I just saw that The Dark Knight was the #1 gift being bought in the 12-15 year old category. I hope people buying this film via the children's holiday gift guide are giving this decision serious thought - despite it's PG-13 rating, the film is a dark, psychological thriller at heart, wrapped up in a super-hero cover.
I'm not hating on the film, by the way: I enjoyed it, and thought it was the best Batman film since, well, ever. I just wanted to post my concerns about immature teenagers seeing this film. I'm not a "Ban This Filth" anti-games /anti-films activist either: I grew up playing video games and watching sci-fi and horror films. All the same, my parents took time to consider the content of the stuff I was seeing.
I feel that checking the official ratings used on games and films are only one part of a parent's responsibility. Parents should definitely assess their child's maturity before buying this film for them. "Some scenes may be unsuitable for younger audiences," has never been a truer statement.
I'm 13 and saw the movie with a friend this last summer. We both thought it was very good and agree, it was fairly dark. I would say this would be a great gift for any 12-40 year old male or female that has an intrest in action movies with a bit of humor. If your kid has nightmares from dark movies such as this, then you shouldn't buy them this movie. I am a big fan of comedy and action-sci fi-horror movies, one of my favorites is Cloverfield, so this movie didn't bug me in the least. Heath Ledger as the joker was a great villin that incorporated a bit of humor into is madness, he was mainly what made this movie better than Batman Begins. So all in all, I agree, this is a great movie for the average 12-15 year old that attends public school and likes action movies. If they're not very knowledgeable of things in this movie, then this isn't a great gift.
I wouldn't buy the movie for a 12-year-old child, personally. It's a great movie, but it's too dark (very close to an R rating - Nolan supposedly orignally shot an R-rated version but it was trimmed to meet a PG-13 rating for theaters) for a 12 or 13-year-old, if you ask me. I was 14 when I saw "The Road Warrior" and "Mad Max" on Cinemax, but if I had seen them at age 12, it would have been too much. Granted, "The Dark Knight"'s violence, for much of the film, is off-camera, but it's way too dark for kids. I saw it on opening day, the very first showing, and a mom walked her 6 or 7-year-old kid from the back down the aisle and out about 2 hours into the movie. It's just too dark for kids. I know I sound like a prude in 2008, but I think a kid should be 13 almost going on 14, or 14 to see it.
It takes all kinds, Damon. I remember hearing several toddlers crying in the theater when their parents took them to see Saving Private Ryan. There were also some families with little kids in the theater years ago when I saw that "sweet, family-oriented Kiddie film"....Full Metal Jacket!!!
Wow. Thank you Andrew, for your incredible comments. You captured the essence of this thread, which was to ensure that no-one under the age of 15 saw this film.
I'll try to clarify: I recommend people think about the kids they buy this film for, as it is a dark film. Some teenagers may not be mature enough mentally, to witness the more disturbing scenes within this film. If, upon reflection, you believe the child is mature enough, feel free to buy them this film as it is very good.