Interstellar: A Look Back At Christopher Nolan’s Top 5 films

With Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros. highly anticipated movie “Interstellar” hitting theaters today why don’t we take a look at Christopher Nolan’s top 5 films to date according to the effect his films had on the film genre, not based on box office revenue. If you want the box office top 5, take a look here.

1) The Dark Knight (2008)

poster_the_dark_knightMean_Gene says: To say this was the Empire Strikes Back of the series doesn’t begin to describe the effect it had on everyone. Prior to this film coming out it was already a must watch after the success of 2005’s Batman Begins. But what also brought in audiences to the theater was the final performance of a gifted actor, Heath Ledger, as the iconic villain The Joker. Sadly, passing away in January of that year, he never got to see the wonderful performance he put on film. Not only was his performance one for the ages the film itself turned out to be a monumental moment for filmmakers and audiences alike. This kicked down the door for filmmakers to make these comic book based films darker. Nolan allowed everyone in the Batman universe to have flaws, opening them up to pain and other raw emotions giving them a real world feel. And audiences were hooked. From here on out the comic book movies both produced by Marvel & DC were forever changed… for the better.

Harvey says: The Empire Strikes back is an apt comparison. At the end of the movie you were left saying to yourself “it can’t end this way… HES A GOOD GUY!”. Most villains in today’s movies are complex characters. There’s a “reason” they turned out evil, and maybe there’s a little hope of redemption (TESB tie-in). But Ledger’s Joker is one of the few villains in recent memory where he was… just. plain. evil. He enjoyed destruction and chaos for the sake of destruction and chaos, nothing more.

2) Memento (2000)

poster_mementoMean_Gene says: As Sergio Roma from Get Him To The Greek said: I’m mind-fucking you right now. And that’s exactly what Nolan did in this film to its audiences. Much like Quentin Tarantino did in 1994’s Pulp Fiction by telling a narrative out of order, Nolan took it a step further and told the entire story backwards. So as Leonard tries to figure out what had transpired and befallen him, the audiences were also trying to piece together the puzzle.

Harvey says: He didn’t just take it a step further. Nay, he got a running start and kangaroo hop-scotched it further. Telling the story out of order has become a narrative device and is used pretty often now. But no one has done it as well or as completely as Nolan did in Memento. I was scratching my head all the way to the end (beginning) of the movie.

3) Inception (2010)

poster_inceptionMean_Gene says: Another genre defining film. What seemed like a simple heist film was much, much more than that. Part Ocean’s Eleven, part Sci-Fi thriller, Nolan gave us another film for the ages. Leaving the audience to make up their minds on whether or not Cobb made it out of the dream world or not.

Harvey says: I liked this movie the first time I saw it. I loved it the second time I saw it. The CG effects were superb, the slo-mo cams were amazing, the score was fantastic. Most importantly, when you left the theater you immediately wanted to talk about it with your friends asking each other “WTF was that?” Is Cobb dreaming? Was he dreaming the whole time? Am I dreaming now?

In my opinion, this should be placed as #2 in the list, but Mean_Gene won the coin toss…

4) Insomnia (2002)

Mean_Gene says: One of Nolan’s simpler films, this basic pot boiler thriller is a remake of a 1997 foreign film. What made this film succeed is not only its exceptional plot, but some great performances by Oscar winners Al Pacino and Robin Williams playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

Harvey says: ZZZzzzzzzz……

5) Interstellar?

This spot is being reserved for Nolan’s latest…time will tell if this will belong at #5 or will it take down The Dark Knight for #1…stay tuned.


Interstellar is now playing in select IMAX and 70MM film theaters; out everywhere Friday.

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