4 stars (PG-13)
Christopher Nolan's mega-hit follow-up to "Batman Begins" is dark, disturbing and, even with a few slow spots, remarkably propulsive. "The Dark Knight" is a moralistic crime story packed with bold, stylish action and a powerful score. It is a grim tale oozing with depravity that pushes the limits of its PG-13 rating. By far, the film is the most slam-bang Batman movie to date. The ensemble cast is strong, but the stand-out is Heath Ledger, whose performance as The Joker is remarkably detailed and deliciously scary. Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman return, with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart joining the cast. 152 minutes. DVD INFO: Extras on the two-disc special edition include behind-the scenes featurettes, the six IMAX scenes, and a digital copy of the film. For a film this big, the extras are relatively sparse. I'm betting that a deluxe edition is in the works.