I'll try to keep this spoiler free, as always. I may fail a bit, but I'll try my best not to ruin any of the surprises for those who haven't seen it yet.
And again, for those of you coming to What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse... through a Google search for "curse words in Dark Knight Rises" or something similar, welcome! I don't remember a single curse word being uttered. There may have been one or two mild ones that just didn't stick in my memory, but you're probably OK seeing this if you don't want your kids to hear bad language. Don't bring the little ones, though. Seriously. This is NOT a movie for kids. This is NOT the Adam West Batman you grew up with. And if you haven't seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, go watch those first and then decide if you want your kids to see this.
OK, for the rest of you, on with the review!
I liked this story. I liked it a lot. We really see both Batman and Bruce Wayne drug down to the lowest places they can go, then fighting their way back up again. Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman, and young officer Blake all have well-done story arcs. The story could have used a bit more Lucius Fox, and Bane made an excellent villain, if one without much of a story arc to him, really.
One thing that surprised me was how little actual screen time there is for Batman. It's really Bruce Wayne's story most of the time. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It also allowed more time to focus on Gordon, Blake and Selena Kyle/Catwoman. However, compared to the non-stop tension and release pace of The Dark Knight, DKR is more slow, similar to Batman Begins.
The biggest failing of the movie, I think, is that it tries too hard to tie up all the loose ends, and needlessly conflates the events of Batman Begins with the current events for fairly little payoff. Maybe if Heath Ledger hadn't died, and was able to return as the Joker, there would have felt like more continuity over the trilogy. As it is, there's lots of talk about Harvey Dent and Ras al'Ghul, but not a word about the Joker. Bane could easily have been set up as a villain threatening Gotham without the need to tie him to the League of Shadows. And that's the only spoiler you're gonna get, folks.
The Dark Knight Rises is a good movie. Like I said, though, it's somewhat slower paced, and focused on Bruce Wayne. I wonder if DKR, like Batman Begins, will get a bit boring with repeat viewings. But then maybe part of that feeling for me was that Batman Begins was on Korean cable channels like every other day two years ago. Got kinda tired of it. DKR isn't as good as The Dark Knight, but it's better than Batman Begins. If you like where Christopher Nolan took Batman in his previous two efforts, you're probably going to like this one, too. Just don't go in expecting it to top The Dark Knight.