When I watched ‘Doodlebug’, I was shocked and stunned at the same time. Just of three minutes, but it can move you and simultaneously tell you about an extremely intricate human emotion. It was 1997 when Christopher Nolan made ‘Doodlebug’. “Low budgets and heaps of rejection letters,” he recalls in many of his interviews. Then when he made ‘Following’ with friends and partners, also on low budget, we hardly knew that one day Nolan’s films would play our minds like none ever. After ‘Following’ became a sleeper hit and was praised by critics, it was the dawn of the 21st century, ‘Memento’ came and did wonders.
The first time I watched ‘Memento’, I felt like someone had taken my brain out, put in a glass, juggled it and put it back again. ‘The Prestige’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy did only brought him more praise from the critics and awe from the audience. What Stanley Kubrick did with Arthur C. Clarke in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, Nolan achieved a similar rare feat with ‘Interstellar’, heavily researching on talked-about science topics with Kip Thorne, and blending them into a three-hour watch. He is one of the few directors who continue to surprise us every time they come with a new film.
Many critics are claiming ‘Dunkirk’ to be his best work. But is it? We can only be certain about that with time, but for now as brilliant as ‘Dunkirk’ is, I don’t think it is the best Christopher Nolan movie. But it comes very close to being one. Here is the list top Christopher Nolan movies, ranked from average to best.
10. Insomnia (2002)
With a stunning lead cast of Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hillary Swank, ‘Insomnia’ doesn’t disappoint; though being a remake of another Norwegian film, it doesn’t break any new grounds. The film follows Al Pacino as a disturbed police detective and Robin Williams as the primary suspect of a murder and how they collide with each other in a cat-and-mouse game and the way their lives change forever. This film had huge rooms for development in the whole running time and Nolan did just that, tweaking here and there, with some talented artists and made a piece worth to watch. Not a great film, but not bad either.
9. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Superhero films characterize cut-throat actions and whopping dialogues, with varied use of special effects throughout. But it was Nolan in the Batman trilogy, who first made a superhero film franchise, which is remembered by all for its exceptional filmography, stellar performances and nail-biting action sequences altogether. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ tells us about a merciless terrorist, Bane, and a cat burglar, both of whom force Batman to return from the exile of a period of eight years. But does ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ actually meet the high-standards set by its two predecessors ? In terms of action: Yes. In terms of storytelling: No. Again, ‘Rises’, in spite of being far from Nolan’s best work, is still better than most of the superhero movies made now-a-days.