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Originally published Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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Critics' Picks: 'The Dark Knight's' supporting cast; Cindy Sherman

Three things Seattle Times writers love this week: The venerable supporting cast in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Cara Black's designer-clad detective in Paris and the art of Cindy Sherman.

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Movies

Holy trio, Batman!

Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy comes to a close this week, as "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in theaters at midnight Thursday. In advance, here's something in all three movies that I love: the supporting-cast trio of Michael Caine as Alfred the butler, Morgan Freeman as Wayne Enterprises wizard Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Gotham City police commissioner Jim Gordon. These three have 12 Oscar nominations and approximately 121 years of movie experience between them — and are always a joy to watch. With little time, they add texture, character and richness to the trilogy, and I'll miss seeing them inhabit these roles on a giant screen. Take a bow, gentlemen.

Moira Macdonald,

Seattle Times movie critic

Visual Art

Cindy Sherman

If you didn't make it to the big Cindy Sherman retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art, you have a second chance to see it. The show opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on July 14. And if a trip to San Francisco is out of the question, there's always the catalog (available in book stores). Packed with color plates of the photographer's shots of herself in outlandish disguise, it also includes a thoughtful interview with Sherman — with only a brief digression on torturing Barbie dolls — by filmmaker John Waters.

Michael Upchurch,

Seattle Times arts writer

Books

Cara Black

Oh, to own a detective agency, a scooter and a designer wardrobe — in Paris. That's the enviable lifestyle of Black's recurring character Aimée Leduc, a designer-shod dweller of the lone-wolf detective genre. The subplots in the novels can get a little tangled, but the endearing Leduc, and her dogged determination to make sense of her past and bring villains to justice, make for suspenseful reading.

Melissa Davis, Weekend Plus editor

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