Re: Rank the Bat-Films.....
Personally, I feel as though TDKR is at least an 8 or 9. For a few reasons...
1. The massively expansive plotting. I really feel as though the concept of having such a massive plot is a bit of a lost art. Tale of Two Cities did it, Les Mes did it, but there aren't many examples of examples of that kind of plotting in modern cinema. I wouldn't want every movie to be as dense as TDKR is, but I did like seeing it for a change.
2. I found it extremely clever just how Nolan weaved hos subtext into TDKR. Most filmmakers would've gotten stuck on making the obvious and overdone economical point or exploring the personal character arc with Bruce Wayne. Instead, Nolan merely uses these aspects of the film to instead illustrate a larger, more encompassing point about faith, self-empowerment and the dichotomy between being a dictating your will onto others or reacting to others' wills. It's a complex concept that can be translated from everything from religion to politics, social structure and personal emotional growth.
3. It featured several extremely strong performances. Hardy played Bane with a frivolity and panache that always makes for a great villain, I will always argue that Levitt stole th, show with his multilayered and meaningful rendition of an everyman thrust among larger than life figures and situations, and both Oldman and Caine served as great supports for the film.
4. I think all of the technical elements of the film were spot on - and probably the best of the series. From the cinematography to the score, to the art direction and sound mixing, everything was wondering done.
I think TDK still shines brighter as a visceral, emotional experience. Ledger did really catch lightning in a bottle with his performance, and it emmerses the viewer instantly and thoroughly, but TDKR definitely has a different set of successes all unto its own.