Every single Christopher Nolan movie, ranked by critics

Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Heath Ledger have all starred in Christopher Nolan’s movies. Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Christopher Nolan’s movies are consistently loved by critics and audiences alike, and the director is one of the most popular and talented filmmakers around.
  • So far, Nolan’s 10 feature-length movies have received 34 Oscar nominations in total, winning 10 of them.
  • We ranked Nolan’s movies by their critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • “Interstellar” received the lowest score with 72%, while “The Dark Knight” came out on top with 94%.
  • On average, Christopher Nolan receives a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 86%.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

He directed ‘Interstellar’ in 2014, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain. Paramount Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%

Summary: Nolan’s sci-fi epic was his second collaboration with Hathaway after “The Dark Knight Rises” and his first with McConaughey, who stars as an astronaut travelling through a wormhole trying to find a solution to humanity’s survival.

Nolan’s movie was nominated for five Oscars, winning just one for best visual effects. Long-time collaborator Hans Zimmer was nominated for his euphoric score.

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale starred in his magician movie ‘The Prestige’ in 2006.

Starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, and Michael Caine. Buena Vista Pictures Distribution/Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%

Summary: Nolan’s first film post “Batman Begins” saw him unite with his Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale. In this twisty movie, Bale is pitted against Hugh Jackman as two magicians trying to outdo one another with the consequences becoming increasingly darker.

Fun fact: David Bowie pops up as Nikola Tesla.

He made his feature film directorial debut in 1998 with ‘Following.’

Starring Jeremy Theobald and Alex Haw. Momentum Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%

Summary: Nolan’s feature film debut follows a writer simply known as The Young Man who follows random people in order to get material for his writing. He meets a thief who takes him under his wing in this well-received, black and white debut.

In 2005, he directed his first Batman movie with ‘Batman Begins.’

Starring Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine. Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 84%

Summary: While Nolan’s first Batman movie is the one with the lowest rotten tomatoes score, it’s still a very well-received film. This origin tale shows us how Bale’s Bruce Wayne becomes the dark knight in a much grittier retelling of the story than we had ever seen before after years of Val Kilmer and George Clooney in the batsuit.

Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy portray the villains Ra’s al Ghul and Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow, respectively.

He concluded his Batman trilogy in 2012 with ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’

Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine. Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Summary: Nolan’s climactic third and final movie of his dark knight trilogy was also very well received, with Tom Hardy’s villainous Bane upping the stakes for Bruce Wayne and Gotham. Anne Hathaway also joined the cast as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, as did “Inception” actors Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

He blew everyone’s minds in 2010 with ‘Inception.’

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Summary: Nolan’s “Inception” proved to be a gamechanger of a movie, proving that summer blockbusters can have brains, too. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Cobb, a thief who commits his crimes in dreams, trying to find his way back home.

It won four Oscars as well as a further four nominations including Nolan’s first best picture nod.

He directed ‘Insomnia’ in 2002, starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams.

Starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. Warner Bros. Pictures/Summit Entertainment/Touchstone Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

Summary: While “Insomnia” feels smaller than the mammoths of “Interstellar” and “Inception,” it’s still a gripping story exploring same high-concept themes as Al Pacino’s detective tries to solve the murder of a teen in a town where the sun never sets. Robin Williams plays the villain in this cat and mouse movie.

In 2000, he directed the complex, twisty ‘Memento.’

Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano. Newmarket Films

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Nolan’s second feature film showed the industry and the entire world exactly what sort of filmmaker he was, and has carried on to be ever since.

Nolan deftly crafts a hugely complex narrative into a thrilling yet personal movie that would have proved too unwieldy for lesser filmmakers.

He earned his first best director Oscar nomination for his 2017 war movie ‘Dunkirk.’

Starring Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Harry Styles. Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Nolan’s ensemble war movie again played with the idea and theme of time, with three narratives unfolding over three different lengths of time (one week, one day, and one hour) yet somehow moulding together to create a seamless film. Harry Styles made his film acting debut here, and fitted into Nolan’s movie without fuss.

In 2008, he changed the whole superhero genre with the groundbreaking ‘The Dark Knight.’

Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine. Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%

While almost every Nolan film is a cultural phenomenon, none had quite the impact that “The Dark Knight” did, hence it’s position as Nolan’s number one film as rated by critics. The film was nominated for eight Oscars but missed out on the best picture nomination, causing uproar amongst fans.

Many believe this omission and subsequent reaction is the reason why the Academy expanded their best picture nominees from five to anywhere between five and 10, in order to allow more mainstream films that are also Oscar-worthy to get into the big category alongside the more usual Oscar fare.

Heath Ledger posthumously won best supporting actor for his portrayal of the Joker, delivering a performance that not only changed the superhero genre, but also changed how the industry made superhero films, too.