When it comes to discussing Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe, one almost doesn’t even need to bother recapping. Batman (Christian Bale) has been shunned from Gotham City for a crime he didn’t commit and his alter ego Bruce Wayne has become a reclusive cripple. It’s best to enter the trilogy-ending The Dark Knight Rises knowing as little about the substantial plot (at 160 minutes there is A LOT of plot, you guys!) as possible so we’ll leave it at that. The Dark Knight Rises is indeed long, but Nolan never fails to fill the screen with exciting flights of fancy. As somebody who has major issues over his previous two Batman film – not to mention knowing next to nothing about comic book lore –I was surprised at just how much of a great, thrilling time I had. It’s a film that genuinely earns its stripes as a grand, epic work of cinema.