Even if you don’t think that The Dark Knight is the greatest comic book movie ever made, you still have to admit that it easily cracks the top five, at the very least. Building on the success of Batman Begins‘ grounded reinvention of the Caped Crusader, the sequel was an altogether bigger and better affair.
The first installment in The Dark Knight Trilogy may have spawned the dark and gritty reboot trend, but the middle chapter went a long way to legitimizing the superhero genre as being more than just sheer spectacle, with 2008 ultimately becoming a defining year for comic book adaptations following the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man just two months previously.
Not only did The Dark Knight score universal critical acclaim for everything from the sprawling narrative to the production design via a refreshing reliance on practical effects, with Heath Ledger’s instantly iconic performance as the Joker being singled out for particular praise, but it also became the first superhero movie to earn over a billion dollars at the box office, something that’s become expected of the genre’s highest profile releases over the last few years.
Some shoddy acting from a number of overzealous extras aside, there are very few flaws to be found in Christopher Nolan’s epic, cementing the filmmaker’s reputation as one of the finest directors in the industry. And now, it seems to be finding a new surge of popularity on Netflix, with The Dark Knight cracking the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched list today, currently sitting as the 10th most popular movie on the platform on the global charts. And as the week goes on, it’ll no doubt climb even higher as subscribers revisit one of the definitive blockbusters of the 21st Century.