Every Christopher Nolan Movie Ranked Worst To Best

How does Oppenheimer compare to Nolan's other cinematic gems?

Oppenheimer Bomb
Universal Pictures

For over 20 years, Christopher Nolan has been one of our greatest filmmakers, an innovative pioneer whose compelling tales of flawed men and speculative futures are matched only by the stunning visuals that bring them to life.

Notable for his stunning production design, preferring natural setting over more artificial studio work and CGI, and booming scores, Nolan is never one to be stuck in place, directing everything from trailblazing superhero flicks to intimate biographies, and breakneck thrillers to contemplative sci-fi mind-benders.

Often found working with the same collaborators (including actors Michael Caine - his "good luck charm" - Cillian Murphy, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy, as well as cinematographers Wally Pfister and Hoyt van Hoytema), Nolan is a director whose films are recognisable from the first frame, and become more rewarding with time.

His quirks may sometimes get in the way of his lofty intentions - his grand themes, inventive sound mixing and mind-meltingly complex stories occasionally hard to grasp - but he's never been a filmmaker to truly drop the ball, or produce anything less than a deeply personal, impassioned feast for the senses.

With that in mind, in celebration of his latest hit Oppenheimer, here are all 12 of Christopher Nolan's films ranked from worst to best. This list will surely divide, but such is the joy of Christopher Nolan's films: a case could be made for almost any one of them being his one true masterpiece...

12. Following (1998)

Oppenheimer Bomb
Momentum Pictures

Nolan's shoestring budget debut has all the hallmarks of his later work, concerned with an obsessive writer whose passion begins to consume him. But Following stumbles down the rankings here because it's so clearly the work of an (albeit brilliant) first-time director.

Ambitious, trippy, and a bit too complicated for its own good, Following finds Nolan trying to find his feet, his eyes slightly bigger than his stomach, but his keen eye for twisty melodrama and haunting imagery striking a memorable chord.

Like many debuts, Nolan's is a poetically telling project that tells you all you need to know about him, from his sensitive ruminations on obsession and human nature and his meticulous attention to detail. It's just that at this point, he's still testing the water, and you can see its limitations poking through its strengths.

From here, Christopher Nolan would go from strength-to-strength, growing into the director Following hinted he was destined to become, and the rest is history.


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