Plaudits are coming thick and fast for The Dark Knight Rises, with one reviewer proclaiming it to be "the biggest, best and most exciting Batman of them all".

The film, due for release in New Zealand on Thursday, is the final part of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and the follow-up to 2008's The Dark Knight, one of the box office's most successful ever films.

Early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Out of 29 reviews compiled on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, only one is negative, and the film has a whopping 97 per cent approval rating.

The Daily Mail called the film "bleak, black and brilliant" in a five-star review, a sentiment echoed by Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter, who said the film began with a "curtain raiser James Bond would kill for".


"Big-time Hollywood filmmaking at its most massively accomplished, this last instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy makes everything in the rival Marvel universe look thoroughly silly and childish," said McCarthy.

Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers called it the "King Daddy of summer movie epics" and gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four.

"... Let The Dark Knight Rises propel you into Nolan's carefully wrought maze. You may have to fight yourself out. But a movie this potent and provocative is well worth the battle," Travers said.

The only negative review seemed to come from news agency Associated Press, with reviewer Christy Lemire calling it "an epic let down".

"Christopher Nolan concludes his Batman trilogy in typically spectacular, ambitious fashion ... but the feeling of frustration and disappointment is unshakable," she said.

But reviewer James Mottram from The List seemed to sum it up for most critics by simply saying: "Emotional, epic and entertaining, this is the end you've been waiting for."

* will feature a full Batman review on Thursday morning.

- Herald online