"The Dark Knight Rises" Review Embargo Just Ended; Debuts on Rotten Tomatoes at 100%

The Dark Knight Rises

I was checking my Twitter feed and found out from Roger Ebert’s tweet that the review embargo on Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” ended on midnight Sunday: “Studio sets ‘Dark Knight’ review embargo for midnight Sunday. They don't screen it in Chicago until 1 pm Tuesday. How does that work?”

The good news is every critic who’s seen it either in Comic-Con over the weekend or any of the other press screenings in the last few weeks is free to put up his/her review. The bad news is we won’t get Ebert’s until at least Tuesday evening.

Four reviews are on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, and they’re all raves! All are from onliners. Reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are online too, but not on Rotten Tomatoes yet; and both are high recommendations too. In terms of letter grades, they’re mostly A’s and a few B’s.

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter pretty much tells “Marvel’s The Avengers,” this year’s reigning box office champ and one of the best-reviewed superhero movies of all-time, to step aside: “Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish.” McCarthy thinks it’s the best of the Nolan trilogy.

Justin Chang of Variety doesn’t think it’s as good as “The Dark Knight” though: “If it never quite matches the brilliance of 2008's "The Dark Knight," this hugely ambitious action-drama nonetheless retains the moral urgency and serious-minded pulp instincts that have made the Warners franchise a beacon of integrity in an increasingly comicbook-driven Hollywood universe.” It’s still high praise.

Those are the reactions from the trades. What about the onliners?

Edward Douglas from ComingSoon.net is in agreement with Chang, “The story isn't quite as solid as ‘The Dark Knight’ and the main villains aren't quite as memorable, but having a director with such a strong vision and conviction to fulfill it makes Nolan's Batman finale pay off at least as a bookend to ‘Batman Begins’ even if it may require quite a bit more patience than both previous films.”

Todd Gilchrist of The Playlist and the rest are on McCarthy’s side. He writes, “‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is emotionally inspiring, aesthetically significant and critically important for America itself - as a mirror of both sober reflection and resilient hope.”

What about the action scenes? Jim Vejvoda of IGN.com says, “The film has several exciting action set-pieces, many of which utilize the aerial vehicle The Bat, but none of which provoke the kind of jaw-dropping reaction that the truck flip did in ‘The Dark Knight.’ Nonetheless, he concludes that “The Dark Knight Rises” is “the grandest, most emotional and superheroic chapter in their Batman saga.”

Drew McWeeny of HitFix.com feels sorry for whover’s gonna have to reboot the franchise after Nolan: “Whoever Warner Bros hires to reboot the 'Batman' films a few years from now, I wish you luck. The bar is as high as it could possibly be.”

Unlike the “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” franchises, this sounds like “The Dark Knight Rises” is the rare third comic book film that concludes the franchise on a highflying note.

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