Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented filmmakers of our era, and to date, he’s got 8 major projects to his credit.
8. The Following
It was his first non-short, and although it shows talent, it’s certainly far from his best work. Other than being interesting, there’s not much about it that leaves an impression.
Nolan did a great job of giving viewers the physical and emotional drain the environmental and psychological factors were having on the characters. That said, it limits the attachment fans will have to the project based on the lower enjoyment factor of repeat viewings.
6. Batman Begins
Bringing a new take on the Batman story to mainstream audiences without any of the top-tier villains was a daring undertaking, but with the project, Nolan proved he was not just an interesting filmmaker, but he was a visionary capable of taking his artsy style and presenting it to the masses.
It was a far grander project with a much more intricate plot than anything else Nolan has undertaken. It was a beautiful film with many different laudable aspects, but it’s plot is so dense that many viewers walk away confused… and not in a good way. For those who are able to keep up with the plot – whether in an initial viewing or through subsequent viewings – it’s likely to be amongst a list of favorite movies.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
This war epic is the perfect ending to the Nolan Batman trilogy, especially when taking into account the twists and turns from start to the final seconds of the film. Its pace, while swift, does have a few moments strewn in which keep it from being as adrenaline-rush inducing as its predecessor.
3. The Prestige
A brilliant tale of dueling magicians, this is typically over-looked amongst movie-goers because it’s not as mainstream as the Batman trilogy nor even Inception, but its deserving of any recognition it gets. The star-power, the screenplay adaptation from an also-brilliant novel, the performances from top to bottom and the hints and tricks you’ll notice throughout subsequent viewings makes this a cult classic that more people should be getting on their radar.
Not nearly as complex a plot as Inception, the simple nature of the protagonist’s motivations make this film’s non-linear progression far easier to follow, and more enjoyable. Though confusion might still exist after multiple viewings, it’s a fun movie to watch. The performances really help you relate to each character (Dodd aside). Once you watch it once or twice and then start to think about how the tale is crafted and presented and how that relates directly to the film’s subject matter and the implications of Leonard’s disorder, you can truly appreciate how good Memento really is.
1. The Dark Knight
Fast paced, great plot, great performances, great action, what’s not to like (aside from Batman’s growl)? Was the Heath Ledger performance over-hyped? It’s debatable. Should it have been nominated for Best Picture? Also debatable. What’s certain is that it made a huge amount of money at the box office and is widely considered one of the top comic book films of all time. That it managed to present a message about humanity, the greater good and the nature of idols is not to be overlooked. Iron Man and Superman were great superhero films, but they didn’t touch themes anywhere close to that. Take into account the cinematography, technical advances and incorporation of a stellar score? Clearly Nolan’s best offering to date.
TBD: Man Of Steel
Time will tell where Nolan’s take on Superman will rank, though it’s questionable whether it should be allowed to move but only so high on this list, given that he’s not directing.