Christopher Nolan Films, Ranked

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I have a lot of feeling about Christopher Nolan. On the one hand, he’s a very talented director and his movies are almost always visually stunning. On the other hand, the plots of many of his films frustrate me beyond belief. But when Nolan isn’t trying to “blow my mind” with an hour of Ellen Page saying “it’s a dream within a dream” over and over or Matthew McConaughey discovering that vibrations are time-ripples of love or something, he’s actually really good!

Nolan’s latest film Dunkirk has some time-nonsense in it, but it doesn’t try to blow your mind with any “cool ‘get it?’ ideas.” Nolan let’s the drama come from the story and the characters. It works really well! 

A few years ago I ranked Nolan’s films in response to my friend Sonny Bunch’s ranking of Nolan’s films. (His ranking was Bad with a capital b.) Since then Nolan has come out with two new films and Sonny has ranked them once again. It is…less bad. But still bad; bad with a lower case b. His main sin is ranking Dream Machine too high. 

Here is my updated, correct ranking.

(I did not include Nolan’s first film Following, which I have never seen because no one has ever seen it.)

1. Dunkirk

2. The Dark Knight

3. The Prestige

4. Memento

5. Insomnia

6. Batman Begins

7. Interstellar

8. The Dark Knight Rises

9. Inception

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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