5-sentence review of The Dark Knight Rises

5. Not since “The Passion of the Christ” has the hero of a story taken such a powerful beating as Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) does in “The Dark Knight Rises,” director Christopher Nolan’s grim and powerful finale to his superhero saga.

4. The story, more than any of the previous films, uses an amalgamation of plots from Batman comics — a touch of “Knightfall,” more than a little “No Man’s Land,” a dash of “Tales of the Demon,” some “Batman: Year One,” a smidgeon of “A Lonely Place of Dying” and, of course, a few homages to the greatest Batman story ever told, “The Dark Knight Returns.”

3. Bane (Tom Hardy) is masterful screen villain with an ominous presence that rivals Darth Vader or Michael Corleone.

2. Michael Cain and Gary Oldman both deserve Oscar nods for their final turns as loyal butler Alfred and Commissioner Gordon respectively, while newcomer Anne Hathaway acquits herself well as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, a role that could have easily been silly left to the talents of a less skilled actress.

1. “The Dark Knight Rises” is a near-perfect summer blockbuster, though it does not quite rise to the dramatic successes of its predecessor, “The Dark Knight,” it is a worthy ending for a great and entertaining film franchise.

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THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Rated P-13

2 hours, 44 minutes

Christopher Nolan (director/screenplay); Jonathan Nolan (screenplay); Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Grade: A-

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