Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Dark Knight (2008)
One of a kind, Nolan's best work.
You won't have any trouble believing that aphorism when you see Heath Ledger's mesmerizing performance as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," Christopher Nolan's hotly anticipated and often brilliantly executed follow-up to "Batman Begins."
His face caked in cracked white greasepaint, his smile a grotesque red lipstick scar, kohl rimming his eyes, the Joker is a cruel kind of clown, the kind that is only interested in the last laugh.
Slouched in his purple suit, Ledger gives him a lopsided shuffle, a permanently craning neck and an insinuating, deceptively neighborly voice. But there's something reptilian about the way his tongue flicks through his pursed lips like a pickpocket. He's hungry for trouble, a maniac for mayhem -- and in Gotham City, where crime is still running wild, he can make himself right at home.
Ledger dominates this movie as a living presence, a live wire, dangerous and unpredictable. It's an astonishing performance, as extravagant and free ("deranged" might be a better word) as his Ennis Del Mar in "Brokeback Mountain" was inhibited and tongue-tied.
And "The Dark Knight" takes him -- and its world -- very seriously.
Even more than Batman himself, the Joker would usually scream "camp" (and has in the TV series and other movies) but Nolan refuses to go there. His Gotham is cement and glass, a "real" city not so different from what we might find in any contemporary action thriller. (Chicago doubles for Batman's metropolis.)