"The Dark Knight Rises" will be the last Batman film for both Christian Bale and director Christopher Nolan ("Inception"), and they seem to be delivering on the implied promise that it'll be the best one yet. This past week has been dominated by two key promotional pieces for the threequel. First, came the 6-minute IMAX prologue for critics, bloggers and other nerds. They seemed to like it. The rest of us will have to buy a ticket to "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" to see it. Second, was the gritty, star-less poster which promises a most brutal motion picture, one that may see the end of Batman/Bruce Wayne as we know it. Just how close Nolan's film will follow the storyline -- or at least the heartbreaking conclusion of -- "Knightfall" remains to be seen, but whatever Bane has in store for Bats it can't be good.
As for the rest of this week's list…
December 14, 2011
1. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Last time: No. 4)
The reviews of those first six minutes and the new Bane-centric poster are pretty convincing: This is the movie to beat in 2012. Your move, "Here Comes the Boom".
2. "Amazing Spider-Man" (Last time: No. 7)
An unexpected poster piques fan interest in the post-Raimi Peter Parker picture.
3. "The Twilight Saga" (Last Time: Not ranked)
According to George Takei, fans of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" should quit their rivalry and combine forces against Stephenie Meyer's vampire empire. Twi-Hards can now say "That's right -- it takes BOTH of them to stop 'Twilight.'"
4. "GI Joe: Retaliation" (Last Time: Not ranked)
The new trailer will have even cynical audiences yelling "Yo Joe!," or at least "Cobraaaa!!!"
5. "Men in Black III" (Last Time: No. 3)
If the new trailer doesn't make you forget all those rumors of an unfinished script and on-set problems, Will Smith's flashlight thing will. And Josh Brolin's endless handsomeness won't hurt either.
6. "The Help" (Last Time: Not ranked)
Four SAG Award nominations help move this movie to the top of my DVD queue.
7. "The Artist" (Last Time: No. 12)
Critics are speechless over this silent film, which earned three nominations from SAG.
8. "Hunger Games" (Last Time: No. 2)
A new photo highlights the film's central love triangle - - and its attractive young leads. Happy hunting!
9. "Rock of Ages" (Last Time: Not ranked)
Trailer? Check. Poster? Check. Big hair? Check...wait, pass the Aqua Net. Starring Tom Crooz.
10. "The Great Gatsby" (Last Time: Not ranked)
Baz Luhrmann may be one of the only directors batty enough to shoot a 3D version of Fitzgerald's classic novel. But these new photos -- featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan -- are sumptuous and classy.
11. Kathryn Bigelow's Untitled Osama Bin Laden film (Last Time: Not ranked)
"Parks and Recreation" doofus Chris Pratt (who plays Andy on the NBC comedy) is in talks to star in the film as a Navy SEAL on the hunt for the terrorist. He's a big dude, but can he be a badass? Or is this now a comedy?
12. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (Last Time: Not ranked)
David Fincher's dark vision of the smash Swedish book is hitting screens one day earlier. The Girl Who Time Traveled?
13. "Man of Steel" (Last Time: Not ranked)
We've seen a million crummy fan pics and videos of the Superman reboot, but these are a cut above.
14. "Thor 2" (Last Time: Not ranked)
A switch-up in director-land is putting eyes on Marvel's upcoming sequel.
15. "The Dictator" (Last Time: Not ranked)
Sacha Baron Cohen is back (times two), and this time he's running things, as seen in the brand new trailer.
Movie Power Rankings appears weekly on HitFix. See the previous installment's rankings here.
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