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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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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