The Dark Knight
In The Dark Knight, The Joker (Heath Ledger, in the final full film before his death) and Gotham City’s new DA, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), are just as important in this film as Batman/Bruce Wayne, played once again by Christian Bale. That’s because where Batman Begins focused on the incarnation of the winged superhero, this film develops his enemies and allies. The Joker here, aside from being a murderous bank robber and all-around freak, serves as a sort of intermediary between Batman and Gotham City’s mob world. Loyal to no one, The Joker thrives on chaos and upsetting the natural order of things. When Harvey vows to take down the mafia and eliminate crime in Gotham, he becomes a prime target for just about everyone on the wrong side of the law. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, takes Harvey under his wing, so to speak, despite the fact he’s dating his ex, the lovely Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). In a time when superhero movies are everywhere, it’s nice to see one rely on strong acting and a complex script more than just plain looking good.