Note: Here there may be spoilers. And an actual PG-13 swear or two. You have been warned.
First of all, casting. I mean, we already know that Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon and Alfred and Lucius Fox are played by people who are incredibly good in the roles. But I would never have guessed that Anne Hathaway could be so freaking amazing as Catwoman. I always forget how much Joseph Gordon-Levitt has improved since his early TV days. And I love Burn Gorman, ever since the first thing I saw him in; he's really really good.
The movie was of course beautiful, in that dark Gotham way, symbolism and real-world references and all that. I only knew the vaguest outlines of Bane's story before today - and I generally prefer Marvel in any case - but I really loved how they didn't try to top Heath Ledger's Joker. Instead they chose a different type of villain; Bane is just as evil as Joker, but less... well... batshit crazy. Neutral Evil to Joker's Chaotic Evil, if you will.
Which reminds me. Very troperiffic movie. Which is of course common in something based from a comic book.