OK - I've seen "The Dark Knight" twice already. I saw "Batman Begins" three times in the theater, so I clearly have some affinity for Christopher Nolan's directorial vision.
Of this particular film, I just say this --
A dark, dark film.
A Jungian's fantasy come true.
Very complex and multi-layered - so much so I'd dare to call it beautiful. Masterfully written.
It is difficult to disassociate Heath Ledger's presence on screen with the reality of his death - but I think I can say without equivocation that he owned this role.
The appeal of this film for the masses flocking to see it? We need to see our heroes struggle, which is why Batman will always trump Superman in my book.