1. I've never been a "Batman guy." He's a great character, an all time hall of famer in the comic book world and therefore I have great respect for him and his legacy but I've never had a real attachment to him.
2. The movie is incredibly immersive. It's length, pacing, tone and arc really pull you in and surround you - it was a very quiet, edgy theatre for the entire film. That being said I'm not sure it's a world I want to be immersed in. It was powerful and effective but I don't know if I enjoyed it.
3. It wasn't very entertaining. I wasn't bored and it was most certainly not a "bad movie" - it was actually a very good movie, but maybe not a very good "comic book movie?" This is certainly personal bias but I go into a comic book movie looking for a certain level of escapist, fantastic realism and in most cases Nolan went a different direction and opted for gritty realism. Not a bad choice, just not as entertaining to me.
4. Where was this movie set? Am I right in thinking this is the most solid, real-world Gotham we've ever seen on the screen? Again, obviously an intentional choice by Nolan to root the plot and it's implications in a plausible, real world context for the obvious impact that it provides but I missed the classic, gothic Gotham.
5. Where was Batman? I mean this in two senses. One, this movie could have just as easily, and maybe more aptly, been named The Joker, Harvey Dent, or Commissioner Gordon. Their story lines, their character development, their on screen charisma were all much more developed and appealing than Nolan's Bruce Wayne/Batman. Like I said, I'm not a Batman fanatic but I like Batman more than those guys. I think they subjugated the psychology, the angst and the struggles of Batman underneath these other characters struggles. Second, it seemed to me that this was a much weaker Batman than we've seen elsewhere. Since when were rottweilers Batman's kryptonite? Again, maybe it is a choice to opt for "realism" but did you see it when he fell off his bike and got knocked out - come on, he's the freaking Batman. This Batman really could have been Albert II.
6. The Joker. As everyone has said - incredible performance - you can't take your eyes off him any time he is on the screen. But I've never "gotten" the Joker as a super-villain. Why doesn't someone just hit him over the head or shoot him - the mob, if not a citizen? I get that his chaotic nihilism, his "you have nothing to frighten me with" persona is so unnerving that it almost creates a shield around him when he is interacting with the public but on some level he's just a crazy guy and we're now living in a world where if you cough funny on an airplane your fellow passengers will pile on you without a seconds thought. I think the vigilante anarchy that the Joker was trying to catalyze would have turned on him before it turned on itself. I know, I know, willing suspension of disbelief but it's as if Nolan wanted me to believe everything except the plausibility of the Joker and his schemes - how do you sneak enough explosives into a hospital to blow the entire thing up, how do you roll 200 barrels of gasoline onto a ferry boat without being seen? It felt less like terrorism and more like incompetence.
7. I'm going to side step any discussion of underlying themes or critiques of current global political implications because there is enough of that going on elsewhere, but I will say that I think any "message" the film has is in the overall arc of the movie and not in any individual instance or plot point.
8. Should have been rated R.
9. 3.25 stars.