Christopher Nolan Movies Ranked

by Pjtaylor-96-138044 | created - 22 Dec 2015 | updated - 25 Jul 2017 | Public

This is how I rank all of Christopher Nolan's movies from best (#1) to worst - although they are all very good. NOTE: I am only including feature-length films directed by Nolan.

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1. The Dark Knight (2008)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

When the menace known as The Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine

Votes: 2,058,520 | Gross: $534.86M

This is one of my three favourite films of all time, certainly my favourite superhero flick, providing entertainment and tension in equal measure whilst mixing in the action and ethics we've come to expect; it gives us one of the best on-screen villains and an incredible dynamic between them and the titular hero, too.

2. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 1,291,929 | Gross: $188.02M

An incredibly moving look at humanity's place within the stars that treads new ground visually but keeps it's story tight and focuses on family; this is a sublime experience on multiple levels.

3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller

78 Metascore

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman

Votes: 1,382,616 | Gross: $448.14M

It is flawed, yes, but the final instalment in Nolan's Batman trilogy provides some great moments and expertly crafted characters.

4. Inception (2010)

PG-13 | 148 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

74 Metascore

A thief who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe

Votes: 1,833,098 | Gross: $292.58M

A layered, tense, emotional experience that provides a unique look at the nature of dreams and treats the audience as smart individuals; some of the action is breathtaking, too, and the score is incredible.

5. Batman Begins (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure

70 Metascore

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson

Votes: 1,189,842 | Gross: $206.85M

The first truly great Batman film, this origin story builds a full picture of the caped crusader and brings him into our world; the feature is compelling despite the first hour or so being devoid of the costumed hero.

6. The Prestige (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine

Votes: 1,061,552 | Gross: $53.09M

Underrated in my opinion, this is a complex and deep thriller that mixes themes of revenge into a dynamic plot that's never predictable.

7. Memento (2000)

R | 113 min | Mystery, Thriller

80 Metascore

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior

Votes: 1,028,013 | Gross: $25.54M

The central conceit may sound like a gimmick on the page, but it actually really helps connect you with the protagonist; Nolan masterfully plays with our perceptions of character and successfully pulls off a final twist that changes the nature of the entire film.

8. Insomnia (2002)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

78 Metascore

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan

Votes: 253,179 | Gross: $67.36M

A tense, morally ambiguous and taught thriller with great performances all round; this feature entertains throughout and takes a few clever unexpected turns along the way.

9. Following (1998)

R | 69 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

60 Metascore

A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell, John Nolan

Votes: 78,205 | Gross: $0.05M

Nolan's micro-budget feature debut is a taught noir thriller that wisely relies on an excellent screenplay rather than expensive spectacle; it proves that you don't need a budget to tell a good story.

10. Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Drama, History

94 Metascore

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Votes: 463,677 | Gross: $188.37M

It's truly a technical marvel, a cinematic experience unlike almost any other, with fantastic direction and cinematography that creates a pulse-pounding tension and feel of genuine suspense throughout; yet, it feels somewhat hollow due to the lack of any real story or character elements and as such doesn't have the lasting impact it should.



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