Mods, there doesn't seem to be a reaction megathread so apologies if you have to smush this into another thread.
Went to the midnight screening last night and I think I can safely say that this is without a doubt, the most massive and immane film released within my lifetime (1989 onwards). When Nolan was talking about looking back to Fritz Lang (Dr. Mabuse as much as Metropolis seems to be an influence here) and silent cinema (Intolerance) he wasn't joking. Epic is a word used in trifling situations these days (no, The Amazing Spider-Man was not epic; no, Prometheus was not epic; no,The Avengers was not epic), but if you were ever going to apply it to a film, this is the one. The number of fully fledged story layers that lock and interweave exploring the infrastructure of the city and the forces that look to destroy it amazing. The ambition of the film dwarfs its predecessor, which is extraordinary when you think about it.
I can't say I love it more than The Dark Knight, but then that film has a lightning-in-a-bottle, of-the-time quality to it that I don't think will ever fade (and seeing it in the theatre before hand only strengthened that view), but I just feel that in all these reviews the extraordinary size of the thing isn't really being sold. That's not a drawing point - in fact, the performances and character arcs are quite intimate, involving, and of a standard most drab dramatic pieces would love to attain, but it is what sets this film apart from not only its predecessors but pretty much any other film released that I can remember. It makes fantasy epics like your Lord of the Rings or your Star Wars or whatever look like a joke, because the scope of it is set against something many of us are familiar with in a cityscape and the various levels of that world. It's quantifiable and it strikes you to the core in a way that a thousand TIE Fighters or one hundred thousand Orcs can never and will never do.
It's almost too much to process with one viewing and I'm not even sure if I know what the hell it is that I saw, but I can conclusively say that it is truly great in many capacities, and ambitious beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
I'm more than willing to answer spoilery questions and whatnot if that's OK (and as I say, if this needs to be shunted anywhere else that I couldn't find then so be it and apologies in advance to the mods).