Play Hard

Celebrating Christopher Nolan

Written by High Life North
Published 25.08.2020

By Christopher Kingston

To celebrate the release of Christopher Nolan’s new movie, Tenet, we thought we would recommend some of his best movies, all are available on DVD / Blu Ray and on-demand services. Christopher Nolan is a very visual filmmaker and is often described as a modern-day Alfred Hitchcock.

Whether it’s a darker, more grounded take on the superhero movie or a Science Fiction epic, his style of filmmaking is a visual treat that’s full of mind-blowing action sets and well-written characters that you find yourself caring for.       

Here are some of our favourite Nolan movies to get you in the mood for Tenet, which is out in selected cinemas now.

Nolan’s debut film is a British neo-noir crime thriller that follows a struggling writer around the streets of London trying to find inspiration for his first novel. He is quickly drawn into a life of crime, hoping to use their lives as inspiration for his novel, but quickly finds himself drawn further into the crime world that he intended.

Following – 1998

Guy Pearce plays Leonard who has anterograde amnesia (the inability to form new memories) after an injury. The last thing he remembers is the murder of his wife and attempts to find her murderer using Polaroid photographs and the tattoos on his body to track the information he cannot remember.

Memento – 2000

Al Pacino and Robin Williams (in his first serious role) star in this psychological thriller which is a remake of the Norwegian film of the same name. The film is about two Los Angeles police detectives who investigate a murder in Alaska. With a star-studded cast including Al Pacino and Hilary Swank, Insomnia received critical acclaim.

Insomnia – 2002

The first entry in The Dark Night Trilogy and the film that launched Christopher Nolan’s career as a big Hollywood director, this is the origin story of The Dark Knight. Following the murder of his parents, a young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice with the help of loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine), Detective Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ally Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), he returns to Gotham City as Batman, where he must battle the deadly forces which threaten the city.

Batman Begins – 2005 

Christin Bale (Batman Begins) and Hugh Jackman (X-Men) star in this tale of two stage magician’s based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. It follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, rival stage magicians in 19th century London who are obsessed with creating the best stage illusions. They engage in competitive one-upmanship, with fatal results. An underrated classic with a brilliant twist at the end – don’t worry, no spoilers!

The Prestige – 2006 

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) enlists the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckart) in an attempt to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City for good. They are thwarted by an anarchistic mastermind known as The Joker (the late Heath Ledger) who seeks to undermine Batman’s influence and turn the city to chaos. Recognised as both putting superhero films back on the map, and as a modern crime epic in the same vein of films like The Godfather and Heat, this was also Heath Ledger’s final film before he died. His performance as the Joker has become a pop culture icon.  

The Dark Knight – 2008

A sci-fi action film set in the world of dreams, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobbs who leads a team of professional thieves who seek information by infiltrating the subconscious of their target. He is offered the chance to wipe his criminal record clean – if he agrees to enter into someone else’s mind and plant a memory, rather than extracting it. Inception is based on the notion of lucid dreaming – and with mind-bending sets and an ending twist that no-one saw coming, you’ll be left feeling unsure of what was real and what wasn’t.

Inception – 2010

In the final instalment of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. The ruthless revolutionary known as Bane (Tom Hardy) forces Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) to come out of hiding once again to take on the role of the Batman, in the ultimate battle for Gotham’s survival and his own. Also stars Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in supporting roles.

The Dark Knight Rises – 2012

A science-fiction epic in the same mould as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Set in a dystopian future where humanity struggles to survive, Mathew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway play astronauts who travel though a wormhole near Saturn in search of a new home for mankind.

Interstellar – 2014

Hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded on all sides by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach as the enemy closes in, they face an impossible situation. Dunkirk depicts the evacuation of World War lI from land, sea and air, as RAF Spitfires try to protect the defenceless men down below. Meanwhile, hundreds of boats manned by military and civilians mount a rescue effort in a race against time to save most of their army. It stars a whole host of British acting talent from old and new among others Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Harry Styles in his first and only acting role to date.

Dunkirk – 2017

This long-awaited latest movie has been delayed multiple times in the last few months due to Covid-19. Starring John David Washington (BlacKKKlansman) and Robert Patterson (The Twilight Saga) who lead an all-star cast in this action thriller set in the world of international espionage armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world.

Tenet – 25th August – out now at various cinemas

Other stories by High Life North
A month in the life of Laura KIngston - editor of High Life North magazine

A month in the life of our editor – November

High Life North
Bistro Greggs Fenwick Newcastle Pop Up Fine Dining Restaurant

Bistro Greggs launches at Fenwick Newcastle

High Life North
Three Mile Gosforth

Christmas is coming at Three Mile, Gosforth. Here are the dates for your diary

High Life North
Pizza Dough Co at Three Mile in Gosforth

Pizza Dough Co at Three Mile in Gosforth is the family-friendly neighbourhood eatery with a new menu to check out

High Life North
Derwent Manor Hotel

A Christmas market, baking with elves and NYE in a Tipi – the festive events at Derwent Manor Hotel this 2023

High Life North
Rest at the Nest County Durham Staycation Lodges

Rest at the Nest – a perfect couple’s staycation in County Durham

High Life North