Just got back from seeing this...
I think this a damn fine film, but I do say that with some small caveats depending on what you might be expecting. Nolan has told an interesting story that didn't really need the Batman or any comic book superhero to tell it. But in using Batman perhaps he reaches a broader audience in the short term and in the long run.
I certainly didn't have any problem following this story unlike some others have claimed. And while long I thought it was decently paced and didn't really feel like 2hrs.,45mins.
In context of how Nolan wanted to tell his story over three films I think TDKR works quite well. I thought the acting was quite good overall from everyone involved. It also works well enough as a standalone piece.
Tom Hardy's Bane isn't as memorable as Heath Ledger's Joker, but Bane is damn chilling nonetheless. And I'm pretty sure I understood near everything he said in the movie. Anne Hathaway's Catwoman works really well and I could easily see her in a solo feature. For me she blows away anyone else who has played the role live-action.
The ending is open ended in so many ways---nothing is really off the table for a possible followup.
Here's the caveat as I see it. Just as The Dark Knight Returns
was Frank Miller's take on Batman and his world, The Dark Knight Rises
is just as much Chris Nolan's take on it. This Batman, as well as Alfred and Jim Gordon, are not the ones from the comics or the animated series or straight-to-video animated features. There are similarities yet there are also marked differences.
Your mileage may vary depending on what you're expecting.
In the end I vote a qualified Good rather than Excellent simply because I would rather have seen the Batman, Alfred and Jim Gordon from the comics and animated series and features. That Batman could be hurt, but wasn't emotionally fragile or defeated. He also certainly wouldn't have taken the rap for something he didn't do. I also don't see the familiar Jim Gordon being a part of such a lie and coverup, particularly for such an extended period of time. I also don't think Alfred would ever walk out on Bruce, ever.
The other issue I had was some of the back story and setup. Batman/Bruce goes into hiding and seclusion after the death of Harvey Dent? I don't think so. He might have accepted being an outlaw, but he would have continued operating.
Part of the issue here is that Nolan uses broad strokes to set up and tell his story rather than use more nuance and detail. I can understand why he did this, perhaps to up the stakes emotionally for the characters and to keep things simpler for the audience. I would have preferred more nuance in some of these elements.