Batman: The Dark Knight NY Magazine’s terrible review causes outrage


New York magazine film critic David Edelstein is public enemy number one after publishing the first negative review of the much-anticipated and lauded The Dark Knight. Batman fans and fellow critics are firing back, saying he just didn’t “get” the film. Edelstein gave the film a negative review due to violence and “morbid” factors that seem related to Ledger’s untimely death:

The momentum doesn’t carry through, though. The Dark Knight is all fits and starts—fitfully suspenseful, fitfully scary, one jerky episode after another with jolts of brutality to keep you revved up. When Burton’s Batman came out, some prominent critics griped that the film was too violent for kids. Wait’ll they get a load of this.

[NY Magazine]

Many of the latest superhero movies are not for kids. The films are a darker take on the masked hero genre and are aimed at an adult audience.

It is unfair of me to judge the sole negative review of the film based on the trailers I’ve seen. Of course it seems “dark” and “morbid,” but I think that’s the point.

Those who have seen The Dark Knight and feel differently about their beloved Batman 2.0 have answered the call with their support. Even fellow critics have called the review “complete bulls##t.”

The so-called critic chimes on the morbid elements of the film, calling it “noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.” This isn’t just a matter of complaining about a critic who didn’t like a film that I loved, this guy really doesn’t get the movie. It seems like he’s just attacking its more brilliant aspects just to spite its otherwise perfect rating.

[First Showing]

Time and Rolling Stone are just a few of the major outlets that heap praises on the film. It had a 100% aggregate rating on Rotten Tomatoes until Edelstein’s negative review pushed it down to a 94%.

Edelstein seems to think that the role was a negative outlet for Heath Ledger as the Joker and lef to the unstable mental state which contributed to his death. As Slash Film points out, that may have been what ruined the movie for Edelstein and should not be something you’re thinking about while watching it:

David found Heath Ledger’s performance “painful to watch”, calling it “rave and rage and purge acting”.

“Scarier than what the Joker does to anyone onscreen is what Ledger must have been doing to himself”.

Oh C’mon… Yes, Heath Ledger’s death was tragic, but if you are thinking about his tragic personal life while watching this performance – Trust me, you aren’t watching the movie right.

[Slash Film]

The film is sure to be a huge hit at the box office. It opens in the US on Friday and advance ticket sales have been massive. Given all the other rave reviews there probably won’t be many more contrarians like Edelstein.

Photos are stills from The Dark Knight, thanks to AllMoviePhoto.

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50 Responses to “Batman: The Dark Knight NY Magazine’s terrible review causes outrage”

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  1. ri23 says:

    Feel free to post any story about anything that ends with a pic of Bale. Yum. Want.

  2. vdantev says:

    There always has to be one in the bunch. But maybe, just maybe the movie isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all and everyone who’s said otherwise is just giving in to “Heath’s Dead” hysteria.

  3. Blackalicious says:

    I know some morbidly curious people might be more likely to see it as it was the last filmed role (that and the partially finished Gilliam movie) but from what I saw in the trailed his acting was flawless. Amazing. We usually rent movies now (with a baby and all) but we are getting a sitter next weekend and seeing this!

  4. daisy424 says:

    :wink: @ri23, I second that, love Bale.

    I saw the trailers also, the hair stood up on the back of my neck when Heath was on the screen. Make-up or not, it was his voice, a bit eerie.

  5. Kaiser/ Hippacrat says:

    A fanboy revolt. Goody.

    I think the film looks great – the Time Mag crtic made a point of saying it wasn’t for kids. He also compared Ledger’s performance to Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Good stuff. :)

  6. yourmom says:

    is anyone else as annoyed as i am about the death of a young actor WHO WAS A DRUG ADDICT and not any sort of hero- but has suddenly turned into a martyr by hollywood and the media BECAUSE HE OVERDOSED ON DRUGS?!?! let’s face it: the guy is no day-lewis – HE WAS A DRUG ADDICT. and now he’s dead. let’s move on… oh, and i highly doubt anyone can top nicholson’s ‘joker’ performance.

  7. Celebitchy says:

    yourmom: He died from a prescription drug interaction. Not a drug overdose. He was on two drugs for anxiety, two sleeping medications, and two pain medications. He took a normal amount of all of the individual drugs and by most accounts he took them as prescribed. They had a combined effect on his central nervous system that killed him. He was not warned by any doctor not to take the medications together and there was no indication that he took any one of the drugs to excess. But of course people who like to post in all caps and label others aren’t willing to look at the facts and evaluate them, because he was a DRUG ADDICT and DESERVED WHAT HE GOT, right?

  8. Kaiser/ Hippacrat says:

    Yeah, CB. Imagine if nobody could ever see any movie starring an actor who was a DRUG ADDICT or even SOMEONE WHO TOOK DRUGS RECREATIONALLY. Would Hollywood even make movies anymore?

    Oh, and Jack Nicholson used to TAKE DRUGS RECREATIONALLY.

    *sob*
    But won’t anyone think about the children?

  9. kristin says:

    THANK YOU Celebitchy. Ignorant people like “yourmom” (real mature sn by the way) post stupid stuff without knowing all of the facts.

    I for one can’t wait to see this movie. Heath Ledger’s Joker won’t be like Nicholson’s. His will be better.

  10. ri23 says:

    @yourmom: Whether the guy had or didn’t have some sort of drug problem, doesn’t cancel out how talented he was. It also doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be celebrated for his work. And, yeah, he is up there with Daniel Day Lewis. If you’re a Daniel Day Lewis fan, look up how completely devasted he was when Ledger died and what he had to say about it.

  11. Mairead says:

    Kaiser…. Nicholson “used” to take drugs? LOL – I doubt it was in the dim and distant past somehow :lol:

    If one critic didn’t like it, then he doesn’t like it. Of course the fact that it gets extra publicity for his newspaper and thereby shifts more copies doesn’t hurt :twisted:

    I adore Maggie Gyllenhaal and Christian Bale, so I’m looking forward to this anyway – even though I’m no comic book fan.

    “Himself”, who does like all that sort of caper, was very very sceptical about Heath at first, but then he saw clips last year and completely changed his mind.

  12. Kaiser/ Hippacrat says:

    LOL, Mairead. When I was thinking about drugs and Nicholson, I was thinking about coke and pot (1960s, 1970s). But you’re right. These days it’s probably Viagra, Vicodin and Ambien. Washed down with Scotch. The good stuff.

    God, I love Jack. :)

  13. Anne says:

    Um, ya, yourmom, being a drug addict completely negates his compassion and talent. Yup, once you are a drug addict nothing else matters.

    Ledger was a great actor, I don’t think he’s a ‘hero’ not many do. It’s very sad though that he died so young and when people die, their good traits are talked about. Is this why you think people think he’s a hero? Cause I don’t get it.

    Not to mention that Nicholson was a huge drug user in the 70s and 80s.

    As far as the article is concerned, the complaint about the movie not being kid friendly, I’m glad for that. I usually enjoy non-kid friendly movies more. If my 7 year old wants to watch these new Batman movies I will say ‘no’. It’s not hard, parents should try it sometime. If you are a parent of a teen or preteen I highly doubt the movie would scar them much.

  14. geronimo says:

    This thing about Edelstein (good critic usually from what I’ve read of him) finding too close a relationship between the insanity and darkness of the character and Heath’s subsequent death doesn’t really fit with other people’s recollections of Heath in the run-up to his death. Possibly he’s mistaking art for life and can’t separate the tragedy from the character. Interesting article below.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/film-and-tv/features/heath-ledgers-final-cut-an-exclusive-onset-diary-864638.html

  15. Mairead says:

    But Jack was photographed with white powder in his nostril a few years back. Unless of course it’s Georgian-style white arsnic-type facepowder of course. Which didn’t really go with his tan :lol:

    You could well have a point there geronimo

  16. Wif says:

    I’m sure that there will be some people who may not like the film, so I don’t mean to negate the critic’s view BUT…he certainly has gotten his name out there, hasn’t he. Can’t hurt the career.

  17. Kolby says:

    I saw the behind the scenes short for this film on HBO the other day. I honestly can’t wait. I’ve read other reviews, and by most accounts, The Dark Knight is even better than Batman Begins (which was pretty damn good). It’s supposed to be dark and moody and morbid – it’s all about the struggle between good and evil, and this film especially is supposed to be about the struggle between good & evil inside Batman. So yeah, if it was all sunshine & rainbows I’d be pissed.

  18. lola lola says:

    Awesome response CB!

  19. daisyfly says:

    Kudos to CB. Drug interactions are often not a factor to those being prescribed any medication. Even the most benign or most common of prescriptions can interact with other benign and/or common prescriptions, not to mention OTC medications with ill effects.

    That being said, the foibles of the man doesn’t take away from the talent of his acting, no matter who the man is. If Heath DID have a drug problem, it doesn’t negate the fact that he was a gifted actor, and if we were to refuse to partake in said gifts simply because an actor/actress had abused a substance at one point or another, we’d all be wont for entertainment.

  20. Tillerby says:

    This has been the most over-hyped movie ever!!! What is it the second coming of Christ?

    Get a life, reviewers, because someone doesn’t like it you want to “eat him”.
    You guy are lurching like drunken sailors, you hated Hancock so much many of you had to go on suicide watch, NOW you love “the Dark Knight” so much, you’re all going to lemming off a cliff.
    You guys have no credibility.

  21. k says:

    I love you CB! ‘yourmom’ is obviously misinformed. Jesus christ, he wanted to sleep. He suffered wicked awful insomnia, and when you haven’t slept in like, *days* you’ll actually act like a drug addict. He wasn’t one. I’ve got terrible insomnia and if I died last night and they did an autopsy on me, they would find far more dangerous and desperate attempts for sleep in my system than his. Oh and don’t you love how doctors don’t even check for interactions? I have two different doctors, one for sleep meds and anxiety, one for my bizarre health problems, and although they’ve been informed of what each other prescribe, I’ve still had several interactions that I was lucky to have a smart pharmacist point out to me before it was too late.
    And anyway, I thought the movie and his acting were going to be fantastic way before he died. Suck it, haters.

  22. Dizzybenny says:

    dead or not dead,has soon has i saw the first pic of Heath last September i wanted to see that movie a.s.a.p.
    samething with “The Crow” with Brandon Lee when i saw the photos in a magazine before his death.
    I never looked at Brandon Lee in that movie thinking “gee to bad he’s dead”.
    It was more on the way out of the theater that i thought “wow,so sad that he died”.
    I’m pretty sure i’ll have the same reaction once i see “The Dark Knight”.

  23. STEVEN says:

    HAVEN’T BEEN TO A MOVIE SINCE GEEZ I FORGOT. BUT I SHALL SEE DARK KNIGHT. I DO NOT READ REVIEWS

  24. Hollz says:

    i already have my ticket for the midnight show :D
    i can’t wait to see this movie- and not just because of the “hype”, because i think Heath is going to be a brilliant joker…i guess i’ll wait and see on Thursday!

  25. Celebitchy says:

    @K – I once was in the emergency room for extremely slurred speech. They sent me home and told me it was “stress.” It wasn’t until it happened the next day at the exact same time that I figured out it was a drug interaction from a new drug I was taking – by googling the medications I was on myself. I called my neurologist, who knew all the drugs I was on and I specifically told him and remember this, and he said “oh yeah you’re not supposed to take those two together.” AND I filled all the Rx at Walgreens, which is supposed to have a system to catch interactions. It wasn’t an issue of a sample interacting with another drug either, which is also common with all the samples the drug reps give out. I no longer take any prescription medication.
    - edit – and if you are having serious problems sleeping please consider that the drugs you are taking are probably making your condition much worse than it would be naturally, which I know is no consolation when you are going through it. I hate to get preachy about this, but I was very sick for a while and all the drugs the docs gave me just made it worse and complicated both the diagnosis and recovery. I also see this happening now with a close friend of mine.

  26. k says:

    @cb
    Thanks, you’re a doll for saying all that. I go to Walgreens, they’re the ones who caught it. Also I now check all my meds on this webmd.com interaction checker. I’ve tried going off all the meds, but I need a lot of them. I have Asperger’s and my anxiety is so bad I can’t leave the house unless I’ve taken Klonopin, Lexapro, and had a good night’s rest. Even then it’s an incredible struggle. Ugh this is all embarrassing, I’d feel silly saying this on any other blog though. Anyway though, my autism has to be controlled by meds or I get overstimulated. I can’t sleep bc of childhood abuse (do not want to explain please)but I always tell my dr if my sleep meds aren’t working. Ambien hurts me, but the new one is working so far in combination with trazodone he prescribes. My other doctor, the one for health problems made a mistake in prescribing me a barbituate (wtf!) for my severe migraines when I’m on birth control. The barbituate makes the bc not work. It’s insane. Not to mention my hypothyroidism that all my drs are REALLY careful not to mess with. I appreciate what you said, so much, but going off my meds isn’t an option for me. Wish it was, but I;m so screwed up, lol.
    (please nobody make fun of all this.)

  27. Harley says:

    just because it was his last movie doesn’t mean it HAS to be good.

  28. Celebitchy says:

    K I’m sorry for making you say so much here and I know what you mean about being too open. You are anonymous here though, don’t worry. And I don’t mean to be anti-drugs, they help a lot of people and are necessary and have saved lives and helped people live better lives. Trazadone is the drug that caused a problem along with another antidepressant for me. It was prescribed for sleep and I think that’s why the Dr. missed that it could be too much of a CNS depressant when combined with another one. Heath died of a legitimate drug interaction and it’s one that could happen to a lot of people easily, especially older people and people who are chronically ill. We had a lot of discussion here about it at the time and many people had similar stories of close calls and even death of loved ones.

  29. k says:

    Crap, I just tried to post something and it went away.
    Anyway, paraphrasing, CB, don’;t be sorry, please, i need to get over my shame about my condition anyway. I can hide it better online than in person so I like coming here very much. Thank you so much for caring though. <3

  30. heathledgerfan says:

    Before Heath passed away this movie had rave reviews. I remember going to watch movies back in September and watching the previews saying…”damn, I can’t wait to see that”

    This movie will make well over a million and because of the fans of Christian Bale and the fans of Heath Ledger.

    That review was horrible. I felt like the critic was the only adult that watch Teletubbies and liked it.

  31. Frederico says:

    Heath Ledger was a heroin addict. There are plenty of stories about this that can be found with a quick search. The guy even had a picture of screaming people being tortured in hell on the wall of his rented English home.

    It is astonishing that no one is sticking up for Jesus when His back is against the wall, but everyone is going to weep over this selfish kid. We have entered topsy-turvy world where good is bad and bad is good.

    Heath was nothing to be admired — but he was probably better for this role than it seemed when he was cast. He seems to embody a kind of casual nihilism that I see all around me, skull tattoos and skull clothing, a sort of tribal death march that society is embarking on.

  32. Nan says:

    If Heath didn’t die, all of this would be different. It astounds me how people will react when someone is dead. Secretly, they feel they must defend him because now at least they have something over the dead person. They have life.

  33. MISSY says:

    Cosign with Nan, If the reviewer feels that the movie and cast is less than stellar so what? The man died famous so now people want to canonize him

  34. vdantev says:

    Frederico,

    When priests stop sodomizing children, and televangelists stop living like kings off the sweat of their followers, and the tears of every starving child dry because of a full belly instead of because of death by malnutrition, your words will carry more weight. Until then- STFU. :evil:

  35. Sue says:

    K-DAMN!! We could be twins-have aspergers/thyroid,etc….use to have anxiety issues-I too am easily over stimulated!!! Don’t need drugs right now-have had to take antidepressents every 2-3 years for seasonal depression-can’t sleep!! Talk therapy worked wonders for me-helped me be okay with my limitations and grateful for areas I excel.Only thing I’m stuck with is can NOT be around bipolars…TOO MUCH!! I actually puke.Disney is difficult-though the therapy worked wonders.

  36. k says:

    @ Sue
    That’s so amazing!!!! I am now really glad I shared that. I tried talk therapy for years and years, and I found most therapists round here are really awful, lol! My mom eventually found a better solution – talking to her. She totally understands me and I’m so lucky to have a mom like her. I’m 22 btw, but I don’t live at home, and I’ve managed a healthy relationship for over 2 years, I have good friends, but I still can’t really go out. I guess that’s ok. I mean clubs and stuff aren’t for me. I also can’t drive sometimes. Too much around me. It’s like my peripheral vision isn’t big enough! I always ALWAYS say the wrong things cos of my limited understanding of emotions… oh I could go on! But you’re so not alone!! And neither am I!
    My thyroid issues caused me to gain 50 lbs in a month! It all hit me. Luckily I was a twig before and I now run over a mile a day. I’ve lost sooo much weight. Also, I was on generic synthroid until I found out that it doesn’t work sometimes bc of the way it’s made; sometimes they don’t put the exact amount in that you’re supposed to get bc it’s such a low dosage. But brand name Synthroid works great!
    Thank you so much for saying all this to me, you and CB have actually made my day. I wish there was a way I could get in contact with you :(
    Oh btw, I agree with the bipolar thing. They make me super nervous! No offense to anyone with it, bc it’s a serious condition, but it’s too much stimulus and emotion. I drive them nuts too though! Sucks though bc I’ve known so many sweet people with bipolarism and I just couldn’t properly connect. I totally mean no offense to anybody with it, it’s me not you!

  37. Sue says:

    K-keep going!!! I’m 47….when I was your age I had a hard time driving also! I thought I had peripheral vision issues also-but it turned out for me to be like a terror-tunnel vision.I just kept working my way through it.Now I am the only one who drives-all weather-and considered to be too fast-love it!!My doctor just switched me to the brand name levoxl for the same reason.Had to have half my thyroid removed in my late 30′s-had a goiter-piece of cake made a great difference in my life.My best sucess with a shrink did not come until my 40′s….so try again another time.I too can gain 30-40 lb.s in a month-course it takes a year to get it off-I just enjoy the workouts! Enjoy yourself-not many people can hear lights/x-rays and radio towers-you should have been around for black/white tv-sooooo loud.Thought for years everyone could hear that.Be cool-we are unique buddy!!

  38. Nan says:

    Wow, this is the best celebrity blog of all. The owner chimes in on comments. I learn a lot from the people here. I really like that it isn’t a place (like so many blogs) for losers who are cliquish and trying to hurt others on line because they can’t lash out at others in their lives anymore.

  39. k says:

    :D
    I didn’t know I wasn’t the only one who could hear that. Let’s seeee.. I have really weird emotions, some people think I’m cold in person. But personal attacks drive me up the wall (read the sharon stone post comments). I’m often very confused in public, like I can just stand there, middle of grocery shopping, and someone has to shake me. Can’t shop alone, go to malls, anything. My boyfriend has to be my minder sometimes, but he’s very kind. Had weird sexual identity problems when I was younger, like a teen. I was never sure what sex was about, it confuses me still a little. Also, I’m bisexual, so it was always a weird question of the name for what I am. I just don’t care which gender I suppose. I’m a girl btw. I’m very childlike in person, which apparently is my Asperger’s. I also look very young, oddly so, which is convenient for my childlike personality. However I’ve always loved words, so I’m quite articulate (I hope). I like being alone a lot because I don’t understand jokes, or why people do certain gestures. I always seem inappropriate. I get overwhelmed easily. Oh and I get SOOOOOOOO obsessed with little things. Like archery for two months, nothing else. Then something new and I never touch a bow since. Stuff like that.
    Anything like you?
    <3 to you and to Nan! cos I like Nan.

  40. hello says:

    This movie looked awesome before Heath Ledger died. He made the Joker not comic book-y like the original Batman movies and series.

    Batman IS dark. He’s called the Dark Knight for a reason…opposite of shining and all. I got that when I was very little. Granted, my dad was a bit of a comic book fan boy, but he thought that when I was a child I could understand Batman’s inner struggle between being Bruce Wayne (and good and law-abiding) and becoming the Batman (who was obsessed with going outside the law and fighting crime in an illegal manner (high speed chases, leaving criminals hanging from buildings. etc.)). The Joker was a sociopath in the purest sense. Even playing him in the original Batman movies, which were far more tame than this series, was very trying for Nicholson. He’s stated that before. He alluded to that in the clip where he was asked by a pap what he thought of Heath Ledge’s death (He said “I told him so.”) It has even been speculated that some of his sleep problems came from playing the character (I think Ledger believed in method acting).

    Either that critic is thick and couldn’t grasp that concept, or was looking to get a bonus by being that guy. I vote the latter.

  41. Persistent Cat says:

    Good Lord, I’m so fucking sick of hearing people talk about Heath Ledger like he was the second coming. Read the Rolling Stone interview he gave a few years ago, you’ll hate him afterwards.

    And yes, he was a drug addict. It’s common knowledge. And I’m not a pharmacist or a chemist but fuck me, if I’m presribed a whack of medication, I’m smart enough to be leery of them interacting badly. I’m not crying for anyone.

  42. bruce says:

    Congratulations, David Edelstein you have become the “Joel Schumacher” of critics. So start preparing for your new job using these words, “Do you want fries with that?”

  43. Rusalka says:

    Just wondering…what about all the other fantastic actors in the movie?

    It’d be hard not to slant towards watching Ledger’s performance since his recent departure. And, yet, I long to see Bale carry forward with the role of Wayne/Batman. Also, (sorry for forgetting his name) the man who plays Dent…I hear he really shines.

    There’s so much more to this movie than just Mr. Ledger. I hope it’s taken as a whole, instead of just the work of one actor — however good/bad that may be.

  44. Mairead says:

    Frederico – your religious opinions aside, your knowledge of the history of religious art is pitiful. I strongly recommend that you Google these: Giotto, Lucas Cranach and Hironimous Bosch, many artists used religious themes as an excuse to paint fantastic or sexualised themes. Whether that’s good, bad or indifferent “people screaming in hell” is hardly a new concept in art.

    Rusalka, you’ve a point – but even before he died the focus of this film was on The Joker, which is possibly why there is such an emphasis now on the character.

    Oh and so not only are people being accused of treating the birth of a certain pair of babies like The Second Coming, now the late Ledger is too. He’s spreading Himself a bit thin, isn’t he? :roll:

  45. xiaoecho says:

    Hey Frederico…I’ve got that same picture of people being tortured in hell on MY bedroom wall

    I count them when I can’t sleep at night

  46. Sue says:

    Every quirk you have I have.The only difference is I love to go places alone-why bring company when I have a complete show going on in my head.What you think is odd is what makes Jim Carrey or Robin Williams or Tennesse Williams all great-we are different! I am a police dispatcher it makes great use of the extra hearing ability-I can listen to multiple things all at once.Makes it easy listening to people because I don’t have to see their faces,so I am never confused.Yeah I still look like a kid and as far as sex-hey whatever rocks-men the best! Was married 15 years than realised I was working harder than him-blah.When you read about artists-you will see yourself! There are no limits.People without a little something extra like us are BORING!! Go get “em!!!

  47. Nan says:

    Thanks Hello. I like you aussi!

  48. jason says:

    i just saw this movie and i think that the way heath captures the viewers shows how great of an actor he is and that critic that is bitching about how the movie showed his mental state dosent know what acting is he was paid to act crazy and he did that flawless just because he died dosent mean we still cant enjoy the movie its a tragic thing yes ….but we need to give him props on the way he captures us in the flim its one of the best films in theaters in the past two years its a weeeeeeee bit too long tho 3 hours almost :wink:

  49. I think the Brad Pitt is quite good actor and I would lie to see his new movie.

  50. Batman-Fun says:

    I dont like these series of new Batman. Older Batman much more better.