Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors around and never really let’s you down. His unique style is so recognisable and pretty much all of his films are critically acclaimed. This is his top 5.
- The Dark Knight
This 2008 Marvel film is the second in Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the best of the three. The late Heath Ledger is legendary as The Joker, Cristian Bale is the perfect Batman while Maggie Gyllenhal, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman,Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman make up a hugely talented cast. The scene of The Joker fiddling with the trigger until the Bomb blows up the hospital behind him is one of my personal favourites of all time. The extraordinary Hans Zimmer is a frequent collaborator of Nolans and his music adds yet another dimension to the film and fits perfectly with the dark theme while the score which accompanies the more epic, action scenes would give you goosebumps. This is truly a classic film of the 21st century and should be on everyone’s bucket list.
This 2010 science fiction drama is about dreams and centers in on Dom Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his team as they attempt to ‘implant an idea’ inside the head of business man Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) through his dreams. When you manage to wrap your head around the intricacies of dreams and the depths that you can go into a dream, this is an absolute masterpiece. It merges very sophisticated ideas with some pretty epic action sequences and the result is a film which can be appreciated again and again. With each watch time a new idea emerges and gives you another perspective. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Marion Cottilard, Ken Watanabe and Michael Caine among others join Di Caprio and Murphy in a typically brilliant Nolan cast.
Guy Pearce stars in this neo-noir physiological thriller and is Nolan’s second feature film. Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a man who suffers from anterograde amnesia which is an inability to form new memories and has short term memory loss. Shelby is searching for the killer of his wife and has to use Polaroid photographs and tattoos to remember the important details. This is one of Nolan’ earliest films and also one of his best. Like Inception, it manages to balance the sophisticated and complicated with tension and drama. It may take you a few a watches to really appreciate how good Momento is but it is a film that will stick in your mind for a very long time.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
The epic finale of the outstanding Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises is a fitting end. Inception’s Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tom Hardy and Marion Cottilard’s join the cast along with Anne Hathaway as ‘Catwoman’ while Cristian Bale and co reprise their roles. Tom Hardy plays Bane, a revolutionary leader excommunicated from The League of Shadows and is intent on destroying Gotham. Nolan manages to recapture the same thrill we get from watching The Dark Knight and there is a touch more emotional depth in this one too. Nolan really knows how to direct a villain with Hardy brilliantly carrying on from Ledgers Joker.
5. Batman Begins
Batman Begins may be the least acclaimed of the Batman trilogy but that doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely brilliant. Batman’s journey and inception starts here and we get a really interest portrayal of the emergence of the The Batman. Batman Begins was the scaffolding on which The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises was built and also a brilliant film in itself. Once again, the villains really steal the show in Cillian Murphys ‘The Scarecrow’ and Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul. Nolan’s vision for Batman really originated in this film and it set a precedent for what followed.
An honourable mention really should go to ‘The Presige’ which is a severely underrated film. Also, films are a very personal experience so there’s are pretty much a reflection of the films I enjoyed most so don’t take them as the bible.