Final spoilers warning. I'm not going to bother with that spoiler block foolishness.
First off, the questions everyone loves to ask: it's not quite as great as its predecessor, but it's a pretty exhilarating experience nonetheless.
Second question everyone loves to ask: Is it better than the Avengers movie? I don't think they're comparable. One's an action movie through and through (an excellent action movie, don't get me wrong), the other is more geared towards intense drama than action, although the action scenes are pretty edge-of-the-seat stuff. They're both superhero films, but their execution is just so incredibly different. One's got a straightforward "good guys beat up bad guys" theme, the other tries to weave socio-political messages into the story. I don't think comparing them is possible or correct. They're both excellent movies depending on what kind of film you want to watch. If you held a gun to my head and demanded to know which was better, I'd say TDKR, but I'm a biased fanboy and this movie stars one of my favorite villains, so don't take my word for it. Decide for yourself.
Batman: I've always said Christian Bale played a better Bruce Wayne than he did a Batman, but luckily enough the Bruce Wayne part of the character gets more screen time than the Batman part does. And it works that way, because you can see Bruce transform from a rundown recluse to a resurgent force, and then from a shattered and defeated man to a resurgent force again, and it seems real, or at least as real as a movie drawn from this sort of material can get. His performance is as good as any I've seen from him, and in my opinion it matches his turns in movies like American Psycho and The Machinist.
Bane: Yes! A portrayal of Bane that is at least halfway faithful to the character! Finally! I'm not even going to talk about that wretched Schumacher movie, but I recently decided to finish all the side missions for Arkham City, and it was irritating to see Bane portrayed once again as a lumbering brute hopped up on heavy-duty drugs. This version of Bane does not use Venom, but that's not important because Venom isn't what defines Bane. I love how they kept in Bane's mind and intellect while also showcasing how strong and tough he is physically. That's really all that matters, and if they want to edit his history by making him a member of the League of Shadows and what not, that's fine by me. Bane's actions in the movie reference incidents in the comics more than any other character's; when he broke Batman's back and when he turned Gotham into no man's land with the push of a button, I felt like going "Hey, I know where that comes from!".
Catwoman: Glorious. I can finally forget whoever it was Halle Berry was playing in that mess of a film years ago; because this is one more portrayal of a character that is at least halfway faithful to the comics. All you people who said Anne Hathaway would suck as Catwoman? You were wrong, and you should make reparations.
But seriously, she talks like Selina, she walks like Selina, she acts like Selina, she has the same conflicts and motivations.......not really much to find fault with.
But the things about the movie that I DO find fault with? Numero uno would be Talia al Ghul. It could be that I hate Talia; I've always thought that she's a useless character. But really, she almost derails Bane's entire character. At first he's a sociopath wearing the garb of a revolutionary, and he's really good at that, but then all of a sudden that nonsense from Bane of the Demon is brought in and it's revealed that Bane did everything he did because he loves Talia. Really? All that violence, all those menacing speeches, all that planning, and it all comes down to Bane having a crush on Ra's al Ghul's psycho daughter? I think she could have just not been in the movie at all and it would have been better with a little writing here and there to accommodate.
I didn't have a problem understanding Bane's words at all. The movie does drag its feet for about 10-20 minutes during the first half, but when it gets going it's easy to forgive that. There are several holes in logic once you think about it; but honestly, who cares?
It's a very good movie, and it's a very good superhero movie.