The scale of this film is just mindblowing for a superhero film. I mean, it's hard to think back to 2005 and recall how risky Batman Begins seemed at the time, and how little fanfare it received upon its release. Especially when you look at the final entry in the trilogy and see how numerous cities bent over backwards to accommodate the shooting. The action sequences are simply incredible, and it's easy to see that Nolan drew his inspiration from the "Cast of Thousands" days of the great silent epics. Extras = scale, and it's almost inconceivable, when you look at the fight on Wall Street, that not one of those people is a CG insert. That they actually did this all for real. But they did, and that's just brilliant. The stage on which this film plays out is simply massive.
And yet, it's also startlingly intimate. Seeing Bruce grow into himself in this film is quite a thing to behold, and there's nothing else quite like it in the whole of the Batman universe. Watching him escape from the pit, recalling how his father saved him from the well as a child...now he's saving himself. It's a transcendent moment where Bruce, in a very real and meaningful sense, becomes his own man. This film actually allows Bruce Wayne to move beyond his pain and his anger...to realize that he doesn't have to be a martyr to be a hero...to actually be able to say that what he's done is enough to honor the memory of his fallen parents. That Gotham City needn't be PERFECT in order for him to have a real life. And there's a difference between simply ceasing to be Batman, and having this realization. Bruce stopped being Batman after the events of TDK...but he didn't stop NEEDING Batman, even after Gotham City seemingly did. By the end of TDKR, he no longer needs Batman. He no longer needs all of that pain, guilt, and anger. He's outgrown it. He's transcended it.
The film's not perfect...but it doesn't have to be. As an end to Bruce Wayne's journey, and a fulfillment of the themes and promises of its predecessors, it's quite beautiful.