Ranking Christopher Nolan’s Movies (Including Dunkirk)

With the release of Christopher Nolan’s latest movie, Dunkirk, this weekend, let’s take a look at his entire filmography, and rank ’em from top to bottom.

Christopher Nolan is one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood right now. Nolan has released a slew of movies that already have been heralded by many as modern classics. Nolan’s credits include stimulating movies with twists that are still talked about to this day and even a small movie that forever changed the modern day comic book movie. With the release of Dunkirk this Friday, let’s rank the filmography of every IMDb user’s favorite director.


 

10. Insomnia

With Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank, you would think this was a slam-dunk remake, right? Well, not exactly. 10 minutes longer than the original, Insomnia is not only Nolan’s weakest movie, but is also his dullest movie. Still, Pacino and Williams make it watchable.


 

9. Following

Nolan’s directorial debut is a fine effort. And even though the noir-driven story never reaches its full potential, it still shows us that the British director had a bright future ahead of him.


 

8. The Dark Knight Rises

Look, we all know the finale in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is filled with plot holes and a cringe-worthy character name reveal (you know the one I’m talking about), but there wasn’t much more to do with this franchise after The Dark Knight. Because of the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger, who was initially set to return as the Clown Prince of Crime in some capacity, parts of the story for The Dark Knight Rises had to be changed. But thanks to Tom Hardy’s performance as the superhuman character, Bane, and a proper send-off for the Caped Crusader at the very end, The Dark Knight Rises is not a loss by any means.


 

7. Interstellar

Without a doubt Nolan’s most ambitious movie, Interstellar is filled with big ideas, but suffers under the weight of its complex look at time. The movie doesn’t explain much in its nearly three-hour runtime, which keeps it from being a sci-fi classic. Despite its flaws, Interstellar is still a good movie, filled with great performances all around, impeccable technical achievements via its usage of IMAX cameras, and also features another memorable score from legendary composer, Hans Zimmer.


 

6. Batman Begins

We could say that Memento put Nolan on the map, but let’s be honest: Batman Begins is what put the director on everybody’s radar. Nolan’s reboot of the man dressed as a bat makes the argument for best comic book origin story ever told on screen. Why? Because every aspect of showing of the creation of the most iconic comic book character ever is done incredibly well.


 

5. Memento

So clever, so strange, and so mysterious, Memento is Nolan’s most narratively stimulating movie to date. Featuring a career-best performance from Guy Pearce, this revenge mystery thriller, told like a broken vase trying to be pieced back together, is richly rewarding once you’re able to process everything. That being said, it may take a couple of viewings to understand its brilliance.


 

4. Inception

While most people remember this movie because of its epic music score, *cue Zimmer’s ground-shaking, horn theme from Inception*, let’s not forget what else made this intellectual popcorn movie so enticing. The set pieces are staggering, the story is deep (literally), and the ending? One of the best (and most clever) you’ll ever see.


 

3. The Dark Knight    

Truth be told: Nolan’s sequel to Batman Begins is my favorite movie ever. I’ve probably seen this movie a hundred times and I love every bit of it. The story and cost of being a vigilante, the action sequences (the opening bank robbery scene in particular), and Ledger’s unforgettable performance as the Joker make for what I think will always be the best comic book movie ever. It isn’t merely hyperbole to say that this trailblazing movie from Nolan forever changed the modern day comic book movie.


 

2. Dunkirk

I’ve already talked enough about Nolan’s latest movie in the review I published yesterday, but with repeat viewing, it arguably could eventually be recognized as his best movie to date. We’ll see, but no matter what, you should go see this nail-biting tour de force WWII epic this weekend.


 

1. The Prestige

“The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.”

Nolan’s most overlooked and underrated movie yet, The Prestige, is also his masterpiece. What makes Nolan such a great filmmaker is the way he presents the stories he’s trying to tell, which, for the most part, feature twists and turns that are talked about long after people see his movies. And what better way to see those expertly-crafted elements we’re accustomed to from Nolan than a movie about misdirection itself? Eleven years later, The Prestige holds up more so than any of his other movies. After you see Dunkirk this weekend, go back and watch The Prestige. There’s a good chance you may have forgotten just how good this cinematic trick is.