No. 5 – Memento
The story of a man who must find the murderer of his wife whilst inconveniently having amnesia, Memento deals with time in two different stories. Although not ‘Fight Club’, it can be seen as a cult film, with the phrase ‘very Memento of you’ surfacing whenever someone jots down something they have forgotten. With the dichotomy of the stories presented in different colours, Nolan gives us a brilliantly stylish work-around to help the audience to what would otherwise be a confusing set of events. Although not one of Nolan’s most recognisable films, the acting and directing in Memento is so fantastic that you hope you’ll never forget it.
No. 4 – The Dark Knight Rises
The third film in the Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan wracked up a stellar amount of pre-sales and standard box office sales by marketing the films trailer in 5 different ways. The film itself is uncomfortably long (2 hours and 45 minutes) and admittedly that might have put me off on the first watch but the second watch is a completely different story. The characters stories start to become so much more realistic and intricate, such as with the wonderful French actress Marion Cotillard’s character. I did not see DKR in the cinema and so I don’t have the advantage of saying that it was so much better on the big screen, but what it did have was a story that stayed true to the comics and highlighted Nolan as a real auteur.
No. 3 – Interstellar (Special thanks to Alex Underwood)
The premise is fairly straightforward: the Earth is slowly dying, crops are failing, and the elements have turned against the inhabitants. A small crew are sent to the stars (via a wormhole) in search of survivors of a previous far-reaching expedition to see if any worlds could be suitable for humans to move to. The plot is solid (despite the necessary physics lessons being off-putting to some), but it pales in comparison to the sheer beauty of the film. Parallels will be drawn between Interstellar and Gravity, but the former is far more impressive: the audience is shown seemingly stunning worlds from beyond our meagre solar system, as well as black holes and other celestial bodies.
No. 2 – The Dark Knight
It seems quite strange these days to find anyone who hasn’t enjoyed the Batman/Dark Knight trilogy. We’ve most likely all seen the older Batman movies that had Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton in, so when Christian Bale popped along with his gruff and gritty voice, we liked it. The film contains the obvious superhero archetypes, filled with morality and a sense of superiority, but this time we got to see the late and great Heath Ledger as The Joker. This is a character and acting performance that fundamentally changed the film for the better. Audiences would most likely not have been that intrigued if Two Face had gotten hurt earlier on in the film and wreaked havoc on Gotham. With its wonderfully dark tone and fitting actors, this is one film that has been pivotal for superhero movies alike.
No. 1 – Inception
Easily one of the most bizarre and thought provoking films of recent times, Inception balances action with obscure imagery and location. Much like The Matrix, Inception seems to have revolutionized the way we approach and analyse films. Audiences no longer wanted the basic building blocks consisting of good characters, a good plot and snappy dialogue. Instead, we wanted something more bizarre and ‘trippy’ to make us really enjoy the whole experience. Nolan creates a film that’s so self aware that it almost feels like a ‘dream within a dream’ and the idea of exploring something as confusing as dreams cements the viewers interest and builds up tension and entertainment. Visually striking and well acted, Inception is clearly my winner for the top spot.