Christopher Edward Nolan (July 30, 1970) is a British-American filmmaker known for making personal, distinctive films within the Hollywood mainstream. His ten films have grossed over US$4.7 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 34 Academy Award nominations and ten wins.
Born and raised in London, Nolan developed an interest in filmmaking from a young age. After studying English literature at University College London, he made his feature debut with Following (1998). Nolan gained international recognition with his second film, Memento (2000), with Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano; for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
He transitioned from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank; and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), with Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Heath Ledger, among others; The Prestige (2006), with Hugh Jackman, Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Caine, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis, Rebecca Hall, and David Bowie; and Inception (2010), with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Elliot Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Pete Postlethwaite, and Caine; which received eight Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
This was followed by Interstellar (2014), with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, and Matt Damon; Dunkirk (2017), with Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Hardy; the latter of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director; and Tenet (2020), with John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Caine, and Branagh.
Nolan’s films are typically rooted in epistemological and metaphysical themes, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His work is permeated by unconventional narrative structures, practical special effects, experimental soundscapes, large-format film photography, and materialistic perspectives. He has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas. He frequently casts Caine in his films.
Nolan has received many awards and honours. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and in 2019, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to film. In addition to his filmmaking, Nolan is an advocate for film preservation and the analog medium.
Each new review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Tarantella (1989) – co-director – TV short
- Larceny (1996) – short
- Doodlebug (1997) – short
- Following (1998)
- Memento (2000)
- Insomnia (2002)
- Batman Begins (2005)*
- The Prestige (2006)
- The Dark Knight (2008)*
- Inception (2010)*
- The Dark Knight Rises (2012)*
- Interstellar (2014)
- Quay (2015) – documentary short
- Dunkirk (2017)*
- Tenet (2020)