by Damar Aji Pramudita - July 2017

The Verge just published an article mentioning eight websites which posted Christopher Nolan movie rankings in anticipation of his latest movies, Dunkirk. After reading all the lists, I find that the results are quite divisive. While generally the reviews for all Nolan’s movies are amazing, it seems like people have different preference in deciding the ranks between the movies.

I then decided to build a visualization to show how the ranks varies between each version of the lists. I skip The Ringer version since it doesn't provide a clear order of the movies. As an addition, I include Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer in the visualization. Unfortunately, some publishers has not yet included Dunkirk on their list, so I decided to omit it from my visualization to show a more consistent comparison between each version. You can play with the visualization below. (Please note that it might be too small to see on your phone, so try to also check it on your desktop).

(Tap or hover over the title below to highlight a specific movie on the chart)

Some movies have similar ranks across different versions. The Dark Knight, which is my personal favorite, seems to also sits on other people’s top list; its rank never slips below the top three. Its predecessor, Batman Begins, stays comfortably in the middle of the list. Meanwhile, Nolan’s first movie Following never past the bottom three.

Other movies, however, are not as consistent as those three. Interstellar and Inception, two movies which involves inter-dimensional travels, jump up and down between the list (pretty sure it is not a correlation, let alone a causation).

In addition to this, I also find that people are not always agree with Rotten Tomatoes’ rating. The Prestige, for instance, sits between second to forth spot on all the lists while having the second worst Rotten Tomatoes rating. On the other hand, Insomnia sits low on all the lists despite having the third best Rotten Tomatoes rating.

In conclusion, I think there will always be a personal taste in deciding whether a movie is good or not. Furthermore, going through the lists just make me realize that Nolan never made a bad movie before, which makes the job of ordering his movies difficult and might be unnecessary. And I’m sure wherever Dunkirk is placed on the list (I plan to watch it this weekend), I will not be disappointed.

Bailey, J. (2017, July 20). Flavorwire. Every Christopher Nolan Movie, Ranked (and Updated).
Chitwood, A. (2016, December 31). Collider. Christopher Nolan Films Ranked from Worst to Best.
Ebiri, B. (2017, July 19). Vulture. All 10 Christopher Nolan Movies, Ranked
Guerrasio, J. (2017, July 18). Business Insider. Every Christopher Nolan movie, ranked from worst to best.
Humanick, R. (2017, July 18). Slant. Ranking Christopher Nolan’s Films: From Worst to Best.
Hunter, R. (2017, July 17). Film School Rejects. Ranking the Films of Christopher Nolan.
Tiffany, K. (2017, July 20). The Verge. All of the Christopher Nolan movie rankings, ranked.
Yaniz, R, Jr. (2017, July 14). The Cheat Sheet. The Best (and Worst) of Christopher Nolan: His Films Ranked