With the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight opening in thousands of theaters at midnight tonight or at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, newspapers throughout the country have made room for early reviews. Almost without exception they are raves. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times gives it a rare -- for him -- four stars, writing, that it "is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we come to care about. That's because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production." Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times observes that director Christopher Nolan does not make a big to-do over the film's formidable special effects and action sequences. "This is powerful, propulsive filmmaking in which elements that must have taken an eternity to set up stay on screen no longer than they absolutely need to," he remarks. Claudia Puig in USA Today piles on the superlatives. " The Dark Knight is a more thrilling, intelligent, morally complex and masterfully crafted film than any summer blockbuster in recent years. It's probably the best superhero movie to date," she says. Every critic marvels at the performance of the late Heath Ledger in the role of The Joker. "Ledger is so horrifically riveting you can't take your eyes off of him," comments Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News. Even the Washington Post 's Stephen Hunter, who is one of the few critics who has found faults with the film, writes that Ledger's performance is memorable. "It's a subtle, nuanced piece of acting so powerful it banishes all memories of the handsome Aussie behind it," he writes. "Ledger's work is improbably droll, impossibly creepy, meticulously detailed," comments Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune , who also awards the film four stars. And Amy Biancolli concludes in the Houston Chronicle : "Heath Ledger died too young, leaving behind performances as faceted, brilliant and few as a handful of diamonds. His final gem is no less radiant for being pitch black."