(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/©Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
All Christopher Nolan Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Christopher Nolan had such a perfect outsider journey into Hollywood filmmaking, he makes transforming into one of the world’s foremost A-list directors look simple. First, you make your requisite black-and-white feature debut for less than a half-million dollars (Following) in England. Then you come over to America, put together an inventive, almost revolutionary indie (Memento), which gets you invited into the big studio system for Insomnia, where two seasoned pros like Robin Williams and Al Pacino can recognize an up-and-coming talent and agree to star. Then, boom: You’re good to go in your new career as a rising director.
For Nolan, the next step up was a surprising move at the time: Resurrecting Bruce Wayne for Batman Begins, whose big-screen reputation had been trashed by Batman & Robin. With The Prestige, he really began to establish himself as a brand and icon whose pictures you can rely on to feature slick-as-ice style, heavy dollops of science fiction, mind-warping concepts and resolutions, and a growing repertoire of actors to fulfill his vision. Inception and Interstellar certainly fit this mold, while The Dark Knight (and its Rises sequel, to an extent) revolutionized comic book movies and pop culture fandom. And lest we think he forgot his roots, Dunkirk was a worthy movie monument to the WWII military evacuation’s inspirational stature within British society.
2020’s Tenet was a bellwether to test the lockdown winds. Its release was controversial and helped sever Nolan’s working relationship with Warner Bros. Now, he’s setting up his Oppenheimer biopic at Universal. Until that one lands, we’re ranking all Christopher Nolan movies by Tomatometer!
Adjusted Score: 94948%
Critics Consensus: A visually dazzling puzzle for film lovers to unlock, Tenet serves up all the cerebral spectacle audiences expect from a Christopher Nolan production.
A secret agent embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88285%
Critics Consensus: Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually resplendent filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan, even if its intellectual reach somewhat exceeds its grasp.
In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83670%
Critics Consensus: Full of twists and turns, The Prestige is a dazzling period piece that never stops challenging the audience.
An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), against each... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82069%
Critics Consensus: Super brief but efficient, Following represents director Christopher Nolan's burgeoning talent in tight filmmaking and hard-edge noir.
Lacking prospects, a writer (Jeremy Theobald) begins tailing strangers, until he encounters a voyeuristic thief (Alex Haw).... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95916%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101366%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98583%
Critics Consensus: Driven by Al Pacino and Robin Williams' performances, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama.
From acclaimed director Chris Nolan ("Memento") comes the story of a veteran police detective (Al Pacino) who is sent to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 127349%
Critics Consensus: Dunkirk serves up emotionally satisfying spectacle, delivered by a writer-director in full command of his craft and brought to life by a gifted ensemble cast that honors the fact-based story.
In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100064%
Critics Consensus: Christopher Nolan skillfully guides the audience through Memento's fractured narrative, seeping his film in existential dread.
Leonard (Guy Pearce) is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. The difficulty, however, of locating his... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]