Should ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Win an Oscar?

Published 2 years ago by

The Dark Knight Rises Oscar Race Nominations Should The Dark Knight Rises Win an Oscar?

Warner Bros. is officially launching their awards season campaign for The Dark Knight Rises, and it is not out of the question that Christopher Nolan’s concluding chapter to the Dark Knight Trilogy could be in the race for the biggest award, the Oscar.

The question is: does the movie deserve to win? We look back on the merits (and deficiencies) of Nolan’s final Batman opus – but if you’ve already made up your own mind, feel free to hop on down to our poll at the bottom and cast your vote.

In our own Dark Knight Rises review, we gave the film a 4 out of 5 star score, based on the level of technique in Nolan’s directing, as well as cinematographer Wally Pfister’s excellent shot composition. Add to that standout performances from franchise star Christian Bale, and strong debuts from franchise newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy as Bane – perhaps the most parodied film character of 2012.

Then again, time does have a habit of changing things: looking back now, it’s clear that while Dark Knight Rises is still a great film, and one of the better Batman stories ever told, compared to the rest of the Nolan Bat-films it is arguably (key word: “arguably”) the weakest entry in a very strong trilogy. (As discussed in depth (and infamy) on our Dark Knight Rises podcast.)

Then again, by now a lot of us know how Academy mentality works: Peter Jackson had to wait three years after the release of the first Lord of the Rings film to snag his Oscars, which were piled on in honor of the concluding chapter, Return of the King – which some people will say is arguably (arguably) the weakest film in that trilogy. Could Nolan be due for a simliar late reward after being snubbed (air quotes)for both The Dark Knight and Inception?

Dark Knight Rises Oscar Ad in Variety 570x728 Should The Dark Knight Rises Win an Oscar?

Considering the changes to the Best Picture category (which has seen an increase of potential nominees in the last few years), there is plenty of room for Dark Knight Rises to fit into the race; however, the competition is far from a lock. This is year in which awards-magnet director Steven Spielberg unites with awards-magnet leading man Daniel Day-Lewis in the awards-magnet genre of historical drama (Lincoln - read our review), so all this Batman Oscars talk could turn out to be a moot point. Given the level of critical acclaim and public interest, Honest Abe sweeping the Oscars would surprise no one.

[poll id="444"]


The Dark Knight Rises will hit DVD/Blu-ray on December 4, 2012 – just in time for the holidays!

Source: Daily Variety (via /Film)

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Anne Hathaway should be nominated for best supporting actress for her role as catwaman.

    • “Catwaman”Spell check please.

      • I believe that they avoided the name “cat woman”, on purpose of course. Not to say that her character was not a clear reinvention of the famous Bat villainess/love interest, but the discrete use of comic-booky terms and names helps me take the show more seriously.

        • but the discrete use of comic-booky terms and names helps me take the show more seriously.

          Yes but Batman, Joker, Scarecrow is ok….. However a cat burglar named Catwoman would just push it out of the realm of seriousness….

    • Whatever do u mean “arguably the weakest”
      Too lots of fans, it was “arguably the best”

      • YES.

      • That’s kinda the definition of the word ‘arguably’ ;)

  2. Well, if films like The Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and Saving Private Ryan all got beat by less remarkable movies, then I don’t have a problem with Nolan’s trilogy getting snubbed by the Academy. The Academy has had a history for picking boring, “smarter” films.

    You want to win Best Picture? Make a period movie and let the characters talk for 140 minutes or introduce 5 characters and make their fates intertwine into one story and make it about drugs, judges love drugs. And don’t forget to NOT release them during the summer, the Academy hates summer blockbuster movies.

    • Marky Mark,


  3. Not.

  4. I loved the film, still my favorite of the yeah. but Nolan wouldn’t want a potty award. its not his best film so I say no. but man it should get some nominations. I mean the scope of the film is unmatched by any other this year. Plus Tom hardy deserves a nod already, shoulda had it for warrior last year. IMO both rises and perks of being a wallflower will be overlooked by Lincoln… a film that is good because of one man’s performance. throw in another actor and its garbage

    • Well, I think Nolan deserves an Oscar, but not for this Movie. This movie was not great as compared to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight [My Opinion]. Also, I think there are so many great Films this year, and The Dark Knight Rises just doesn’t compare to most of them. There are still a few Good looking Films that are still not in Theaters yet.
      So, For The Dark Knight Rises, no Oscar. Not Nolan’s greatest Film, one of his weakest I think. A weak Plot. Caine and Hathaway did an amazing job, but I think Bale, Hardy, Cotillard, Freeman, Oldman, and Gordon-Levitt weren’t as great.
      Overall, No Oscar This year for The Dark Knight Rises.

      • I agree with your points, but wouldn’t mind it winning in one of the lesser categories. No way it should win for best picture. Maybe just a nomination just to make up for past snubs, but Nolan has made better films than this.

  5. no.

  6. I love Chris Nolan and this trilogy, but honestly, I don’t see it even being nominated. It had some incredibly weak plot points, seemed more than a little rushed, I think it was more a labor of love than an artistic expression, which was interesting for Nolan, who has always tended to push art, and character, but this time he just let Batman do what he always wanted Batman to do I think, and it was great if you agreed with him, but not the best movie of the year, not even one of my top 5 I don’t think.

    • I agree with absolutely everything you said except ‘Loving the Trilogy’. I only love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Other then that, every point you made, I agree with, 100%.

  7. Aren’t oscars generally given to GOOD movies?
    And here’s a better question, why should we care? The Oscars are an outdated relic, a bunch of out of touch old white men who always award sentimental crap. Let them fade into obscurity where they belong.

    • “Aren’t Oscars generally given to GOOD movies?”

      Nope, not all the time.

      A lot seems to depend on whether they wanna push a certain movie onto the public by handing out awards or if a studio pays enough to bribe judges into giving things Best Picture, Best Director etc.

  8. The Dark Knight deserved a nomination. Not the Dark Knight Rises.

    • yes i second this 100%

  9. No way. It’s a beautifully shot film, and has excellent special effects, with an enjoyable performance by Anne Hathaway. BUT the poorest movie of the trilogy. And I also think TDKR is Nolan’s worse film.


    Full of terrible clunky dialog, loaded with plot holes, unbelievable happenstance, time issues, Bane’s laughably garbled voice. And the most egregious criticism for any action movie…….. boring, badly choreographed fight scenes.

    AND the most squirmingly bad climax of any film:

    - As the ticking nuclear time bomb cliché runs down to it’s last few seconds, Batman stops to kiss Catwoman, gets into the cockpit of The Bat…… then stops to give a little speech, in his corny gruff Batman voice, to Catwoman and Commissioner Gordon, who both already know he’s Bruce Wayne……. why the fake voice at this point? Isn’t the time bomb ticking right now? Tick, tick, tick…..

    Gordon – “I never cared who you were.”

    Batman (rough voiced) – “And you were right.”

    Gordon – ” But shouldn’t people know the hero who saved them?”

    Batman – ” A hero can be anyone. That was always the point……. Anyone. A man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulders to let him know the the world hadn’t ended…..”

    THEN Batman flies away to NOT sacrifice himself for Gotham City.

    At this point of the movie I had to agree with Gordon. I didn’t care who Batman was. I didn’t care about Batman at all….. or TDKR.

    Best picture? Please.

    I have to go with Moonrise Kingdom or even The Avengers.

    • I for one thought that speech was moving

      • I know I was like, god that was amazing when I heard that speech. Who gives a rats butt if he was using his “bat” voice? I for one never had a problem with that voice. But I do think that he should have died.

        • My problems with the Batman’s “dramatic” speech during that final scene:

          1. Besides the fact that Batman’s macho gruff voice sounds stupid, Catwoman and Commissioner Gordon already knew at this point that he was Bruce Wayne. No reason for him to disguise his voice, unless he just wanted to sound extra tough before he DID NOT sacrifice himself!!

          2. The time bomb is ticking. No time for kissy-kissy with Catwoman. No time for speechy-speechy with Gordon.

          3. The speech itself was eyerollingly dumb. TDKR was chock full of why Batman was Batman. At this point of the movie, laying this hero angst crap on the audience AGAIN felt like I was being hit over the head. I’m not stupid. I don’t enjoy being treated as such.

          4. This “anyone could be Batman” schtick contradicts the message from The Dark Knight. In that movie the copy cat vigilantes got their asses handed to them in the parking garage scene right? So, should I dress up in a cape and fight crime or not. Which is it?

          • Gordon did not know hence why is asking.

            Selina kind of pulled him into the kiss and it was brief. That was her way of saying “seeing you on the other side” moment, Bruce was not really expecting it.

            The speech I felt in a way sort of the epilogue to the “Thank You” motif from the previous films. While this was symbolically passed on to John Blake and Batman, in this particular brief speech Batman was saying thank you to Gordon without saying the words. It was a nice reversal. Gordon was Batman hero and is arguably one of the main sources of his hope.

            Batman did not say “anyone can be Batman” but rather “anyone can be a hero”. Batman did not want mindless vigilantes that were endangering, purposefully, the lives of others or themselves. Batman was a symbol to not be afraid of the criminals and the corrupt not a symbol to incite unlawfulness (one of the key themes dealt specifically in ‘The Dark Knight’ and the trilogy overall). Anyone can do the right things and sometimes we will have to step out of society bounds in order to preserve its ideals but it does not make the structures meaningless. He did not approve the way they used guns to intentionally harm/kill criminals who in Batman’s mind still deserved trial and their rights.

            • That quote from my post above is directly from the TDKR script…… right after Gordon finds out Batman’s secret identity. Hence the: “I never cared who you were.” from Gordon. So Batman using his “bat” voice to make this philosophical point is a poor choice on Nolan’s part. Plus the ticking time bomb is supposed to be ratcheting up the suspense here, but all this foot dragging is draining away any tension I should be feeling. Batman is taking his sweet time to fly the nuke away, so it undercuts this potentially hair raising, heart pounding action. He’s not an action hero. He’s a High School philosophy teacher.

              FYI – Mixed into this dialog is a flashback of Gordon putting his coat over the young Bruce Wayne after his parents were killed. Also draining away excitement over the action and injecting pity instead. This is bad filmmaking. Right at the climax of the climax of Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

              Batman should have been in a screaming hurry to get that bomb as far away from Gotham as possible in the time allowed. He should have kept his bat-mouth shut, jumped into The Bat like his pants were on fire, and flown that nuke over the ocean. Making us all sweat in the process….. is he going to make it??!! And then Batman dies tragically in the explosion. I suspect this is the way Nolan wanted it to go down……. but with studio interference and/or Goyer’s crap injection we got what we got. A flawed ending to this groundbreaking entry into the comic book movie pantheon.

              • Well I was judging what was said on the film itself rather than the script. I am not saying you were wrong. There are faults in this film with the script being the main culprit.

                I found the core story- the essence- nearly perfect, but it was the details added in later treatments and drafts that ended up injuring the film. The film can be a great experience for some as is but I felt the extra touch present in the previous two films missing. I was merely pointing out some things that can taken away differently. Personally I felt some of the sequences towards the end just were not dynamic enough. In fact I believe this film was just not dynamic enough in a lot of areas- perhaps this is the magic touch present in the previous films (among other things) that was not present here.

                And as much as I would like to blame David S. Goyer in any weak elements in the scripting, Goyer left pretty early on in the scripting process with Jonathan Nolan having a much larger input here. Either way Chris Nolan wrote the final draft, and is the chief architect of the whole film being the director and all. So its hard to put the blame on any one thing.

                The film had the core story, effects, acting etc. Somewhere in the scripting mistakes were made. Its not entirely clear or just one particular element, and is more related to “what was missing rather than not there”. Everything good was there on screen but more emphasis and some tweaks here and there in the story would have done wonders for the film. It should overall been more dynamic especially given the story plot.

                Again, I was offering a response from what I took away in that scene. It could been better, yes. But some things had to be dealt with and the ending was aiming to be emotional than anything else not heart-pounding(although it would have emphasized the more emotional aspect in the process anyway).

                Personally the ticking time bomb could have been dealt differently to offer a better ending.

                • Yes. I can agree with your points above.

    • this is so true, i didn’t realize this till my roommate pointed it out; that in all the fight scenes if you notice all the extras in the background and how they are reacting, you truly see how bad the fight choreography was

      • I’m not completely disagreeing with the bat voice. but I have always felt that when he is in batman mode he does the voice as an alter ego thing much like a mental disorder were he can’t help it. idk

      • As for the fight scene at the end the crowd is like 300 extras I didn’t expect much lol and tho the beginning of the choreography wasn’t great. once bane got his mask broke and went beserk. his punches and batmans blocling/dodges looked incredible

        • When did Batman kick ass?

          Invalid whiner, Bruce Wayne finally suits up after almost an hour into the film, only to get chased away by the police, and then later Bane beats him like a rented mule, breaks his back, and then dumps into the pit prison to do calisthenics for almost another hour. Magically returns to Gotham where he fights Bane again….. ALMOST wins, but no, Miranda stabs him…… multiple flashbacks ensue….. Catwoman rides in and saves his ass. Then comes the groan worthy final speech…… It looks like Batman has sacrificed himself….. Everyone is sad….. but NO! Batman survives, to have a nice lunch in France with batboner worthy Selina Kyle. Even Jesus didn’t get to pork a sexy Catwoman after coming back from the dead.

          I really don’t think Nolan wanted to make a superhero movie in the first place. TDKR is seriously flawed on so many levels. I don’t necessarily blame Nolan. Maybe WB interfered? Maybe it’s the fault of Goyer, who’s track record is very poor……. see Ghost Rider. Which makes me worry for Man of Steel. WB again and Goyer is attached…. again.

          • I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan didn’t want to do it after ledger died, not knowing what path to take.

  10. I think it deserves to be nominated for BP, but it has no chance. The Oscars love epics, but unless their from James Cameron, they have to bomb at the box office to even have a shot.

  11. The Dark Knight Rises was the best movie of the year, the second best Batman movie ever made, the second best superhero movie ever made, and the second best movie ever made, behind only The Dark Knight. No movie could ever top The Dark Knight, ever, but TDKR was as close as it gets. I waited for years for TDKR and I don’t look to love another movie like that until Man of Steel. The Dark Knight Rises deserves to win best picture. Yes it was better than The Avengers and if you honestly think that the Marvel movieverse is better than Nolan’s amazing films then please do not even bother to reply to this. Your stupidity does not need to be spread.

    • Brian, this was the year we got a great Marvel movie and a great DC movie. Comic book fans and movie fans literally had it all in 2012. Can’t we just appreciate this once in a lifetime opportunity?

      • Absolutely, it’s unproductive to suggest that only one of those movies could be great. A glorious year for us all indeed.

    • @Brian
      “The Dark Knight Rises was the best movie of the year, the second best Batman movie ever made, the second best superhero movie ever made, and the second best movie ever made, behind only The Dark Knight. No movie could ever top The Dark Knight, ever, but TDKR was as close as it gets.”

      Hop off Nolan’s d**k why don’t you? Or be more open minded when it comes to movies.

      • @Captain America

        Actually, it seems that you’re being the closed-minded one here. Brian stated his (albeit extreme) opinion, and he’s entitled to it. But you seem to think that his opinion is wrong and he is being closed-minded for saying it.

        Is the pot calling the kettle black?

    • I completely agree.

  12. I loved TDKR, but I seriously doubt it would be nominated for any of the big awards, let alone win them. It was a great movie, but there are so many more great movies out there this year (Argo, Lincoln, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Les Mis, etc.) TDK wasn’t nominated for an oscar, so it would be pretty ridiculous if TDKR is.

    However, it should be nominated (and possibly win) for many of the technical categories, such as cinematography, score, etc. It was a beautifully shot film, and a very ambitious undertaking for Mr. Nolan.

    Chris Nolan is a fantastic director, and I truly believe he is one of the best of our generation, but TDKR was not an oscar-winning film. Chris will get his oscar in time. He had some snubs (No picture nod or director nod for TDK, no director nod for Inception, no picture or director nod for Memento), but he’ll get an Oscar, or at least a nomination, in time.

    MAYBE Nolan will get a best director nomination for TDKR, and MAYBE MAYBE Hathaway will get an acting nod, but neither of them will win, IMO.

    And to the argument about LOTR sweeping the oscars at the end of its trilogy, I say that LOTR was essentially one movie split into 3. They were all filmed together and such, so it’s no surprise that only one was given recognition from the academy. However, the Batman films were all very different films that were stand-alone (at least except for the last one).

  13. I wouldn’t have a problem if it was nominated for best picture, Tom hardy best supporting actor, best cinematography, Anne Hathaway best supporting actress…winning? Idk being nominated is appropriate but it was my favorite movie of the year. I just don’t agree with kofi personally. I thought this one was my favorite. The ending was amazing and the story was so huge and the sets and fights were pretty epic. Just my opinion though.

  14. If TDKR wins an Oscar, it will be very difficult for Warner Bros to remake Batman to do Justice League.

  15. It doesn’t seem to me Nolan is making movies to get awards so I don’t think as his fans we should get all riled up about his getting “snubbed.” While I’ll agree that he’s been criminally overlooked for his work in the past I’d prefer for him to continue making the movies like he has been rather than going the route of Scorsese and making a lousy remake that goes on to win a ‘we’re sorry we ignored you all those years’ Oscar.

    Now that he’s done with Batman I’m looking forward to seeing if he’ll return to a smaller type film a la Memento or The Prestige or if he’ll go for another big budget, big brained, thriller like Inception.

  16. I find it sick how many fanboys of comics/sci-fi have turned on Nolan and his Batman movies – its become cool to dismiss them – and I feel its only because of the mainstream success it has enjoyed such that it does not belong to the geek community solely.

    That said Rises was the weakest of the three movies. I hold the belief that Nolan intended to bring the Joker back for the third but once Heath died, he would let the series end, but the money was too good and he came up with a distant plan B and we got Rises as a result.

    • It’s interesting because I noticed that shift in opinion too. Before it seemed Nolan could do no wrong and had nearly unanimous praise but now there’s this growing animosity towards his “realistic” and “grounded” approach to films. It seems any project with a darker tone or grounded in reality is labeled to be “Nolanized” and followed with backlash.

      I wouldn’t say the majority of people share that opinion towards Nolan but it’s something I’m seeing more and more of.

      • Agreed, people criticise Nolan for trying to make grounded or ‘intelligent’ films, thinking that by doing so, they must be cleverer than everyone else

    • Completely agree. I don’t know when this started, but it’s now “cool” to bash Nolan and call anyone who likes his work “Nolanites”. And the thing is, I’ve only seen this on the internet. Many people who I talk to about movies absolutely love Christopher Nolan and his movies. (Obviously that’s not a proof that everyone likes him, just contrasting my personal experiences in real life to the internet).

      You don’t have to like Nolan, but he has made some pretty fantastic movies that have succeeded both critically and financially.

  17. It was just so bad. It was like watching ten, twenty minute movies. It was SO CHOPPED UP. Then the TERRIBLE ending that made no sense in context with the rest of the movie.

  18. Best movie of the year deserves to get as many awards as humanly possible.

    • You should watch more movies.

  19. Nomination? Yes, it deserves it if for no other reason than that it closed out a near-perfect trilogy (but there are other reasons, too).
    Win? Not gonna happen. If I were a betting man, I’d go with Lincoln or The Master.

    • I’ve been told Daniel Day-Lewis gives an Oscar worthy performance in “Lincoln”, but the rest of the movie just seems a bit messy and it just doesn’t keep many people awake, even people who are history fanatics.

  20. Best Picture will go to Lincoln I think.. Its been on the cards since the trailer was released. As for The Dark Knight Rises winning something it would be great if it did even if its just a nod to the techincal efforts of the production.

  21. No! I think it will clean up at the Razzies tho!

  22. YES.

    I definitely believe “The Dark Knight Rises” is a brilliant, very well-made film. I found it to be the best of an excellent trilogy. It should be nominated for Best Picture…but I know it will not win that category. However, it should also gain OTHER nominations. Various actors in the film should definitely be nominated in their respective categories. Technical category nominations are, I think, a MUST. Nolan should FINALLY be nominated for Best Director. Will the film WIN any of these…CAN it? I don’t know…I was happy when Ledger deservedly won his posthumous award, so the vague possibility is at least there. Sadly, it will likely struggle through the awards season…sadly AND wrongly.

    I remain hopeful…

  23. TDK is a great movie – inches close to being a masterpiece.

    TDKR is a great bad movie – I haven’t seen dialogue this clunky and action scenes this cringe-incuding since Patrick Swayze graced us with “Road House” and “Next of Kin”. If liking TDKR for all the wrong reasons is…wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    • Liam Neeson was in Next of Kin! Just an observation

  24. Well, it’s a strong blockbuster year with DKR, Avengers, Skyfall and The Hobbit. And IMHO DKR is by far the weakest of those released yet.

  25. Well, it’s a strong blockbuster year with DKR, Avengers, Skyfall and The Hobbit. And IMHO DKR is by far the weakest of those released yet.

    • “Skyfall” was amazing, but I feel “The Hobbit” is somehow going to top it. I’m not even a fan of LOTR and I wish I could say “Skyfall” was going to be THE movie of the year for 2012 (best James Bond of them all, IMO). But I have this feeling like “The Hobbit” is going to beat it easily, maybe because the trailer appeals to everyone and LOTR has a HUMONGUS fanbase that keeps growing. James Bond gets fans by chance because there are amazing and dissapointing movies. It’s a shot in the dark

  26. If “The Dark Knight” didn’t win many Oscars, I don’t think this will be any better.

    I’ll be honest, I was let down by “The Dark Knight”. No, not Rises. TDK felt like a step down from “Batman Begins” to the point where I was scratching my head and asking myself “Am I even watching a Batman movie?”. And by no means am I saying everything about it is terrible becuase it’s not, far from it actually. But when I saw TDK opening day, it didn’t feel like Batman at all. Or, at least, not the traditional Batman where he was very dark and mysterious and could be brutal in interrogations, but only when fear didn’t strike them. The Batman feeling, for me, didn’t return until “The Dark Knight Rises” and so I do feel it should win certain awards because it did catch me off guard many many times. But there are obvious flaws, and there are also flaws in every movie, TDK included.

  27. Am I the only one who thinks The Avengers was better than TDKR

    • “The Avengers” had room for improvement. To me, the biggest obvious flaw was that this was a group of superheroes doing a stand-up comedy routine. Ask anyone off the streets about Avengers and they’ll just say it’s hilarious. I’m not kidding. I would’ve prefered them to take the job a little more seriously, jokes are fine every now and then. The humor worked, but come on.

      And what the hell have they done to Hulk? Banner is always angry? Now the setting is “Hark! Someone is in danger! HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAAAAAY!”? What’s the point then? Theres no more anticipation of when Banner is going to lose his temper, which is what I loved most about Hulk. He’s unpredictable. Welp, not anymore! With just the flick of an internal light switch, out comes Hulk!

      I also felt that Captain America, the leader of the Avengers, was the least focused of the entire movie. It’s like they had to throw him a scene every now and then just to remind people that he’s a part of this team. If anything, the majority was pointed towards Iron Man

      • You’re completely right; the Avengers decided to place comedy above every other aspect of the film, including plot

    • No, you’re not but I’m not one of them.

      I liked Avengers but it was just fun despite the flaws while TDKR was a serious, hair-raising movie with flaws.

      Overall, both could’ve been better but it is what it is.

  28. Absolutely not