I actually LOVED Dark Knight Rises. First off, I'm not a big superhero movie fan. I don't know anything about the comic books or the characters. I truly thought Dark Knight Rises had much more of an emotional tone to it which I love.
I read a users review and I completely agree with him when he stated
Perhaps what set this film apart from his other films was that it had a genuine emotional heartbeat. I felt that this was a flaw of Nolan's other films - the vision of emotion was there, but it was hollow. In this I bought it. I felt it, hero and villain alike
With The Dark Knight, all everyone talked about was the legendary performance from one actor (Ledger), where in this film we got to see a well balance performance from the entire cast. I think Michael Cain was fantastic. I'm not a big fan of Anne H., (Who is) but her portrayal of Catwoman surprised me and she made the character "believable". Because we don't get to see a whole lot of "Batman", I think it allowed for us to see a much better acting performance from Christian Bale who I think did a great job. Perhaps I went in with low expectations, but I actually loved Bane. Obviously the Joker was legendary performance, and you simply cannot compare the characters. However, we aren't suppose to like the villain (as I did with the Joker). With Bane, I truly despised him. Bane's performance didn't have the emotional depth to it (like the Joker), but as a Villain I think the performance was solid and actually provoked more "fear" into me than the joker did. Perhaps that was because we know the joker was psychotic and unstable, where Bane was the complete opposite of that. He was more intelligent, powerful, brutal, and I saw him as a terrorist, which to me made it more of a believable character. And because of that, I found myself fearing him at times.
Perhaps because it wasn't a NON stop action movie, people might of felt it dragged on which I can somewhat admit it. However, I love films that have more dialogue, so it really didn't bother me at all. Where there plot holes? Of course. But I think it was a great ending to a fantastic trilogy and Nolan pulled it off beautifully. What I loved most about it was not only the emotional tone the film had, but that it was NOT overdone with ridiculous CGI effects which I despise in a film.
Did I like it better than the 2nd one? I need more time since I just saw Dark Knight Rises yesterday and it is obviously more fresh in my mind, but I could argue that it definitely was.