TIME’s Review of The Dark Knight Rises: To the Depths, to the Heights

Make way, puny Avengers, for the grand tale of a superhero in emotional crisis, as Gotham City faces economic collapse and a reign of terror. Can Batman even come to his own rescue?

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(Warning: mild spoilers throughout — though the film has enough big surprises that you need not worry.)

A gang of thugs has just looted the Gotham City Stock Exchange and crashed out on motorcycles, hostages in tow. The police are helpless as they pursue the miscreants into a tunnel. Suddenly, the tunnel goes dark. A familiar vehicle with monster-truck wheels, driven by a man in black cape and cowl, has joined the chase. Batman is back. An older cop observes the action, smiles and says to a rookie, “Boy, you’re in for a show tonight, son.”

The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), Christopher Nolan’s mesmerizing climax to his trilogy reboot of the DC Comics character, is a show, all right. But not in the way of the standard summer action fantasy. Although his movie contains elaborate fights, stunts, chases and war toys, and though the director dresses half his characters in outfits suitable for a Comic-Con revel, Nolan is a dead-serious artist with a worldview many shades darker than the knight of the title. The Avengers is kid stuff compared with this meditation on mortal loss and heroic frailty. For once a melodrama with pulp origins convinces viewers that it can be the modern equivalent to Greek myths or a Jonathan Swift satire. TDKR is that big, that bitter — a film of grand ambitions and epic achievement. The most eagerly anticipated movie of summer 2012 was worth waiting for.

(MORE: Holy Bat Trivia!: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman)

Reuniting the core crew from his 2005 Batman Begins and the 2008 The Dark Knight — Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine as his butler Alfred, Gary Oldman as police commissioner Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman as the entrepreneur Lucius Fox — Nolan has created new roles for four of the actors from his 2010 hit Inception. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the resourceful cop John Blake; Tom Hardy is Bane, the monster who would bring Gotham to its knees; Marion Cotillard is the philanthropist Miranda Tate; Cillian Murphy, who also played the Scarecrow in Batman Begins, returns as a hanging judge as the city explodes in chaos. And Anne Hathaway creeps in and out as Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman.

Eight years after he dispatched the Joker (Heath Ledger) and took the rap for killing Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the idealistic district attorney who had become the villainous Two-Face, Bruce lives morose and secluded in Wayne Manor, seen only by Alfred. Gotham appears at peace, with no organized crime surfacing. By there’s at least one gifted solo artist. Selina, in maid’s garb, manages to pick Bruce’s private safe, making off with his fingerprints and a necklace she has the gall and style to wear. The theft stirs Bruce out of his torpor, and he shows up at a charity ball hosted by Miranda. Selina, momentarily Bruce’s dance partner, tells him, “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, cause when it hits you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

(MORE: To Catch a Thief: The Evolution of Catwoman)

The form of the storm is a creature called Bane, an immense hulk with an air of courtly menace and, to reduce his pain, a tubular mask that looks like a small creature from the original Alien permanently leeched onto his face. Long ago, Bane escaped from a deep Asian pit where tough men were left to wither and die. Now he is the muscle, and possibly the brains, of the League of Shadows from Batman Begins. And he has a master plan to free — read: enslave — Bruce’s city, employing the ability to cloud men’s minds by lightly touching their heads and, even more effective, a four-megaton nuclear device. “I’m Gotham’s reckoning,” Bane proclaims. “I’m the borrowed time you’ve all been living on.” And to ensure that the debilitated Batman won’t get in the way, he leaves Bruce in the hellhole Bane grew up in.

To clarify some of the plot elements in TDKR, take a refresher glance at Batman Begins. That first movie begins with the young Bruce, in his garden with his lifelong love Rachel Dawes, falling down a deep well into a pit that, for a child, was as terrifying as the pit Bane consigns him to. Worse, because out of the darkness fly a flock of bats. (Hence Bruce’s fear; hence his creation of the Batman doppelgänger to conquer that fear.) As a young man he is drafted by the mysterious Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) into training for the League of Shadows, an elite cadre of militant do-gooders — anyway, doers — whose Shadow in Chief is Ra’s al Ghul. The first of many father figures for Bruce, Ducard appears again in TDKR. So do other plot strands: an ice pond that must be crossed, the sealing off of Gotham’s bridges, the jacket of Bruce’s dead father that Jim Gordon drapes on the shoulders of a poor little rich boy.

(PHOTOS: Dark Knight Rides: The Complete History of the Batmobile)

As a boy in Batman Begins, he saw his parents murdered by a street thief; those deaths triggered his vigilante vengeance. As a man in The Dark Knight, he lost Rachel in an explosion; that death sent him into his eight-year seclusion, devotedly tended by his servant and surrogate parent, Alfred. But Bruce is not the only TDKR character in a prolonged state of bereavement. John Blake’s father, also a policeman, was killed the night Harvey Dent died. Another character, the offspring of one of Batman’s earlier nemeses, tells him, “I could not forgive my father until you murdered him.” All these grownup children are members of the Dead Parents Society; all are emotional orphans.

Crippled by personal tragedy, then forged into something more durable and dangerous, Bruce, John and the rest express or repress their true nature by playing roles, donning masks. “No one cared who I was,” Bane says through his respirator, “until I put on the mask.” John, who feels a filial kinship to Batman, recalls his days in an orphanage: “You get to learn to hide the anger, practice smiling in a mirror. It’s like wearing a mask.” Selina hides in plain sight, wearing her Catwoman frock at a society ball. When Bruce says, “That’s a brazen costume for a cat burglar,” she asks, “Yeah? Who are you pretending to be?” He replies, “Bruce Wayne, eccentric billionaire.” When does the pretense become the persona, and the persona the person?

(MORE: Batman Is Back — TIME Reviews The Dark Knight)

Nolan’s mask is his guise as a director of comic-book entertainments, when he’s really out to excoriate American greed and laziness and its citizens’ susceptibility to a demagogue’s threats and promises. Bane — who could be Osama bin Laden with Darth Vader’s voice in “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s body — convinces or cows virtually the whole city with his harangues. (He’s a very verbose dictator.) In TDRK, the mayor is smug, the deputy police commissioner is weak, the government eager to lock up suspects without trials, the Gotham rabble eager to loot the penthouses of the wealthy when Bane declares the city liberated. “This was someone’s home,” says Selena, briefly stricken by conscience as the mob trashes a Fifth Avenue mansion. Replies Selina’s giddy sidekick Holly (Juno Temple): “Now it’s everyone’s home!”

The film’s allusions to the Patriot Act and the decadelong incarceration of terror suspects in Guantánamo are obvious; and this time the connection of Gotham City to New York City is scarily explicit — at least to people who live or work in Manhattan — with scenes shot at the New York Stock Exchange and the specter of terrorism brought to the city’s streets not by airplanes but by in-person anarchy. The Occupy Wall Street connection is probably pure chance, since Nolan and his brother Jonathan wrote the script (from a story by the director and David S. Goyer) long before last September’s start of demonstrations in Zuccotti Park.

But the Occupy Gotham coincidence fits Nolan’s nearly Olympian misanthropy, his disgust with the corruptibility of both class and mass and his suspicion that the only salvation is in a nearly invincible hero — a rich man with the strength and altruism to save desperate America from itself. (Is Bruce Wayne Mitt Romney? Is Batman a Mormon?) Beneath that comic-book dream of the infallible fixer is an implicit warning that, in the real America, a superhero will never fly out of our dreams and into the night sky.

(MORE: Is Hollywood Going to Kill Batman Next Week?)

Occasionally the movie’s pulp and fantasy origins expose themselves. The opening set piece, in which Bane and his cohorts are rescued from captivity in a CIA plane by hitching a ride on a larger jet flying above it, is the kind that was more suavely imagined in several James Bond films decades ago. (Bane, through his apparatus, often sounds like a 007 villain; you wait for him to say, “No, Mr. Wayne, I expect you to die.”) You may also wonder why Bruce took ages to learn, even from Alfred, that his business empire is near depletion; why no Gothamite, police or civilian, thinks to shoot Bane in the leg or apply a kung fu kick to his respirator; why, in a street fight between Batman and Bane, none of the thousands of allies or adversaries joins in to take one or both of the men down; and why the thin frozen ice, on which condemned men in wintry Gotham are meant to fall through, miraculously refreezes for the next group of victims. (There’s another implausibility at the end, involving a plane and a nuclear bomb, that we won’t parse here. We’ll just say: if you live across the river from Gotham City, move.)

More often, though, the movie’s emotional gravity gives special heft to venerable Batman tropes. When, after all these years, the Bat-Signal illuminates the sky (Bruce has draped an unconscious villain on a searchlight to form the famous silhouette), it’s seriously thrilling, because so much more is at stake here. Batman Begins showed Bruce’s hellish preparation for his defense of Gotham, and The Dark Knight illuminated a skirmish with one charismatic Joker; those movies sounded the alarm for the all-out war movie that is TDKR.

(MORE: Emanata: Batman and Robin Pour Down Like Silver)

Composer Hans Zimmer’s percussive score underlines the dovetailed themes of battle and death. The first sounds in the film are a heartbeat’s thump-thump-thump that grow ever fainter; and Zimmer proceeds with sounds mimicking gunfire and ticking machinery. The movie’s pace, both solemn and brisk, is a miracle of conveying reams of narrative — a hallmark of the old Hollywood masters, whose storytelling was typically more synoptic and coherent than that of today’s directors. TDKR is old-fashioned in two other ways: it renounces both the 3-D standard for big action pictures (though 72 minutes of the 160-minute movies can be seen in the IMAX format) and the tendency to make every movie digitally. A proud end credit reads: “This motion picture was shot and finished on film.”

This motion picture also boasts performances whose range and depth match the material. Among the series’ new recruits, Hardy eventually reveals Bane as a creature who inflicts no more pain than he has experienced; Cotillard makes Miranda a seductive plutocrat generous enough to fund a bold new society; Gordon-Levitt is so appealing as a straight shooter, a kind of junior-grade Bruce Wayne, that he could spin off a superhero series of his own. Only Hathaway doesn’t perform as if she’s wearing weight-of-the-world epaulets; Michelle Pfeiffer’s frosty-furious Selina, in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, was closer in tone to TDKR. But Hathaway, for all her ripe smiles, also allows for the ambiguities that transform a poor kid into a Catwoman. And she, like Bale, looks great in black.

(MORE: Battier and Batter: Review of Batman Returns)

Caine’s Alfred, frequently on the verge of tears as he talks tough Cockney love to Bruce, imparts a depth of poignancy nearly shocking to viewers; they forget they’re in an action picture and recalibrate their sensibilities to accommodate Caine’s rich, naked portrayal. Bale, a boyish 30 when he first slipped into the cape and cowl back in 2004, has matured impressively in the role. For the first half of TDKR he is a gaunt, haunted wraith, so weary of life that he might have joined his beloved Rachel in the grave. Then he has to throw off what Miranda describes as his “practiced apathy” and transform Bruce, through the most arduous regimen, from a weak sister whom Bane can easily humiliate in a fight to the new, improved Batman facing his and Gotham’s direst challenge. When Catwoman warns the Crusader to forget about the city’s rabble because he’s “given them everything,” the whispered reply is, “Not everything. Not yet.” By the end, the actor has given everything, left every nuance and agony on the table for his big finish. So has his director.

Nolan has said he was inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities; he borrowed the novel’s setting in a time of revolution, its use of a storm motif and its proliferation of characters who are the doubles or mirror images of each other. (Bane, who literally went to the same school as Bruce, might be Batman’s evil twin.) At the end, Alfred reads the last lines from A Tale of Two Cities: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better place that I go to than I have ever known.”

That could be a summing up of Nolan’s Bruce/Batman, and of The Dark Knight Rises. The movie may not top The Avengers at the worldwide box office, but it is a far, far better thing — maybe the best, most troubling, assured and enthralling of all the superhero movies.

123 comments
dartangnonkitty
dartangnonkitty

Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONEMicrosoftInternetExplorer4/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-qformat:yes;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}What a great review Richard! I think the intensity drew mein and wouldn’t let go. I was mesmerized and horrified by the brutal way Banetook down Batman did not see that one coming; that was painful for me. My friendwho also works with me at DISH loves the caped crusader, especially withChristian Bale. She’s having a girl’s night tomorrow to see The Dark KnightRises on Blu-ray, but I’m out of town helping my Mom who has some healthproblems. I have my laptop with me for work, so I can easily access DISH Onlineand rent The Dark Knight Rises. My Mom has a DISH Hopper, so I’ll still enjoythe movie with the gals, even though I’m away from home.

Loosend
Loosend

I feel that this review does not meet Time standards. While it shows insight in some respects, it is far too positive concerning a film that failed to 'Rise' above its source material and its predecessor. Comparing it to Greek Myth is pure blasphemy.

Although Nolan had fantastic themes to work with (since the film LOOSELY drew inspiration from 'A Tale of Two Cities') in terms of economic anxiety, injustice and bourgeois guilt, he instead opted for flashy special effects and a 007-like plot of saving the city from nuclear destruction (including the expected villain-behind-the-villain twist). Yes, these themes were flitting about the surface, but Nolan never quite did them justice by dealing with them head-on.

In fact, the majority of Batman comic books do a better job at exploring Bruce Wayne's inner guilt and torment, and the film's predecessor, 'The Dark Knight', did way more in this regard than the last outing.

I do agree that the film is far better than your average comic book failure but that's equivalent to Batman taking on a toddler in a fist fight.

Ultimately, Nolan's second film showed so much potential, and pointed the way to a new era of comic book inspired films, yet he failed to capitalize on the space he had created and dropped the dark knight back into a pit of mediocrity.

wmphoenixtoth
wmphoenixtoth

Richard, I have followed you for years, and I agree with your review, especially the last few lines.   However, you missed a few points of fact and legend.    For one, it was Oldman's Gordan who read the final few lines from Dickens.    Two, although I agree with your reference to the Patriot / Dent act, GTMO / Gotham Prison, you fail to addres that  the end results of releasing these people en mass were a distastor.   Christopher Nolan had a clear vision as to these end results.   Three, you mentioned the pearle necklace.   This has significant meaning in the mythology, Starting with Frank Miller in the mid 1980s and even adopted by both Burton and Nolan in the films.    The fact that Nolan had these in a safe, and were not the target, is his own twist on the mythology and has great symbology.    The fact that they were kept, and re-appear are highly significant.   Finally, you miss the point that Batman was created in the late 1930.    Back then, the fact that he witnessesed his parenent's mureder was a tool to make a wealthy kid, just like every one else.   That was his appeal, and message.   In adressing the Occupy Wall Street, you failed to mention, Batman was created to occupy the Great Depression.   A rich kid was brought down to the streets and used those resources to take care of the rest of us.    Batman / Bruce Wayne never cared about wealth, and his creation was a fantasy to bridge that gap.   To provide the message that we all can suffer.   We all can make sacrifices to do good.    And that we all have to make choices.

It's been a pleasure reading your work over the years, and for once, I felt the need to comment on it.   Again, your last few lines nailed it. 

Thank you.

Steven D. A. Mackay
Steven D. A. Mackay

Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) reads from Dickens at the end, not Alfred (Caine), who is too grief stricken to even speak. Correction?

mew
mew

does anyone know the rest of Blake's quote, about the mask? the whole quote that talks about "they forget about the angry kid" etc etc?

crazy887
crazy887

This movie was very slow for a batman movie. Banes voice sounded horrible the fight scene between the cops and the bad guys was so bad . Tell me Mister time was this a movie about about batman or mister Gordon. I am A huge batman fan I was let down. AS far as this being

better than the Avengers Dream on.

acrossalloceans
acrossalloceans

I read one sentence and stopped. Good job letting people know there are spoilers. 

Jonathan Johnson
Jonathan Johnson

The only reason people have concluded that Avengers is better than TDKR is the same reason more people prefer pulp fiction over Greek Mythology.

jgschu
jgschu

For a review that's mostly synopsis, I'm not sure Corliss paid the best attention. 

- I'm pretty sure that wasn't a "new role" for Cillian Murphy, but rather the same character...?

- What's this about Bane "clouding men's minds by lightly touching their heads"? Did I miss the Jedi subplot?

- That most definitely was Jim Gordon reading the Dickens line at the end, not Alfred

- Regarding the whole "if you live across the river, move..." - It's made pretty clear several times that it's a bay, not a river, which would imply that the bomb detonates over the ocean.

Nickvanderleekcom
Nickvanderleekcom

 I don't understand reviews like this.  Just because you got to see the

movie ahead of everyone else doesn't mean you have to report on it,

sharing it's plot like the were there witnessing the news.  And you

retelling a movie that others are about to see may make you feel special

about yourself, but it's not what the audience or the filmmakers want,

or more than likely your editor.  You're a vain, full of yourself,

idiot.  Stop writing reviews!

Nickvanderleekcom
Nickvanderleekcom

I don't understand reviews like this.  Just because you got to see the movie ahead of everyone else doesn't mean you have to report on it, sharing it's plot like the were there witnessing the news.  And you retelling a movie that others are about to see may make you feel special about yourself, but it's not what the audience or the filmmakers want, or more than likely your editor.  You're a vain, full of yourself, idiot.  Stop writing reviews!

subhaissh christche
subhaissh christche

the first thing i have noticed is,,we got a situation in the movie,,and again and again we struct in it. its beyond a movie,,beyond a story. its about a hope,,about a regular prayer for the man with a mask for the last 4 years when he was running and dogs and cops were chasing him. 

after watching the dark knight in 2008,,i became the disciple of batman. after watching the dark knight rises,,i realized he is god. 

 

sometimes when your excitement level cross the limits,,,u cant explain much. same happens to me. 

batman is a normal human being, who inspired us to ask Jesus Christ not to take our sins. he is among and within us showing the way of perfection and purification.

Dan Krokos
Dan Krokos

Why would you spoil the ending without saying you're going to spoil the ending?

Pete Harrington
Pete Harrington

Alfred doesn't say,  “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a

far, far better place that I go to than I have ever known".  Gordon says that.  Did you see the same movie I did?

Pete Harrington
Pete Harrington

Blake says that his father was shot, and killed, because of a gambling debt.  He never mentions his father being a cop or dying on the same night that Harvey Dent dies.  

Haus of Dinma
Haus of Dinma

Some of you folks are too upset. It's just a movie. Why so serious?

అనిల్ Anil
అనిల్ Anil

Nolan's movies always have an intelligent and dark look and feel about them..His movies have a different audience..The ones who can think deep and logically enough to get the plot. So it would not be fair to compare avengers to TDKR..Its about enjoying a movie's thrills.

Tomsilks
Tomsilks

Wow you are really getting too old for this, just seeing how you spoil the movie completely tells a lot of how damaged your mind has gotten with the years, I really think you should be retiring now because nobody likes an old man spoiling everything to people who really wanted to go in fresh to the most waited movie of the year. You really disappointed me and as I can see in the comments, you've disappointed almost everybody. 

theone85
theone85

This whole review was stupid this movie is EPIC and how do you think banes voice is not good its diffrent and cool it actually made him more menaceing if you ask me..you are just another movie critic talking trash because thats what this world is about now adays when it comes to critics talking trash..you probly had it in your mind befor you saw the movie that you werent gonna give this movie a real chance....nolan is doing something for the super hero movie genre that has never been done before and thats have a oscar worthy serious super hero movie all 3 batman movies by him were game changeing even if this movie is just nominated for a academy award that is awesome..name another super hero movie that was nominated for a major award? i geuss your just mad cause your favorite movie fantastic 4 rise of the silver surfer didnt get nominated..at the end of the day no one cares what you say or think just make your lil minimum wage at your job to write these garbage reviews of yours and shut the f*** up cause nolan says Hi hater

paneldaze
paneldaze

Predictable comparisons...one of the reasons Nolanverse is no country for comic book nerds. About time they moved on to other themes than superheroes. Marvel is much better with all its imperfections. Happy staying in the dark.

SR71_Blackbird
SR71_Blackbird

Bane..as in Bain Capital ?...that must be a typo...in any case, what a headache for Batman, I mean for Mitt Romney !

Matthew Kerkhoff
Matthew Kerkhoff

First time I have been this excited for a movie in a long time. I might even venture out to the movie theater to see this one. 

sacredh
sacredh

You might want to wait a couple of weeks. Every showing has been sold out at our local cinema.

ShamanX
ShamanX

You're no Batman Mitt Romney...

Rebelll
Rebelll

I personally stopped reading after the first paragraph, however much I enjoy reviews, what I do not enjoy is a review giving to much away. Not  bashing just stating my personal opinion. Will the TDKR be better than TDK? Probably not. At least not to me unless Hardy can live up to Heath's fantastic performance as the Joker. Will TDKR be better than the Avengers? It all depends on your taste. I personally can almost be positive I'll like TDKR better. I prefer more a mature, gritty, serious, and intellectually stimulating comic book film where the stakes are high and anything can happen. The Avengers was good for what it was. A good vs evil family friendly movie with lots of action. It also had a predictable story to it and no real depth in my opinion. But to each his own. I trust Nolan to deliver a fantastic ending to a great trilogy, I can't wait.

Bill Wilson
Bill Wilson

This is a snotty review from a member of the wine and brie crowd.  

nybnr
nybnr

At the end, Alfred reads the last lines from A Tale of Two Cities:

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a

far, far better place that I go to than I have ever known.”

Same line spoken by Kirk at the end of 'Wrath of Khan.'

epikvision
epikvision

Beautiful! Despite the spoilers, the review only boiled my anticipation to watch the movie soon.

epikvision
epikvision

Beautiful review! Despite having revealed some high points of the movie, rest assured, I'm still willing to delve into the gritty Dark Knight experience in the theaters myself.  

ysoserious
ysoserious

 will miss The Joker...but Bane looooks like he kicks d hell outta batman...will b a gr8 villian...The emotional side is where Nolan is lookingat.....with gr8..action..cant wait..

Jeremiah Lyles
Jeremiah Lyles

I cannot see the logic behind the many people who insist that movie has been ruined for them after a few people wrote about the death of the Batman.

The death of the character was being foretold by the studio on almost all billboards around the world for months.

The reason for doing this escapes me but since its fiction the Studio can always redo the film later anyway.

CapitanJusticia
CapitanJusticia

Why knock Avengers to prop up The Dark Knight Rises? Seeing six superheroes together for the first time on the big screen is  more entertaining than a psychotic vigilante who dresses up as a bat whom we've seen before.

David Perez
David Perez

You said it yourself: it's "entertaining" but that doesn't make it a great film. I loved Avengers but I won't see it again anytime soon or even buy it. It was just fun and that's it. Batman is on a whole different level.

Ivan Ortiz
Ivan Ortiz

yeah i guess a different level means better in your lexicon. please, fun and entertainment are as good an asset for me as dark and brooding for you

CapitanJusticia
CapitanJusticia

 Yes,  Batman is on a whole different level of pretentiousness. It's funny how these Nolan films take themselves so seriously when they're just about a man who fights crime dressed up as a bat. They feel more like  episodes of CSI or Law and Order than a comic book movie which must make it a better movie for some people.

Ivan Ortiz
Ivan Ortiz

LOL CSI? Law and Order? you went a bit too far, no?

ocscorpio
ocscorpio

If you've read A Tale of Two Cities, the reference to it at the end of DKR in this review could be a pretty big giveaway to how it ends. If so, it was irresponsible for the reviewer to include it in this article. In the book, the quote Alfred read was said by the protagonist right before he was executed in sacrifice. If Nolan used Two Cities as an inspiration for this movie, and that line was mentioned at the end of the movie, my money is on Batman dying in the movie.