Christopher Nolan’s Films Ranked: From Worst to Best as ‘Interstellar’ Nears
With the release of Interstellar soon to come, which is among the most highly anticipated films of the year, I figured it would be a good time to make a quick list looking into the filmography of Christopher Nolan. We’ll take a look at the rankings of his films to date, from “worst” (relatively speaking, for a guy with so few missteps) to best. Here goes:
8. The Prestige
When this is your “worst” film, you are doing okay. The magician based tale didn’t quite captivate me the way that I had hoped, but Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson still do nice jobs in their respective roles. I should probably revisit this to see if maybe I am missing something, but considering the competition in the rest of Nolan’s oeuvre, unfortunately, something has to be last.
7. The Dark Knight Rises
The trilogy wrapper that became a global phenomenon is the least of the Caped Crusader’s films in the reboot pantheon, but that is not the end of the world. Perhaps it was the muffled Bane, perhaps the extended story (pushing a nearly 3 hour runtime), perhaps just the fact that it all had to end (or did it, based on the wink-wink finish), there was just something to nitpick about with this tale. No matter, it’s still eminently rewatchable. Nothing wrong with that.
Humble beginnings. This was the start for the man that would become perhaps the best director in Hollywood. A little tale of a man who follows others around is creepy, comic and well done. All in black and white to boot. This film has earned its just praise over time, since the director has since blown up to legendary status. Check this if you’ve missed it to this point.
A remake of a foreign film of the same name, Nolan hits all the right notes with a strong cast (Robin Williams shout out), a snowy, wintery setting, and a thrilling plot that still maintains its power today. It’s been a while since I have taken this in, but I’ve always held it in high regard. A must see.
4. Batman Begins
The intro to Batman’s world aka “the origin story”, is one of the better of it’s kind around. It actually balances an indy sensibility with proper scope and deftly introduces a character that we have come to know and love over the years, filling in the blanks in a more dark manner. Liam Neeson and Christian Bale taking their talents to comic land? We’re all in.
3. The Dark Knight
Known for Heath Ledger’s sterling, Oscar winning turn, this is the film that made comic book movies a mainstay again for audiences (which in turn, we should all be pissed off for). Still, there is little to gripe about in this genre-flipper that forces its hero into a choice, shockingly killing off a main character near the end of the film. Powerful and haunting for any film, let alone one based on a comic book. Kudos.
The film that was his real breakthrough may be a bit gimmicky in that sense, but still captures the mind of audiences with a man who with a sparse memory and tattoos words on his body to keep his sanity in place. A lower level indy film that seizes the moment, playing with traditional narrative and weaving a tight thriller in the process. Bonus Note: The Special Edition DVD allows a front to back traditional playback option, something that was not ported over to the Blu-ray release sadly.
This sci-fi mind bender is still Nolan’s most complex (and perhaps divisive) work. The time jumping, intricate plot, interlaced with multiple stories and levels of meaning will confound willing audiences for years to come. With strong performances, amazing effects and one of the most inventive plots around, this film almost singlehandedly restored my waning faith in filmmaking at a time when Hollywood continues to lack creativity and originality. A must see (over and over again).