The Dark Knight (2008) Poster

Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace

Sex & Nudity

  • During an evening meal, a woman wears a very low dress.
  • On a sailboat, several women in the background are wearing bikinis.
  • Bruce Wayne walks in on a couple that is about to have sex, and when he opens a secret passage to the batcaves, the couple assumes that it is a safe room where they can do it in private. Played for laughs and it's very subtle.
  • There are 2 kissing scenes in the movie.

Violence & Gore

  • There are extremely pervasive and frightening moments of menace and threats, primarily by the main antagonist of The Joker, who wears horrific clown make-up to scare people and to hide the graphic scars on his cheeks.
  • It is implied that the Joker has the remaining mob boss killed and fed to his own dogs before taking his place.
  • Two-Face hits a girl when deciding not to kill her.
  • As Batman is fighting the Joker and his henchmen, the Joker has a hidden knife blade in the toe of his shoe which he uses to kick Batman in the rib. The scene then cuts to Batman shouting in pain before throwing the Joker to the floor.
  • Frequent and prolonged scenes of violence throughout. There are multiple shootings, stabbings, fistfights, explosions, bombings and burnings. However, the violence is only of a moderate quality and never bloody or gory.
  • The Joker slams a pencil into a man's eye brutally. No blood or gore shown.
  • A building is blown up.
  • Apart from Harvey Dent's scarred face, there is no blood or gore that is visibly seen throughout the entire film.
  • There is a scene where it is implied that the Joker slashes the cheeks of another man in a Glasgow smile/Chelsea grin. We see nothing as the camera cuts away as it happens, but the actions are quite clear nonetheless.
  • A man is shown hanging from a noose in front of a window in a "jump" scene, and he is already dead when he is dropped.
  • A man is bitten and another is mauled by a dog, there is blood shown later during the first and the second doesn't show any at all.
  • A man suffers intense burns to one side of his face, later the muscle and bone are visible in areas and his eyelid is burned away to expose his whole eyeball.
  • A woman dies in a flaming explosion. The camera cuts to show the outside and the building blowing up so we see nothing of her death.
  • There is a scene in which a man is shown to have a bomb sewn under his skin. When it later explodes although the camera cuts to show the explosion from another window, and the man can still be seen blowing up into a blood red smoke cloud.
  • A man has his legs broken, after being dropped from a small height. The breaking is audible and you see his legs crumple under him.
  • Despite the nature of these scenes, there is no real gore and there is very, very little blood. However, the violence is discussed openly, and the Joker, who's the main perpetrator, often boasts or explains the violence graphically. He also declares that people will die and brutally murders several in quick succession.


  • A few uses of ''hell,'' ''damn,'' ''son of a bitch," and "ass" respectively.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • We see a drug dealer (No on-screen drugs though) Somebody is smoking a cigar. And some people drink (not focused on at all).
  • There is a scene where a man is about to drink, but is interrupted.
  • A man quickly drinks two shots of whiskey.
  • A drug dealer is displeased with the man who supplies his trade. The drugs are indicated to have been laced with a hallucinogenic and a man is shown suffering from intense hallucinations and calling out in terror on the floor. We see nothing but him thrashing and the drugs themselves are not shown, only mentioned.
  • We see a mobster constantly smoke a cigar, smoking in almost every scene he appears in.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • A dead man is seen hanging briefly.
  • The Joker tells two upsetting stories of how he got his scars.
  • Two-Face threatens to blow up a house.
  • The iconic Joker interrogation scene can disturb viewers.
  • The Joker taunts Two-Face, encouraging him to kill himself.
  • Two-Face's descent into madness is chilling and may be difficult to watch for some viewers.
  • The appearances of the super-villains in the film can be disturbing. Two-Face's scarred and burnt face is gruesome to look at. Of course, the Joker's makeup and scar covered smile are extremely scary, especially for younger viewers.
  • The Joker's bizarre, nihilistic personality is terrifying.
  • The ending can be very intense for some.
  • The film's tone is very dark and gritty.
  • Almost every scene with Joker is pretty intense.
  • The Jokers eerie laugh and constant salacious licking of his lips is unsettling.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • The Joker sets his dogs after Batman. Batman throws them to their presumed deaths but then Joker attacks Batman and madly beats him with a crowbar before throwing him down and pinning him down with an iron beam.
  • Batman beats down an entire SWAT team in the film's climax.
  • In the opening montage, several bank robbers wearing plastic clown masks shoot each other with guns in a battle for the wealth they are trying to steal. However, no blood is shown at all.
  • The Joker threatens to kill people stuck in ferries.
  • The movie opens with a bank robbery. There are several scenes of men being shot, however it either cuts away, happens offscreen or there is no blood shown. A man has what looks like a grenade shoved into his mouth, but it is then shown that it is a gas canister.
  • There is a scene where the Joker slams a mobster's head down on a pencil tip. The camera angle and the cut mean we don't see anything. But it is made clear what happens; there is a pencil impaled in the man's head.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Rachel is suddenly killed by an explosion when Jim Gordon fails to reach her in time. Her death may be saddening.
  • The film deals with the difficulty of remaining moral when fighting darkness. Gotham is shown as a morally corrupt city full of criminality and deceit where good struggles to survive. The Joker is an anarchist who's actions constantly try to evoke human beings' worst instincts, and he eventually aids Harvey Dent's transition from an upstanding man of the law to a nihilistic murderer. The tone is unrelentingly grim, but ultimately finds a balance between its darkness and a sense of hope.
  • The Joker says he will blow up a hospital if a man is not dead in 60 minutes.
  • Two-Face threatens to kill a man's family at gunpoint.
  • The Joker posts a chilling video of himself with a hostage telling him (and his viewers) "how crazy Batman has made Gotham." He then laughs maniacally off camera, and the hostage's screaming is heard in the background. Later on, we see the hostage's now dead body hanging from a noose hit the window of a high rise building, with tense and scary music playing and also making a jumpscare. This is definitely the scariest moment in the film.
  • Near the end, there is a scene with two ferry boats with large-scale explosives in their cargo bays. They both have a detonator. The Joker states that they both have a detonator to the other boat. By midnight, if one of them isn't already blown up, he blows both of them up.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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