Christopher Nolan is, simply put, one of the greatest filmmakers working in the business today. He managed to save Batman from the campy obscurity he had fallen into, while completely reinvigorating the summer blockbuster - without having to rely on remakes or sequels (The Dark Knight notwithstanding).
There are many common threads in his films (wives haven't tended to fare too well) while he is also an auteur in the field of spectacular visuals. Few people can think of his films without being awe-inspired by Dunkirk's aerial dogfights, or Interstellar's trip through the wormhole.
His scripts most often lean toward the highly cerebral, sometimes to the detriment of an audience that is just looking for a film to enjoy with a pizza Yet he has those films as well, meaning with Nolan, there really is a little of something for everyone on offer.
Not every film lands as perfectly as the rest, though thankfully out of the ten films that he has released, anything not considered great is very much in the minority. He seems to be one of those people that just manages to churn out hit after hit, and we as an audience are all the luckier for it.
Here are his films from (relative) worst to best.
Insomnia is not a bad film by any stretch. In fact, were it made by another director, it might rank much higher in this author's listings. However, this 2002 remake of the Norwegian original simply pales in comparison to the rest of the films in Christopher Nolan's catalogue.
Al Pacino chews all of the scenery here as the hard-boiled cop whose in trouble with IA at the beginning of this story. He and his partner are dispatched to a remote Alaskan town to assist in a homicide investigation, though this is primarily to get them out of the way while the investigation takes place.
The film is a rather standard cop thriller, with very little to raise it above any of the other greats in the genre. Robin Williams is the shining star of the piece, delivering a chilling, nuanced performance as the killer who believes that he can cheat his way out of paying for his crime.
A very underused Hillary Swank plays the rookie assistant cop to Pacino's vet, again not really delivering anything notable.
The film's central draw - eternal sunshine in this remote town - feels like it was tacked on, rather than being an essential plot device.
The film is fine, but in Nolan's rankings, it just doesn't cut it.