Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy has to be the finest superhero movie series to date. Across all the spheres, the beautiful cinematography, the great acting, impressive story writing and dialogue; each movie has been a great movie first, before being a great superhero movie. Like a proper trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, builds upon the earlier stories and characters - not only in the growth of Bruce Wayne/Batman, but also the supporting characters such as Commissioner Gordon and Gotham itself.
The story has a bigger political undertone, especially of Bane's "uprising"; but the ultimate link to why Bane actually targets Gotham is tenuous, at best. It is probably one of the biggest plot holes (next to how Batman gets back to Gotham after his "exile"), especially as Batman has for all intent retired at the beginning of the movie. That aside, the pacing of the story, the characters (especially Bane and Anne Hathaway's Catwoman) and the construct of the "prison" of Gotham City is superb.
I have only two, relatively minor, issues with the film. Firstly, Bane's (and sometimes Batman's) speech was sometimes inaudible - but that could have been to do with the theater (and my hearing). Secondly, the very final scene with the coffee shop - did spoil the overall ending sequence. The entire trilogy has not shrunk away from making bold statements on heroism; the last scene was just unnecessary.