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Christopher Nolan's movies ranked from worst to best according to fans

The director won the Oscar for Best Director for his newest film Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer, The Dark Knight and The Prestige are just some of Christopher Nolan's films to be ranked by fans from worst to best (20th Century Fox/Warner Bros)
Oppenheimer, The Dark Knight and The Prestige are just some of Christopher Nolan's films to be ranked by fans from worst to best (Universal/Warner Bros)

Christopher Nolan is one of the most prolific filmmakers of his generation, with his films consistently gaining attention and buzz from the public thanks to his thought-provoking movies.

As a storyteller Nolan consistently delivers, whether he's tackling space or the Batman franchise, and his unique vision has meant every new release is a cinematic event, as is evident with Oppenheimer. The film marked a huge triumph for Nolan, who won the Oscar for Best Director, while the movie won Best Film and stars Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. earned Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Read more: What will Christopher Nolan do next?

The film tells the life story of J Robert Oppenheimer (Murphy), the man who helped build the atomic bomb, which was then used in the Second World War to decimate the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and bring an end to the conflict.

Following the movie's success at the Oscars, Yahoo UK will look back at the filmmakers previous work to see how Nolan's fans view them, and how they voted for them on IMDb.

Christopher Nolan's movies ranked from worst to best according to fans

11 | Insomnia (2002)

Al Pacino and Robin Williams in Insomnia (Alamy)

Nolan's first big-budge studio film Insomnia ranks last amongst his work, which is perhaps unsurprising compared to the quality of his other work.

The film, which stars Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank, follows Los Angeles-based detectives as they investigate the murder of a young girl in Alaska but whose investigation goes off the rails when someone witnesses them committing an accidental shooting.

Insomnia was a remake of Erik Skjoldbjærg's film of the same name which may explain some of its flaws, and why fans didn't rank it as highly as some of his other work.

IMDb rating: 7.2

Insomnia is streaming for free with ads on Freevee, ITVX, Rakuten TV, and Pluto

10 | Tenet (2020)

Tenet (Credit: Warner Bros)
Tenet (Credit: Warner Bros)

Nolan's most recent film before Oppenheimer proved to also be one of his most divisive. Tenet explores the concept of time travel in a confusing, convoluted storyline about an FBI agent trying to stop an attack in the future that will lead to the destruction of mankind.

Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki, the film received a mixed response from critics and viewers alike.

IMDb rating: 7.3

9 | Following (1998)

Following Following  Year: 1998 - UK Jeremy Theobald  Director: Christopher Nolan
Jeremy Theobald in Following (Alamy)

Nolan's debut film, Following, received a strong score from film fans but lands towards the bottom of the director's overall work.

The neo-noir film brought Nolan to public attention and allowed him to quickly make a name for himself as a prolific writer and director.

It tells the story of a young writer (Jeremy Theobald) who follows strangers in the hope they will be sources of inspiration for him but soon sees him become embroiled in the dark criminal underworld of London.

IMDb rating: 7.5

8 | Dunkirk (2017)

Prod DB © Warner Bros. - Syncopy - RatPac-Dune Entertainment - StudioCanal / DR DUNKERQUE (DUNKIRK) de Christopher Nolan 2017 USA/GB/FRA./HOL. avec James d'Arcy et Kenneth Branagh historique, WW2, officier de marine
James d'Arcy et Kenneth Branagh in Dunkirk (Warner Bros.)

Before Oppenheimer, Nolan tackled World War II history through his 2017 war epic Dunkirk which examined the famous evacuation of Allied soldiers.

Examining the historical event through the eyes of different people during the war, including RAF pilots and civilians who came to their aid, it saw time tick on relentlessly as Allied forces rushed to rescue their men from the beaches before it was too late.

Dunkirk has been hailed by critics as one of the best war films to be made and even Nolan's best film to date, but for fans it didn't come close even if it received a good rating.

IMDb rating: 7.8

7 | Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins 2005  Real Christopher Nolan Christian Bale. Collection Christophel / RnB © Warner Bros. Pictures / Syncopy / DC Entertainment / Legenda
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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In 2005, Nolan decided to tackle DC's Batman and bring a more grounded vision of the character and his adversaries to the big screen and reboot the franchise as a more realistic product after its campier past almost destroyed it.

With Christian Bale in the famous cowl and cape, Nolan revitalised the superhero genre with his gritty, no-nonsense take on the character in Batman Begins which, like the title suggests, explores Bruce Wayne's rise as the Dark Knight.

Liam Neeson starred opposite Bale as Wayne's mentor-turned-enemy Ra's al Ghul, while Murphy gave a memorable performance of Batman's iconic villain Scarecrow.

IMDb rating: 8.2

Batman Begins is streaming on NOW with a Sky Cinema Membership

5= | Memento (2000)

Guy Pearce in Memento. (20th Century Fox)
Guy Pearce in Memento. (20th Century Fox)

Nolan's second film is the one that truly put him on the map, and proved to many that the director was one to watch both amongst critics and film fans.

Starring Guy Pearce as amnesiac Leonard Shelby, the film presents its thrilling narrative in bits and pieces as the central character tries to find a way to find the men who killed his wife.

It is a captivating watch from start to finish and showed Nolan's capabilities as a director, and the film's awe-inspiring fractured narrative also showed how great a writer he was too.

IMDb rating: 8.4

Memento is streaming on Netflix and Shudder.

5= | The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises  Christian Bale  Batman
Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros)

The final film in Nolan's Batman franchise ranks the same as Memento amongst fans, with the filmmaker's last hurrah in the superhero genre garnering a very strong 8.4 ranking.

In it, Bruce Wayne must contend with a wholly different kind of villain: Bane (Tom Hardy) whose strength and determination to destroy Gotham from the inside-out made him a formidably enemy.

The Dark Knight Rises saw several big payoffs for the franchise as a whole, and even saw Anne Hathaway appear as Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt take on the mantle as Robin, bringing the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.

IMDb rating: 8.4

The Dark Knight Rises is streaming on NOW with a Sky Cinema Membership

5= | Oppenheimer (2023)

L to R: Benny Safdie is Edward Teller and Cillian Murphy is J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. (Universal)
Benny Safdie as Edward Teller and Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer, which won Christopher Nolan his first Oscar for Best Director. (Universal)

It may have swept the board at the 2024 Oscars, but amongst film fans on IMDb the biopic of the father of the atomic bomb comes in, rather surprisingly, in the middle of the pack. This does not mean viewers didn't think it was good, though, as the film received a very commendable 8.4 ranking.

Oppenheimer features stunning visuals, incredible music, and a career-best performance from Murphy, which is why the film rightly did so well at the Academy Awards. It features the kind of narrative that provokes conversation and will remain in viewers' minds long after it is finished, especially thanks to its meaningful final shot.

Oppenheimer will be available to stream on NOW from 12 April.

IMDb rating: 8.4

4 | The Prestige (2006)

Christian Bale in The Prestige (Alamy)

Perhaps one of Nolan's more underrated films, The Prestige saw the filmmaker collaborate once again with Bale in this thrilling tale of a rivalry between magicians.

It stars Hugh Jackman as The Great Danton, a magician determined to become the best in the business but whose plan is obstructed by the skill of Bale's The Professor. Examining the risks of greed, the film is quite unique within Nolan's filmography. Come for one of David Bowie's final acting roles, and stay for the incredibly powerful ending.

IMDb rating: 8.5

3 | Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar 2014 Real  Christopher Nolan  Matthew McConaughey Collection Christophel © 2013 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc / Paramount Pictures Corpor
Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar (Warner Bros)

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Nolan examined the concept of space travel in his thrilling film Interstellar, which came a close third for fans in their IMDb ranking.

The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, an astronaut sent on a mission to find an inhabitable planet for humans whose fate hangs in the balance after years of blight and famine.

Few films are as awe-inspiring as Interstellar, which depicts space in wonderful and unique ways while the narrative breaks the fifth dimension to bring a thought-provoking story to life. If you're planning a re-watch, keep your eyes peeled for a young Timothée Chalamet as Cooper's son Tom.

IMDb rating: 8.7

Interstellar is streaming on NOW and Sky.

2 | Inception (2010)

(L-r) JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT as Arthur and LEONARDO DiCAPRIO as Cobb in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi action film “Inception,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception (Warner Bros.)

Often seen as one of Nolan's best films, Inception explores the concept of dreams through a captivating heist thriller led by Leonardo DiCaprio's Dom Cobb.

It is impressive in its scope and scale, with stunning set pieces and action-packed sequences to bring Nolan's story of a thief trying to plant an idea into someone's subconscious to life.

And who can forget the film's final scene? A shot that has become so iconic it is still debated to this day what it really meant for DiCaprio's Cobb. It's no wonder the film ranked so highly.

IMDb rating: 8.8

Inception is streaming on NOW and Sky.

1| The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight. (Warner Bros.)
Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight. (Warner Bros.)

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The Dark Knight is the second film in Nolan's Batman trilogy, it is often cited as the best in the franchise but is also often seen as one of the best Batman films made to date.

It sees Bruce Wayne go up against the Joker who is determined to bring chaos to Gotham, while also giving fitting stories to iconic characters like Two-Face

Heath Ledger gives a career-best performance as the King Clown of Crime which won him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008.

IMDb rating: 9.0

The Dark Knight is streaming on NOW with a Sky Cinema Membership

Oppenheimer is available to buy and rent on digital now.

Watch a trailer for Oppenheimer