The Dark Knight is a 2008 British-American superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan. The film is a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, and was produced by Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Inc. and DC Comics, and distributed by Warner Bros.. It was released on July 16, 2008 in Australia, on July 18, 2008 in North America, and on July 24, 2008 in the United Kingdom. A sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, was released on July 20, 2012.
A group of robbers dressed as clowns rob a bank, in the process killing one another on orders of their boss, the Joker. Eventually the remaining robber confronts the bank manager and reveals himself to be the Joker before fleeing the scene in a bus. Aside from the Joker, Dr. Jonathan Crane, under the alias Scarecrow, is making a deal with Russian mobster the Chechen before they are ambushed by several Batman wanna-be's. The real Batman arrives and subdues both the Scarecrow and the Batman wanna-be's, though the Chechen escapes. Batman is informed by Lt. James Gordon of the multiple crimes committed by the Joker, but denounces him as a minimal threat compared to the mob.
New district attorney Harvey Dent has entered a relationship with Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Rachel Dawes. Harvey and Rachel prosecute mob boss Salvatore Maroni, but he is released, much to Harvey's annoyance. Meanwhile, Wayne Enterprise's CEO Lucius Fox negotiates with Chinese accountant Lau, who has been hiding the funds of several mob bosses. Lau later flees to Hong Kong. The Joker arrives at a meeting held by several mob bosses including Maroni, Chechen, and Gambol. The Joker warns the bosses that Batman will find Lau and offers to kill the Batman, but is ridiculed as a result. The Joker murders one of Gambol's men and then leaves the meeting. The Joker later murders Gambol and takes over his men.
Batman travels to Hong Kong, captures Lau, and takes him to Gotham City to testify against the mob bosses. The Joker sends a video tape to Batman, telling him that people will die every day unless Batman reveals his identity, and demonstrates this by murdering a Batman wanna-be. During the events that follow, Commissioner Loeb and Judge Surrillo are both murdered. Harvey asks Rachel at a party to marry him, but before she can answer, Bruce arrives and locks Harvey in a closet as the Joker and his men arrive. Bruce arrives at the scene as Batman and fights the Joker, culminating in Batman and Rachel falling from the window and crashing on a car.
Bruce's accountant Coleman Reese deduces Batman's secret identity and expresses plans to Lucius to blackmail him to keep it a secret, but Lucius intimidates him into backing down. The Joker attempts to assassinate Mayor Garcia at a ceremony, but Gordon foils the attempt. However, Gordon is shot and seemingly killed by the Joker in the process. Harvey, realizing that the Joker intends to kill Rachel next, warns her to get to a safe spot. Batman interrogates Maroni on the Joker's whereabouts, but discovers Maroni to have no idea where the Joker is hiding. Batman asks Harvey to hold a press conference, where he intends to reveal his identity to the public to avoid more murders.
At the conference, Harvey announces that he is Batman, and is apprehended. As Harvey is being transported, the Joker and his men ambush the amoured car carrying Harvey. Batman arrives in the Tumbler vehicle, which is struck by an RPG, forcing Batman to use a deployed bike called the Batpod. Batman chases the Joker through the city, to which the Joker emerges onto the street, shouting at Batman to run him over, Batman, following his philosophy not to kill, refuses to run the Joker over and is injured in the process. The Joker prepares to unmask Batman, but is apprehended by the police, including Gordon, who had faked his death. However, both Harvey and Rachel vanish.
Gordon is promoted to commissioner, but is informed of Harvey's disappearance. He and Batman interrogate the Joker, who reveals Harvery and Rachel to have been abducted. An enraged Batman beats the Joker to get information, to which the Joker states Harvey and Rachel to be in two different buildings, and that Batman can only save one. Batman goes to find Rachel, but discovers Harvey instead, as the Joker had lied about their whereabouts. The buildings both explode, killing Rachel while half of Harvey's face is burned, disfiguring him. The Joker escapes from the prison in a police car and murders Lau and the Chechen.
Gordon visits a disfigured Harvey in the hospital, where he is forced to admit that Harvey's nickname at the I.A. was Two-Face. Reese appears on a news show, announcing his intentions of revealing Batman's identity, but the Joker interrupts and claims that if Reese is not killed within an hour, he will blow up a hospital, causing panic from the public. As authorities attempt to get Reese to safety, a mob assembles, attempting to capture Reese and kill him. The Joker, disguised as a nurse, visits Harvey at the hospital and convinces him to seek out and kill those he thinks responsible for Rachel's demise. Harvey complies and leaves the hospital, which the Joker blows up afterwards.
Harvey murders Detective Wuertz, having been responsible for his kidnapping. Afterwards, Harvey enters Maroni's car and kills him by shooting the car driver, which causes the car to crash. Meanwhile, Batman uses Lucius's cellphone sonar technology to transform every cellphone in Gotham into a sonar device. Two ferry boats begin to transport multiple citizens from Gotham, one carrying civilians while the other carrying criminals, when they are informed by the Joker that he has stationed a bomb in each boat, and that they have the detonator to the other boat. Unless they detonate the other boat's bomb and blow up the other boat before midnight, both boats will be blown up. Meanwhile, Harvey abducts Gordon's family and holds them hostage at the ruins of the building Rachel was murdered.
Batman and Gordon discover the Joker to be stationed at a building with several hostages. As a SWAT Team enters the building, Batman discovers the Joker to have disguised the hostages as clowns and vice versa. Batman takes out the SWAT Team before confronting the Joker. The Joker temporarily disables Batman and prepares to blow up both ferry boats, but is tossed off the ledge by Batman. However, Batman uses a grappling hook to rescue the Joker, who is apprehended by the SWAT Team. However, the Joker reveals to having corrupted Harvey, which will break Gotham's spirit once Harvey's murders are brought to the public.
Gordon arrives at the building Harvey and his captured family are at, and is struck down by Harvey. Harvey takes Gordon's son and flips a coin to decide his fate, but is confronted by Batman, who attempts to convince Harvey against it. Harvey shoots Batman when the coin comes up on tails. Then, assuming this has killed Batman, flips the coin to decide whether to commit suicide, but the coin lands on heads, to which Harvey spares his own life. As Harvey flips a final time to decide the fate of Gordon's son, Batman, who was wearing body armor and is unharmed, tackles Dent off the side of the building to his death. Batman and Gordon lament Harvey's fall, and Batman then decides to take the blame for Harvey's murders so that Harvey is kept a hero in the eyes of Gotham. Batman then vanishes into the night as a manhunt is ordered on him.
- Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne.
- Heath Ledger as The Joker.
- Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent.
- Miachael Caine as Alfed Pennyworth.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes.
- Gary Oldman as James Gordon.
- Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.
- Monique Gabriela Curnen as Anna Ramirez.
- Ron Dean as Detective Wuertz.
- Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane.
- Chin Han as Lau.
- Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Garcia.
- Eric Roberts as Sal Maroni.
- Ritchie Coster as Chechen.
- Anthony Michael Hall as Mike Engel.