Welcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or some other critical pop-culture collection in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers. This time, we sort through the best and worst of Hollywood’s greatest hope for original blockbuster filmmaking. This article originally ran in 2014 and has been updated to include his subsequent films, including 2023’s Oppenheimer.
I saw Memento twice in theaters. The first was due to the great reviews it was getting early on and the fact that it starred the great Guy Pearce. The second was after walking out of Pearl Harbor about 10 minutes in — just after the dogfight scene, if I recall correctly — and into the theater next door to revisit the work of a young genius named Christopher Nolan. I thought to myself, I hope this guy sticks around.
And he has. In just over two decades, his movies have featured cops, magicians, thieves, and Jokers. He’s shot in both black and white and color (sometimes in the same movie), showed us dreams and death, and given us a whole lot of Michael Caine. He not only resurrected a franchise from the depths of a nippled-batsuit-hell, but also created the greatest comic book movie of all time.
Critics agree that Christopher Nolan is one of the great modern filmmakers — and you’ll see why ahead.
— Justin Gerber