8. Insomnia (2002)
Christopher Nolan’s first star-studded Hollywood thriller Insomnia wasn’t quite the follow-up to Memento that the art-house crowd had envisioned, but as an early piece indicative of the excellent thriller work to come in his career, it remains a vital viewing experience. Fans of Nolan can see so many of the director’s best traits on offer here, while the film also offers a wider insight into how cinema was approached at the time and has evolved in the years since, meaning that while Insomnia wasn’t quite to the standard of Nolan’s more well rounded work to come, it remains interesting and vital as well as being an entertaining entry into his catalogue of work.
7. Batman Begins (2005)
Nolan was just 32 when he was appointed director of Warner Bros’ latest Batman reboot, the filmmaker tasked with reigniting a monolith of DC Comics for cinema audiences based on little more than his work on a few excellent but vastly less watched releases. What he offered was a darker and deeper version of the Batman that would come to rewrite DC’s philosophy and change the comic book movie landscape forever, Batman Begins being hardly as sharp or monumental a screen experience as his work on its sequel The Dark Knight, but remaining a timeless comic book movie nonetheless, one that many a fan of the franchise still point to as their most enjoyable.
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6. The Prestige (2006)
Pushing on from Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan really established himself as a go-to Hollywood name with The Prestige in 2006, the director confirming himself as an “every movie a hit” director with his fifth critical success from five releases, his twist-laden and pulsating thriller centred around rival magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale being one of those memorable cinema experiences that would come to define the filmmaker’s reputation for always offering unique and spectacular reasons to pay to see his work on the big screen.