Top 10 Christopher Nolan Movies
Christopher Nolan has to be one of my favorite directors in the modern era. With the release of Dunkirk this summer, he now has 10 movies under his belt as a director. If you’ve seen any of his films, then you know that the man has some obvious talent. So ranking his movies from best to worst is going to be quite the challenge and I’m sure I’ll have no shortage of people who disagree with me. But that’s life. On to the list.
Top 10 Christopher Nolan Movies
10. The Following
Nolan’s directorial debut is an easy choice for the bottom spot in this list. That’s not to say that The Following is a bad movie. Anything but. But it’s a black and white film about a writer who follows strangers around for inspiration. It was made a long time ago and on a tiny budget. However is still shows that Nolan had talent, even way back then.
This thriller about a cop trying to solver a murder in an Alaskan town where the sun never sets is definitely a bit of a slow burn. Starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams, this was Nolan’s first real big-budget film, and he pulled it off. Pacino excels as the lead and looks tired and haggard throughout the movie. And Williams is able to shed his comedic past to pull off a sufficiently creepy suspected murderer.
8. The Dark Knight Rises
Nolan had a massive chore ahead of him with his follow up to The Dark Knight. That movie was such a hit, that he had little chance of surpassing it. That’s not to say that The Dark Knight rises is garbage, but it’s obvisouly the weakest of the trilogy. While I think the movie got just a little to big in its scope, it does have one hell of an ending.
7. Batman Begins
Nolan successfully pulled Batman out of the dumpster where is was left to die after Batman and Robin. With Batman Begins, managed to tell an origin story that literally everyone already knew and still keep us entertained. His dark and gritty reboot of the series helped set the template (for good or ill) going forward for the dark super hero movie. While the movie does falter a bit at the ending, the stellar cast and excellent visuals take this one to the next level.
One of Nolan’s most ambitious movie, Interstellar’s a thinky space epic that was a bit polarizing when first debuted. It has since gone on to take its rightful place as one of the best space epics since 2001: A Space Odyssey. However the movie does get a bit heavy on the exposition and long in the tooth for me, which is why it checks in at #6 instead of higher on the list.
5. The Prestige
Based on a 1995 Christopher Priest novel, The Prestige is an underrated movie in my opinion. It features a pair of dueling magicians in turn of the century London who engage in a match of one upmanship that’s as entertaining as it is thrilling. This movie’s intricate plot has viewers trying to figure out the solution to the “puzzle” along with the main characters. And when we are at last given the final missing piece, we realize that it’s been staring us in the face the whole time, we just didn’t want to believe it. One of the few “figure it out” movies that definitely holds up to related viewings.
This was the movie that put Nolan on the radar for me. Guy Pearce absolutely nails the role of a guy who is looking for the murderer of his wife, yet can’t form any long lasting memories due to an injury. What’s amazing about the film is that it’s show to us in reverse. We get bits as pieces of the plot as the movie goes forward and Memento features an amazing twist at the end (the beginning?) Memento was an inspired piece of work form Nolan and he’s definitely earned every ounce of praise he’s received for it.
Nolan first war movie is also his newest. We recently reviewed this one, but suffice to says, it’s fantastic. This was another movie, like Interstellar and Memento, where Nolan messes with the timeline of the movie and it works to great effect. However calling Dunkirk a war movie is probably a little inaccurate, it’s really more of a disaster movie. The battle is already lost, this one is about survival.
When you think about the plot of Inception, it’s almost unbelievable that made as much money as it did. It was a movie about thieves who sneak into your dreams and either steal knowledge or, in this case, plant an idea. But to do that, they have to go into your dream, then make you dream again, and them make you dream again. Can you imagine how bad this movie could have been if someone like Michael Bay had directed it? But no, Nolan pulls off a masterpiece that uses every ounce of star power its great cast brings. And sure, the ending is going to be up for debate for years to come, but who cares. This was a gripping movie that I’ve watched a ton of times already.
1. The Dark Knight
Could there be any other choice for number 1. Not since The Empire Strikes Back has a sequel so throughly passed its predecessor by. The Dark Knight is really a crime thriller masquerading as a super hero movie and that’s OK by me. This movie gave us the definitive version of Batman’s arch-villain, the Joker. There was plenty of gnashing of teeth when Heath Ledger was cast, but he quickly silenced those critics. His performance in The Dark Knight was one for the ages, and he played the perfect foil to Batman in this movie. Nolan is going to have his work cut out of him if he ever to hopes to surpass how great this movie was.