Decided to rewatch The Dark Knight since it’s the 10th anniversary. Now, I love this movie and I’ve used it in my anti-hero class three times in the last ten years. I remember distinctly saying that it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind, now, that 2008 was also the same year Iron Man came out. I saw both in the theaters and, while I enjoyed Iron Man, I thought the underlying depth of The Dark Knight spoke to the fears of the times.

Tonight, as I watch Christian Bale growl and Harvey Dent go crazy, I’m rethinking my opinion. Oh, it’s still a good movie, but now I’m noticing the clunky scenes of deep thought that pause the plot, the spans of time that I don’t even find myself watching the screen, and the unrelenting darkness. It maybe because of what followed … The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman … all of which attempted to recreate the atmosphere, the issues, the fight scenes to varying amounts of success. Maybe it’s what followed Iron Man, Cap and Thor and Avengers, each of which built on the comic book feel and character study. Or maybe it’s that The Dark Knight was a movie of its time, a reflection of the post 9/11 America and we’ve moved on to other fears beside chaos and watching the world burn.

Whatever the reason, The Dark Knight isn’t as good as I thought it was.

But Heath Ledge kicked ass as the Joker. That hasn’t changed.