Ranking director Christopher Nolan: His 5 best films of all time
Pound for pound, Christopher Nolan is perhaps the safest pair of hands available if you’re looking for a money-making movie that also wows the critics. In his career to date, the English director has worked with some of the most famous actors on the planet, and his resume is second to none.
With so many great movies to choose from, it is hard to pick one movie as Nolan’s best. Regardless, we decided to give it a go.
Nolan bought into the early 2010s hype around Matthew McConaughey, who had earned a newfound reputation as an A-list actor after appearing in Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. He cast McConaughey in 2014 space epic Interstellar, which proved to be a masterstroke.
The Texan shone as astronaut Joseph Cooper in a star-studded cast that also included Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, and Timothée Chalamet.
An emotional affair, the thrilling script produced by Nolan and brother Jonathan touches on important topics like climate disaster and conspiracy theories on its way to a shocking conclusion. IMDb rates Interstellar as the 22nd best film of all-time, with an impressive user rating of 8.6 out of 10. Two other Nolan films are rated even higher by IMDb.
A thriller with short-term memory loss at its heart, Memento can perhaps be considered as Finding Nemo’s evil twin. Another film with a non-linear storyline, Memento is a masterful piece of storytelling. Guy Pearce plays the lead, who suffers from terrible short-term memory loss.
To deal with his problem, he relies on photographs and tattoos to piece together everything he knows about a terrible crime. A tip – you’ll need to pay heavy attention throughout.
3. The Dark Knight
By now we’ve seen endless adaptions of the Batman story, yet Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight trilogy’ featuring Christian Bale can perhaps be considered the best yet. Painting Gotham as a corrupt and lawless city, the trilogy showed that the classic superhero story can thrive as a ‘grown-up’ film.
The Dark Knight was probably the most complete film of the trilogy, with the late Heath Ledger’s tour de force performance as the Joker taking most of the plaudits.
Years later, the film is still prominent in popular culture. Cinemas in Hong Kong recently re-released the trilogy, and the Japanese casino online site, William Hill, even hosts a Dark Knight slot game that fans can play. In fact, the casino hosts several Batman games, including Batman & Catwoman Cash and Justice League. The Dark Knight’s popularity just won’t die. Despite the desperation of fans, Nolan and Bale have ruled out a fourth chapter of the story.
Nolan’s take on the ‘miracle of Dunkirk’ was a particularly interesting one. The story isn’t always presented in a chronological order (again), and is arguably more of an experiential look at war than a regular movie.
Switching between a number of characters, which includes Tom Hardy as an RAF pilot, anyone watching it is sure to be on the edge of their seat for the entire 106 minutes. Dunkirk even features Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction. What’s not to like?
1. The Prestige
Behind the scenes with Hugh Jackman and Christopher Nolan in The Prestige (2006) pic.twitter.com/7DOnWj0Oxo
— IMDb (@IMDb) May 24, 2020
Another star-studded Nolan cast, The Prestige is a dark thriller adapted from a 1995 novel by Christopher Priest. Like the ‘Dark Knight trilogy’, The Prestige saw Nolan team up with Christian Bale for a critically-acclaimed success.
Bale and Hugh Jackman play two magicians trapped in a corrosive obsession with out-doing one another, in a story jam-packed with twists and turns. The Prestige may not be the biggest commercial success of Nolan’s career, yet it is spell-bindingly brilliant, and perhaps his finest work to date.