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The Dark Knight Rises | 2012 | PG-13 | - 2.7.3

Batman (Christian Bale) comes out of an eight-year exile to protect Gotham City from the mad terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy), who seems bent on destroying the city. Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), a burglar associate of Bane, turns to Batman's side. Also with Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Christopher Nolan. [2:44]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man and a woman kiss for a prolonged time and the camera cuts to a view of them lying in the dark by a fire, nude under a heavy blanket; sex is implied (we see the woman's bare shoulders and arms and the man's bare shoulders, arms and chest). Several couples kiss briefly on screen.
 A butler tells his employer that he needs a woman in order to have a life; he says, "I'd set you up with a chimpanzee if it would bring you to reality."
 A woman wears a tight leather jumpsuit throughout the film. Several women wear cocktail dresses with plunging necklines that reveal significant cleavage. A woman wearing a tight, knee-length maid's dress and stockings pulls the skirt up to mid-thigh in order to jump out a window. We see two shirtless men, fully bare-chested in several scenes. A shirtless man has scars down his spine and on his chest and another man has scars on his lower abdomen.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A villain takes over a city with his band of armed thugs, shooting many people with automatic weapons; several scenes include dead bodies in the streets (little blood is seen). A villain breaks the necks of several people, a few in close-up and we see the bodies drop dead. A villain steals army tanks and uses them against the police and citizens, killing many people and we see bloody wounds on the faces and chests of bodies lying in the street.
 Thugs hold a man down, drain the blood from his body using a needle and tubing and then kill him by shooting him in the chest. A man is taken hostage and forced to work on a nuclear core, but is later killed by thugs when they break his neck. A woman crashes a motorcycle through a commercial building and launches a missile that slams a man into a wall in the background, killing him in a cloud of smoke and debris. A truck crashes, killing a woman inside (no blood appears).
 Several thugs lower themselves on cables from a large airplane to a smaller one in mid-air while soldiers shoot hooded hostages and toss them out the door; gunfire erupts for an extended period and we see soldiers die with bloodied faces and chests and the thugs break and cut the smaller plane into pieces until nothing is left. Thugs shoot up the stock exchange, kill several men and women and tie hostages on motorcycles; one hostage is saved by a helicopter that lifts him by a cable and many police cruisers give chase and are stopped by a large truck pulled across a road. We see men hanging by the neck from a bridge in the distance.
 Thugs drag rich people from their homes and take them to a commercial building where they are sentenced to death; they are forced at gunpoint to walk onto a frozen river and most of the people fall through the ice (presumably drowning). Thugs trap 3,000 uniformed police in a subway tunnel by barricading it with a wall of crushed cars; one officer comes out of a manhole at night and is shot dead (no blood is seen) and another is knocked down an embankment, and a helicopter fires guns at thugs to scare them off. A thousand police officers and a hundred thugs armed with high-tech tanks and rifles fight in the streets: gunfire and grenade explosions are loud and long; many police officers die and a few thugs die, all with a little blood on their faces and chests.
 A woman fights off men in groups of 2 to 6 throughout the film with martial arts techniques: a few times, she points a handgun at the head of one of the men and shoots a few others in the head (they fall off-screen before we can see blood); she rides a huge motorcycle, shoots thugs pursuing her in tanks and SUVs (we see a little blood), and launches a missile to blow up a stack of crushed cars blocking a subway tunnel (we see large amounts of smoke and flame). A man punches a villain in the face, breaking a mask he is wearing; the villain gasps until a woman stabs the second man in the side and fixes the villain's mask and the villain places a cord around the second man's neck (his efforts to harm the second man are foiled).
 Several kidnappings occur, with pistol whippings that leave men with bloody foreheads; we see men being dragged away through the streets, shot and killed (we see some bloody chests). A man is abducted after an extended fistfight and we see him wake up with a broken back and bloody face in a filthy foreign prison: two inmates help by hanging him in a harness and striking his vertebrae into place as he screams, he hallucinates about a man from his past reaching out to him, awakens, shouts and climbs out of the harness; he stumbles, he learns to walk again and escapes from the prison after falling from a climbing wall twice. A man lies in a hospital bed with several tubes and wires extending from his body and attached to machines; he gasps and eventually recovers from beatings that left his face bloody and his chest and shoulder red with blood. A man is told that he is missing all cartilage from both knees and elbows, and we see scars over his kidneys and other damage; we see the man in physical therapy with a metal knee brace, shouting in pain.
 Several violent and long fistfights occur between a superhero and a supervillain (both are injured, but little blood is seen); we hear grunts and shouts. A detective fights off two armed attackers by knocking them out. A woman saves a young boy from two thugs.
 A nuclear bomb is carried by helicopter out into the ocean, the bomb explodes and it appears that the pilot dies in a mushroom cloud; we see a graveside service for him where a man cries loudly. Thugs blow up sewers and subway tunnels with hand grenades and bombs that explode in smoke and fire; at one point, the entire city is filled with the dust from falling concrete, fire, smoke and falling buildings, reminiscent of the 9/11 tragedy. Explosions level portions of a city, including bridges, streets and a professional football field; cars fall into sinkholes left by the bombs (we don't see injured people).
 A police detective steps onto a bridge and orders uniformed officers to stand down and let a school bus pass; the officers shoot at his feet and blow out a portion of the bridge, throwing the detective (he's dirtied but unhurt), and he gets up and tells kids to get onto the bus, but another man says a nuclear bomb ensures there is nowhere to go.
 Several scenes include rushing waters in a wide sewer system, with two bodies floating in the water. Dead bodies with blood on their heads lie in a hospital corridor as SWAT team members run through carrying rifles.
 A villain wears an elaborate breathing mask that we understand reduces the pain he suffers from injuries caused by prison beatings, which we see several times in a flashback; we see his bloody face and we see him seated with a bloody scarf wrapped around his face several times, revealing only his eyes.
 A woman stands beside a large archery target as a huge arrow strikes the bull's eye and she screams. A room is flooded to prevent people from reaching a nuclear core and a man climbs metal rungs on a wall to escape the water. A woman somersaults backward out a second-story window to escape capture as a jewel thief and lands on her feet. A man falls from an escape wall and is saved by a guide rope tied around his waist.
 A man chases a truck containing a woman and her remote trigger for a nuclear device. At night, a man discovers a bat cave behind a waterfall and drops to the ground as a cloud of bats flies over him. A man with a flare lights a stream of gasoline that travels to a commercial building to make a signal in fire on the building exterior at night.
 In a large fight scene, a cohort tells a woman not to kill any more people and she agrees. Loud arguments occur throughout the film between a man and his butler, among corporate board members, between police officials, between a detective and his boss, between the detective and criminals, and between the detective and uniformed officers, between two superheroes, among prisoners in jail and between ordinary citizens. We hear that a villain killed a man's parents. A man tells a friend that his parents died separately in a traffic accident and a shooting incident over gambling debts.
 An armory contains medieval weapons and modern armored tanks, motorcycles and helicopters and in the next room there is a four-megaton nuclear core that was stolen and made into a bomb.
 A man walks with a cane in several scenes and we hear that he suffered severe injuries eight years ago.
 We see American flags in tatters after a gun battle.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 scatological term, 1 anatomical term, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (society hag, social climber, crook, handsome [sarcastic], hot head, dumb, sideshow, psychopaths), stereotypical references to gangsters, police officials, members of the military, superheroes, scientists, madness, revenge, obsession, men, women, thieves, 1 religious profanity, 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A cocktail party shows glasses of wine on tables, a man drinks from a glass of whiskey, a man drinks from a glass of wine, and a man in an outdoor café drink a glass of sherry.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Organized crime, power, money, corporations, greed, revenge, consequences, responsibility, vigilantism, justice, martial law, obsession, betrayal, letting go of pain.

MESSAGE - Meet your responsibilities and turn them over to the next generation when it is clear that you should move on.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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