The acting is a huge highlight of this movie. Everyone knows all the speculation about Heath Ledger's death after playing the Joker, and even the speculation of him being chosen in the first place, but there's one thing that there should be no speculation about: his performance. He puts on the best acting performance I've seen in years.
To realize that this is the same man from A Knight's Tale puts the greatness of his performance into perspective. The Joker is an absolute psychopath. He has no inhibitions. He describes himself perfectly as "a dog chasing a car...[he] wouldn't know what to do when he caught it." He just chases the car.
That's the Joker in a nutshell. He has no plan in mind; he just does things. He looks disturbing, and he laughs when he feels pain. He is a very frightening villain who has no problem at all killing any random person, and who has no weakness. Life is one big joke to him...a joke where fear and chaos are the natural punch line. He makes things into little games that involve people's survival, that are put together with lies.
He has no problem seeing human suffering. This is the deepest I have seen anyone venture into the heart of pure insanity. It is frightening to see. Heath Ledger does an unbelievable job playing this character. He makes you laugh, but then turns right around and does something extremely sinister, which just leaves you in shock that a human being could do that.
After seeing it, there is nobody who could've played this role better. When his name came up in the credits, the whole theater broke out into cheers and applause. RIP Heath Ledger
The direction is fabulous. Nolan has given his finest performance ever. He pulled out all the stops and dove right into the heart of insanity. He also dives right into the source of revenge. His manifestations of the villains in this movie are excellent. He is a real master, and this is his masterpiece
Overall, this movie is breathtaking, and it is the best movie of the year. It was everything that I wanted and more. I highly recommend it but do not go see it expecting a lighthearted movie. As my friend said, "When the Joker appears on screen, you just feel about 50 pounds of weight thrown on top of you." It is an intense movie.