While the comic book movie genre has come a long way since 2008, there are still many fans who count The Dark Knight as the best superhero movie ever made. Christopher Nolan followed up his gritty reboot of Batman with a crime epic that felt sweeping and grounded while introducing the unforgettable version of Joker played by Heath Ledger.
The movie is smart, entertaining and thrilling from beginning to end, making it a movie you can revisit again and again. But with such a complex film, there might still be those hidden details you miss no matter how many times you watch it. Here are 10 small details you might notice rewatching The Dark Knight.
10 Posing As Henchmen
The opening of The Dark Knight really throws audiences into the feel of a crime epic with one of the most thrilling heist scenes of all time. A group of criminals in clown masks who were hired by Joker rob a mob bank before it is revealed one of the criminals is actually Joker himself.
Oddly enough, this is a running feature in Nolan's Batman films as the main villains in each film are introduced in a similar way. Ra's Al Ghul, Joker and Bane are all introduced posing as their own henchmen before revealing they are the true masterminds.
9 Clown Masks
Nolan is a very unique filmmaker but he also likes to give tribute to some of the great films that inspired him. One of the most influential filmmakers in Nolan's career is Stanley Kubrick and he gets a fun nod in the opening sequence of this film.
We see that one of the robbers in the heist scene is wearing a clown mask that is identical to the clown mask worn by the robber in Kubrick's noir classic The Killing. Like this opening sequence, that film follows a well-planned heist where the robbers begin backstabbing one another for the money.
One of the great surprises in the film is Cillian Murphy's brief return as Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow. Murphy played the role in Batman Begins and was very memorable as the infamous Batman villain. Though he only shows up for a brief scene at the beginning of The Dark Knight, it's a nice connection to the original film.
You also may not have realized that Murphy's appearance is somewhat record-breaking as he is the only actor to playing the same Batman villain twice. And he would continue that record with a third appearance in The Dark Knight Rises.
7 New Suit
It seems like a trend now that every new superhero sequel means the hero gets an upgrade to his costume. Such is the case in The Dark Knight as Bruce Wayne ditches his more cumbersome costume from the first film for something a little more comfortable.
There are several scenes of Bruce discussing the design of a new suit and how he wants to be able to move his head more easily. These scenes are a bit of meta-commentary as Bale and other Batman actors have expressed frustration with how restricting the Batsuit can be.
6 Two-Face Courtroom
While Joker steals the show in The Dark Knight, the movie also features another famous Batman villain, Two-Face. However, we mostly get to see Two-Face before he turns to the dark side as the heroic district attorney, Harvey Dent.
We first get a glimpse at how willing Dent is to stand up to the mob in his first scene. Dent is prosecuting mobster Sal Maroni in court when a man pulls a gun and tries to shoot Dent. This is a nod to Two-Face's comic book origins where he was attacked a scarred in court by Maroni.
5 The MCU
The Dark Knight was a ground-breaking film in the comic book genre. It proved that these movies could be taken seriously and win awards. But as a lot of attention was on this film in the summer of 2008, something else significant was happening with the release of Iron Man.
That movie would, of course, launch the MCU and redefining the comic book genre forever. Interestingly, The Dark Knight prominently features in its story, Commissioner Gordon's Major Crimes Unit, referred to throughout the movie as the MCU. Though it is clearly just a coincidence, it's hard to miss when rewatching it now.
There are so many amazing aspects to this film but the highlight is certainly Heath Ledger's amazing portrayal of Joker. He is an unpredictable and mysterious villain responsible for many of the best moments in the film.
One particularly thrilling scene is when Joker visits the disfigured Dent in the hospital while disguised as a nurse. Ledger sells the silly outfit with his deranged energy. He also managed to include a sweet nod in that scene as his name tag reads "Matilda" which is the name of Ledger's daughter in real life.
Nolan's Batman trilogy introduced a lot of new and interesting aspects to the Batman world, including a fun new take on the Batmobile. Moving away from the typical sleek and futuristic design, the new Batmobile is more like a military tank.
As impressive as that vehicle is, it's not the only highly expensive car to appear in the film. Bruce Wayne, trying to appear as an arrogant playboy drives around Gotham in a Lamborghini Murcielago. Not only is it a nice car, but "murciélago" means "bat" in Spanish.
2 Alfred And Bruce
The Dark Knight proved it was willing to bring some darkness to the superhero genre with some truly shocking moments. One of the most impactful was the death of Rachel Dawes. She was one of the few people who Bruce Wayne has in his life and he is understandably devastated by her murder.
Following her death, there is a small scene between Bruce and Alfred where Bruce expresses his guilt over her death. The scene mirrors and even has identical lines of dialogue from Batman Begins when Alfred comforts a young Bruce following his parents' death.
While this version of the Joker was expertly written to be a chaotic enigma, Heath Ledger brought so much to the role. His tics, movements, and looks are all so effectively haunting and he was so into the character that he was able to improvise amazing moments.
One of the most memorable moments comes after Gordon is promoted to commissioner. As the rest of the cops applaud him, Joker begins clapping behind bars, adding a threatening aspect to the celebration. That moment was adlibbed by Ledger and the reaction of the rest of the cast is genuine.