Poll Results and Christopher Nolan’s Films Ranked

And so you voted Inception as the Best Christopher Nolan film! I must admit that I had expected that The Dark Knight would win this one, I’m pleasantly surprised by the result as I think Inception is a significantly better film, it’s just that I thought the love everyone has for Heath Ledger’s Joker would dominate this poll. Perhaps the most shocking result for me then was The Prestige not receiving a single vote, and also I thought that The Dark Knight Rises would outshine Batman Begins. Long story short I completely mispredicted these results!

Next up it’s a big one; vote for the best Bond film in the sidebar on the right, and in two weeks I’ll be giving my order with reasons why, and of course will also be reviewing Skyfall!

Scroll down for the percentages and also my ranking of Nolan’s films from worst to best. Thanks for voting!

Here’s the statistics:

Inception – 31.25%
The Dark Knight – 25%
Memento – 18.75%
Batman Begins – 12.5%
The Dark Knight Rises – 6.25%
Insomnia – 6.25%
Following – 0%
The Prestige – 0%

My rankings:

8. Following
Nolan ‘s debut  is an interesting film that packs a lot into its one hour running time, it has an intriguing plot but at the same time isn’t particularly memorable. It’s one that I would recommend checking out, albeit mainly as a curiosity piece rather than as a film in its own right. It’s not bad, but doesn’t have enough about it in order to place it higher on this list.


7. Batman Begins
I enjoy Cillian Murphy’s performance in this film and there are other elements which are entertaining, but overall I feel a little underwhelmed by Batman Begins. I appreciate the decision to take time establishing character and motivation, as opposed to rushing our character straight into a superhero costume – however I happen to not really enjoy the origin process in this film, and at times it verges on being dull. I can appreciate why many people do really love this film, and generally I find it enjoyable enough, it’s just that it always leaves me a little cold.


6. Insomnia
This one often seems to be rather disliked, but I’m quite a fan of it; Al Pacino and Robin Williams both give great performances, and the film also provides a genuinely interesting relationship between a cop and the man he is trying to chase down. I think is a good example of its genre – not excellent but definitely entertaining, and worth seeing for Robin Williams alone.


5. The Dark Knight Rises
This is a better made film than ‘The Dark Knight’, but it lacked as compelling a villain; I’m always full of admiration for Tom Hardy but he had a nearly impossible task competing with Ledger’s Joker. It’s not that I expected Hardy to be better than him; it’s just that I found his character rather uninteresting, which of course then damages the film a fair bit. Still, there are a lot of things that I liked about this film such as Anne Hathaway’s awesome Catwoman, and the grand scale and real sense of threat which I felt the film really delivered on, but it also let me down a little and felt a little lacking once I came away from it.


4. The Prestige
I’ve never quite connected with why some people love this film, but that being said there’s a lot to like here: the story of two rivalling magicians trying to oust the other appeals to me, there are good performances all round especially Bale’s, the plot has multiple satisfying twists and turns, and then David Bowie turns up in an unexpected, but completely welcome role! It’s a good film and if you haven’t seen it then I do recommend it, it’s just it’s not quite good enough to make it into the top three.


3. The Dark Knight
For me this film is all about Heath Ledger, everything regarding his excellent performance has already been said endless times before and so I won’t dwell here long, except to say that it singlehandedly raises this film into a completely different category. I take issue with several things in The Dark Knight; for example how uncomfortable and badly managed the action sequences are, and yet it’s also a lot of fun with a multitude of quotable lines, and moments like the pencil magic trick – which is awesome. Without Ledger’s contribution being so impressive this would be perhaps a slightly better than average, albeit flawed superhero film, and yet because of it this one makes it into my top three.


2. Memento
It was really tough not putting this one first, I’ve championed this one for years as the best of Nolan’s films due to its highly inventive and intelligent narrative structure, as well as the absorbing story and great performances. Memento had quite an impact on me when I first watched it and it’s only by a fraction that it doesn’t come in at first place.


1. Inception
And so it turns out that I agree with the poll results! It was a tough choice for me to make, but after re-watching all these films Inception’s bravery, style, plot, score, concepts and excellent cast won me over and I just had to crown it winner. I just think that this one succeeds phenomenally well at being exactly what it intends to be and also has an emotional core which helps place it just above Memento. Ultimately I’m sure that I’ll flit between preferring one or the other in the future, but I think that Inception has to trump Memento when it comes to experimenting within a well recognised genre, and then proceeding to make it your own.

Many thanks for reading through my list, please leave comments below and perhaps suggest your own ranking order.


  1. It’s hard for me to pick the best of Nolan’s filmography, but I think I’d pick Inception as well. It’s one of those few movies that grows better each viewing. I’ve seen it about several times and have liked it more each time.

    1. Yeah it was a real blast the first time I saw it in the cinema, I knew that I had just seen an excellent film. I don’t know that I could say it grows better for me on every re-watch, for me it’s more a case of holding up each time, but then I really loved it first time around and so I don’t know that I really could like it even more each time.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I wasn’t around for the vote, but how the heck did The Prestige get no votes!?

    1. I have no idea! I had suspected that it would be voted into the top three, but I really couldn’t have been more wrong. If you had been here then, would you have voted it as Nolan’s best?

      1. My ranking would be:
        The Dark Knight
        The Prestige
        Batman Begins
        The Dark Knight Rises

    2. Great, thanks for sharing. What makes you put Batman Begins above The Dark Knight Rises?

      1. It all started with Batman Begins. The Dark Knight Rises is great, but BB had a better story and was structured nicer. Plus, it’ll always have a spot in my heart for reintroducing us to the greatest Batman ever.

    3. Despite being a huge fan of Tom Hardy, I probably actually prefer Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow to Bane, and yeah I’ll agree with you that BB does some things better than TDKR. I understand about the soft spot, for me though I didn’t think much of BB when it first came out (my opinion has improved since), and so perhaps I transferred that feeling to The Dark Knight which was instead the first Batman film that I loved.
      Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great post. It’s hard picking Nolan’s best because I’m in love with this filmography. For instance, The Prestige is my favorite of his but I don’t necessarily think it’s his best, you know? Completely agree with your assessment on Batman Begins and disagree a little on the TDK. I don’t think TDKR is better made than TDK and I definitely think that one is much, much more than Heath Ledger.. True, the film would not be the same without him, but it just has many things to offer.

    My ranking would be:
    1. Inception
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. The Prestige
    4. Memento
    5. The Dark Knight Rises
    6. Batman Begins
    7. Following
    8. Insomnia

    1. Perhaps one day I should review The Dark Knight and really go through my reasons for and against it, I mean don’t get me wrong I do enjoy it but still… . Would you agree that the action is handled much better in Rises than in The Dark Knight?

      Thanks, and thanks for sharing your ranking; it’s cool that we have the same top four, albeit in a different order. And yeah I completely understand what you’re saying about a personal favourite vs. the best film, I spent far too long deliberating over Memento and Inception!

      1. fernandorafael · · Reply

        Yes, I get it. I would love to read your in-depth take on it, though. But no, I don’t agree with that! haha I have no troble whatsoever with the action in TDK; I think the action set-pieces are fantastic, actually, and I felt that many in TDKR lacked something, like energy.

        Cool that we have the same top four, and I don’t think the order matters too much, at least not on my side. They’re all pretty close to each other.

    2. We will have to agree to disagree then, for now! I’ll try to get around to doing such a review, and we can resume this discussion then 🙂
      Thanks for commenting!

      1. fernandorafael · · Reply

        Haha, yes, I guess we’ll have to 😉 You’re welcome.

  4. Interesting, saw the general ranking and wondered why Memento is not higher and I was glad you ranked it second. Still, I don’t know.. Inception first.. I’m not sure. I would actually put Memento first because I tend to prefer the earlier movies when it comes to my favorite directors. Same with Tarantino, Ritchie and others.

    1. I hear you about Tarantino and Ritchie, although I’m very excited for Django in a couple of months. Would you place Inception second after Memento? Or is it ranked lower down on your list?

      1. I’m having trouble putting it in front of DK because I adore Ledger yet I love JGL so I’m torn. I think if I rip the actor aspect away from it, I will put Inception second. But still, really difficult to list them as so.. why can’t they all be #1?

    2. I know your pain! It’s a tricky one, maybe my admiration for both Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard helps place a couple of bonus points in Inception’s favour – but then again that didn’t really help out The Dark Knight Rises so perhaps not. It’s a difficult decision and I’m currently fully aware that I’ve set myself the same task in a week and a half, but this time with all 22 Bond films! Why did I do that to myself? 🙂

      1. I think TDKR mistake was following TDK but one can’t ignore that so.. yeah.

        Luckily I am not a Bond fan so I guess I can’t comment the difficulties with that. Haven’t even seen the Craig one.. sorry!

    3. Ah, well my blog is going to get quite Bond heavy over the next few days. Sorry about that in advance!

      1. Ha, no problem, I don’t mind reading about it, I just haven’t watched it since I was a kid.

    1. Would you put Inception second? I’ve already indicated that I had a real tough time choosing between the two – but I’m glad to see that you also rate Memento highly!

      1. Actually I really loved The Prestige more than Inception. Loved Heath in Dark Night. Inception I felt like it was trying too hard to be “different.” We haven’t seen anything like Memento or The Prestige. Very creative.

    2. Hmm OK, I see why you argue that, but don’t you think that in many ways Inception was almost generic though? The very recognisable heist format, the stark real world like appearance of dreams (save for a few moments) – I think this helped ground the film, allowing the strangeness of the film to work without the whole film appearing as if it was trying to hard to be “different”. I believe that I understand where you’re coming from, but just wondered whether you would consider say; The Matrix to be trying harder than Inception, or is it more a matter of The Matrix succeeding, and Inception not?

      1. I agree It was so formulaic so Nolan wanted to make it different aka confusing to the viewer. I felt he just wanted to play with some new tricks. I loved the matrix though. Did you know some people think Neo and my Uncle John Connor are the same person? Both men save humans from machines. Check out Sophia Stewart also. Terminator and matrix series were based on her comics and novel treatment. She filed for copyright infringement and settled out of court.

    3. I think it’s an excellent way of allowing him to explore some interesting ideas without confusing the audience too much, but I get why you think otherwise. Have you seen Paprika? That’s pretty much Inception without these restraints.
      I didn’t know that no -surely Neo would remember all of that jetting around on a motorbike with Arnie though, or did he have his memory wiped?
      Also thanks for mentioning Sophia Stewart, I hadn’t heard of this before and it looks pretty interesting.

      1. I haven’t seen Paprika, but it looks interesting. Finding info on Sophia Stewart is pretty difficult since she was suing major conglomerates–they tried hard to keep this under wraps. But NPR interviewed her-I would check it out. Some crew members on the Matrix individually testified to the FBI that the Wachowski siblings wrote the script with Stewart’s material on their desk. Could you imagine the money she could’ve made? I don’t know how much the settlement was.

  5. Well, Memento was Exceptionally Brilliant!!! In my Top Ten Films Guy Pierce was Brilliant in that Film!!! I think it happens to be Nolan’s best work.

    1. I completely understand your stance there! Fantastic film and there’s no arguing over Pearce being great in this role, but his two costars shouldn’t be forgotten either – especially Joe Pantoliano. Do you rate Inception highly?

      1. Oh – I love inception, that’s number 2 for me, as far as I am concerned Di Caprio is brilliant most of his films and to pair him with Nolan will definitely bring about an exceptional film. I see Nolan being the Stanley Kubrick of our generation – he is brilliant!

  6. Akash · · Reply

    8) The Dark Knight Rises 6/10 (Very overrated)
    7) Insomnia 7/10
    6) Inception 7/10 (I find Inception pretty overrated)
    5) Batman Begins 7.5/10
    4) The Prestige 7.5/10
    3) Memento 8.5/10
    2) Following 8.5/10 (heavily underrated)
    1) The Dark Knight 9.5/10

    Not the biggest Chris Nolan Fan. But of his films the only one that achieves greatness is the Dark Knight. Nolan didn’t present the audiences with just some superhero film, he gave them a rich crime thriller that explored the hidden darkness within each of us, our deceptive obsession with rules and our penchant for promoting a noble lie over a brutal truth.

    1. Interesting points about Dark Knight but I have to say that Memento offers a lot more insight into the human condition than DK. Which isn’t to day that it’s a bad film at all bit I think it’s a little overrated in a world with lots of good/great superhero movies.
      Fair enough about Rises – I like that less with every rewatch.

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