Directors You Know, Movies You May Not: Christopher Nolan

Directors You Know, Movies You May Not: Christopher Nolan

Yes, Christopher Nolan did an amazing job on the Batman reboot trilogy, aside from a few minor complaints about ridiculous voices from two of its leading men. Yes, Inception was a mind-bending delight that has as many interpretations as you can think of. Check out these lesser-known Nolan masterpieces that you may not have seen or even heard of.

Memento (2000)

Guy Pearce plays a man out for revenge, with a slight handicap: his short-term memory has been totally destroyed. He’s a man without a present, forced to piece together clues and have them tattooed on his body to keep them from evaporating. Nolan presents the film in a non-linear structure, beginning with the ending and cutting back and forth between time periods. Definitely worth seeing if you haven’t already.

Insomnia (2002)

(Yeah, I know, this trailer is terrible.)

Although a remake of a 1997 Norwegian film, Nolan’s version strips away some of the original’s themes and makes this story his own. Al Pacino is amazing as an LAPD detective called to small-town Alaska to investigate a teen’s murder. The perpetual daylight of the north keeps him awake at night, but not as much as his own guilt. Hilary Swank plays a young officer who idolizes Pacino’s character, and a surprisingly effective Robin Williams appears as a writer with dark secrets of his own. Nolan really captures the effects of the film’s title as Pacino becomes increasingly deranged while trying to uphold his sense of justice. Highly recommended.

The Prestige (2006)

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play rival 19th-century magicians in this mystery thriller with one of the weirdest, wildest twists I’ve ever seen in a film. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll instead call out some of the fine actors, including Nolan regular Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansen and (in a strange bit of casting) David Bowie, who Nolan apparently begged to take the role. Yes, that David Bowie. Check it out!

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