The fact remains, it is the big-screen movie event of the seasonal summer. ("Marvel's The Avengers" technically came out in spring, if you're looking to split hairs.)
Regardless of your political interpretation, regardless of your level of Batman fervor, and even regardless of your disdain for Christian Bale's inner and outer rage, "TDKR" promises to be a barrage of impressive audio-visual fireworks like nothing yet seen in theaters.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.
What's the Story?
Now a fugitive, Batman has been away for eight whole years leaving Gotham wondering what the heck happened to him. His talents are needed when Catwoman comes to town. But it's the masked terrorist Bane who poses the ultimate, most painful challenge -- one that Batman may not be able to overcome.
Who Will Dig It?
There really is something for everyone in this sensory parade of a film. But hardcore comic book geeks -- specifically Batman aficionados -- will be buying tickets more than once to this one. A small-yet-passionate group (or maybe it's just me) who have been waiting for a major Matthew Modine film moment since 1987's "Full Metal Jacket" (not to mention "Pacific Heights," 1990) will also be stoked.
In Limited Release
A few films in limited release dare to offer "TDKR" counter programming this weekend. "30 Beats" takes a cerebral look into corporeal matters: no-strings-attached sex. The romantic comedy stars an ensemble cast led by Jennifer Tilly and "Weeds" star Justin Kirk. The back-story of a poor, masterless, 17th-century samurai is examined in "Hara-kiri: Death Of A Samarai." And "The Queen of Versailles" is a documentary about a couple trying to build the biggest house in the U.S. -- drawing out cracks in the veneer of the American Dream.