Christopher Nolan is a British-American film director, writer, and producer who has earned much fame in the past two decades for being one of the best directors working in Hollywood. Known especially for his convoluted narratives and complicated storylines, Nolan’s films often puzzle the viewers, furthering discussions amongst movie fanatics who keep theorizing about his movies even years after they have come out. His movies often explore metaphysical themes such as human mortality, the concept of time, the nature of memory and personal identity. With time, he has become a towering figure in Hollywood. Here are the 10 best movies of Christopher Nolan that you must not miss.
During the second world war, soldiers from Britain, Belgium and France try to evacuate a town called Dunkirk while engaging in an especially difficult battle with the German forces. Upon its release, Dunkirk was a critical and commercial success. Because Nolan wanted to create a thrill from the soundtrack and visuals, the movie has little dialogue.
Will Dormer is a police detective who is called to Alaska to investigate the murder of a seventeen year old girl. However, the main suspect plays mind games with him and Will makes a mistake that haunts him every night, causing him to not sleep. Insomnia was a commercial success, and upon its release, received praise for its screenplay and cinematography.
After his wife is murdered in cold blood, Leonard decides to hunt down the man who he thinks killed his wife. However, he suffers from retrograde amnesia (the inability to form new memories), which further complicates his situation. As a result, he uses notes and tattoos to remember the details of his search for the murderer. Memento was met with critical praise as well as commercial success. The movie is now considered one of the best movies of Christopher Nolan.
4. The Prestige
A horrible tragedy turns two magician friends into embittered enemies. They soon become rivals and devote themselves to their rivalry, and end up making sacrifices along the way that have terrible consequences. Although the movie received great response from the critics, the revenue earned was moderate.
A struggling writer, who’s unnamed throughout the film except for being referred to as “The Young Man” begins following people in hopes of using their lives as inspiration for his novels. However, soon enough, he begins to cross more lines than he intended. Being Nolan’s directorial debut, the movie was made on a shoestring budget. Jeremy Theobald who played “The Young Man” shot his scenes when he was not doing his day job. The scenes had to be rehearsed extensively so as to not shoot more than twice, and Nolan paid for the 16mm stock out of his own pocket.
6. Batman Begins
In the first film of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan gives the viewers the origin story of one of the most popular superheroes on screen, Batman. The movie follows Bruce as he suffers through a traumatic experience in his childhood when his parents are murdered in front of him. He consequently decides to overcome his fear and learn the art of fighting to save Gotham City from all that is evil. With a long line of Batman movies that failed a the box office, the Batman film series was put on hold for eight years. Batman Begins was praised for its tone, with special praise for Nolan’s vision. It also did splendidly at the box office.
In order to prevent the onset of the third world war, an agent, “the protagonist” is given a single word as a lone weapon, and is tasked with beginning a hunt that requires him to travel through time and change the laws of nature. The movie was the first one to release in theatres after the covid-19 pandemic, and despite getting positive reviews, could not break even with its high production cost. However, critics have praised several aspects of the movie, including direction, cinematography, and the peformances by the main cast.
Far into the future, Earth has become inhospitable, and a new planet is required to save the human race. Joseph Cooper, an ex-Nasa pilot turned farmer, along with a team of researchers, is tasked with finding an inhabitable planet for the rest of the world to move into. Because of its scientific theme, Nobel Laureate in physics Kip Thorne was executive producer of the movie and helped iron out the scientific details. He also wrote a tie-in book: The Science of Interstellar. The movie was one of the highest grossing movies of 2014, and was praised by critics for its direction, emotional depth, visual effects, and musical score.
Inception follows Cobb, an “extractor” who commits corporate espionage by using a military technique to infiltrate a target’s subconscious by entering a shared dream world. His latest target, Saito, tells Cobb that he wants him to do a seemingly impossible job – to implant the idea in a person’s subconscious – also known as inception. In exchange, Saito offers to clear Cobb’s criminal history, because of which Cobb is unable to visit his children. Inception met with tremendously positive response from critics as well as general audiences. It became the fourth highest grossing movie of 2010, and earned several accolades, including 4 Academy Awards.
10. The Dark Knight
The second movie in The Dark Knight Trilogy that follows Batman Begins, The Dark Knight introduces the character of Joker, a psychopathic criminal whom Batman must put away for the good of Gotham City. The Dark Knight is considered one of the best films of 2000s as well as one of the best superhero movies ever made. It became the highest grossing film of 2008, and Heath Ledger posthumously received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Dark Knight is one of the best movies of Christopher Nolan.
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