Another bleak war movie thrust upon a fun franchise, Man of Steel has a well-cast (but criminally underwritten) Superman and Lois Lane and some interesting twists on the legend--but ultimately fails as a Superman film. It briefly pretends to have a heart, but it doesn't, and thus misses much of what makes Superman fly.
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.
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.