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The Dark Knight Blu-ray

United States
Batman Warner Bros. | 2008 | 152 min | Rated PG-13 | Dec 09, 2008

The Dark Knight (Blu-ray)

Codec: VC-1 (24.00 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)

English, English SDH, French, Spanish

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $14.98, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.9 of 54.9
Audio 4.6 of 54.6
Extras 4.4 of 54.4
Based on 251 user reviews

Movie appeal

Comic book52%

The Dark Knight


The Dark Knight Blu-ray delivers stunningly beautiful video and superb audio in this must-own Blu-ray release

With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, the Batman has been making headway against local crime... until a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker unleashes a fresh reign of chaos across Gotham City. To stop this devious new menace ó Batman's most personal and vicious enemy yet ó he will have to use every high-tech weapon in his arsenal and confront everything he believes.

For more about The Dark Knight and the The Dark Knight Blu-ray release, see the The Dark Knight Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Director: Christopher Nolan

» See full cast & crew

The Dark Knight Blu-ray, Video Quality

  5.0 of 5

Around the time it came to theaters, many BD collectors already had a preview on their HDTVs showing the superior resolution of The Dark Knight. Its prologue was included on the Blu-ray version of Batman Begins. Since that prologue sequence was shot using IMAX cameras, the question arose how it would integrate with other sequences--whether Nolan would opt for 2.4:1 throughout the BD, or deliver dual aspect ratios to more closely approximate the full resolution of the source material. The question is now put to rest. Approximating the viewing experience in IMAX theaters, the Blu-ray version of The Dark Knight shifts between 1.78:1 and 2.4:1 sequences, which is a tremendous asset in preserving the vision of the filmmaker and in attempting to get an IMAX-like experience in viewers' home theaters. The prologue, as well as other 1.78:1 sequences, appear with lifelike detail and good depth. Some have complained about the subtle use of edge enhancement as detracting from the overall picture quality, but I believe what they are seeing is an ever-so-slight glow effect that makes the bright areas of some scenes appear heightened. Deducting points for this type of brightness would be silly. Meanwhile, the black level is remarkable as it conveys all gradations of grey and retains very good definition. Since so much of the film has dark, dimly lit scenes, the inky blacks contribute greatly to the depth and weight of the picture.

So how does the resolution of the 2.4:1 content compare to the 1.78:1 picture quality? Believe it or not, the detail remains nearly consistent in both aspect ratios--there's just more presence in the scenes shot using the IMAX cameras. Non-IMAX sequences give up surprisingly little in definition. Perhaps the most extraordinary scene to view the differences is when Batman raids the high rise building in Hong Kong to extract Lau (Chin Han). In the full IMAX resolution, with much of the screen enveloped in deep black, Batman is shown perched above the city. He then descends through the air, breaking through the window nearby the desk where Lau is working and quickly dispatches Lau's body guards. Finally, as he holds Lau near the broken windows, both men are whisked out of the building by a floating device and a passing aircraft. The complicated, busy action coupled with poor lighting would be problematic if not for the detail delivered both by the 1.78:1 and 2.4:1 shots that make up the scene. While the IMAX picture is preferable because of a greater sense of depth and resolution, the 2.4:1 content shares its small, gentle grain and otherwise clean, highly detailed presentation. Some element of the grain has a digital sheen to it, but I cannot justify deducting a point or half-point for that.

Hardly a frame of The Dark Knight seems less than perfectly shot, framed and produced for 1080p. While videophiles can always nitpick, it's important to put the picture quality in perspective by taking a look at Batman Begins. That BD lacked the vibrancy and detail that, thankfully, are on display throughout The Dark Knight. The comparison with the earlier film is no contest. Watch the IMAX aerial shot looking down on Wayne's yacht. The extraordinary depth makes it appear that you could take off into the picture on a hang glider and float down to the water. The enticing video quality has a similar effect in the prologue, when two of the Joker's henchman rappel from one building to another. The picture appears rich and deep, giving the illusion that one could step into the screen and rappel with them. Though these examples feature the extraordinary IMAX sequences, the 2.4:1 sequences often have this effect as well. Above all, the tremendous definition and delineation within dark areas of the screen push the picture of The Dark Knight all the way to reference quality.

The Dark Knight Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

In keeping with the dark visuals, the sound throughout The Dark Knight is weighted toward the lower registers with heavy LFE content. While the audio across the dynamic range is delivered in good detail, with plenty of resolution, the Dolby TrueHD content is clearly bass-heavy. It doesn't have quite the 3D impact one might expect in an action movie, with very little content assigned assigned to the rear channels. But it is preferable to err on the conservative side than to have an overly aggressive surround soundstage where it is really not warranted. On the other hand, some multichannel audiophiles may nitpick that the surrounds are underutilized. The anchoring across the center channel delivers all the dialog, while the front left and right speakers provide the bulk of the score. The music by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard is less thematic and more of a mood amplifier to make the story more hard-hitting. Aside from the sound effects and subwoofer content, the soundtrack mostly disappears in the action and visuals. Looking back on it, that is a unique accomplishment for an action film, to be such a visual work of art that one hardly notices the score as sound. While all detail of the dialog and music is clearly articulated across the front channels, it often sounds diminutive in comparison to deeper content.

Listen to the scene where Batman, Lt. Gordon and Dent have a rooftop meeting together. Gordon's and Dent's voices are perfectly reproduced, crisp and detailed, yet they sound slightly anemic compared to Batman's deeper, more open voice. While the audio engineering is actually very good, the bass emphasis can overshadow the more relaxed dialog, especially Gordon's voice. This is a minor complaint, as all dialog is plainly audible and every word and breath expertly recorded. And of course, the advantage of having a pronounced LFE channel is on display throughout The Dark Knight. Listen to the scene where the 18 wheeler flips over its horizontal axis--an impressive bit of stuntwork--creating a cacaphony of deep bass rumble, crashing steel and other sound effects. Explosions, breaking glass, gunshots and other effects are impressively engineered. The amazing feature of the Dolby TrueHD track is that nothing gets lost in the mix, regardless of the minimal use of surrounds. One of the denizens at asked whether Warner's BD defaulted to the Dolby Digital track, as many of its titles do. The answer is yes. It is imperitive to go into the menu immediately when the movie starts and select the TrueHD track.

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The Dark Knight Blu-ray, News and Updates

Amazon Blu-ray Deal of the Week: The Dark Knight Trilogy (Expired) - July 14, 2013

Amazon's Blu-ray Deal of the Week affects The Dark Knight Trilogy. This Academy Award-winning screen franchise is filmmaker Christopher Nolan's bold re-imagining of the Batman legend; Nolan charts the struggles that Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale, The Fighter) must ...

Official Trailer for The Dark Knight Rises - December 19, 2011

Warner Bros. has just released the final theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. Director Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated follow-up to The Dark Knight finds Batman (Christian Bale, The Fighter) squaring off against vicious criminal mastermind Bane ...

Advance Passes to The Dark Knight Rises Prologue - December 9, 2011

In selected 70mm IMAX screening rooms across the United States and Europe, Warner Bros. and are offering a special sneak preview of the highly anticipated Dark Knight Rising prologue on December 13th. The six-minute reel gives viewers an extended introduction ...

» Show more related news posts for The Dark Knight Blu-ray

The Dark Knight Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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