I’ve been enthralled by films for as long as I can remember, but unfortunately, almost every film you watch begins to lose its touch the second, third, fourth time around. It is incredibly difficult for a film to still be so interesting, surprising, and downright entertaining, when you already know how it ends. However, every once in a while, a film, or in this case a group of films, have the ability to withstand that barrier, and continue to thrill after so long. Some of these films, in my opinion, are Christopher Nolan’s excellent The Dark Knight Trilogy.

I don’t feel the need to describe these films, because the whole world and their nan has seen them, but in case they’ve slipped under your radar, be careful, because there may be some plot points that are given away in the following article. Today, I’m going to rank these films in order of their quality, entertainment value, and generally how much they have remained relevant and interesting. With Ben Affleck’s rebooted Batman already finished filming, there is no better time than now to discuss arguably the most consistent superhero trilogy in recent memory. Here we go:

#3: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

I’m sure most people could’ve guessed this one, but unfortunately, the final entry into the trilogy was unable to match the sheer spectacle of its predecessors. The pacing was downright strange; the first 45 minutes probably spanned a week tops, whereas in the final third months are covered in far less time. You can tell that this wasn’t how Christopher Nolan pictured the final entry into his series, and I’m sure if it were not for Heath Ledger’s untimely passing, this film may well have been on the top of this list. However, this was not to be, and we were given a slightly disappointing film, that was majorly overhyped, which ultimately lead to its reputation as the worst in the series. Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight Rises is by no means bad, in fact it is still one of the best superhero films in the past 15 years, but it felt like a step down compared to the others. However, the film certainly raised some talking points – we still get our typically Nolan-esque ambiguous ending – and the Miranda Tate/Talia al-Ghul twist was interesting enough, but unfortunately, what could’ve been amazing managed to fall apart at points.

#2: Batman Begins (2005)

When Batman Begins came out, Christopher Nolan was still a relatively new face to the film industry, and had barely any of the power and influence he has now, so it’s incredibly surprising that he managed to reinvent a franchise in dire need of repair. After the dreadful Batman and Robin killed the Caped Crusader’s cinematic career, expectations were low for Batman Begins, but diehard Bat-fans needn’t worry, because it was incredible. The spectacular cast, and a nipple-free Batman, were refreshing for an audience to see, and you could argue that if it weren’t for Batman Begins, we wouldn’t have films such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or Avengers AssembleBatman Begins showed studios that people were ready for a more realistic and relatable type of superhero film, and although the market may now be a little bit over saturated, we have to thank Batman Begins for giving people the confidence to make comic book films for the fans, not to sell toys. This film introduced us to the characters we would admire on-screen for another seven years, and standout performances from Christian Bale and Gary Oldman added to the spectacle. Batman Begins truly is a triumph, and one of the best examples of doing justice (ba dum tss) to the source material.

#1: The Dark Knight (2008)

Before you all snap at me, let me explain myself. Some people may refer to The Dark Knight as overhyped, not as good as people make it out, and so on, but really, it is none of those things. I think it is just an excellent example of capturing everything a character stands for on paper, and bringing it to the screen. Some may say that Heath Ledger only won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar because of his tragic death, but if you examine his performance, all the little details and the small things, you can see how spectacular an actor he was, and how sore a loss his passing was. The plot has something for everyone, there’s the crime-drama mob subplot, the love triangle between Bruce, Harvey and Rachel for the rom-com audience, and all the subtle hints to the comics for the Bat-fans. Although the pacing may be uneven at points, and the final half an hour is a little bit bloated, the film manages to entertain me every time I sit down and watch it. The tight cuts between shots, the dark and depressing tone of the film, and so much more lead to it being one of the finest films in recent memory. If I could only watch one film for the rest of my life, it would be The Dark Knight. Easily one of the best films I have ever seen, and definitely my favourite. The Dark Knight always leaves me satisfied, makes me think, but best of all, makes me remember why I love Batman so much.

There we have it, The Dark Knight Trilogy has been ranked. Keep on the lookout for more in-depth, analytical reviews of these films in the coming months. Do you disagree with me? I’d love to hear your opinion, so make sure to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to share on Facebook and Twitter!

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