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David Cronenberg Calls ‘The Dark Knight’ Movies “Boring,” Says Christopher Nolan’s Best Film Is ‘Memento’

David Cronenberg Calls 'The Dark Knight' Movies "Boring," Says Christopher Nolan's Best Film Is 'Memento'

For those of you have queued up to see “The Dark Knight Rises” three or four times now, and are ready to proclaim it as a filmmaking masterwork, David Cronenberg has got a news flash for y’all. “A superhero movie, by definition, you know, it’s comic book. It’s for kids. It’s adolescent in its core,” Cronenberg recently told Next Movie. “That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about.” Looks like the director brought some burn sauce with him from Canada on his press rounds for “Cosmopolis.”

Perhaps he’s still a bit upset about “Eastern Promises 2getting scuttled, or maybe just the mood in Hollywood these days put him off, but the filmmaker didn’t hold back, proclaiming that one of Nolan’s earliest movies is still his best. “Christopher Nolan’s best movie is ‘Memento,’ and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting, though they’re 20 million times the expense,” he said. And he’s not entirely wrong. In fact, in our recent retrospective of Nolan’s films, we said that “it could be argued that it’s the director’s most complete film to date.”

However, Cronenberg does admire one aspect of Nolan’s expensive tentpoles. “What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That’s really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in ‘American Cinematography Magazine,’ and technically, that’s all very interesting,” he said, before adding a last jab. “The movies, to me, they’re mostly boring.”

Now, before every fanboy loses their mind and thrashes their keyboards with rage, Cronenberg isn’t entirely wrong here. Superhero movies have been, for the most part, been “adolescent” aiming for a big mainstream audiences that includes making sure kids want to see it. We’d agree that something like “The Avengers” — a big, critically acclaimed earner — isn’t “cinema art.” Successful? Hell yeah. Something that goes beyond being mere entertainment (even if highly accomplished)? Not really. But we generally tend to think that Nolan is delivering something a lot richer than your standard comic book fare, but Cronenberg is free to disagree.

But the director isn’t Captain Bringdown on everything about the genre, and does say he would like to be involved….just not as a director. “Honestly, as a crew member or an actor, to be part of a huge industrial enterprise like that — ’cause that’s what it is when you’re spending $250 million — would be interesting. And also, it’s not taking up two years of your life or three the way it does when you’re directing. So if you can dip in for two months or three months, why not? And make a lot of money and have some fun. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that,” he said.

Anyway, you can see if Cronenberg raises cinema art himself when “Cosmopolis” opens on this Friday.

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Akash Vijay

Maybe David should focus a little less on criticizing other filmmakers' movies and make a decent one himself. Cronenberg randomly slammed Kubrick in an interview. I hated that Basterd ever since.
And I know what he's trying to say. He's having trouble accepting comic book films as serious material. I felt the same way for a long time. But my word, Nolan's Batman films won me over. The Dark Knight in particular explores deeper and darker philosophical themes than most hollywood films dream of. It's a sprawling crime epic that explores the innate flaws surrounding the basic foundations of society and the lies that we have built to hide them. He may like Memento more but does he really have to rant on about the rest.


Though I liked Batman Begins.. TDK and TDKR are incredibly overwrought and rather a chore to get through. I have trouble understanding what age group these movies are made for. They are dark and moody yet very superficial. Lots of comic book movies are like this, consider V for Vendetta for example.
TDKR felt like one of those movies that are a running gun battle all the way through.

Personally I prefer the 60's Batman movie starring the only real Batman, Adam West!


As a huge fan of the batman-comics, I have to say, that Nolan's Batman character ist quiet boring. Yeah, he has his "inner struggle", with these philosophical monologues about responsibilty and what not. But that's about it. Many writhers, like Frank Miller or Alan Moore, played with the idea of Batman/Bruce Wanye actually being kind of mentally ill and being a sociopath. Nolan's Batman is just too slick and a good guy, who maybe takes it a bit too far. But that's not interesting. Burton's Batman was supperior, because Keaton played Wayne as an akward loner, and Batman as a guy, who had a smile on his face, when punishing his biggest foe.


I just finished watch TDKR the 2nd time. Like my 2nd viewing of Prometheus it confirmed my initial impulses that even though there are sequences I really like within both films, both are boring and flawed. I enjoy big budget cinematic spectacles. I'd liked BB and TDK very much I must admit although I agree with Cronenburg that they not art. The DKR though was bloated and I suffered fatigue watching.


Christopher Nolan is a prime example of the current generation's need to worship something but nothing worthy existing. Memento was mediocre at best and TDK movies are flat out tedious and boring, I had to shut TDKR off after 2 hours of praying for it to end then pausing to realize there was nearly an entire hour more to go. Nolan relies on the lie that just because you film on film you're somehow an auteur. But he can't direct for shit and his pacing sucks, film looks great but you still have to know what you're doing to make it work.


Agree 100% with cronenberg. Memento is the best movie of the last 20-30 years if not ever, it is a modern classic and a masterpiece of cinema, I've only seen BB, but it was one of the worst films I have ever seen, with awful dialogue, overly long, un-dramatic and lacking in suspense the entire film and the single worst fighting scenes i've seen in any movie of any grade from any era. It had some good acting from Caine and Oldman (who wasn't in the film nearly enough).

Cronenberg is spot on, Comic books are juvenile, disposable trash meant for 12 year olds. Can we please go back to the time when if you were an adult and so much as mentioned that you liked comic books or comic book films, you were instantly shunned and outcast by your social group, your parents would laugh at you etc… please?


Nolan is a great storyteller but Batman movies are more of documentaries :)

The Ritty

Love all the nolan/Batman hate…TDKR was pure crap aside from an entertaining last 30 mins…

Jordi Panzram

I love Nolan's work, but it is true that Memento is his best film. I really didn't care about Dark Knight Rises. I saw it once and have no intentions of seeing it again, same with Batman Begins. The Dark Knight, however, is the best superhero movie to date.

And I love Cronenberg. I've yet to see Cosmopolis, I've been putting it off in favor of reading the book first…plus, I can't stand that Twilight fag.


What do you expect from a Maple Leafs fan? Bitter and angry.


All Nolan's Batman Movies are dumb, right wing trash. George Bush would love them.


I have to mostly agree with Cronenberg. I just saw Dark Knight Rises today, and it was more an endurance test than a movie. A few good moments, and Michael Caine was excellent as usual. It tried so hard to be deadly serious and epic, it just bogged down under its own weight.


Dark Knight Rises is by far the most overrated movie of the decade. It's full of right-wing propaganda (for the children-minded!), anti-occupy rethoric filled with muscles and terrorism; it gives the image of cops always good, unarmed and so brave, and the protestors evil, mad and definitely wrong. By the way, it's even a monumental BORE, as Cronenberg outlined (a pointy mind if there's one), and the fights in the streets seems like a dance rather than a war, not mentioning that ugly wrestling scene from Bane and Batman.


How has nobody pointed out the irony yet?

…A History of Violence is a comic book movie. 0_O


If Cronenberg thinks that comic books are adolescent to their core he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Even if they were, that doesn't preclude them from being "supreme art." Anyone who thinks that comics are for kids hasn't been read one in 30 years. And anyone who thinks that a movie can't be based on a comic book character and be art is obviously allowing an opinion based on ignorance to prejudice them against the work in question.


Regardless of how well informed Cronenburg is right, and Ad Hominem arguments like, "he's not well informed about Nolan suing 3D or not," or, "He's made some bad films," won't change the fact that he's almost right. I'd also question how well informed someone is when the judge a film's greatness by how many people have gone to see it.

Personally I thought the first of his Batman films was the best, it had a strong story line and was well paced and edited. The second Batman could have been brilliant, but the editing let it down badly, and despite Heath Leger's incredible performance as The Joker, he was given dialogue in places which just worthy of such fine acting. While Christian Bale does a Bruce Wane brilliantly, his Batman is uninteresting – or boring if you're David Cronenberg. The Batman films are all very good, they are very entertaining. But are they masterpieces? Most definitely not, and I guarantee time will not show them to be masterpieces either.

Pop culture has elevated Nolan, and created the kind of fans who wouldn't dare criticise Nolan's work in any way, and they will accuse anyone who does of being a hater, when all they're being is objective. Memento IS Nolan's best film, that truly is a masterpiece. Inception was also elevated way above it's station, that was also above average, but still no masterpiece.

James H

They're comic book movies about a man in a bat costume…is there anyone seriously claiming they're anything more than popcorn thrillers and a bit of fun? Because that would be hysterical…profound or important they are not!

Aaron Lathrop

"What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D"

Christopher Nolan has never shot a movie in 3D; he hates 3D. That right there tells me that he's only half informed and the rest of the article is clear that he is coming to the films predisposed.


Let the contrarian hipster backlash against Nolan commence.

Superhero films are immature, but an ouevre composed largely of films obsessing over sexual horrors is not, apparently?

"The Prestige" alone is better than 5 or 6 Cronenberg filmographies.

And Nolan has never made a 3D film. He's been very vocal in his dislike for the format. Knowing what the hell you're talking about is always helpful when criticizing a colleague's work.

Thank you Cronenberg!

Yeah, that movie sucked it! I thought *ALL* the Dark Knight movies sucked it. Technically some of the shots might've been alright, but the plots, the fights, and the overall scripts sucked. The casting sucked too, with a few significant exceptions who I won't list.

Flaws? Well, from my blog let me copy/paste my list (WARNING: MOVIE SPOILER):
"The autopilot doesn't work" x4
"Only a little kid climbed the wall" and your spine is broken — oops, you're ok.
"the bomb will go off" … in 8 months (!!!) – but luckily, with 10 seconds to spare, Batman saves the day.
Batman can kick the crap out of hundreds of thugs — except a girl with a knife…?
Batman's spine is busted, but hang him from a rope & give him a spinal karate chop? Haya!! Fixed. Thanks.
Batman's got no cartilage, badly healed bones, scar tissue, etc etc. But put this leg brace on, there — fine…!
Batman scares the crap out of baddies — just put this black eye makeup on…



Admittedly Cronenberg has made some great movies. 'The Fly', 'A History of Violence' & 'The Dead Zone' are all fantastic films. But you must remember he has also made some real stinkers. 'Naked Lunch' & 'Crash' in my opinion are dreadful films. What I'm saying is that taste in films is down to the individual. Some may like those films & that's fair enough. Does this make Cronenberg an authority on what a good film is. No. Because that is his taste. He should know that & be a little bit more respectful. I personally think that Nolan's Batman films are fantastic & according to the Box Office so do a lot of people. So before getting into a battle of opinion. Mr Cronenberg should look at who has watched his films compared to who has seen Christopher Nolan's Films. Not Smart… In fact career suicide.


Yip I was just thinking this today in the proverbial shower. All the batmans blow (the latest, less, it's the least offensive in the Nolanblows genre). Incontraception blows. The electromagnetic magician thing almost blows. I hope he's happy because Memento rocks.


Cronenberg has gotten boring, too, so there. Last one I wholeheartedly enjoyed was "eXistenZ" (1999). But yes, Nolan blows, but for "Memento."


I think most directors probably feel the same way as Cronenberg, and not because they are "jealous". Cronenberg makes a movie a year and is considered a legendary director in the film community. He ain't starving. Nolan isn't an elegant storyteller, his late films have been pretentious and overblown, and TDKR was, yes, boring. It was long and tedious and noisy and mindless. I'm sorry, it was NOT politically relevant; it was politically intertextual for the sake of fraudulent respectability. Memento was gimmicky, but never less than fascinating. His Dark Knight movies — along with Inception — are the cinematic equivalent to looking into an automated factory floor. It's big, it's loud, there are hundreds of shiny machines churning, crunching and spinning. It's awe inspiring, and yet, there is not a human soul to be found. Not one. Nolan has been compared to architect, and I think the comparison is fair and not complimentary. He builds monstrous contraptions with literal layers and levels, and parallel edits like a madman, but cares not for the human beings that may reside there. Cronenberg, an auteur concerned with the convergences of body and spirit, turned The Fly's body-horror veneers into a deeply felt and tragic love story. Nolan will never make anything half as good. People that think TDKR is cinema reaching its potential aren't real students of film. They're comic book fans who love to see a comic book movie made ambitiously and seriously, if ultimately fumbled. If in ten or twenty or thirty years any Nolan movie cracks Sight and Sounds Top 100 movies, I'll admit, "Yes, Nolan fanboys, you were right."


dont make choose because Nolan is gonna lose, especially with the convervative message of TDKR, besides of being a great movie.


I know this might sound a little reductionist, but I think that there are two kinds of contemporary auteurs: those who work within the studio system (Nolan, Fincher, de Toro) and those who prefer to go independently (Cronenberg, Gilliam, Cox). The former get bigger budgets and are offered material first, whilst the later enjoy greater creative freedom: there are benefits and disadvantages to both choices. Both approaches are valid. However, I am increasingly instances in which the more independent filmmakers are whining about the studio filmmakers, attacking their more financially successful peers. Gilliam can’t open his mouth without whining about another director, and Cronenberg increasingly hates on other directors. Earlier, Cronenberg complained about ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and now he is complaining about ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. He has the right to complain, but his complaints are bizarre and often misinformed about the subject matter. Take his TGWTDT criticisms: “it had a really weird tone to it, that every man in the movie was a misogynist or a rapist, literally.” Huh? There are lots of problems with the source material, but this is not one of them. The two biggest male roles in the first film are Craig and Plummer: both play kindly men who want to PROTECT women, not hurt them. Yes, there are misogynists in the story, but there are plenty that aren’t (hell, even typecast baddies Steven Berkoff, Goran Visnjic and Alan Dale play nice guys). His complaints about TDKR are similarly strange, and involve a poor or misinformed understanding of the material. Nolan has never used 3D, and his assertions that superhero films can’t be elevated smacks of intellectual snobbery. The fact that he can be so misinformed about the visual element of the productions but assert that others are wrong (“I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about”) is an act of ridiculous, misguided arrogance.


Yeah Nolan should really stop it with the dumb 3D. My local theater only showed it in 3d and i had to pay 5 dollars extra to see a boring movie in boring 3D, 5 boring dollars ill never get back.


If Kubrick or Welles were to say the same thing, would the public/bloggers/fanboys say what they are saying about Cronenberg?


Nolan should really stop filming in 3D.


A troubling disturbance I notice in reading these comments, many of which fanatically defend Nolan's Batman movies , is that everyone has to be disagreeable to disagree. Opinion is no longer considered a virtue of freedom but a vice of non-conformism. Half of you are ready to crucify Cronenberg just because he stated his thoughts about Comic-Book movies. I think he makes a valid point. I think Comic-Book movies are a parody of life raised to a pretentious degree to impress with their use of artificial elements, i.e., thunderous technology, huge stunts, big explosions, and powerful, burlesque characters (or caricatures, more specifically) that bring to oneself a sense of male/female ego-boosting.

Let's see how long it takes until I receive my verbal stoning.


Are you sure youve seen all 3 batman movies buddy


Cronemberg have every right to say his opinion. By the way they know each other very well so it's not up to us to judge. I think he is right.


Contrary to what Cronenberg said, Nolan has never shot in 3D and is not a big fan of the format.
I agree with some of the criticism on The Dark Knight Rises, but he (the one passing judgement) should know what he's talking about.


Cronenberg is 100% correct. Nolan's Batman films are his least interesting films, and Memento is the best film he has made. The Dark Knight Rises was turgid.

Great Cronenberg films: Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ, Spider, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises.

Great Nolan films: Memento, The Prestige.

Here endeth the lesson.


I don't know why I say this, but I never understood why people think, that to give a critical comment into someone's work has to mean they have to 'do it better' themselves. That's utter bullshit. Why is everyone now comparing Cronenberg and Nolan here? Why is he not allowed his opinion? What does f.ex. Cosmopolis have anything to do with him thinking of Nolan as a bore?

I am glad someone gives a comment, because normally no-one does. And to say: "I think people who are saying ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don’t think they know what the fuck they’re talking about.” is just fine, because that's pretty much the truth.

And now that I am labeled as a Cronenberg fanboy, I will say, I am not. Oh, and the Dark Knight Rises really was the ultimate bore. The hero's journey was there, nothing new, nothing surprising, nothing brave. If we call that ultimate cinema art, I guess someone has to reinvent the whole medium.


Cronenberg has made a couple good movies, but how ironic is it that my favorite movie of his he's ever made is History Of Violence, so strange. It's a shame he has this to say about movies that he has probably never even seen one or two of them and maybe only little parts of one or two. Nolan is one of the great film makers of our time and Mr. Cronenberg is…well not. He could have been but his last few movies have been so so at best. Momento alone is better than the entire Cronenberg movie catalog all together.

Mr. Pricklepants

It's still a better movie than Cosmopolis.


Is he jealous because he's struggling to get his type of movies made while Christopher Nolan is at the top of the directorial heap? Say what you want about the Batman trilogy, but it has attracted some of the best acting talent in Hollywood. Mr. Cronenberg is dumb to make himself even more unlikable. Not to mention Mr. Cronenberg's last few movies have majorly sucked. It's time to get down off of that high horse.

Wah Dah Dah

I think it's kind of ironic that a director who wasn't taken seriously as an artist because he worked in the horror genre, a genre which struggled for respectability labels a superhero movie as not serious art. I agree with RE, it is probably generational as well.


Yeah but it's all generational. It probably took a generational change to take a gangster picture (The Godfather) serious as cinema. It will take the next generational change to take superhero pictures seriously as cinema. Cronenberg is not a guy who can take a mask and a cape seriously as cinema. George Lucas did not rape his childhood. He doesn't think John Hughes is a genius because he spent his teens watching John Hughes movies. Yet his generation can take a remake of The Fly seriously. He's right as hell but at the same time you don't want to be the elderly "get off my lawn" guy. He should probably challenge himself by making a superhero movie.

Joe G.

Lynch the naysayer?

"Fans" and "fanboys" always crack me up.

Cronenberg makes some valid points, and he has every right to do so. The whole world talks about what they like or don't like in movies and the people who make them… but apparently he's not allowed? He's supposed to maintain some priestly vow of silence. Of course the people attacking him for giving his opinion have no problem giving their own on an hourly basis.

"I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust." -Comic Book Guy


I love Cronenberg to death, but he really seems to be suffering from a bit of jealousy in this article. Nolan's films, especially The Dark Knight trilogy, are anything but boring. Plus, as everyone has already mentioned, Nolan has never shot a film in 3D. Mr. Cronenberg, I love you as a director, but get your facts straight next time. Seriously.


We know what art is, it's paintings of horses!


I don't agree with Cronenberg. I do love his films however and does he even realize that he has made one of the best comic adaptations in A History of Violence. His opinion is his. He and Nolan are two of the great modern masters in my opinion. I will se anything either of them makes.


@ugh. Over react much? I kind of believe making death threats against someone who gave a film a bad review and a gang mentality against all dissension is kind are kind of similar tactics. Tactics that are damaging in a free and open society. Glad to hear most here are pro Cronenberg in this debate, but, that isn't true elsewhere. The knobs are alive and well. Take a look at twitter now. Sure it is 'just' talk, but the mentality is destructive. Go ahead an punch me. Violence is what many here are all about.


only 65 comments? I expected a fanboy revolt and a system shutdown. God forbid anyone have an opinion that differs from theirs. Happy to see the Gestapo like tactics determined to shut down any opinion that differs from haven't come to fruition (at least yet). Open your eyes and see that Cronenberg makes a valid point. Crowd pleasing and box office don't equate to something having significant artistic merit. His point about Nolan's Memento (and I would add Inception) being much better films artistically than any in TDK series is valid. Dark and muddy scenes and mumbled dialogue can't be elevated to a higher artistic level just because an exceptional performance ( ie. Ledger) is thrown in the mix.


i completely agree with cronenberg. he may have misspoke when referring to 3D, but i'm not sure as i have not read the american cinematography magazine article in question. the latest nolan batman was technically a marvel and yet very boring and pedestrian with an atrocious final act, imo. and who wouldn't agree that memento is nolan's best film? maybe fans of the prestige?


63 comments? playlist boner!


I think Cronenberg is a great film maker, but I actually find his movies very slow and boring.


Im stil mystified as to why people genuinely think the TDKR was a good film. Such denial.A terrible script and the twist with Cotillard was the most useless, pointless twist EVER. It was an absolute mess.


Cronenberg is sick with envy.

Oogle monster

TEAM NOLAN. Also, second what Katie/Stalison said below… seems like Cronenberg hasn't actually watched any of the Batman films if he thinks there is a 3d version floating out there. Nolan is vehemently against the 3d format, DUH CRONIE! Also, for him to say that Nolan's interpretation of Batman is just another "superhero" movie is such bull- dude elevated the genre to something quite extraordinary and every superhero film after it has tried (and failed) to capture what Nolan has done. It seems like this was Cronie's one opportunity to bad mouth Nolan so he went for it… sounds like a case of serious hater-ritis if you ask me… THIS is the reason why Nolan has yet to be nominated for Best Director b/c the DGA is full of whiny little directors who wish they could make the kind of money AND quality films that Nolan makes… and yes, I'm a hardcore Nolanite. :) I still like Cronenberg but lets never ever ever repeat A Dangerous Method again. Or at least hire a new editor because that shit was edited so poorly.


"he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D"

What in the name of arse is he talking about? Nolan has never shot in 3D. :/


Apparently Cronenberg doesn't know much about Nolan's work because Nolan is famous for hating 3-D. But Cronenberg apparently doesn't think Gary Oldman is a good actor so I have to question some of his opinions. But he shouldn't be hated for one comment.


Cronenberg has made 3 or 4 cool movies in his 40+ year career… but he's in no position to hate on Nolan. No one like a hater BRO!


i respect his opinions even if i disagree


Funny. When other directors talk smack about someone like Michael Bay, it's alright. But when he say something about someone that critics and the public love, such as Nolan, it's blasphemy.


How dare an amazing filmmaker have opinions about another decent director and his films!


Subject matter doesn't determine whether or not a film is art, the way the material is handled does. A film about a man turning into a giant mutant fly could never be considered art could it?


I can totally see Cronenberg's point of view, even though he's made some bad (and great) movies himself. But that's not the point… point is, he's restricting an art form which thrives and progresses on creativity. He says comic book movies are meant to be a certain way (adolescent), and can't be cinematic art. That's BS. That's like saying you can only paint with primary colors, or make music with only 7 notes instead of 13. If there is humanity and skillful story-telling, regardless of the genre, why WOULDN'T it be artistic? What about Toy Story 3? A "children's" movie so fun, yet so deep and resonant, that it probably made more adults contemplate their lives and cry than any movie that year. Art is hindered by people who think it must be done a certain way. People who think outside the box and have that creative gift, are able do the un-doable because they have the balls to try. While that requires risk, it paid off because to me, The Dark Knight is in fact a deep and meaningful film.
* Whatever I said is just my opinion. Please don't take anything personally, I hate arguing with a keyboard.


Wait who's David Croberg lol


I want to know what Cronenberg thinks of those intelligent, epic, and well-acted and not at all adolescent at their core 'Twilight' movies, then. You know, the ones starring none other than his current protagonist.


Wasn't "A History of Violence" based on a graphic novel aka a comic book?


maybe he shud be quiet. everyones entitled to their opinions but shud he really bash another fellow filmmaker when answering a news question? the question was whether he'll get into/ make any superhero movies in the future, not what his thoughts were on nolans work. it wasnt the time or place to say such things. nolan probably doesnt like some of cronenbergs movies but he doesnt say it to the news when he gets the chance. he cant even admit that all the other batman movies before 'begins' were crap because he respects other filmmakers and their visions. maybe next time cronenberg will use a useful resource to vent (private twitter dude).

and regarding nolans batman movies, their not movies about batman, their movies about a man becoming batman, as a symbol for catalystic change in justice. what differs nolans movies is that instead of bruce wayne/ christian bale being batman because he has to be, or because the fans know he will be is that nolan took the oppurtunity to show why hes becoming this man in a cape. throughout the whole trilogy he goes back to this countless times and shows how bruce wayne, the little kid who cant release his anger or fear over bats/ his parents murder, uses it to strike fear in the enemies that present themselves and become a symbol for justice in a city which on the outside looks like it doesnt need it but underneath is a hell. Bruce wayne to most of the citizens of gotham was a happy billionaire but underneath he was a monster waiting to be free. batman wasnt in the movie just because the movies called batman, hes in there cuz hes necessary. thats how nolan elevated it. not just cuz its a movie and has to be. its a pretty damn interesting story and a progressive one, no matter what its original source was. its a character arc. bruce wayne is not a superhero but a human.

And the target audience has nothing to do with the movie. a movies a movie. a books a book. and i dont know if im alone, but i wudnt recommend any of the movies in the nolan trilogy to someone under the age of 11 or 12. if he doesnt like the movie, he doesnt like it. but dont trash it because u dont like the original source or the target audience. watch the movie and see how u feel after watching that and that alone. not how much it made, what the other filmmakers movies were or how u feel other people shud look at it.


I kinda like TDKR, I mean I find the Nolan's Batman entertaining (grand spectacle and all, but I will not see them twice), but Cronenberg is totally right! The average fanboys took TDKR praise the movie to be a masterpiece or something. You liked it, all right, I get it! You know what I liked when I was a stupid teenager? Armageddon for fuck sake! I clearly didn't know better and so they are.


He's right!


i love david cronenberg. he's possibly my favorite filmmaker. but i also love comics and think nolan's batman films are incredible. that being said i think 'memento' and 'the prestige' and 'inception' are all superior to the bat trilogy.


This article looks forgot to mention that when Nolan makes a film and releases it on Summer is not actually considered a summer blockbuster. I mean, your regular summer blockbuster. It's more than that. And, the problem that I have with this article is that it tries to compare the 'The Dark Knight Rises' to 'The Avengers.' I don't think that Batman film of Nolan's is for kids. They are more darker than 'The Avengers' and all the other superhero films that we see today. Cronenberg is bored, I haven't seen any film of his yet; the only reason I pay attention to Easter Promises is because of Viggo and the film's score. Cosmopolis just like the book is going to release and then people will forget about it. A pointless book and a pointless film in my opinion. It is what it is. If Cronenberg has his opinion, we, Nolan fans have ours as well.

I seriously hope you guys ross douthat

He's basically right. There's nothing wrong with a good adolescent superhero movie: the problem with Nolan's Batman films is that Nolan, on the whole, takes them too seriously. Heath Ledger in TDK and Anne Hathaway in TDKR *are* pretty fun but you have to put up with a lot of other rubbish to see them.


Cronenberg is full of it. The fact that he states Nolan utilizes 3D shows that he hasn't bothered watching the film. He certainly is entitled to his opinion, but it sounds like he's just bitter because Eastern Promises 2 will not be happening. Admittedly, this is a problem due to studios increasingly doing away with the mid budget film (30-60 million) in favor of tent poles, unless you are one of a dozen or so directors who can attain financing. As for material determining whether or not something is art: BS. Puzo's The Godfather is a trashy novel that Coppola elevated to art. Same with Rosemary's Baby, Jaws, The Ghost Writer, Carlito's Way, and A History of Violence (based on a graphic novel). The minute we elevate ourselves above any material, we lose the ability to actually be relatable to sensibilities.


cronenberg needs to get his facts straight for one. nolans shoots imax: not 3d. and hes also on the far end of the spectrum that obviously cant enjoy a summer movie and expects everything to be 'the tree of life' or 'the kings speech'.


While "A History of Violence" is probably better than any of Nolan's films, "Inception" is arguably better than any other Cronenberg film.

Eoin Daly

What does cronenberg know. He last and only great film was A History of Violence. He is not one of our best directors and he is just saying this so people will go see Cosmopolis.


Hmmm, guess Cronenberg won't be directing ALPHA FLIGHT anytime soon….Seriously, I fully agree with him about Nolan's bat movies. Batman Begins was the best and they've gotten steadily more leaden, self-important, and joyless ever since. Memento IS better; The Prestige is better; Inception is better. Nolan's bat movies, they're not bad films, but they're far from great either.

I gotta disagree, though, with 'Berg's opinion of superhero movies. At their best they're science-fiction / fantasy allegories–y'know, kinda like Rabid, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly. And I think the Marvel movies–ESPECIALLY Whedon's Avengers–transcended "mere entertainment" and "standard comic book fare". Yeah, they embraced the fun and optimistic side of superheroes, and they delivered something thematically rich and meaningful….they just did it in a very subtle, intelligent way.


Cronenberg for Bats!

Dan S

Personally, I find that TDK is a much more thorough examination of the duality of heroism and violence than Cronenberg's "History of Violence." It was also less boring.


he's right.


It's nice that we live in a world that allows us to like two different things at the same time. I like Cronenberg movies and I also like Nolan movies. They both offer something unique and I appreciate them both for that. #TEAMCOMMONSENSE


I agree. Not that they're boring exactly, but that they are adolescent at the core. The idea of a guy in a batsuit with a cape who saves people and gets the bad guys is obviously meant for kids. "But we generally tend to think that Nolan is delivering something a lot richer than your standard comic book fare." Maybe so, but what Cronenberg is arguing is that that still doesn't make it "supreme cinema art" on the level of something like Citizen Kane. Generally speaking, people who believe that don't know what they're talking about.

cory everett

I'd be more inclined to listen to Cronenberg if I hadn't seen his last few movies… (double-burn). Nobody wins. :(


He's an old douch. The last good film he made (IMO) was THE FLY – which was basically a superhero story.

Eastern Promises doesn't need a sequel. It was a bad film with some great scenes/ideas. The film just ended mid 2nd act – no ending, nada. Shit script.

The nude fight in the sauna, and the tattoo's were all Viggo's ideas (google it)

Cronenberg can suck it.


I agree with everything he said about superhero movies. Although, I do think there's a great 1 and 40 minutes in TDK. I would also have to disagree with him on Memento. I think Inception is Nolan's best film. In Cronenberg We Trust!


I imagine a lot of movies seem "boring" to Cronenberg. I really like his movies, but he certainly has a unique taste and film language. I'm sure he's pretty picky in general.

But, does he actually say that he has seen TDKR??? I certainly don't think the latest Batman movie is above criticism, but calling it just a comic book movie or "for kids" is not one of the criticisms that comes to mind at all. There are other things to poke at it for, but not that.

Katie Walsh


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