If every generation gets the superhero it deserves, then this darkest of dark knights is surely ours. An uncannily accurate mirror of the contemporary cultural zeitgeist, Christopher Nolan's epic finale to the Batman trilogy is just that: epic. It's been eight years since Batman took the fall for the death of Gotham D.A. Harvey Dent (aka Two-Face) and A.D.A./love interest Rachel Dawes. Wayne (Bale) has abandoned the cape and become a recluse – broken, a shadow of his former self. Enter Bane (Hardy), who, sporting a muzzlelike respirator and gargantuan physique, takes Gotham hostage with a nuclear device. There's far more to the story – including Anne Hathaway's slinkily kickass Catwoman – but I'll steer clear of spoilers/explanations here. Suffice it to say that Batman does indeed rise to the challenge. The Dark Knight Rises
wraps up the trilogy adroitly, with thunderous action set-pieces to spare, and darkness to burn. Read a full review of The Dark Knight Rises.