Gladiator has aged very badly IMHO (but was also kind of awful to begin with anyway... IMHO)
(spoiler-free, embryonic Batman review)
The Dark Knight Rises - much like The Dark Knight - takes many of its predecessor's elements and ramps them up a few notches, attempting to reach a higher level of transcendence with the overall output. While this tactic undoubtedly worked wonders for TDK, the result in this case is an over-ambitious and bloated film. The biggest reason for this is that, despite being 165 minutes long, the film feels like it should have ran much longer and/or been released as a two-parter. The massive scope that the story attempts to cover makes various plot-points and characters feel somewhat glossed-over and insignificant, to the point that certain events are rather lacking in punch because of it. As paradoxical as this may sound, had some things been fleshed out in more detail or extra dimensions inserted into the film, I think the movie would have turned out to be more cohesive rather than more unwieldy. I reckon it will be interesting to see if a future "director's cut" (or a decently made fan-edit) can really tidy up the pacing of the film and alter it's entire complexion for the better.
A few of the individual elements that the movie did well were the action sequences, the main villain's performance and the score, but I'm afraid that none of these are quite as great as the previous. (except perhaps the score) As for the film as a whole, it's certainly has its flaws, but it's quite an entertaining watch. At least, it's rarely boring. (5/10)