Certainly one of the most overused, misused and abused phrases in the critical lexicon of recent years is "dark and gritty."
Listed below are my posts on what this thoughtlessly employed term really means, and why the fashionability of the sensibility it denotes can be viewed as a problem.
New and Noteworthy (Starhunter, Kick-Ass 2, Ian Sales)
The Legacy of Battlestar Galactica, Ten Years On
A Note on Independent Film
Looking Back: The Politics of The Dark Knight Rises
New and Noteworthy: (Dark and Gritty, Burnt by the Sun 2, Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow)
David Walsh on the Oscar Contenders
The Politics of Dark and Gritty Storytelling
David Walsh Reviews Django Unchained
Has Quantum of Solace Been Overcriticized?
Review: Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores, by Greg Palast
The Anti-Humanism of Battlestar Galactica
On Star Trek Bashing