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One of the best Batman movies is back on Netflix — and it just hit No. 3

A scene from the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Comics)

The Netflix top 10 is always changing, and it can be interesting to see what’s been popular on any given week. Especially the movies, which don’t have the likes of Stranger Things or Umbrella Academy to monopolize viewers’ time, but The Dark Knight Rises is the latest movie to fly into the Netflix top spots.

It’s been a decade since the climactic chapter of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy hit cinemas, and it’s the kind of thing you’d assume would be exclusive to HBO Max. But the movie is in the number 3 spot on Netflix, and people seem to be enjoying watching Christian Bale’s Batman battle it out with Tom Hardy’s villain Bane.

What is The Dark Knight Rises?

The third chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which began with 2005’s Batman Begins, and continues on from 2008’s The Dark Knight. Set eight years after Batman (Christian Bale) foiled the Joker’s plan and injured his leg in the stand-off with Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne (also Christian Bale) is now retired and living as a recluse.

Unfortunately, that solitude is quickly broken, thanks to the antics of various villainous characters. Notably Bane (Tom Hardy), an agent of the League of Shadows, who sets himself up in Gotham’s sewers with the goal of destroying the city once and for all. Thanks to the actions of Bane and thief Selina Kyle (Ann Hathaway), Batman is forced into action once more to ensure Gotham is protected.

But this movie is almost three hours long, so things don’t go particularly smoothly for the Caped Crusader. But there are no spoilers to be had here, so if you want to find out more you’ll have to go and watch the movie on Netflix.

What did critics think about The Dark Knight Rises? 

The Dark Knight is widely considered the best live-action Batman adaptation, so The Dark Knight Rises had an uphill battle trying to carry on that legacy. 

Does it succeed? Arguably no, particularly since Bane isn’t as engaging a villain as The Joker. But that’s not to say it’s a bad movie; it has an 87% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) and a 90% audience score. 

That’s not as good as the dual 94% scores (opens in new tab) enjoyed by The Dark Knight, but it’s still pretty darn good. Batman Begins (opens in new tab) rocks an 84% score from critics and 94% from audiences, so the threequel is either better or not quite as good depending on who you ask.

The critic consensus is that “The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.” That’s backed up by a lot of reviews from the top critics.

Peter Bradshaw, of The Guardian (opens in new tab), gave the movie 3 out of five stars. The review notes that “Christopher Nolan insists on the seriousness of the Batman mythology; he has thoroughly reinvented it, reauthored it and thought it through, in a way no other director has done with any other summer franchise.”

AV Club’s Scott Tobias (opens in new tab) also praised Nolan, giving the movie an A- and stating: “At a time when Hollywood seems incapable of doing anything that isn't a grand-scale fantasy, Nolan has hijacked the form to bring it down to earth.” On a simpler note, The New York Times’ Manohia Dargis (opens in new tab) said the movie is a “grave and satisfying finish to Mr. Nolan's operatic bat-trilogy.”

Not everyone can agree, otherwise the movie would clock in with a rare 100% score. David Edelstein, from New York Magazine/Vulture (opens in new tab), was critical of the fact the movie “wraps up few of the threads in the first two films and that the climactic cliff-hangers are nothing special (as well as flabbily edited)."

Tom Charity of CNN.com (opens in new tab) admitted that “others will see it differently” but found the movie to be “a disappointingly clunky and bombastic conclusion to a superior series — Nolan’s biggest and worst movie to date."

Should you watch The Dark Knight Rises on Netflix? 

If you haven’t seen the previous two entries in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, you’ll want to avoid The Dark Knight Rises until you have — otherwise the movie may not make as much sense. Sadly, both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are only available to stream on HBO Max — which will set you back an extra $15.

The Dark Knight Rises is also available on HBO Max. So if you’re going to subscribe to watch the first two movies in the trilogy, you might as well watch the third one there; unless you seriously dislike HBO Max’s interface compared to Netflix. 

If you have seen those two movies, and feel like watching the conclusion without having to sit through them all again, then by all means head straight over to Netflix. It’s one of only a few ways to watch Tom Hardy and Christian Bale kick the crap out of each other.

Tom Pritchard
Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.