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iReporters gush over 'Dark Knight'

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(CNN) -- "The Dark Knight" opened early Friday to huge crowds and rave reviews.

Jenni Smith went to a 3 a.m. showing of "The Dark Knight" with friend Mario Carrillo. Then she went to work.

Colorado teen Christina Perez says she painted her face like the Joker as a tribute to Heath Ledger.

Much of the praise has gone to Heath Ledger's dark and disturbing portrayal of the Joker. Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose before the movie was finished.

iReporter Chelsea Itson, a 23-year-old student, went to the 12:15 a.m. showing in Perrysburg, Ohio, and couldn't sleep afterward.

"It still has me kind of jittery," she told CNN.

Itson saw the first "Batman" movie, but wasn't a big fan of the series, or Heath Ledger, but said her friend wanted to go. Video iReporter hasn't been to sleep since seeing film »

"It was completely different from Jack Nicholson [as the Joker]," she said.

After the movie, she said, the audience was silent.

"I've never left a movie shaking before," she said.

Christina Perez, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and her friends went to the theater four hours early to make sure they got a good seat.

"There was already a line going along the side of the theater, but we managed to get good seats anyway," she said.

The 17-year-old says she's more of a Heath Ledger fan than a Batman fan, and she wore Joker make up as a tribute to him.

"I thought he was amazing. I felt really sad that he died while filming this, his role was so amazing," she said.

Jessica Lang, 15, of Mankato, Minnesota, said she wasn't expecting much from the movie and pretty much went only because her brother and some friends wanted to go.

"It was amazing, there were no words for it, it was so good, it was probably the best movie I've ever seen," she said.

Jenni Smith went to the 3 a.m. showing in Las Vegas, Nevada, even though she had to be at work that day.

She and her friends went straight to bed after work Thursday, then got up at 1 a.m.

"I'm a big comic book fan, and I've been reading comic books since I was 5. And I'm also a big movie fan, and we tend to go to a lot of movie openings."

Her friend Mario Carrillo also dressed up as the Joker, and she made a custom shirt for the event.

"One of the things I just really love is the energy of the crowd on opening day. I find that people are more willing to laugh out loud and cheer. ... It's worth staying up for," the 32-year-old publications manager said.

Below is a sampling of iReporters' impressions of "The Dark Knight." Some have been edited for length or clarity:

sanjeeva7 of Alpharetta, Georgia: Believe the hype. The Dark Knight lived up to the hype, especially Heath Ledger's role as The Joker. I really felt he was crazy. One of the best villain portrayals of all time and well deserving of an Oscar nomination.

Geno Walker of Charlotte, North Carolina: "Unless you hate yourself, you should go see this movie immediately. Stop reading this right now and go to the nearest movie theater. It doesn't even matter if the show has already started. Buy a ticket, walk in halfway through, sit down and wait for the next showing to start. See it soon and see it often. You'll love yourself more if you do."

mrRG: "A haunting experiment into the human psyche is the only way I can describe the unequivocal depth that Ledger was able to reach with this portrayal of one the most evil characters ever brought to the screen. It was definitely Bale's story, but the late Heath Ledger's movie.

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sonnyjc9: Wife and I watched this yesterday 17 July here in Bangkok, Thailand. Heath Ledger is AWESOME as the Joker. 154 minutes of pure entertainment, and you will be giggling to yourself from Heath's performance. It is sad to think he will never reprise this role, but what a farewell. Must see.

Zandz: We went to the premiere of this movie last night and thought the movie was only good. However, Heath Ledger did an excellent job portraying the the Joker. The way Heath Ledger plays the Joker is different than how Jack Nicholson plays the character. Both have their unique styles -- Nicholson's Joker was more comical, but Ledger's was more dark (while trying to be funny). The makeup artists also did a great job on this Joker's face.

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