I can proudly say that I have seen every major Christopher Nolan movie and each film has been one to remember. From his all-time great Batman trilogy to what I feel is, next to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the greatest space movie of all time, Interstellar, his movies are impactful and will leave you thinking about them long after seeing them.
TENET is no exception. It’s been nearly a week since I watched his latest mind-boggling feat in cinema and as I see tv spots of Nolan’s newest excuse to go to the movies I can’t help feeling a swell of happiness knowing that I was able to witness the incredible film in a movie theater.
But, despite my enjoyment of the movie, where do I rank it among Nolan’s films? Let’s find out, shall we?
1. The Dark Knight
This is what I would call literal perfection. His first movie featuring the dark knight was the best Batman film ever made with an origin story that felt dark, grounded, gritty, and a far-cry better than Batman from 1989.
His second film in the trilogy would feature a story that was not only brilliant developed but also boded the greatest comic book movie villain onscreen appearance of all time. Heath Ledger’s Joker was so haunting and downright unforgettable that the actor would receive a posthumous Oscar for his role, and deservedly so.
I cannot get enough of this movie.
This was the first Christopher Nolan movie I would watch in the movie theaters and I was blown away. The performances in this film are so raw, the story so well-made, and the sense of stakes and emotion so impeccably displayed that by the halfway mark you’re caught up in the film at a loss of words.
And don’t get me started on the film’s last thirty minutes which are a masterpiece in itself. Nolan outdoes himself here and, considering that Gravity would win SEVEN! Oscars the year before, this movie should’ve at least been nominated for Best Picture. It’s that phenomenal.
Once again, Nolan doesn’t mess around. A film that follows the plot of top-secret, professionally-trained criminals infiltrating people’s dreams to harness valuable information sounds like something that could go terribly wrong but Nolan finds a way to harness this bizarre story into a masterpiece.
DiCaprio gives an inspired performance teeming with likability and Marion Cotillard is perfectly haunting. This film doesn’t let up, providing new insights with each viewing. And the conclusion…oh, it gives me chills every time. Wow, what a great film!
There’s a quote on a television spot that describes this movie as “Bond on acid.” They’re not wrong. It has all the workings of a classic Bond movie; there’s the dashing butt-kicking super-spy with a special set of skills (John David Washington), there’s the gorgeous lady who manages to catch the lead’s affection (Elizabeth Debicki), Kenneth Branagh is the Russian supervillain who wants to destroy the world, and there are beautiful locations that make you simply say wow.
Despite simply being a mixture of Bond and Mission: Impossible Nolan, well, Nolans it up by introducing time inversion into the story, a plot device that takes the movie to a whole new level. Revelations are made, action scenes play out backward leaving your brain feeling like sludge, and Gorannson’s mind-numbing musical score is delightfully present.
Despite being so incredibly different, after second glance you can see how Nolan’s other films have heavily inspired the story and creativity of this movie, making it seem less special than it seemed at first. It’s still a great film though.
Oh my goodness, this movie! I love a good murder mystery and this is as good as it gets. Nolan’s Memento is a puzzle that pieces itself together slowly over the course of an hour and fifty-three minutes yet by the end you’re left dazed and wowed.
I really do like Dunkirk but after my second viewing led to me a nice nap I realized that this movie was best in the movie theater. At home, it’s a slow film that doesn’t provide a nice enough reward to want to trudge through the confusing, overly long movie for.
7. Batman Begins
The greatest comic book movie origin story of all time. (And Christian Bale was the perfect person to bring this version of the character to life.)
8. The Prestige
Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and Scarlett Johannson in a single movie? Sign me up.
Now, the story, like most Nolan films, is a bit strange and I honestly don’t remember all the intricate details of this movie but overall, yeah, it was just a bit weird for me.
9. The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises is by no stretch of the imagination a bad movie. This is just a testament to how good his movies actually are when his worst film, imo, is a really good movie, period.