Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is arguably the best Batman movie ever made, so it’s good news that it’s back on Netflix this month, along with Batman Begins, the film that kicked off this critically-acclaimed trilogy. And once you’ve reached the credits of Nolan’s second outing with the Caped Crusader, you’ll undoubtedly want to jump to the trilogy-closer, The Dark Knight Rises, which puts Batman back in the crosshairs of Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Shadows, this time led by the seemingly invincible Bane (played with relish by Tom Hardy).
The good news is that, despite what some might say, The Dark Knight Rises is absolutely worth a watch, even if it doesn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor. Just as The Dark Knight took its story from the pages of Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween, Rises is heavily influenced by three other pivotal comics: Frank Miller’s character-defining The Dark Knight Returns as well as two massive storylines from the ’90s, “Knightfall” and “No Man’s Land.” Christopher and Jonathan Nolan use elements of each to tell a multi-layered story that perhaps may be a little too ambitious for its own good but is no less enjoyable to watch (obvious faults in logic aside).
This twisting conclusion to The Dark Knight Trilogy is pivotal to understanding how the events of the second movie have changed Bruce and Gotham City as well as what Batman’s legacy truly means when it grows beyond just one man.
If you’ve gone searching for The Dark Knight Rises right after the final scene of The Dark Knight, you’re headed in the right direction. But here we get to the bad news: The Dark Knight Rises isn’t on Netflix, an odd omission considering the streamer has just added the first two movies this month. So where can you go to watch the third one?
Until very recently, the answer was HBO Max. Warner Bros.’ own streaming service added the entire Dark Knight Trilogy to its offerings in January. But without warning, WB has removed The Dark Knight Rises from the service, leaving HBO Max with only the first two movies as well. And the movie isn’t available to stream as part of a Hulu or Amazon subscription either, which means that you’ll need to pay the $3.99 to rent it on your VOD service of choice for the time being. It’s not ideal, but it’s your best option if you want to finish the trilogy this weekend instead of waiting for it to return to HBO Max or Netflix at a future date.
Once have finished the trilogy, you have way more Batman to look forward to on the big screen. Matt Reeves’ The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022, while the Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton versions of the Dark Knight will return for The Flash movie out on Nov. 2, 2022. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some cool new Batman stories in the pages of the comics, give John Ridley’s futuristic The Next Batman a look as well as what James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez are doing on DC’s main Batman book.