Peter Travers' 2012 Summer Movie Preview

From 'The Avengers' to 'The Campaign,' the season's 10 must-see flicks

'The Dark Knight Rises'

dark knight
Ron Phillips/Warner Bros

In Theaters: July 20th

"Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story." And so, in the words of director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises ends his Batman trilogy. Cue the tears. This will be the last of Christian Bale in the bat suit, fighting crime – in this case Tom Hardy's dastardly Bane – as a psychological night falls over Gotham City. Nobody really knows anything about this finale, though the trailer, currently on the Web, is a knockout. What's clear is that The Dark Knight Rises is the movie against which every movie this summer, this year, will be measured. Nolan is a true artist. His accomplishment goes beyond escapism. Nolan makes comic-book art. If you think you've seen everything, listen to the Caped Crusader: "Not everything – not yet."

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