This is a detailed breakdown of the storyline of the film The Dark Knight Rises.
A Russian professor named Dr. Pavel is bundled onto a plane along with two of Bane's mercenaries with bags on their heads. A CIA agent interrogates the mercenaries about the whereabouts of Bane, until one speaks: revealing himself as Bane. He tells the agent it was his plan to get caught to gain access to the scientist, and at that moment men jump down from another plane and kill the guards. They rip off the CIA plane's tail and Bane gets out with the kidnapped scientist. He orders one of his mercenaries to stay behind in order to provide a body, fooling the world into thinking Pavel was killed.
James Gordon addresses a crowd outside of Wayne Manor, speaking of the life of Harvey Dent and his legacy, the Dent Act. Two police officers talk about how Bruce Wayne has not been seen for 8 years, and how the mayor is going to dump Gordon in the spring. A maid, Selina Kyle, then is ordered by Alfred Pennyworth to take some food to Wayne's room. She leaves the food and investigates, and is shocked when Wayne fires an arrow past her head. He notices that she has stolen his mother's pearls from the safe, and she kicks him in his injured leg and leaves. He then notices that she has been dusting the safe to obtain his fingerprints.
Kyle pulls off her maid costume and gets into a car with a councillor and goes back to his place. At the Major Crimes Unit, a young officer named John Blake tells Gordon that the councillor is missing. At Wayne Manor, Bruce has traced the cat burglar's fingerprints back to her identity Selina Kyle. Alfred tells him that he needs to regain a life and stop living as a recluse.He says he used to holiday in Florence and hoped to see Wayne happily married, because there was nothing for him in Gotham.
Selina Kyle meets with a man in a bar in Gotham and gives him the fingerprints. He refuse to give her what he agreed, instead holding her at gunpoint and demanding all of the prints. She texts her accomplice who brings in the thumbprint, and then realises the men will not let her go. She reveals that the man she arrived with is the missing city councillor, and the phone she used to text was his phone. The police arrive and Kyle subdues the men around her, and pretends to be scared of the gunfight. The men escape into the sewers, pursued by James Gordon. Bane's men then set off an explosive and kidnap Gordon, bringing him to Bane. Bane kills his henchmen and steals Gordon's speech before pushing Gordon into the sewer, where he is washed up at an outlet and rescued by John Blake.
Blake then comes to see Bruce Wayne, revealing that he knows he is the Batman as he once saw him at the orphanage where Blake grew up. He tells Wayne that Batman has to come back, and that the orphanage no longer receives funding from the Wayne foundation. Batman asks Alfred why, and finds out that Wayne Enterprises is no longer turning a profit. He borrows a car and checks into the hospital where Gordon is being treated. He puts on a balaclava and enters Gordon's room, where Gordon tells him Batman must return. Wayne then visits Lucius Fox, who tells him the money they put into a new fusion reactor lost them money, and the new investor Miranda Tate was interested in clean energy investment. He then takes Bruce to applied sciences and shows him The Bat. Later, Wayne follows Selina Kyle from her apartment to a party held by Tate, and talks to the investor about the clean energy proposals. He then dances with Kyle and takes back his mother's pearls. Bruce then learns that Bane was working for his business rival, John Dagget, a corrupt businessman who plans on taking over Wayne Enterprises. Bruce also learns that Bane was formerly a member of the League of Shadows, the group of mercenary's led by the deceased Ra's Al Ghul, before the latter was excommunicated.
At the Gotham Stock Exchange, men enter and take the building hostage. Bane and his men plug in a computer which starts a process in the stock exchange's computers. The police surround the building, and Blake tells a concrete truck to stop blocking the way. Bane and his men ride out of the building on bikes with hostages strapped to them, and as the police give chase they notice the lights blacking out. Batman then appears on the Batpod and chases Bane, but the police decide to try to catch him rather than Bane. He is cornered on a road picks up the computer that was connected to the stock exchange, then escapes from the police by driving up a car carrier. Batman then takes the Bat and flies off into the night.
Meanwhile Selina Kyle is breaking into the Dagget's safe. She finds his safe empty, so she confronts Daggett and he tells her the item he promised her, a way to erase her criminal record, doesn't actually exist. She then escapes holding him hostage, but Bane's mercenaries appear and prepare to kill her. Batman appears and helps her fight them off, and he escapes in The Bat. He tells her he saved her life and in return she has to take him to Bane.
Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred tells Bruce that he no longer wants Wayne to be Batman, and he will leave. . He tells Bruce that Rachel was planning to marry Harvey Dent before she died. The next day, Fox arrives to tell Wayne that his fingerprint was used to play the stock markets and lose all of his fortune. He makes Miranda Tate head of the company and shows her the fusion reactor. Dagget, furious that he isn't head of Wayne's company, furiously confronts Bane, but Bane betrays and kills Daggett, stating that he is "Gotham's Reckoning", and that he only used Daggett. Then he visits Selina Kyle and tells her that Batman wants to meet with her. That night Wayne invites Tate back to Wayne Manor and the two spend the night together.
Batman then meets with Kyle and she takes him to Bane, but locks him in a cage with him. Bane then reveals that he knows Batman's identity and the two fight but Bane brutally and very violently dominates Batman in the resulting duel. As Batman tries to use tactics in the battle, Bane mocks them, stating that he has learned them already. He then ruthlessly beats Batman's face until the cowl cracks and blows a whole in the bottom of Applied Sciences in order to steal Wayne's arsenal. He then picks Batman up and breaks his back over his knee before taking The Dark Knight's broken cowl as a trophy to demonstrate his superiority. Bruce awakens in foreign country, where Bane tells him he will destroy Gotham and make Bruce watch from the Pit, the prison where Bane grew up. Hoping to tranish the Dark Knight's reputation and everything he worked for, Bane vows that once the city is destroyed, Bruce had his permission to die.
Back in Gotham, Bane is at a Wayne Enterprises board meeting and makes Fox, Tate and Douglas Fredericks take him to the reactor. They do, and he gets Dr. Pavel to convert it into a nuclear bomb and force him to pull the core out of the reactor which renders the fusion core dangerously unstable and is set to go off in 5 months. Meanwhile the police decide to march into the sewers to find and kill Bane and his men. Blake finds the concrete truck that blocked the police outside the stock exchange, and kills two of Bane's men who were at the truck. He then notices that the concrete truck was loaded with explosives, and realises Bane has put explosives all round the city. Mayor Anthony Garcia attends a football game by the Gotham Rogues, but Bane detonates his explosives which destroy the stadium, trap all the police underground and destroy the bridges in and out of Gotham. The mayor is also killed by an explosive blast. Bane marches out and informs Gotham that he is holding the city hostage with the nuclear bomb and a citizen has the trigger who will detonate the device at the first sight of civil rebellion. Blake goes to the hospital to rescue James Gordon. The National Guard and U.S. Army attempt to intervene in Bane's plans, but are impeded at the first chance they get.
In the prison, Bruce tries to heal himself and a doctor helps with his back. He trains himself to become strong enough to climb out of the pit, learning of the young child who was born in the prison and managed to escape. In Gotham, Bane reads Gordon's speech exposing Dent for the true fraud he was and releases all of the prisoners from Blackgate Prison including Selina Kyle who was caught by John Blake. Bane then starts a social revolution and starts a series of riots led by the prisoners, Bane's army, and the revolutionary working class members of Gotham, who begin torturing the rich by raiding and forcing them out of their homes and making the government helplessly watch as they set up a kangaroo court presided by Jonathan Crane, where the "convicted" are killed no matter what the sentence. The city is plunged into near anarchy over the next 5 months, which forces Gordon, Blake, and the police to form a resistance and attempt to track the three trucks which transport the bomb around the city. The Special Forces try to help, but Bane and his men arrive, killing them and having their bodies hung from the Gotham Bridge. Bruce learns that the child who escaped the pit was the child of Ra's al Ghul, now finishing their father's work by destroying Gotham. Bruce then believes that the child was Bane. Once recovered, Bruce trains his body rigorously and tries to escape, but fails at his first 2 attempts. After Bruce fails, he wonders how a child could escape but not him. The blind doctor in the cell next to him points out that Bruce's body is strong, but his soul is weak, and that if he truly doesn't fear death, it should be no problem for him to escape the way the child did: without the use of the safety rope. With the help of a special chant that means Rise, Bruce tries the climb once more without a safety rope, and escapes the prison.
Bruce returns to Gotham and gives Selina the Clean Slate, asking her to get him to Lucius Fox for his equipment. He is successful, and they manage to find Bruce's backup Batsuit.
In Gotham the police officers are taken before the Scarecrow to be judged. He sentences them to exile by walking over the thin ice of Gotham's river. As the police start the treacherous journey, Batman appears and knocks out Bane's men. He gives Gordon a flare which lights up a large bat symbol on the bridge. With only 24 hours left until the nuclear bomb detonates, Batman and the police attempt to find the bomb. Tate is held hostage by Bane, and Batman gets Selina Kyle to use the Batpod to free the police officers from their underground prison. She does so and the police engage Bane's army, while Batman fights Bane on the steps of City Hall. It is clear that Bane is still the superior fighter, but as the fight progresses, Batman uses his knowledge of Bane's weakness and targets Bane's mask, destroying it and rendering Bane completely helpless. Batman then manages to defeat Bane in combat and knocks him into the courthouses before interrogating him for the trigger. However Tate then stabs Batman in the back and reveals herself as Talia al Ghul, the child who escaped from the prison who was protected by Bane. She tries to detonate the bomb, but Gordon has already got to it and disabled the trigger. She leaves to make sure the bomb doesn't get put back in the reactor so it detonates, while Bane is left with Batman. Just as Bane is about to kill him Selina Kyle appears and shoots Bane with the Batpod. The two then track down Talia and the bomb, leading to chase in the streets of Gotham which ends up in the Tumbler's being destroyed. Batman then uses the Bat to crash the truck and retrieve the bomb, but Talia floods the reactor chamber making it impossible to stop before her death. Batman reveals his identity to Gordon and takes the bomb out into the bay with The Bat, and it detonates, apparently killing Batman.
There is a funeral for Bruce Wayne and Alfred expresses his regret for his actions. Fox asks why The Bat didn't have an autopilot, but is told that it actually did. Blake, whose full name is Robin, is left the co-ordinates of the Bat Cave, and Alfred goes to Florence where he sees Bruce and Selina Kyle having dinner together. He smiles, and leaves.