Tag Archives: Anne Hathaway

Interstellar (2014) Review

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Interstellar

Time: 169 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast:
Matthew McConaughey as Joseph Cooper
Anne Hathaway as Amelia Brand
Jessica Chastain as Murphy Cooper
John Lithgow as Donald
Michael Caine as Professor Brand
Director: Christopher Nolan

In Earth’s future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth’s population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind’s new home.

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I can clearly remember watching Interstellar in the cinemas for the first time back in late 2014, it really was one of the best cinema experiences I’ve ever had. It was truly an incredible visual experience, Christopher Nolan had a great handle on it, and it also had a great story. It has only gotten better and better the more I’ve watched it, Christopher Nolan and his talented cast and crew created something truly incredible here.

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For some, the early portions of the film might be a little slow, it’s about half an hour before Matthew McConaughey even goes into space. Having watched it a number of times though, at this point I liked that section. When I was watching the movie for the first time, there was a lot to take in and I didn’t understand a lot of what was going on, and I had to think about a lot about what it all meant. With that said, having seen it a few times now, I’ve grasped a pretty good amount of what this movie is. This is a long watch, just under 2 hours and 50 minutes in length, making Interstellar Christopher Nolan’s longest movie to date, so you have to be ready going into it (at the same time it’s also best going in not knowing too much about the plot). Of course having seen it at least 4 times now, I’m pretty familiar with the plot and what happened. Now it is a science fiction movie and has a lot of great effects, but at its core it’s an emotional story, and I was invested in that on top of loving all the sci-fi stuff. In fact this is Nolan’s most emotionally charged film to date. I guess some of the dialogue can be more than a little heavy handed when it comes to the themes and the philosophical portions, and those parts admittedly come across as a little clunky. There’s even a moment when Anne Hathaway flat out says the main theme of the movie like halfway through, and while I get it’s important to make that main idea clear, maybe Nolan could’ve pulled back from some of that a little. However if you’re invested in this story, that won’t matter at all. The only other aspect I have issues with is one part of the ending, I’m not necessarily sure about the handling of this one part. Outside of that, I don’t have too many problems with the movie.

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Christopher Nolan once again assembles a great cast, and they all perform very well. Matthew McConaughey is great in the lead role, in one of his best performances. Ultimately his performance is what anchors the film and is central to the movie through and through. There are a couple of moments in this movie that got to me emotionally, and 95% of it is because of McConaughey’s performance. The major supporting actors with Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine are great in their parts, and brought their A game. There’s also Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, Timothee Chalamet and Wes Bentley who are good. Foy especially stands out as McConaughey’s daughter, and their scenes together earlier in the movie are great, especially as their relationship is one of the main driving forces of the movie. There’s also a robot called TARS voiced by Bill Irwin, who was a good addition to the movie. An appearance from a certain actor later on in the movie was also quite surprising and good (not saying who this actor is just for those few people who haven’t seen Interstellar in the years it has been released). I know some people have mixed feelings about his subplot, but I mostly liked it.

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This is Christopher Nolan, of course he’s going to direct this movie extremely well, even knowing that however, the level of filmmaking here is outstanding. This is Nolan’s largest scaled film to date, and you really feel it. The cinematography from Hoyte Van Hoytema is outstanding, and the visual effects are nothing short of fantastic, from the planets that the main characters go to, to space, all of it just looks stunning. The locations shown in the movie are great, and Nolan really makes the places feel believable and plausible. Hans Zimmer’s score is euphoric and really takes this movie to a completely higher level. One of Zimmer’s best scores to date, and that’s saying a lot.

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Interstellar is firmly on the list of the best science fiction films, especially in recent years. Whether or not this is his best film, this may well be Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious film to date, from the scale, the cast, the direction, to the overall story. If you somehow haven’t seen it yet, definitely watch it when you can.

Dark Waters (2019) Review

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Dark Waters

Time: 126 Minutes
Cast:
Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott
Anne Hathaway as Sarah Bilott
Tim Robbins as Tom Terp
Bill Camp as Wilbur Tennant
Victor Garber as Phil Donnelly
Mare Winningham as Darlene Kiger
Bill Pullman as Harry Deitzler
Director: Todd Haynes

A tenacious attorney (Mark Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family and his own life.

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I remember hearing about Dark Waters a while ago, I recognised director Todd Haynes from his work on the excellent Carol, so I was keeping an eye on his next movie. Despite the involvement of the likes of Mark Ruffalo, I didn’t really think much of it based off the marketing. It didn’t look very interesting and so after a while I stopped paying attention to it. But when I got the opportunity to watch it I did, and I’m glad I saw it.

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Dark Waters definitely feels familiar to some other legal dramas/investigative movies about cover ups, it’s no doubt compared to Spotlight quite a lot. It might take some time for you to be completely on board with the movie, but once Ruffalo is locked in to the case, you’re locked in too. You’re learning a lot of information along with him, and it’s rather engaging throughout. The story being told is quite important and relevant to today, it starts in the late 90s, but you can see that it this case takes place over a number of years. Now I personally never heard anything about what happened here beforehand, so this was quite a new thing to learn for me. I won’t reveal too much, but learning the results can be infuriating and unsettling, especially knowing that all of this really happened. Now one could argue that Dark Waters is another one of those movies where it seems like it’s essentially cliff notes of something you could read yourself on a Wikipedia article, but it does enough to actually keep you engaged with the story told by the movie. Now I guess you could call Dark Waters a ‘slow burn’ movie, but I was really interested in what was going on, so that never proved to be a problem.

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Dark Waters has a great cast who perform well in their roles. Mark Ruffalo gives one of his best performances in the lead role of Robert Bilott, the lawyer who took on DuPont. At a certain point he’s locked in and obsessed with this case, and you really see the toll it takes on him and his family. Ruffalo’s performance is subdued but quite believable and effective. Anne Hathaway plays Bilott’s wife, and while it seemed like a pretty thankless role for her, she does get to shine in a couple moments. The rest of the supporting cast is good with the likes of Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham and Bill Pullman. The standout from the supporting cast however is that of Bill Camp, who plays the farmer who initially contacts Bilott about how multiple deaths in West Virginia are due to DuPont. Camp is one of those character actors who shows up in a bunch of movies in supporting roles and he’s always good in them, but he particularly gets to shine here.

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Todd Haynes directed this pretty well. At first I was a little turned off by the look of the movie, it’s very dark and grey, and not appealing, and I wasn’t really sure if that was intentional or not (especially with his previous movie being as visually stunning as Carol). After a while though I settled into it, and it looked a lot better as it went along.

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Dark Waters wasn’t exactly given the best distribution or marketing, however when you get the chance to watch it, definitely do. It’s an important story that more people should be aware of it, I didn’t know about any of it before this movie. On top of that, it’s engaging, written and directed well, and has a great cast, led by an excellent Mark Ruffalo. Dark Waters is one of the most surprising movies to come out of 2019.

Serenity (2019) Review

Time: 106 Minutes
Cast:
Matthew McConaughey as Baker Dill
Anne Hathaway as Karen Zariakas
Diane Lane as Constance
Jason Clarke as Frank Zariakas
Djimon Hounsou as Duke
Jeremy Strong as Reid Miller
Director: Steven Knight

Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain who leads tours off of the tranquil enclave of Plymouth Island. His peaceful life is soon shattered when his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) tracks him down. Desperate for help, Karen begs Baker to save her — and their young son — from her abusive husband (Jason Clarke). She wants him to take the brute out for a fishing excursion — then throw him overboard to the sharks. Thrust back into a life that he wanted to forget, Baker now finds himself struggling to choose between right and wrong.

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I think I might’ve heard about Serenity a little while ago. The cast consists of Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway but also this would be writer/director Steven Knight’s second film, after his debut with Locke. However, what got me really noticing the movie was the response to it, it wasn’t just badly received, it was labelled a hilarious disaster. Eventually I caved in and decided to watch it, it really wasn’t a good movie but it was fascinatingly bad at points, which at least gave it some entertainment value.

Steven Knight has written a lot with the likes of Eastern Promises and of course his directorial debut Locke, so it’s clear that he has quite a bit of talent at writing. While I hadn’t watched all of his written movies, I thought that The Girl in the Spider’s Web would be his worst work, Serenity proved me wrong however. Much of the movie moves really slow and is about catching fish, so even though the main plot is about Anne Hathaway getting Matthew McConaughey to kill her husband, it’s stretched over a long period of time, and mostly just being him trying to catch a particular fish. There are so many absurd things done over the course of the movie and it just end up being hilarious. Matthew McConaughey is constantly after a fish named Justice, there’s a character who literally refers to himself as “The Rules”, and some things that are meant to be taken seriously are just done in such a silly way (there are even more examples but border into spoiler territory, so I won’t go into depth with those). Some of the dialogue is quite weird and unnatural, “I’m a hooker with no hooks” and “We haven’t caught jack since your wife died” are among some of the odd lines of dialogue that we are blessed with. You’d think that this is at the very least a partial comedy given all the genres it tries to be but it actually plays the whole story very seriously. Being written averagely is one thing. However in terms of movie breaking issues, there’s a big chunk of the movie I can’t talk about because of spoilers, and that’s the twists and the direction of the story. You get hints of the main twist in the first 30 minutes and you can figure it out pretty quickly. Then at the hour mark it just reveals everything to the audience, it’s worse than that, they spell it out for the audience. The concept of the twist isn’t bad itself but it needed to be handled much better than how it was, because the end result was honestly pretty ridiculous and doesn’t work at all. It goes in such a far off direction from what you’re expecting going in, it’s really bonkers. When you look back on many of the events knowing the twist, there are a lot of things that don’t add up and it just makes the movie even more silly. With that twist, it’s like Serenity is trying to have 5 genres all in one movie, and none of them go together at all.

This movie has quite the talented cast, unfortunately the film really didn’t utilise them that well, even if they try their best. Matthew McConaughey’s performance isn’t bad, he puts everything that he could into this movie. Yes, his performance can be pretty over the top at times, and him getting ‘dramatic’ and randomly yelling at some points, you can’t help but find him to be hilarious, honestly though I can’t blame him too much, at least he tried. Anne Hathaway also tries her best in her role, but she too is held back by the writing. Despite working together on Interstellar, you wouldn’t know that McConaughey and Hathaway had even seen each other before filming, and keep in mind that the two characters are like ex-spouses. The chemistry between them is non existent. The rest of the cast don’t really get anything to work with. Jason Clarke plays Hathway’s abusive husband (given no subtlety or humanity whatsoever and is basically a cartoon throughout much of the movie), Diane Lane’s only purpose in the film is to have sex with McConaughey and Djimon Hounsou is just sort of in there in the movie and isn’t that significant in the plot.

Steven Knight’s direction of Locke was simple but effective, even though it largely just took place inside a car in one night. Here he works on a much larger scale, and while his work here isn’t disastrous, it’s got a lot of problems. To be fair to Serenity, it can look really good at some points. However, some of the decisions like the zoom ins and fast paced moments, as well as the occasionally jarring editing really take you out of the whole experience. Even the music was pretty generic and didn’t fit with the movie at all.

Serenity was a really weird misfire of a movie. It really all comes back to the writing, with its weird dialogue, a plot with many ideas that don’t come together, and add upon those ludicrous twists that don’t work at all, it’s a fascinating movie to watch. I can see why it was pushed a couple of times from last year to January of this year. In terms of positives, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway do their best with the material that they have, and the cinematography can be alright at points, but they can’t save this movie from being a mess. While I wouldn’t put it under the so-bad-it’s-good category like so many people have, I’d say that it is strange and unintentionally funny enough that it might be worth a watch.

Ocean’s 8 (2018) Review

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast:
Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean
Cate Blanchett as Lou Miller
Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger
Mindy Kaling as Amita
Sarah Paulson as Tammy
Awkwafina as Constance
Rihanna as Nine Ball
Helena Bonham Carter as Rose Weil
Richard Armitage as Claude Becker
James Corden as John Frazier
Director: Gary Ross

Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting — that’s how long Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it’s going to take — a team of the best people in the field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett). Together, they recruit a crew of specialists, including jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), street con Constance (Awkwafina), suburban mom Tammy (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), and fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter). Their target — a necklace that’s worth more than $150 million.

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I was a little sceptical about Ocean’s Eight. It had a lot of potential, with it being a spinoff of the famous Ocean’s series directed by Steven Soderbergh and having a huge and talented cast including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway. At the same time the advertising for the movie made it look just okay and I was unfortunately not as excited for the movie as I feel I should be considering all the talent involved. Nonetheless I was curious enough to check it out and I’m glad I did. Ocean’s Eight was actually quite a bit of fun with the cast and was yet another reasonably well done heist movie. It does have some faults but its easy to overlook most of them.

I watched the Ocean’s trilogy many years ago and I don’t have the best memory of it but I do remember liking it. Ocean’s Eight does similar things that other heist movies have done (like the original Ocean’s trilogy), it has a similar structure, and it has some similar sequences like the team recruiting montages and the twist montages where it reveals everything that happened. It doesn’t really do anything new but it does everything rather well. The first two acts do have moments where it drags and you aren’t as entertained or interested but it does pick up again within a few scenes later. Generally however, it is entertaining, and I was consistently entertained in the 3rd act.

As previously mentioned, Ocean’s Eight has a great cast, with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway and more and they play their roles well. Some give better performances than others, and they aren’t giving some of the best performances of their careers but they are good here. They have great chemistry and play off each other really well. The two standouts for me though were Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, they really were highlights of the film. The weakest performance of the movie was James Corden, he doesn’t have a massive amount of screentime and he’s not bad, not even annoying or anything. But he is very distracting and feels miscast in the role, he plays it like he’s James Corden and not a character.

Gary Ross directs this movie well enough but you do feel the lack of Steven Soderbergh. It does have some stylistic moments and it’s fine and all but it’s missing something. I’m not saying that Steven Soderbergh himself needed to be directing this movie, and Ross’s direction isn’t bad but I think Ocean’s Eight would’ve benefited from better direction.

Ocean’s Eight was a lot of fun. Even if you haven’t watched the original Ocean’s trilogy, that won’t negatively affect your experience of the movie. The cast was great and it was entertaining watching them come together to pull off a heist. It does have some issues but it’s not enough to take away from the overall experience. I do hope that we get at least a couple more movies with these characters, it definitely has potential.

Alice in Wonderland (2010) Review

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Alice in Wonderland

Time: 108 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Frightening fantasy scenes and violence
Cast:
Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter
Anne Hathaway as The White Queen
Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen
Crispin Glover as Stayne – Knave of Hearts
Matt Lucas as Tweedledee/Tweedledum
Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh
Alan Rickman as Blue Caterpillar (voice)
Stephen Fry as Cheshire Cat (voice)
Michael Sheen as White Rabbit (voice)
Timothy Spall as Bayard (voice)
Director: Tim Burton

A young girl when she first visited magical Wonderland, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a teenager with no memory of the place — except in her dreams. Her life takes a turn for the unexpected when, at a garden party for her fiancé and herself, she spots a certain white rabbit and tumbles down a hole after him. Reunited with her friends the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), the Cheshire Cat and others, Alice learns it is her destiny to end the Red Queen’s (Helena Bonham Carter) reign of terror.

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Tim Burton nowadays can be hit or miss with hits with Sweeney Todd and misses with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. When it comes to his take on Alice in Wonderland, people are divided but the movie did make a lot of money so obviously a lot of people liked it. However in my opinion, Alice in Wonderland is a miss and it might be his worst work yet. I haven’t read the book or seen any of the previous interpretations but yet I found this movie a bad adaptation. It tries to be this big grand war movie when it didn’t need to be. It’s so strange how this movie turned out, considering the fact that Tim Burton is a perfect choice to direct an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. But whatever the case, I felt that this movie was a huge let down and a terrible version of the classic story.

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It should be noted that this movie isn’t even an adaptation of the original Alice in Wonderland story because this isn’t the first time Alice has been to Wonderland. Later you find out that this place isn’t even called Wonderland, it’s called Underland. So the movie is more Grown Up Alice Returns to Underland than Alice in Wonderland. This movie also seemed to miss the point of Alice in Wonderland. There is some made up prophecy story forced into this movie and it also tries to make a war movie out of Alice in Wonderland. Because of this there are so many plot holes, like there’s a scene where Alice uses the enlarging cake to grow bigger, couldn’t they just make more of that cake and use it to win the war? Also despite this movie being PG, there are some pretty dark things that happen in the movie, so this film also doesn’t know what age they are working towards.

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Mia Wasikowska plays Alice and she is extremely bland and boring in this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she’s a great actress, I just think it was the direction and writing that let her down. She barely looks interested or distressed by all the events happening all around her. Johnny Depp is playing typical Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter is playing typical Helena Bonham Carter. They aren’t bad but they aren’t anything special either, same can be said for the other characters.

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I will say the one good thing about this movie is that at times the style does show Wonderland off quite well. The designs for all the characters are perfect, take the Cheshire cat for instance. Tim Burton and Alice in Wonderland were a perfect pair for each other and although the rest of the movie isn’t good, at least everything looks great, even though there is quite a lot of CGI used.

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Alice in Wonderland was so popular that this year we’ll be getting a sequel. Do I think it’s possible for it to be good? Anything is possible but it’s unlikely. This film did have some good designs and some potential with Burton’s involvement, however the writing completely lets the story down by being bigger and more serious than it should. I think this is my least favourite Tim Burton movie so far. I know that Burton isn’t directing the sequel but I’m still not looking forward to it. Then again Alice in Wonderland is not a very tough act to follow, so it might at least be better.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

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The Dark Knight Rises

Time: 165 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne
Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon
Tom Hardy as Bane
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle
Marion Cotillard as Miranda
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan

After Batman (Christian Bale) took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder 8 years ago after the events of The Dark Knight, Gotham is at a time of peace. However, a new force named Bane (Tom Hardy), a mercenary has arrived in Gotham and aims to take over the city and destroy it. Now that Wayne Manor has been completely rebuilt – Bruce Wayne has become almost reclusive, rarely leaving the estate. And with Bane taking over the city by force, it forces Bruce to come out of retirement to once again become the Batman.

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When people go to this movie, they shouldn’t go in expecting The Dark Knight 2. This movie’s tone was much more thoughtful and the movie’s pace is slower. It goes in depth into the idea of Batman and what Bruce Wayne will do to protect Gotham from criminals. The second time I watched this movie I noticed the tone which actually seemed much tenser than The Dark Knight. There is a real sense of intensity and suspense even when there aren’t any action scenes happening at that point. The final act is really big and has a lot of build-up to it, and has most of the action scenes in the movie in that part.

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Christian Bale, like I said with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight does a good job at playing both Bruce Wayne and Batman. One thing that should be noted is that Batman isn’t in this movie as much as the previous two movies, most of the time it is Bruce Wayne. In fact, the first time you see Batman is quite close to the middle of the movie. As with the previous movies, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman return to deliver great supporting roles. Also as with The Dark Knight, there are some new characters in the trilogy. Bane was magnificently played by Tom Hardy. When I heard that Bane was going to be the main villain of the Dark Knight Rises, I couldn’t help but think of the version in Batman and Robin. That movie made him look like a stereotypical villain’s drone that was always brain dead. Here though, Tom Hardy manages to make Bane a menacing force to be reckoned with. Like The Joker, he was always a presence, even when he wasn’t on screen. He even manages to match The Joker for the best Batman villain portrayal. Anne Hathaway was really good as Catwoman. This movie has a more realistic take on her than in Batman Returns and Hathaway did a good job portraying her. Marion Cotillard also plays a new character called Miranda who has an important part in the story, performance here is also good.

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Hans Zimmer’s score was as usual great but one thing I have noticed was the music wasn’t as big and bombastic as the previous movies. Not that it is bad; in fact it is great for the tone that this movie is going for. I said earlier that the movie’s tone was more reflective than the previous movies but it doesn’t mean the action was filmed slack, if anything the action is bigger. When Christopher Nolan films action, a lot of the action was practical and not CGI and this movie is no exception. The final act was such on a large scale it surpasses the final act of The Dark Knight.

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This movie is much quieter than the previous movie. It is more of a character study than an action movie, this isn’t Dark Knight 2. If anyone expects this to have constant action, they will be very disappointed in this movie. This is the biggest of the trilogy but is also the deepest of the trilogy as well. It is very debatable which movie is better, this or The Dark Knight. Either way, this is the fitting conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy which shall be remembered for decades to come.
10/10