5 titles, 44th in points with 16,073
Christopher Nolan is certainly one of the best of the young directors, along with Darren Aronofsky. If anything, he's underrated currently, and almost certainly headed for the top 10 all-time at his current rate, given that Scorsese is now #3 and Spielberg #7, Nolan is that good.
Nolan’s films are always finely crafted, usually intellectually intense throughout. It’s said he spent ten years perfecting the complex screenplay for Inception. To me, his best is Memento, told in a style that fits the protagonist’s short-term memory loss, we see the story backwards in small vignettes, almost photographic flashes. Trying to imagine this working, and you can’t see how it can, yet it did, and the film won five Independent Spirit Awards, including best picture and director. It was far too creative for the Oscars, the type of film that scares the established film mediocricy.
These are all the films of Nolan’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)#189
2. Memento (2000)#195
3. Inception (2010)#302
4. The Prestige (2006)#395
5. Batman Begins (2005)#701
out of the top 1000
6. Insomnia #1712
Where the heck is Following (1998)? His first film is both creepy and interesting. A man randomly follows people on the streets under the guise of gathering information for his writing. One man that he follows turns the tables on him in this bizarre crime thriller shot in black-and-white.
The two Batman films updated a tired, comic-book genre with films of a more Asian look, they reminded me of good Chinese films, like Zhang Yimou (not sure why). These are more psychological and dark, more complex and less superficial.
The Prestige is a terrific film about rival magicians from science fiction author Christopher Priest. It finally makes magic into an interesting subject for a feature film. The acting of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Hugh Jackman make the film even more intense than the directing style, a lot is dependent on stage-style acting since these are stage performers. There are some great twists in this plot, which seem even better in retrospect – this film is growing on me over time, if anything it’s underranked.
See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition