'The Dark Knight' Trilogy - Paused

With Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy now at a close and seeing how I offered up a "Paused" article for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight back before The Dark Knight Rises hit theaters I felt it was only appropriate to complete the trilogy by offering a full look at the Dark Knight trilogy in still images, including 33 new screen captures from Rises.

Over the course of the next pages you will find screen captures from all three films in order as I compiled the previous "Paused" installments for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and added the new images from The Dark Knight Rises.

You can begin by clicking on the corresponding metaphorical logo below or just scroll to the bottom of the post and click to the Next Page to begin the journey.

In all, including the three images below, there are 85 images from the trilogy included in this retrospective. They are my favorite shots from the franchise and I hope you enjoy.

Batman Begins logo
Photo: Warner Bros.
The Dark Knight fire logo
Photo: Warner Bros.
The Dark Knight Rises - Ice
Photo: Warner Bros.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    A shot from DKR that stuck with me for some reason was this one: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/381684_4037794818578_1185021940_n.jpg

    It literally has nothing to do with the Batman AT ALL, yet something about it always felt mesmerizing. The way the shadow of the tattered flags casted onto the building just looked so beautiful for some reason...

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

      This scene gave me chills both times I saw it in theaters.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

        Right?!? And I don't even know why! I could probably analyze the shot but alas...I don't really feel like it now.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      Funny you would reference that shot because when I first saw the film, that shot irritated the hell out of me. I was like "wow, did Nolan REALLY need to drive the 9/11 message THAT far down our throats?" I get it Chris, "USA! USA! USA! You can attack us but our flag still stands for something" - Oh please.

      The other shot that bothered me was when the camera slowly pans up on Modine's dead body. The lack of subtly in this film is remarkable (especially when you compare it to TDK).

      Out of these TDKR shots, my favorite is probably the one where Gordon's head is illuminated by the wall light. It just looks cool for some reason.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

        To each their own. It's not like the film is littered with political propaganda. It's just an opinion. It's the viewers choice to interpret it in and take offense. It doesn't bother me. Modine's character is the weakest aspect of the film but he really isn't the crux of the story so again it doesn't bother me.

        The shot you pointed out though is pretty awesome. Complete darkness except for Gordon illuminated. Speaks to the way his character isn't all bright. He has his gray areas.

      • Jarrod

        What does an American flag have to do with 9/11? Is it possible for a filmmaker to show an American flag and it not have anything to do with 9/11?

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

          Jarrod, you gotta stop contradicting everything I say just because you see the name "AS" above the comment. It's pretty combative.

          Did you honestly not see any of the illusions to 9/11 Nolan was making with both TDK and TDKR? Come on dude, I know you want to fight, but be reasonable.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

            They're there. The same way they're there in a lot of post 9/11 action movies. It's the fact that you take offense with it. In what way does it rile you? That needs to be made more clear I guess...

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

              Well, in respect to the screenshot we've been talking about, it's the complete lack of subtly that bothers me.

              But Jarrod has a personal vendetta with me that removes things like perspective and objectivity from the equation which makes it difficult for an intelligent and informed conversation to occur.

              • Jarrod

                I don't hate you, but I am frustrated by the way you present an opinion but don't back it up with some insight into the filmmaking process. Pauline Kael once said that critics seem obsessed with their own judgement, but what the audiences want from a commentator is insight, an understanding - contrarian or not - into the filmmakers' process.

                I am not stopping you from illustrating what is so unsubtle about the shot. I am sorry if you equate being challenged with preventing an informed discussion: to me, the very idea that you throw around terms like "personal vendetta" so willingly instead of engaging in discussion about the film. I asked, "What does an American flag have to do with 9/11?" and you responded, "Did you honestly not see any of the illusions to 9/11 Nolan was making with both TDK and TDKR?" You didn't address the point in any detail, and just asserted that another opinion. What is specifically 9/11 about the image? The fact you can't answer that shows you are unwilling to engage in a deeper understanding of your own opinions.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS


                "but don't back it up with some insight into the filmmaking process." I don't know why you use the term "filmmaking process (as you have in the past)." This is not a conversation about the "filmmaking process" and I never claimed to have any knowledge of it. Strange term to use.

                "I am sorry if you equate being challenged with preventing an informed discussion" - No no, you don't get to pretend like you're merely "challenging" me and I'm just throwing around terms like "personal vendetta" to avoid addressing your "points." That's just not going to fly Jarrod. You always make yourself sound as if you're only taking issue with the way I "present my opinions" and are just trying to get to the bottom of things. You challenge EVERYTHING I say (whether you're ultimately able to back up your arguments or not). You can't pretend like your objective because your record of objectivity is non-existent. Most of the comments you leave on this site are a direct contradiction to something I've said. You don't participate in movie clubs, you don't comment on the "What I watched" articles; almost everything is refutation of something AS has said. One of the last comments you left on an article (with the sole exception of "2013 Oscar Predictions: We Have a New #1 in the Race for Best Picture") was the conversation about the Hollywood Reporter's roundtable. And of course, your only comment on the article was a refutation of something I said. You left no other comments on the article. So when it becomes clear to me that someone is seeking out my comments and trying to find something to argue with while pretending that they are just "trying to have an honest discussion about film," I call that a "personal vendetta." Never once have you ever taken my side in a discussion or ever backed up anything I've said. So please, be up front about your bias and don't paint yourself as a guy who's intentions are noble and honest.

                "The fact you can't answer that shows you are unwilling to engage in a deeper understanding of your own opinions." - This underlines my point. You make it quite clear that you are only interested in hashing out MY opinions and NOT actually talking about the film. You obviously must feel like your "exposing" my seemingly "absurd" opinions but in all of your pervasive contradictions, you only expose your clear bias and quest for confrontation. That's not an avoidance on my part. That's a legitimate frustration. This is further evidenced in your last response on the ZDT page (in which you turn the conversation into something it's not - i.e. A discussion about my own personal political views).

                I will, however (in the interest of wrapping things up), address your comments on 9/11 as it relates to Nolan's Batman and your last comment on ZDT. This will be the last time I address your contradictory responses, as I grow tried of having to pointlessly defend my own opinions against someone who's only interested in knocking them down. I enjoy good conversations about film. Aleonardis and I are able to carry on enjoyable and thought-provoking conversations without it ever going to a dark place. But that seems impossible with you so these final two discussions (9/11 & ZDT) will be the last time I engage in an unproductive argument with you.

                "What does an American flag have to do with 9/11? Is it possible for a filmmaker to show an American flag and it not have anything to do with 9/11?" - In asking this question, you make it sound as if you're completely unaware that Nolan has been drawing comparisons to 9/11 since TDK. In Batman Begins, TDK and TDKR, Nolan deals with the idea of terrorism and an individual who only wants to create chaos and destroy the balance in society. He sets his trilogy in a city (named Gotham, of course) which evokes New York City. On September 11th, 2001, there was a terrorist attack in NYC. One shady individual was presumed to have been responsible for the attack. I think the comparison between the Joker, Bane and Osama Bin Laden is quite clear. In response to 9/11, the Bush administration created the Patriot Act. In TDK, Batman is seen using a technology that invades citizens privacy in a similar fashion. Moral questions arise, such as "is it worth destroying all laws just to pursue a madman? If we do this, haven't they actually won in the end?" All of this is a direct response to how the United States coped with 9/11.

                In TDKR, another terrorist arrives in Gotham (NYC) hellbent on destruction. Explosions are set off and the city is under siege (again, evoking images of 9/11). The final confrontation is set down on Wall Street (near ground zero) where we see cops band together to take down the terrorist. And then, of course, Nolan gives us that shot of the tattered American flag to drive the message home. No subtly. Nolan uses the American flag to evoke images of 9/11. Of course it's possible "for a filmmaker to show an American flag and it not have anything to do with 9/11" but that's not what Nolan is doing here. He is using the tattered flag to draw a parallel to the film and 9/11. I hope I've explained myself to your satisfaction.

              • Jarrod

                "Never once have you ever taken my side in a discussion or ever backed up anything I've said... I grow tried of having to pointlessly defend my own opinions"

                So am I meant to celebrate someone you have said - even if it is worthless - just to be fair? That's fairness, eh? And the fact that you view further evidence as "pointlessly" defence is more than a little sad.

                "On September 11th, 2001, there was a terrorist attack in NYC."

                That's your defence of the 'American flag in TDKR=9/11' analogy? I'm sorry, but I didn't ask about TDK, at all. I asked how TDKR relates to the event, and how those flags relate to it, too. How does the image relate to the true-life tragedy? Instead of some attempt to clarify your opinion, you just throw around, like "quite clear" (it isn't), "No subtly" (you actually mean, subtlety, but even then it is just another judgement) and "unproductive" (again, I am sorry if you view a question as an attack). Is everything in the film a reference to 9/11? Is Catwoman stealing Wayne's possessions a reference? Is Alfred seeing Bruce at the end a reference? *sigh* I am sorry I challenged you to think more clearly.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

                "So am I meant to celebrate someone (I think you meant "something") you have said - even if it is worthless - just to be fair?" - So you're essentially saying that everything I've ever said (that you've read) is "worthless"? lol, that assertion is outrageous I can't believe you would actually make it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    Uh. Was one window too low on TDK prologue again. I'm with you on the shot of The Joker with the dogs being outstanding.

    The shot of Bane's back and the way the camera pans in while he kneels over creates such an intimidating vibe.

  • Josh Z

    I love these sections Brad! Thank you for doing this! I was impressed with your selections with all of them and you used my favorite images from Begins and Dark Knight (Batman looking over his city with sun rising in Begins and Batman looking down at the ruin in Dark Knight, looking completely defeated yet still standing).

    One image I loved from Rises is at the final showdown between Bane and Batman on the stairs with all the snow falling and you finally see Batman with this determined and ready face as Bane approaches. Its used in a lot of the trailers but I loved it very much. All pictures were great thanks again.

    • Jesse3232

      For me, that was the shot of the movie as well along with the ending. Alfred's face was priceless as well as what he saw. The return of Batman in which all the lights came off was incredible as well.

      • http://www.rabidpictures.com Yaz

        I saw it a few times in theatres and that scene where he returns during the motorcycle chase gave me goosebumps all three times... So good with the music and the set-up and everything. Just awesome.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    A great collection of pictures indeed. I think that The Dark Knight has the best collection of images, though TDKR has some great ones too. Excited to get the last one for Xmas.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JimmyDiamies/ Jimmy Diamies

    What a brilliant trilogy! Can't wait to watch TDKR again in a couple days. Love when Bane puts his open hand on Daget and says "Do you feel in charge?" Unfortunately my favorite shots of the movie are not included. I absolutely loved when he is in the sewer tunnels and Batman comes at the two gunmen, you only see him in the gunfire flashes and its kinda blue. The final shot of his face is fantastic and finally when he is in the Bat taking the bomb out over the water and Nolan's final shot of Batman is a close up of his face and he has a look of accomplished relief. Best shot of the trilogy for me right above Joker hanging out the police car.

  • JAB

    I glad I took the time to travel 100 miles to see TDK & TDKR in IMAX. Pfister (& Nolan) really know how to take full advantage of the format. Pfister totally earned his Oscar (for TDK) & could've taken it for all 3, that category has always been filled with winning nominees --like, it seems, Supporting Actor.
    Great compilation, thanks!
    (Agree with Aleonardis's additional shot.)

  • JN Films

    Could TDK Trilogy Be the Best ever? I say yes because LOTR was not much more then entertaining except the last one, The Godfather Part 3 was very weak with the amazing first two, and the Matrix (first one) was the only GREAT one.

    • Chris138

      Toy Story has a pretty terrific trilogy, and Indiana Jones was one of my favorite trilogies until Spielberg and Lucas decided to make a fourth one. I even really enjoy the Back to the Future trilogy, despite the fact that the two sequels are basically just rehashes of the first film but set in different locations. Zemeckis was on autopilot with those.

  • Chris138

    Thanks for posting these. Looking through them just makes me want to revisit all of these movies. The Dark Knight is probably the best of the three, and certainly the most 'tragic' (in more ways than one), although I do think Batman Begins is a little easier to revisit since it's narrative is tighter and the themes aren't quite as heavily laid down throughout the story as they are in TDK and Rises.

    Looking forward to picking up the Blu-ray of TDKR.

  • SP1234

    I liked the shot of Marion before her turn, that was pretty interesting that you included it. I know a lot of people have problems with her performance, but other than the death, I didn't have any issues with Cotillard's performance. Definately fun to see repeat viewings to look at what she was doing, that's for sure.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    Though not really an artful shot, a shot that hit me on a second viewing was this one: http://tinyurl.com/bvjkbna

    This is Miranda walking into the Stock Exchange. Some really subtle images and story beats like this are things I'm really excited to find on second viewings.