The Dark Knight flops.
This movie is overlong, overly focused on militaristic violence, is a tangled mess of themes and ideas, has the pacing of an epileptic turtle, and worse sin of all: not nearly enough Batman (or Catwoman). And way too much Bane.
The Fighter is a solid character drama that's maybe not in the weight class of Raging Bull or Rocky, but with fantastic acting, crisp direction and a story that nearly finds its focus, it's one of the better films of 2010. The most noteworthy thing about this movie is Christian Bale's amazing submersion into the character of Dicky Ward, an ex-boxer who now hits the crack pipe rather than the heavy bag. The former "Pride of Lowell" (Mass.) is a fast-talking, friendly loser, with all the brain damage you'd think a combination of boxing and drugs could provide, and he looks and sounds nothing like Christian Bale. It's pretty damned entertaining to behold, and the character is infused with such a manic energy that makes all his scenes a weird joy.
Public Enemies is a well-drawn period drama, a look at America's historic love affair with the colorful gangsters of the Depression era without celebrating them. Johnny Depp, a master at playing outsiders, gives us a John Dillinger who's both a driven, aggressive man and one who's realizing that he has no future.
Yes, Heath Ledger really is amazing as the Joker. And good lord, does Christopher Nolan deliver a film worthy of the performance. From the start, The Dark Knight is as intense as a war zone, and while it has more noticeable imperfections than Iron Man and less charm and vision than Hellboy 2, The Dark Knight has brains and ambition and yes indeed, a hell of an effects budget. The action is spectacular, if sometimes confusing, and the film looks magnificent, especially in IMAX.