I've been hearing ( and reading a lot on FB and reviews sites) of people comparing The Dark Knight Rises to The Avengers. There is absolutely no comparison. They are nowhere in the same league. The Avengers is a typical summer release, overdone fluff piece of crap. The Dark Knight Rises is a well crafted drama.
Sure, it has some of the trappings of summer fare, like big special effects and cool gadgets. However, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have written a complex story that is a strong foundation for the entire movie.
I loved the cast. I have had a longtime crush on Christian Bale, so any movie with him is an automatic win. Although, I really prefer him out of the Batsuit, don't cover up my Christian! As much as I love Bale, Anne Hathaway as Selina (Catwoman) managed to steal the spotlight. She was awesome. I would love to see her in a Selina centric movie.
The movie had a lot of heart. Batman isn't the only hero in Gotham City and there is much focus on the ordinary citizen in a very sadistic world. I found the movie to have some unpredictable twists that really worked. For all of the fantasy, it feels like a movie very much rooted in reality with contemporary themes. The scope of this movie is huge and far more a drama than an action type of movie. It is weighty.