Christopher Nolan movies you've probably never heard of

by professor.knowsitall@evpl on Tuesday, July 27 2010, 4:14pm. Viewed 1,884 times.

With the success of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and the now-in-theaters Inception, Christopher Nolan has become a pretty popular guy.  And rightfully so.

However, most folks don't realize that Nolan has been making films for over 10 years.

As a fan of fine cinema, I've been following (wait for it...) Nolan's films ever since seeing Memento for the first time, shortly after its DVD release.  And while his previous films didn't enter the public consciousness upon their release, at least compared to the level of his Batman films, they should have.  These are amazing films.

So without further ado, I present a brief look, with purposely-ambiguous plot descriptions (i.e. NO-SPOILERS!), at Nolan's non-Batman/non-Inception films.

Following - movie posterFollowing (1998) - Check our catalog

(...EPIC pun! Sorry, back on topic...)

Ambiguous Plot Description: An aspiring writer, obsessed with following strangers on the streets of London, forms a partnership with a burglar, breaking into flats and prying into the personal lives of the tenants.

Nolan's debut, a low-budget 70 minute black-and-white film, definitely hints at the director's future.  The interesting thing about Following is the way the story is told...completely out-of-order.  Scenes are shown in a completely random order.  At first you'll be extremely confused, then less so as you start putting the pieces together.  At the end, when all is revealed,...um, wow.

Memento - movie posterMemento (2000) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.  Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.

Like Following, Memento is not presented in chronological order...but it makes more sense here, in the context of the story.  Amazing, one of my favorite movies.

Insomnia - movie posterInsomnia (2002) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to an Alaska town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the murder of a local teen.  Starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, & Hilary Swank.

Incredible, occasionally disturbing, performances by Pacino & Williams.  Things quickly spiral out of control after [plot point that I won't reveal]...

The Prestige - movie posterThe Prestige (2006) - Check our catalog

Ambiguous Plot Description: A mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy -- full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences.  Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and David Bowie as an amazing Nikola Tesla!

Based on a book of the same name, The Prestige was released between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  Strangely enough, it hit theaters right around the same time as The Illusionist...another film about magicians set during the Victorian Era.  On its own, The Prestige is the better film; it also stars Scarlett Johansson, which gives it bonus points in my book.

And there you have it...the Christopher Nolan movies you've probably never heard of.  But now you have.  Check em out and sound off in the comments below.

More Info

  • IMDB.com: Find out more about Christopher Nolan on his IMDB page.
  • Amazon.com: Purchase the movies from Amazon using the Public Library Friends' referral link.  All of Nolan's films, except Following, have been released on Blu-ray.
  • Mementos - The Freshmaker: CollegeHumor's Mentos commercial.  In the style of Memento.

Comments (7)

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on Wednesday, July 28 2010, 9:20am

I have seen and enjoyed all these flicks.  I need some advice though.  I am going to see Inception tomorrow evening.  Is it worth it to pay the extra bucks to see it on the IMAX screen?  I mean this particular movie, not IMAX vs regular screen in general.

on Wednesday, July 28 2010, 12:07pm

MediaPhile@evpl: I didn't see Inception in IMAX, so I can't comment directly.  Maybe someone else will chime in?

However, I CAN provide some geeky, general info about IMAX vs regular screen if you change your mind! :)

on Wednesday, July 28 2010, 2:34pm

I'm up for some geeky general info about IMAX vs regular screen.

on Wednesday, July 28 2010, 2:35pm

I assume that you saw Inception on the regular screen and found it to be worth the price.

on Wednesday, July 28 2010, 3:53pm

Yup, I saw it on the regular screen...definitely worth the price!

this.is.not.here@evpl wrote
on Friday, July 30 2010, 8:40am

My commentary on Inception:

....."I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.  I said that......"

Bob Dylan

Talkin World War III Blues

However---it was amazing in IMAX.  

on Thursday, May 24 2012, 10:48am

I'm not a fan of hyperbole...but Awake is, without a doubt, the best show I've seen on TV in