderful thing in such partisan times. in my view the movie is well played dialectic that pits Hobbes against Rousseau. If you are to look at the outlook of the current administration there is a heavy handed Hobbesian justified response to the world... and in the end the movie definitely seems to take a point of view once the dialectical approach has run its course-

    for me the only to detriment of film does is in its in-your-face preaching (see- soapbox piece on surveillance...I'm pretty liberal and think the administration's actions were unconstitutional- and I still think that scene was over-the-top...but at least Freeman's character sees the necessity of his actions as still inherently corrupted him past a point where he can still serve his post in good faith )

    July 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Jim k

    Wolf Blitzer should be the next Batman. Needs a shave however. How long can you have a 5 'o'clock shadow.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Daniel

    To "The Non-Violent"
    You did not mention the other movies at the top (Shawshank & the Godfather) among those movies that are laughable or to be criticized for violence, yet they too are violent films. Perhaps you should watch an entire movie before commenting on it. If you couldn't stand a few minutes of movie violence, how do you cope with real life? Happy pills? Ignorance? Delusion?

    July 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Zim

    I could apply this line of thought to other references as well. How about something a bit more obscure and likely few people on this website have ever known about:

    Why not use Edios's popular video game "Deus Ex" as a parallel with man's march towards ever greater technology and power. The duality of man vs machine becomes blurred as the two are blended into one via nanotechnology augmentation. Clearly, the reference i'm making is more obscure, and thusly is why i'm using it – That i can draw parallels from many places in popular culture.

    In fact, this is a much more relevant discussion than terrorism, as you cannot wage a "war" vs an intangible ideology other than stemming it through education and economic development. [Remember kids: the whole terrorism thing is one gigantic global farse, terrorism exists, but destroying terrorism with MORE terrorism is failed logic, that's like beating a cancer patient on his deathbed to a pulp – yeah that'll cure him)

    As for the Dark Knight:

    The movie is a good movie, i liked it a lot, but i wouldn't use it as a lynchpin to compare world-wide events. It is still a movie, after all, despite how cool it was.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Julia

    What made Lincoln great and what made him and Batman not like Bush, is that they both grabbed too much power (suspending habeas corpus and hijacking Gotham's cellphones respectively) ...

    ... and then they gave it back.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  118. Thomas

    It was an OK movie. Too many special effects and too little plot/character development. Partly because there were too many subplots that none of them could be delved in to deeply.

    Take away the special effects and you have a fragmented and disjoined set of subplots.

    I felt I got my money's worth watching it for entertainment, but would probably not want to see it again.

    Greatest film ever? Come back in about 10 years and see if anyone remembers it. Great movies are timeless classics not this month's blockbuster.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Lisa Simpson

    Most overrated movie of all time. Boring and just plain stupid. All explosions and car chash scenes and the waste of some fine acting talent (yes, including Heath Ledger's – his performance was just runny make-up).

    July 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Jesse in Brooklyn

    When I was in 7th grade and deeply immersed in a somewhat fundamentalist Christian faith, I so thoroughly wanted for all of the art I loved to be in line with my faith that I wrote out a point by point explanation showing how Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is actually an allegory for faith in the gospel story of Christ.

    So, it appears to me that people (my young self included) can be so enamored by one movement or idea that they will force any other movie or idea they come across to be in line with it. Some people are still somehow so enamored by Bush that they'll find ways to conform The Dark Knight to a message about Bush...

    However, when i saw the Dark Knight, I was thinking that it was championing some of the president's moves: invasion of privacy and secrecy/dishonesty while fighting an enemy. Then i went to my usual political blog, and people were there saying that it was championing a liberal purpose. So right now, i'm not sure exactly what Nolan's purpose...

    The people on the ships were good... but then in the end, Gordon and Batman decide to keep on living a lie, blaming Batman for deaths rather than Dent... so if they're living a lie, then the Joker wins...

    Perhaps Nolan was trying to say that when we use lies and invasion of privacy to battle terrorism, the Joker (the terrorists) wins...

    But that could easily be spun the other way. Maybe Nolan wanted to make something that was so ambiguous that everyone could love it.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  121. J.D.

    GWB started out as Batman..morphed in and out of being
    'two face 'being unsure about how much he wanted to commit to being tough enough, and worried about his history. But you have to give him props for sticking to his plans. A true hero and a true leader knows it takes holding onto your core beliefs, even if you have to slightly adjust them. But once you commit you have to make sure the end result stays the same.
    I DO NOT EVER want to hear another Liberal talk about trying to help some third world place by trying to bring more freedom or get to the core of the problems. Liberals are all talk and flip all over the place..because they are Liberal with their opinions

    July 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Big Boss

    Isn't it strange how we're asked to contrast the President and BATMAN? I have to say that we must seem pretty silly. Perhaps it would be best for Bush not to think of himself as a guy who runs around in underpants taking down the "bad guys". Though I guess Batman doesn't kill people.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Derek

    For the Batman is Bush comparison to work, wouldn't Batman have had to ignore the Joker and spend the entire movie going after some low level criminal that might turn into a major threat one day?

    July 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  124. tim

    Except batman actually caught his guy...bin laden...anybody...anybody

    July 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Erin

    I think that anything regarding good guys and bad guys now adays can be associated as 'a representation of our post 9/11 world'. The bottom line is that this is a Batman movie, based on the comic and its storyline which usually involves gothlem city being terrorized by the joker and other villians, while Batman fights to save the day.
    So regarless of any political undertones that have been picked up on, I believe that the Dark Knight was just staying true to the comic, with the Joker character just as sedistic and out of control as he was originally written to be.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Dennis

    Chill everybody! This movie is a comic book adaptation. Underline
    comic, leave out the book.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  127. J.D.

    " If a man does not understand where his freedom came from, then he will not long hold onto it "
    We used to know what it took and were willing to do the hard things to make sure at least we had a chance at some kind of decency, however imperfect.
    The movie had some elements of how people may be tricked into thinking person X is better than Person Z. But often it is how informed the person is, and he will not fall to the common opinion by the masses. He will stand by his true beliefs through anything. "Better to stand for something rather than to fall for anything"
    If I was Batman I'd kill anyone who was killing innocent people, and do whatever i could to ensure their security. Freedom without security is not freedom. It is simply a liberalized version of true freedom. And believe me their is no perfect freedom...someone has to pay the price.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  128. randy

    they explain what the movie is about in the last five minutes...

    July 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  129. pilot_rizzo

    Hey Rob! Do you even know what it takes to be a great leader? You blame everyone else for your problems, point fingers, and have a negative attitude! Wow, I really wish that I had a leader like you! Thank goodness I am in the military and don't have to follow ignorant individuals like yourself.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  130. expansiondg

    Solid snake is my hero. I don't have to comment further because he pretty much sums it up.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  131. The Non-Violent

    What gets me about this movie is how it is being hailed by the vast majority as being such a great film ... a phenom as it has been called ... yet I found myself unable to watch more than just a few minutes before I walked away. It's trully a sign when this level of violence is applauded by the masses. To consider this "one of the greatest" is laughable.

    How many people have to be tortured, burned, or murdered before a movie is considered entertaining?

    July 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  132. matt

    First off great movie, second off no one has any right to bad mouth anyone for sticking by a decision. I am a supporter for this war because if we dont stand up for ourselves we will be walked over and live in fear until we do. I guarantee that if we hadnt gone to war and there were still attacks you would be saying things like why hasnt our president got the balls to do what is needed. Bottom line people complain just to complain to make themselves feel better. You dont like something then do something about, show action not words.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Jason

    It's a movie, that's all. It's that simple. Meant to entertain.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  134. christine

    It's just a movie.....a great one may I add. The characters, especially The Joker was unbelievable. To see Heath Ledger on the screen in some other character never portrayed so greatly before was amazing. I found myself even after seeing the movie looking online for trailers for the movie because it was so great. I thought 'Batman' was great and the fighting seens, I must say I laughed, but maybe just because Batman looked incredible in those scenes. Everyone, Get over it!

    July 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  135. Ian

    Bush/Cheney are not quite the heroes like Batman (who's more selfless and competent) but the Bush Administration is in many ways the "Batman" Americans wanted loosed on the terrorists after 9/11. But now that Americans feels more secure, Americans want the Harvey Dents (Obama) to take over. (And no, Obama isn't exactly Harvey Dent either). Its the idea behind the personas.

    Americans need to embrace and admit there's a reason why we have a conflicted relationship with film icons like Dirty Harry and Batman and real life personages like Gen. Patton. We need them and want them when we need them, but when their job is finished we want them to go away.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  136. CW

    I can't be live I'm reading this kind of garbage on CNN.com. This is proof of just how stupid to borderline insane people are. I clicked on one of these links and it's talking about how Dick Cheney is like Batman.

    It's a movie based on a comic book character that's a vigilante due to witnessing his parents gunned down in front of him. Just setting aside the fact that Batman is fictional. How the hell do you go from that to Dick Cheney or George Bush?

    It's time to check your meds people. Or just go out and play in traffic and save the rest of us the pain and anguish of reading your idiotic ramblings.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Lord Xynobis

    Bush was all but deified after 9/11. It seemed he could do no wrong. Then came Iraq. You want a difference I'll give you a couple from a very long list:

    1. Bruce Wayne/Batman privately funds his vendetta whereas the rest of us will foot the bill for Bush's folly.

    2. Given the opportunity to use the sonar gadget GWB would never relinquish it in the way that Batman did. That has Patriot Act written all over it.

    The last time I recall GWB playing dress-up and flying in heroically it was "Mission Accomplished" (lo those many years ago) whereas with Batman it's just another crook off the street, a step in the right direction. You want to draw parallels, look at Gotham as pre-Guliani NYC or the limited use of torture to gain intel then maybe we can talk, otherwise this conversation is like comparing Thanksgiving dinner with a Pop-tart.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  138. The Stark Knight

    A great story allows for as many insights as there are viewers/listeners. I see nothing wrong with either 'reading things into it' or 'treating it as just a comic-book movie'. At the end of the day, we each make our own decisions as to what holds meaning and what doesn't, whether we're talking superhero cinema, wiring tapping, the price of oil, or god. Having said that, its always interesting how adamant some people are to declare: this has no meaning. Everything means something.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Kim

    Ummmm. were talking comic book people. It's a movie...Is there a reason everything we see and do is over analyzed to the point of STUPIDITY?

    July 28, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  140. bob

    yea but BUSH was the in office when we got attacked.
    If Gore was there it wouldn't have happen. That's for damn sure.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  141. David

    This is where the ideologues on the left show their true colors - revealing them to be no better than the ideologues on the right. It is entirely possible that the character of Batman in The Dark Knight was intended as an allegory for modern times, in which the hero shows the need to cross over into ethically questionable areas for the greater good. Whether Batman is meant to be George Bush or not, there certainly are parallels, both in terms of Bush's tactics (the use of technology to identify terrorists and their plots) and the public's reaction to him (at the end of the film, Batman realize he needs to take the heat of public hatred for the good of society). So, whether the writer intended it or not, the overall message (that our real protectors have to get their hands dirty in ways that ordinary folks might find horrific) truly does echo the issues we are facing today. What points up the hypocrisy still further is that many liberals appear perfectly willing to have their own candidate take on the dirty work (FISA expansion and immunity, for example), demonstrating that their agenda is not so much issue drive as a matter of partisan sportsmanship (or lack thereof).

    July 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  142. R

    It's just a movie. It has no bearing on reality. It can't teach us anything. We can't learn anything from it. After all, it's not The Godfather: Part I and II.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Joe Mama

    the first poster had it right: how can anyone utter courage and moral fortitude in the same breath as the words George W Bush? George Bush as Batman? He doesn't have the courage (or intelligence) to be Alfred. How can you wage a war on crime when daddy got you a deferment? And keep in mind Batman also knew how to pilot his own plane.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  144. Deb c

    I agree with the post below. I didn't think this movie was that great. How it's being considered the greatest ever is beyond me. And it's definitely not worth evaluating since it wasn't a very "deep" movie. I, personally, found it boring and long. (and I love comic book movies! Give me Hell Boy One or Spiderman anyday.) The entire draw to this movie was, obviously, the great performance of Heath Ledger. The End.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Ed

    GWB and the Dark Knight??? Give me a break. What does that make Chaney? Not Alfred. Of course when you have a nothing president, you have to try and give him some kind of image because after all somebody voted for him. Now they have to rationalize why.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  146. Rob

    What are people smoking to be comparing Bush to ANYTHING even remotely positive? Dark Knight=great movie, Bush=worst leader of ANY country EVER!!

    July 28, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Sam in Houston

    I think Mr. Klavan's op-ed struck a very resounding cord. Throughout the entire movie Bruce Wayne/Batman searches for his role in protecting Gotham. Each successive time he fights these terrorists, he has to push the envelope in order to succeed. No one else has this courage or this fortitude. His belief in the ultimate good in people is his driving motivation because Batman accepts that his role is temporary, as is his methods of combating terrorism. One day, the people will have the collective will to go after and combat Gotham's worst.

    As it is made clear in the movie, the Joker lives by no rules, but Batman and the rest of Gotham do. Just like our current war on terror, we have been confronted with an enemy that does not play by the rules. This is an enemy that will do whatever it takes to win and will carry out their horror any way they can. In order to confront this threat, President Bush has sacrificed much in order to take the fight to the enemy because he understands the chaos that would ensue if they won. It might be unpopular and the rights given to the Executive branch might be unprecendented in our history, but these measures do not equal the great flexibilty our enemy gains by fighting with no rules. As Alfred said, "Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it. But that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice." I guess Alfred has spoken with Mr. Bush as well.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Jamie Roberts

    it's laughable tand insulting (to Batman) to suggest The Dark Knight lauds the inept Bush administration. Batman, although harsh on criminals, hasn't killed a soul in seven decades and believes in due process. George W. Bush can hardly say that.

    And in fact, Bruce Wayne has been depicted as a social liberal for nearly 70 years, in one future alternative universe running for president as the Democratic candidate.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Wruce Bayne

    I always have to laugh when people start analyzing superhero movies, as they always seem to do so with no prior knowledge of the characters. There's nothing odd at all about the way the characters of Batman are constructed in this movie. Period. It's all straight out of Frank Miller's interpretation of Batman. Which is what...more than 20 years old...do a little research people.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Michael Schlagle

    Sorry, I have been a Batman fan since the early sixties and after Batman Begins I expected a great follow-up. The pre-hype with the sad passing of Heath Ledger etc. built quite an expectation. Sadly my expectations were dashed. Not even a Top Ten movie in my book let alone "The Greatest of All Time".

    Heath Ledger definitely put an "edge" to the Joker but he still doesn't get past Jack Nicholson's portrayal. There was always a little "laugh" in the joker. Ledger's Joker gave you nothing to laugh at. I felt a profound sadness in the role, left me feeling devoid and empty.

    Harvey Dent, was little more believable, the constant struggle with inner demon's plot which Batman is rife with. It's an old plot line but it works. Do we not all experience quandry in our search for the the ethical high-ground.

    Christian Bale, he blew it. Such a great job in Batman begins then this piece of acting drivel. The fake voice bit was a little too much, thank god he had so few lines. Batman just isn't supposed to look good.

    As far as analogies to current political references. Comic books have always swayed with the times. Inventing new foes to mirror the political climate of the time. I'm sure you could twist the characters any way you want. That's what we have imaginations for. The Devil can be whatever we wish to see but to quote the Jack Nicholson's Joker, "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"


    July 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  151. David

    The Dark Knight can rightly be seen as an allegory to Bush and the 9/11 wars, but most people are too eat up with their emotions to pragmatically judge our current situation or find complex meaning in art.

    And those people who do not see meaning in art, who see the Dark Knight as nothing more than entertainment, are the same people who drift through life, without purpose or insight.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  152. Adam

    Like it even matters what IMDB's top movies are. They've got crap in the top 250 that any person who actually knows movies wouldn't put in their top 2500. Truth be told, The Dark Knight is a "perfect storm" movie. It is a summer block buster/comic book movie, that got good reviews, and had a dead actor in his last full performance. Any person that didn't see the appreciation for this movie spinning out of control, wasn't looking closely enough. I'd give the movie an 8.5 rating, but no more. Nolan can't shoot action to save his life, and Eckhard as two face was decent at best. Good story, good actors, good filmmaker makes a good movie, not the best ever

    July 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  153. Ralph SOUTHERN illinois

    Dark Knight is a good movie and is good popcorn fare.

    GWB is a great american president and a moral leader necessary in these times. I thank GOD that some weak kneed liberal pansy was not in charge of our country, like a clinton/gore/kerry/obama (can't tell the difference). I resent the comparison as batman is only a fictional hero GWB is the real deal an american hero against the tyrrany of terrorists and the stupidity of liberals.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Fabian

    Actually, after the conversation toward the end of the film between Batman and the commissioner, I had exactly the same thought as was in the op-ed Wall Street Journal piece. Good leaders don't always give people what they want in the short term. Sometimes the best long term solution will breed anger and animosity initially, and for the sake of "the order", the leader will take his licks. It's only with the passage of time that people can look back and see the benefits of the leader's actions. But we live in an increasingly petty, self-absorbed culture now, where immediate gratification trumps long-term sacrifice. So it's no surprise that so many people take issue with leaders like that. Oh, and I thought the movie was really good, but "The Best Ever"? Hardly. It only has depth for people who don't read great classic literature.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Mike

    I think what people read into a comic book movie tells us more about the critic than the movie. Many of the above comments tell me more about the political leanings of the person writing them then they do about what the movie means.

    Batman has always been my favorite superhero because there is nothing super about him. He is simply a guy who pushed himself mentally and physically to become a force for good. Not good in a "Kumbaya, lets all get along"-way, but a "I am willing to take the hits and make the hard decisions to make this city a better place."-way.

    Reading into it destroys the fun. Movies are made to entertain and "Dark Knight" does that in spades. Whether or not it is the greatest of all time, for me, depends on if, in a year or so, will I watch it again?

    It's a guy running around in tights and a cape. Why take it so seriously?

    July 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Brian from Chicago

    Please don't leave spoilers in your comments, people.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Bruce

    Good grief people - it's just a movie based on a comic book series that's been around for over 60 years. There's not even anything new in the story as it's all pulled from the comic book fights between Batman and the Joker. "Best movie of all time"? No way.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Brian from Chicago

    This author's message was quickly lost here. Let's see if we can pick it back up...

    Q: How do you fight someone who leaves you only two options: fight dirty or surrender?

    A1: Fight dirty until its over.

    A2: Bash Bush for not surrendering.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Rich

    Frankly, this movie reminded me of the early Batman TV series. It was a B movie, really, full of inconsistencies. Batman can cave in a car saving a woman falling from a building but he gets taken down by a rottweiler or a punch from the Joker? I'm sure kids enjoyed it, but I am appalled that ANYBODY thinks this is such a great movie. If it wasn't for an intriguing performance from the joker, I would have wanted to forget I paid $8 to watch it.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Riddled with Bane

    This movie was great, although there were certain plot wholes in the story. I also found Two-Face (not Harvey Dent) to be missing the essence that made him so great in the comic books and animated series... that is, split personalities, largely unaware of each other, but bonded by body and the inability to act without flipping a coin.
    This Two-Face is good, but ultimately lacks that definition. Obviously, with the amount of screen time and complexity of the character, it would of been nearly impossible to present this definitive character in thise movie. Personally, I'm disappointed, because I knew the original intent was to make him the villain for the third film in this story arc, which would of gave them the screen time to define him.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  161. J.D.

    I caught the similarities right away, and was a little shocked there might be anyone in Holyweird who would make such a case.
    GWB has been a very poor prez the last 4 years. He should have stuck even more to his tought guy persona and really already taken out Iran and run the Liberal America Haters out of the country already...then we could say the film showed a man willing to do whatever was needed to right the evils of the world. Pikc any topic and find out where the root cause is, and you will find LIBERAL attitude behind it. Drugs ? Liberlas attitude about abusing your body. Sex diseases ? Liberal attitude about fooling around with anyone. Perversions, rapes, murder? Liberal attitude about viewing people as playthings. Pick one i dare you ! And you will see Liberal MINDED people are the cause of EVERY malady this world is facing !

    July 28, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  162. T.L.

    Good movie but definetly forgettable. In a year or so it will merge into the same soup all the other batmen movies are in. One of the best of it's kind, but hardly one I will remeber in a couple of years.

    Box office receipts don't determine best movie unless we abdicate the selection to under 20 year olds.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  163. Darbstar

    Keep politics and $ out of it already!

    'It's not about money, it's about making a statement"-Joker....and Ledger did just that. I see this more as spiritual allegory. Funny thing,
    this movie is making gobs of $ but Ledger's statement as an artist and actor trumps all the dollars it is bringing in!

    This movie has obviously moved almost everybody that has seen it in one way or another. Watch it again with the thought in mind that our flesh is temporary and the soul is eternal. That will knock some sense into American.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  164. jmc

    Solid Snake is about moral equivelance in both the real and comic book/movie world.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  165. bill pike

    bush or mcbush vs. batman, an illegal war against a country who will be in a religious war 1,000 years from now vs. fighting for good. oh yes, this is a real good comparion????? fighting is the only common theme.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  166. John Ghekiere

    It's easy both to overstate and to understate the importance of something as seemingly trivial as a movie. "Greatest film ever"? Probably an overstatement. But anyone who takes a class on the history of American Cinema or American Popular Music will see what I mean about understating. Did the Beatles EXPECT to have such profound influence on American music? The fact is, you need a decade or more to really understand the impact of a movie, a song, an event. Our times define our movies, and the BIG movies, pay it back and affect our culture in return.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Darbstar

    (to C.M.)

    'mayhem ensues and....everyone wondering what happened to all their $$$'

    Awesome! LOL.....

    July 28, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  168. Jim

    I too thought the premise of the op-ed piece a little crazy, but then just today we read that liberal democrats have formed a committee to make sure the Joker is not "subject to the inhumane and degraded treatment at the Gitmo prison facility".

    Realtity and Cinema are blurring faster each day.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Dara

    While The Dark Knight is a great movie, especially Heath Ledger's performance, I can guarantee it is not the best movie of all time. It is great but can't compare to say Casablanca, Godfather I, II, or III or several other classic movies which has given us scenes and lines to be remembered for all time. While The Joker may go down as one of the best villains along with Darth Vader, I just can't call it the best movie. But what would give people this idea are the many subplots within the movie. It deals with every human emotion, especially loss and sorrow and how people deal with it. If someone wanted a movie that shows emotions and touches people psychologically, then this is definitely the movie.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  170. damon

    i must admit, i thought the movie was a bummer. i liked it as a movie, (not even close to the greatest movie of all time) but as a batman movie? where was the fun? it actually scared the little kid behind me... so now what – 'batman' as adult-only fare? puleez.

    i hear this is because they want to stick to the comic books, like this is some kind of passage– as if we're supposed to be pleasing a bunch of 30 year old comic geeks. heath ledger was good, but if they're all this morose and mean spirited, i'll pass, i see enough pain in real time. and to compare to shawshank? what? that was one of the best endings of all time. this one was nothing but pieced together crap for the last 45 minutes.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  171. Tim

    The Wall-Street Journal thinking someone from Hollywood would make a movie praising Bush? Excuse me? Anyway, one of the more intruiging aspects of the film is Batman struggling between his identity as society's savior (unselfish motive – wants to see Gotham improve) versus giving up the Batman role so he could be with the woman he loves Rachel (which is a selfish or personal agenda). Can we really say the same for Bush? I think that struggle is much more short lived within Bush's brain.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Matt

    Christopher Nolan, the director of the new Batman series, has already stated that Batman is derived from Teddy Roosevelt. There, debate settled! Furthermore I hate that it is so painfully OBVIOUS that the WSJ is now owned by Murdoch.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  173. D Gallagher

    Despite its ubiquitous post-9/11 overtones, it would be facile to interpret "The Dark Knight" as a "paean of praise to...Bush." Early in the film, Gotham's brave District Attorney Harvey Dent invokes the Roman example of granting broad powers to leaders during times of crisis, only to be reminded that the last Roman to receive such powers was the tyrant Caesar. Later in the film, Batman uses cell phone technology to create a massive and "unethical" public surveillance system to capture the Joker. When the Joker is stopped, Batman allows the surveillance system to be destroyed. The implication is that heroism does not lie in wielding power but in knowing when to return it – something our present leader seems unable to do.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  174. pilot_rizzo

    Solid Snake...Quit blaming your pathetic life on George W. Bush! Who are you going to blame all of your problems on once he is gone? You are pathetic!

    July 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  175. DG

    Its a movie! Meant for entertainment, not a political debate about current events and terrorists. Please go back to eating your own boogers and shutting your pie hole.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  176. C.M.

    This movie was in the top 5 movies I've seen in the past year or two, but of all time? Not quite. And if GWB could be compared to anybody in the film, he's more like the Joker in my opinion. After he shows up on the scene, mayhem ensues and then everyone stands around wondering what happened to all their money. Now THAT sounds like how GWB operates.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Dave

    For Rogan who said:

    "I think the pre-release material and reviews kinda dulled the edge of the whole, somewhat."

    Huh? Do you read reviews or pay attention to them? This movie received rave reviews accross a wide spectrum of reviewers, both professional and audience driven. If you did not like the movie so be it, just say it, but don't hide behind facts that you created.

    As for me, I don't agree that Batman is any sort of simile for "GW" or that the Joker is for UBL; I think that is simply Mr. Leopold interjecting spunk in order to spur an argument. A terrorist can be anyone or anything that causes fear: if I am robbed, then the guy robbing me is a terrorist. And if I punch that guy, then am I Batman? Not sure about it, but the desire for vigilante justice is a core theme for many of us and our inner Walter Mitty. Batman simply takes what we desire and safely puts it on screen.

    Let's not read too deep into this, it's a movie, fiction at pehaps its best, but hardly real life where heros come in with overwhelming firepower, the bad guys hide, duck and shoot, and the innocent die.


    July 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  178. Jake

    Solid Snake: I think saying moral courage might be a poor choice of words, but you could argue easily argue that the "blurring of the lines of right and wrong" with the end goal of inspiring good could be compared to George Bush. He has used sometimes questionable tactics, and with achieved questionable results, but that his overall goal (taken at face value: promoting liberty and democracy) is honorable.

    Though this is simply one of the ways to look at the movie.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  179. Darbstar

    To me, this was a supernatural performance by a person whose soul was not going to be with us much longer in it's physical form.
    Ledger is now legendary. This is his 'Life After Death' (had to throw in a Biggie Smalls reference).

    Also, the cinematography, scripting, directing and acting were all better than many movies have been for a long time.

    Hail to 'The Dark Knight'(ledger) for showing us how dark the night can be if we don't have goals and faith in life.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Brad Miller

    This is so stupid. Do these people ever stop to think that “The Dark Knight” is just a movie made for entertainment purposes only with no underlying demeanor behind it?

    July 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  181. shawn

    This movie wasn't great. Scarface, now that's a movie!!!

    July 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  182. ju

    it's JUST A MOVIE!!!

    July 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  183. Erik

    Okay, as a HUGE Batman fan since age 4 (seriously... that's 30 years of an obsession), I am pretty aware of how the franchise is written. BY NO MEANS is Batman an allegory for George W. Bush. Batman is a citizen, fed up with how the government (or lack thereof) has abandoned its people, and decides to fight back.

    That is not the GWB way. That's more anti-GWB because this administration does not want anyone fighting or thinking for themselves. This administration is actually what Batman would fight against.

    If, in fact, you'd like to know exactly which comic book allegory GWB's reign would fall under, I suggest you look no further than the Superman/Batman series and see how Lex Luthor fares as President of the United States.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  184. Batman

    SS, Batman is not a terrorist. He does not target innocent people. Taking this quote directing from Batman Begins "I seek the means to fight injustice, to turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. " He puts terror into criminals and targets them I thought the Dark Knight was great, although certainly flawed. As for symbolism, I don't see how anyone could liken Bush to Batman. Any parallels drawn there are certianly reaching for something that don't exist. There are certianly parallels that exist in other areas, but for the most part, this story stands alone.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  185. Trevor

    Far from "praising" the policies of our president, Dark Knight emphasizes the moral ambiguity (or even amorality) of such a mentality.


    Make note of how Batman turns in the copycat vigilantes near the beginning of the film.

    Note that the Joker was allowed to escape because a police officer allowed his anger and desire for vengeance to cloud his judgement.

    Note how Batman develops a technology that even he agrees is too much power for even him to control, and after its one use has it destroyed.

    Note how the people of Gotham decided to do the right thing and save the lives of others (even criminals!) rather than save themselves.

    Note that even with a villain so horrible as the Joker, Batman still had levels he would not go to to apprehend him.

    Note, perhaps beyond all else, that Batman was not the hero that Gotham needed. He could not be the hero- the hero needed to be pure, above the darkness and the violence. In order for Gotham to have hope, it needed a White Knight to believe in, not a Dark one.

    Sure, Dark Knight shows that out of desperation action needs to be taken, but the line to which we step isn't always clear, and it's easy to go beyond it.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  186. Peter

    I see it. Batman used whatever means he could to get the Joker. Same as Bush. Would have worked if they took it a little further. Sad to put Batman and Bush in the same relm. Best movie ever? No, Batman Begins was still an all around more solid movie with nearly everything in the film needed. The Dark Night was too long and had a lot of thin plot moments. Loved the Joker of course. The batsuit is going the direction of Joel Schumacher.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  187. Megan

    To me, the movie represented the possibilities of extreme good and extreme evil of human nature. The Joker's role in the movie was to illuminate what happens to us when faced with chaos...what darkness lies underneath and what hope there still is. Just how thin is that line between good and evil? Would you stand up to his threats, his games? Or would the darkness in your own nature succumb? If the Joker represents terrorism, then Batman asks for us the question at the heart of the "War on Terror": Just what do we have to become in order to beat the terrorists?

    July 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  188. Stx

    Why can't people just enjoy the movie as a movie? Stop comparing everything to terrorism. People go to see these movies to escape reality.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  189. John Soister

    The only guy who smirked in the film was The Joker.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  190. Mark

    Kristen –

    It's the IMDB users that determine movie rank, not the IMDB staff.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  191. Bad Vibe

    Isn't it possible - just possible - that Dark Knight doesn't stand for anything and that these films are simply victims of having current cultural events and significance thrust upon them? Maybe, in a time when sites like CNN are simply one depressing entry after another, it's just a great chewy piece of tasty mind-candy, a diversion when we desperately crave one. Why does it have to mean anything? Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is rather than what it's supposed to represent.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  192. Todd Buffington

    Let's not get crazy, it's a comic book movie, not a parallel to GWBush or this illegal war. Yes, comics draw influence from the world but the 3 Graphic Novels this draws comparison to were made in the 80's.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  193. Sam

    When you watch "Dark Knight", pay attention to the many times dogs are mentioned. The main theme of the movie? Dogs. The Joker is a dog by his own description. Batman is mauled by a dog at the beginning and attacked by the Joker's dogs at the end.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  194. Kristen

    Perhaps IMDB should wait until the hype dies down a little before declaring "The Dark Knight" the greatest film ever. Let's see, in five years, if people remember the hype or the actual plotline.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  195. Rogan

    It didn't quite live up to the hype, for me. Interesting possibilities for the Joker, but I think the pre-release material and reviews kinda dulled the edge of the whole, somewhat.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  196. Solid Snake

    How dare anybody mention the words 'moral courage' and 'fortitude' and 'george w bush' in the same sentence. and technically, batman is a terrorist too. using fear to inspire others is indeed terrorism, just because he isn't middle eastern does not exclude him from the terrorist category. that's what's cool about batman. he blurs the lines of right and wrong. but this isn't a place for fanboyism. the movie is phenom, and anybody who says it represents the post 9/11 world needs to be slapped.

    July 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |

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