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The Dark Knight (2008)The Dark Knight (2008)

Gotham's Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent need super-hero Batman (Christian Bale), just as the mob needs the anti-hero Joker (Heath Ledger). But if the good guy wears all black, dispenses vigilante justice outside the law, refuses to reveal his true identity, causes good people to die, and is plagued by doubts, then you have a morally ambiguous plot with a genuinely "dark knight." Gothamites wonder, is he more hero or menance? Both the Gotham cops and the crime mob get more than they bargain for when they employ their moral archtypes. The Joker is crazy bad with his stringy hair, purple suit, scarred face, and smeared makeup. He cares nothing for money, and only wants to watch Gotham burn. The technical effects reminded me of a James Bond movie, as did the love triangle involving Batman and Dent. Heath Ledger won a (posthumous) Golden Globe for his role, but I found it distracting to wonder just how much his real life descent into darkness and death was life imitating art.

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