Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises sees Christian Bale do his best work as Batman/Bruce Wayne. He’s more relaxed and at ease with the character, but this has a lot to do with Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle (she’s never called Catwoman).
Female characters have always been the weak-link in Nolan’s Batman films, with the character of Rachael Dawes feeling shoehorned in by some studio mandate. That character might have been integral to the events of The Dark Knight, but she never felt like she belonged in Gotham City – Selina Kyle does. Hathaway and Bale have chemistry, and some of the finest character moments in the film come when the pair spar verbally and physically. Somewhere in an alternate universe there is a film with just these two characters.
The Dark Knight Rises grossed $448 million at the US box office and over $1 billion at the worldwide box office when it was released in 2012.