Christopher Nolan Films, Ranked

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate