Christopher Nolan is one of the most prominent and elegant filmmakers the world has ever seen. He is popularly known for his “Non-linear” Screenplay, “mind-bending” story narration, twist endings, not using much CGI in his movies. There are 12 films under his name, which are unique in their way.
Some of his films couldn’t be understood at first. Here we provide the list of all 12 Christopher Nolan movies ranked according to the reviews by critics and the audience.
List of 12 Christopher Nolan Movies ranked :
It is a short psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan which lasts for 3 min.
Plot: It is about a man who is being irritated by a small bug-like creature crawling all over his room, thereby he decides to kill it and later it is revealed that the bug resembles the smaller version of him. Then, he raises his shoe and crushes the bug with it. Overall, he is being crushed by himself.
Though this “short” film received a lot of appreciation from the critics, it remains the least likeable film in Nolan’s career. This film wasn’t meant to be made as a “film” and doesn’t replicate his exceptional abilities to a full extent.
This is the official debut of Christopher Nolan as a director in Hollywood. The runtime is 69 minutes.
Plot: This movie depicts the story of a young writer who is following the people on the streets of London for attaining inspiration for his first novel but eventually lands himself in the hands of a serial burglar named “cobb” and things turn around for the young writer as he would be subjected to unexpected events which you must watch in the movie.
This movie received mixed reviews from the critics and the audience due to the unappealing visuals as the movie was shot under a low budget. Some of the critics found the climax to be “Unsatisfactory”.
Overall, it is a one-time watchable film. The direction of Christopher Nolan hasn’t appeared much in this film
Tenet became the first big film to release after the Covid-19 pandemic. This movie was based on the concept of “Time Inversion” and “Reverse Entropy”.
Plot: Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki in main roles, this movie was found hard to understand as the plot was hard to follow due to the time inversion concepts as well as induction of the background music wasn’t well suited with the ongoing scenes.
This movie was critically acclaimed by some of the critics for its action sequences. There was a dialogue in this movie stating “Don’t try to understand it, feel it” which made a lot more sense for the viewers.
Christopher Nolan is known for complex storytelling and non-linear screenplays and he always makes films in a challenging manner. This Movie was a tough one to follow but it couldn’t make you get bored.
After getting the first break in the industry as a director of the memento, Christopher Nolan chose to remake a Norwegian film named “Insomnia”.
Plot: Starring the all-time great actor Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hillary swank, Martin Donovan … this movie deals with the two police detectives investigating a murder of a 17-year old girl in Alaska. One of the detectives gets killed during this investigation and the other detective has insomnia and the rest of the movie deals with the consequences of this detective’s syndrome.
Al Pacino’s performance had been critically acclaimed and Hillary swank’s character arc was highly appreciated. But this film didn’t replicate Nolan’s Mark style of Screenplay. Though this film falls under the category of Normal detective films, it was new to induce a sleeping deficiency to the main character and had to deal with himself and the antagonist.
Warner Bros. had given Nolan ample money to direct this film and compared with his previous films, his amateur directional skills were visible and a lot more mature.
This movie was made based on the historic evacuation of British-American soldiers from Dunkirk. This movie created a new record as the highest-grossing world war film. Christopher Nolan didn’t use Computer Generated Graphics to show more soldiers in this film. He recruited so many junior artists to play as soldiers in this film.
Plot: This movie depicts the historic evacuation of Soldiers from Dunkirk by land, sea and air. The visuals are stunning and the background music by Hans Zimmer just brightened up the movie.
This movie received great acclamation from the audience as well as critics for its mind-blowing visual storytelling which made the audience feel the war trauma.
This is the only historic movie by Christopher Nolan. Some of the audience didn’t find this movie “enjoyable” and kind of “boring” as generally viewers expect more action at war sequences in these movies and Dunkirk hasn’t followed it.
Batman Begins (2005)
We are not new to knowing about the Superhero Character Batman. Many comics and movies were made and released but none of the movies was successful to create an impact on the audience. They had just showcased Batman as the crime-fighting hero but they didn’t even try to show what Batman was. Christopher Nolan did it.
Plot: Batman Begins was the inaugural movie made as a part of the Dark Knight Trilogy. This movie dealt with the transformation of Bruce Wayne, an Eccentric Billionaire in Gotham City to the Crime Fighting Symbol of Hope.
Christian Bale had just lived in his role as Batman. Have you ever heard the word “Perfect Casting”? Well, in this movie, it was fulfilled. Gary Oldman, an accomplished actor who mostly played in antagonist roles, acted as Lieutenant Gordon, who helped Batman solve crimes.
Liam Neeson reprised as Henri Ducard and Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow, the antagonists in this movie. Katie Holmes impressed the audience as Rachel Dawes.
Legendary actors Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox played important roles in this movie.
Christopher Nolan managed to bring Batman back into the audience. Hans Zimmer’s music and background score was the ultimate asset to this movie.
This Space exploration movie is like one in a million. This Science fiction movie dealt with exploration for a new planet where a group of scientists encounters the black hole. Christopher Nolan’s mark visual storytelling was noticed in this film. This movie wasn’t just about space exploration but also the bond of a father and a daughter.
Many directors have struggled to highlight emotions in Sci-fi movies but Christopher Nolan was successful in doing it.
Plot: A group of NASA scientists recruit a pilot for exploring a new planet that is sustainable for life as the Earth is depleting. This Pilot has to leave everything behind for this mission and unexpected events take place leading to drastic consequences in his life.
Mathew McConaughey acted as the pilot in this film and he managed to pull off his impeccable acting skills in this film. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine also played important roles in this film.
This film was greatly acclaimed by the critics and audience. Even if you don’t have any idea about the concept of Blackhole, you can understand this film if you won’t deviate at any scene. Most of the time, people have watched this movie twice or thrice to understand this film.
Hans Zimmer’s magnificent soundtracks did brighten up the movie.
Read more: Best Quentin Tarantino Movies
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The final film of The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises is the ultimate ending to one of the best trilogies ever made. Expectations were high for this film as the previous film “The Dark Knight” was a gigantic blockbuster. Though this movie didn’t catch up with the expectations, this movie didn’t disappoint the audience.
Plot: After certain events happen in The Dark Knight which led Batman to hide undercover, comes back to fight with Gotham’s Greatest Fear, Bane. The rest of the movie shows how Batman had fought his fears back and withstood the havoc.
Christian Bale, once again lived in his role as the Batman. Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordan (Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the Dark Knight) did justice to their roles. Anne Hathaway reprised as The Catwoman in this film and stole our hearts. The Character of Marion Cotillard as Miranda was shown well in this film.
Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane, is one of the greatest performances in his career. Yet, people failed to appreciate his performance enough as they had been expecting a chaotic performance given by the late Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight.
Overall, This movie ended the trilogy on a big note and satisfied the Batman fans.
Memento was the first movie consisting of a non-linear screenplay. This movie started from the climax and headed towards the intro scene with certain intervals of deviations. This movie was pretty challenging to Christopher Nolan as no other films during that time dealt with the complex and non-linear screenplay.
Plot: A man suffering from a short-term memory loss deficiency had to find out the man who murdered his wife. The movie starts with a scene where the guy finds out the killer and then the movie moves back with a mind-blowing twist at the climax.
Starring Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby in the Lead role, this movie was highly acclaimed by the audience and critics as the best innovative film ever made. We may lose track in the middle of the film if we don’t stick to the screenplay.
Most of the people did watch this movie twice to understand the screenplay associated with this film. This movie makes us think like the lead in the film while watching it. If you are interested in thrillers and complex screenplays, this movie is highly recommended.
The Prestige (2006)
After the release of Batman Begins in 2005, Christopher Nolan came up with a high voltage science-fictional drama that involved two famous magicians fighting for pride. Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson and Michael Caine in the lead roles, this movie was lauded as one of the best Christopher Nolan movies.
Plot: Two assistants working at a famous magician part their ways due to a tragic incident and they start taking themselves down leading to their deaths. Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier and Christian Bale as Alfred Borden had lived in their roles.
Scarlett Johansson as Olivia and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla played good supporting roles in this film. Michael Caine as Cutter was the backbone of this film. David Julyan provided an excellent background score to this film.
Christopher Nolan’s ability to highlight the emotions in a science fiction story was seen in this film. The bondage between Alfred and his daughter was shown well in this film and how their relationships were affected due to their pride was well narrated in this film.
Hugh Jackman’s performance is especially applauded as he has the best showman skills which are very necessary for a magician.
After the release of “The Dark Knight” in 2008, People were eagerly waiting for Christopher Nolan’s film and then Inception was released in 2010, breaking most of the records at that time. This movie is recognised as the best Christopher Nolan movie by most critics.
Plot: An architect who was wanted in the U.S, started to work for a man who promised he would set him free if he was able to extract information from his competitor by manipulating him in his dream.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb led the whole film with his outstanding performance. Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Elliot Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe had justified their roles.
The Concept of “Dream inside the Dream” clicked well among the audience, and Nolan grabbed the audience’s attention at the intro scene and maintained it till the climax. The climax in this movie is considered as one of the best endings in Christopher Nolan Movies.
Though the screenplay is linear, it is complex because of the “dream inside the dream” concept. If you miss any scene, you have to watch it from the beginning.
The Inception album was a huge hit, considered as one of the classics of Hans Zimmer. “Time” Soundtrack is still being played in most of our mobiles.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Coming down to the best superhero film, The Dark Knight is the sequel to Batman Begins. This movie was a gigantic hit at the Box office. Exceptional performances from Christian Bale, Late Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart, Christopher Nolan’s top-notch direction, breathtaking visuals and mind-blowing background music from Hans Zimmer made this film top the list.
Plot: After defeating the League of Shadows, Batman and Gotham City face another trouble, this time not a group of members but one man, The Joker. Joker terrorizes the city, making the batman resent for a while and then bounces back to save the city with the help of commissioner Gorden and D.A Harvey Dent but things go in a different way leading to unexpected consequences.
As usual, Christian Bale and Gary Oldman had lived in their roles but there are other 2 actors to talk specifically about their acting skills. They are Late Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart.
As “The Agent of Chaos”, Heath Ledger stole the entire audience with his chaotic performance, leading to winning the Academy Award as best supporting actor award in 2008.
Playing the role of Joker isn’t a piece of cake. Many actors had acted in this role but very few of them have managed to match the chaotic level of Joker. But, Heath Ledger had broken the Stereotypes and became an icon and a standard for the Joker’s character.
In an interview, actor Christian Bale said that many of the critics had blamed Christopher Nolan for choosing Heath Ledger to play the Joker role, but everyone bent down their heads to his pinnacle performance.
Another Actor, Aaron Eckhart had justified his role, literally lived in his role. Harvey Dent is one of the important characters in the Batman comics and his character arc is quite complicated. It was very difficult to play Harvey Dent, maintaining seriousness and also being witty. Aaron pulled off this role with ease and became one of the notable performances in the Christopher Nolan Movies.
Thus, we conclude our list. Let us know about your views in the comment’s section and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for weekly movies, TV shows and anime recommendations.