Country: USA
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenwriters: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

Gone are the days of the camp-tastic Adam West Batman. No more batsuits with dominant nipples either, George Clooney.

The Dark Knight introduces audiences to a new way of experiencing superhero movies. Rather than feeling straight out of a comic book page, Christopher Nolan's take feels freakishly grounded in a tangible reality. While his vision of Gotham is essentially a mix of every major American city, perpetuating the illusion that the kind of terror that reigns down on the metropolis could happen anywhere, it's his villain that undercuts the viewers' vulnerability.

Forget your typical CGI villain, his Joker gives every viewer something hauntingly real to be afraid of. Which is a testament to the talent and sacrifice of the late Heath Ledger, who became the second actor in history to be awarded an Oscar post-humously.—TA