30 July 1970
|Alma mater||University College London|
Christopher Nolan (//; born 30 July 1970) is a British-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. His films have grossed more than US$5 billion worldwide, and have garnered 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations.
Born and raised in London, Nolan developed an interest in filmmaking from a young age. After studying English literature at University College London, he made his feature debut with Following (1998). Nolan gained international recognition with his second film, Memento (2000), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He transitioned from independent to studio filmmaking with Insomnia (2002), and found further critical and commercial success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), The Prestige (2006), and Inception (2010), which received eight Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. This was followed by Interstellar (2014), Dunkirk (2017), and Tenet (2020). He earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for his work on Dunkirk.
Nolan's films are typically rooted in epistemological and metaphysical themes, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His work is permeated by mathematically inspired images and concepts, unconventional narrative structures, practical special effects, experimental soundscapes, large-format film photography, and materialistic perspectives. He has co-written several of his films with his brother Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife Emma Thomas.
Nolan has received many awards and honours. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015, and in 2019, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to film.
Nolan was born in Westminster, London, and grew up in Highgate. He was raised a Catholic. His father, Brendan James Nolan, was a British advertising executive who worked as a creative director. His mother, Christina (née Jensen), was an American flight attendant who would later work as an English teacher. Nolan's childhood was split between London and Evanston, Illinois, and he has both British and US citizenship. He has an elder brother, Matthew, and a younger brother, Jonathan, also a filmmaker. Growing up, Nolan was particularly influenced by the work of Ridley Scott, and the science fiction films 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Star Wars (1977). He began making films at age seven, borrowing his father's Super 8 camera and shooting short films with his action figures. These films included a stop motion animation homage to Star Wars called Space Wars. He cast his brother Jonathan and built sets from "clay, flour, egg boxes and toilet rolls." His uncle, who worked at NASA building guidance systems for the Apollo rockets, sent him some launch footage: "I re-filmed them off the screen and cut them in, thinking no-one would notice", Nolan later remarked. From the age of eleven, he aspired to be a professional filmmaker. Between 1981 and 1983, Nolan enrolled at Barrow Hills, a Catholic prep school in Weybridge, Surrey, run by Josephite priests. In his teenage years, Nolan started making films with Adrien and Roko Belic. Nolan and Roko co–directed the surreal 8 mm Tarantella (1989), which was shown on Image Union, an independent film and video showcase on the Public Broadcasting Service.[note 1]
Nolan was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, an independent school in Hertford Heath, Hertfordshire, and later read English literature at University College London (UCL). Opting out of a traditional film education, he pursued "a degree in something unrelated ... because it gives a different take on things." He chose UCL specifically for its filmmaking facilities, which comprised a Steenbeck editing suite and 16 mm film cameras. Nolan was president of the Union's Film Society, and with Emma Thomas (his girlfriend and future wife) he screened 35 mm feature films during the school year and used the money earned to produce 16 mm films over the summers.
1993–2003: Early career and breakthrough
After earning his bachelor's degree in English literature in 1993, Nolan worked as a script reader, camera operator, and director of corporate videos and industrial films. In 1995, he began work on the short film Larceny, which was filmed over a weekend in black and white with limited equipment and a small cast and crew. Funded by Nolan and shot with the UCLU Film society's equipment, it appeared at the Cambridge Film Festival in 1996 and is considered one of UCL's best shorts. He filmed a third short, Doodlebug (1997), about a man seemingly chasing an insect with his shoe, only to discover that it is a miniature of himself. Nolan and Thomas made their first attempt at a feature in the mid-90s with a project called Larry Mahoney, which was scrapped and never released. During this period in his career, Nolan had little or no success getting his projects off the ground; he later recalled the "stack of rejection letters" that greeted his early forays into making films, adding "there's a very limited pool of finance in the UK. To be honest, it's a very clubby kind of place ... Never had any support whatsoever from the British film industry."
In 1998, Nolan released his first feature, Following, which he wrote, directed, photographed and edited. It depicts an unemployed young writer (Jeremy Theobald) who trails strangers through London, hoping they will provide material for his first novel, but is drawn into a criminal underworld when he fails to keep his distance. From Nolan's experience of living in London and having his apartment burgled, he observed that the common attribute between larceny and pursuing someone through a crowd was that they "both take you beyond the boundaries of ordinary social relations". Co-produced by Nolan with Thomas and Theobald, it was made on a budget of £3,000. Most of the cast and crew were friends of the director, and shooting took place on weekends over the course of a year. To conserve film stock, each scene was rehearsed extensively to ensure that the first or second take could be used in the final edit. Following won several awards during its festival run and was well received by critics; The New Yorker wrote that it "echoed Hitchcock classics", but was "leaner and meaner". Janet Maslin of The New York Times was impressed with its "spare look" and agile hand-held camerawork, saying, "As a result, the actors convincingly carry off the before, during and after modes that the film eventually, and artfully, weaves together." On 11 December 2012, it was released on DVD and Blu-ray as part of The Criterion Collection.
[The] difference between shooting Following with a group of friends wearing our own clothes and my mum making sandwiches to spending $4 million of somebody else's money on Memento and having a crew of a hundred people is, to this day, by far the biggest leap I've ever made.
—Nolan (in 2012) on the jump from his first film to his second.
Following's success afforded Nolan the opportunity to make Memento (2000), which became his breakthrough film. His brother Jonathan pitched the idea to him, about a man with anterograde amnesia who uses notes and tattoos to hunt for his wife's murderer. Jonathan worked the idea into a short story, "Memento Mori" (2001), while Nolan developed it into a screenplay that told the story in reverse. Aaron Ryder, an executive for Newmarket Films, said it was "perhaps the most innovative script I had ever seen". The film was optioned and given a budget of $4.5 million, with Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss in the starring roles. Memento premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2000 to critical acclaim. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote in his review, "I can't remember when a movie has seemed so clever, strangely affecting and slyly funny at the very same time." Basil Smith, in the book The Philosophy of Neo-Noir, draws a comparison with John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which argues that conscious memories constitute our identities, a theme that Nolan explores in the film. The film was a box-office success and received many accolades, including Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for its screenplay, Independent Spirit Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award nomination. Memento was considered by numerous critics to be one of the best films of the 2000s. In 2017, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Impressed by his work on Memento, Steven Soderbergh recruited Nolan to direct the psychological thriller Insomnia (2002), starring Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. Warner Bros. initially wanted a more seasoned director, but Soderbergh and his Section Eight Productions fought for Nolan, as well as his choice of cinematographer (Wally Pfister) and editor (Dody Dorn). With a $46 million budget, it was described as "a much more conventional Hollywood film than anything [Nolan had] done before". A remake of the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, Insomnia is about two Los Angeles detectives sent to a northern Alaskan town to investigate the murder of a local teenager. It received positive reviews from critics and performed well at the box office, earning $113 million worldwide. Film critic Roger Ebert praised the film for introducing new perspectives and ideas on the issues of morality and guilt, stating that "Unlike most remakes, the Nolan Insomnia is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play." Richard Schickel of Time deemed Insomnia a "worthy successor" to Memento, and "a triumph of atmosphere over a none-too-mysterious mystery".
After Insomnia, Nolan planned a Howard Hughes biographical film starring Jim Carrey. He wrote a screenplay, which he said was "the best script I've ever written", but when he learned that Martin Scorsese was making a Hughes biopic (2004's The Aviator), he reluctantly tabled his script and moved on to other projects. Having turned down an offer to direct the historical epic Troy (2004), Nolan worked on adapting Ruth Rendell's crime novel The Keys to the Street into a screenplay that he planned to direct for Fox Searchlight Pictures, but eventually left the project, citing the similarities to his previous films. Nolan was also adapting a film version of The Prisoner, but later dropped out of the project.
2003–2013: Widespread recognition
In early 2003, Nolan approached Warner Bros. with the idea of making a new Batman film, based on the character's origin story. Nolan was fascinated by the notion of grounding it in a world more reminiscent of classical drama than comic-book fantasy. He relied heavily on traditional stunts and miniature effects during filming, with minimal use of computer-generated imagery. Batman Begins, the biggest project Nolan had undertaken to that point, premiered in June 2005 to critical acclaim and commercial success. Starring Christian Bale in the title role, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson, the film revived the franchise, heralding a trend towards darker films that rebooted (or retold) backstories. Praised for its psychological depth and contemporary relevance, Kyle Smith of the New York Post called it "a wake-up call to the people who keep giving us cute capers about men in tights. It wipes the smirk off the face of the superhero movie." Batman Begins was the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2005 in the United States and the year's ninth-highest-grossing film worldwide. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and has been cited as one of the most influential films of the 2000s.
Before returning to the Batman franchise for a sequel, Nolan directed, co-wrote, and produced The Prestige (2006), an adaptation of the Christopher Priest novel about two rival 19th-century magicians. The screenplay was the result of an intermittent, five-year collaboration between him and his brother Jonathan, who had begun writing it already in 2001. Nolan initially intended to make the film as early as 2003, but had postponed the project after agreeing to make Batman Begins. Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale in the lead roles, The Prestige received critical acclaim and earned over $109 million worldwide. Roger Ebert described it as "quite a movie – atmospheric, obsessive, almost satanic", and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called it an "ambitious, unnerving melodrama". Philip French wrote in his review for The Guardian: "In addition to the intellectual or philosophical excitement it engenders, The Prestige is gripping, suspenseful, mysterious, moving and often darkly funny." The Prestige also received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.
In 2006, Nolan announced that the follow-up to Batman Begins would be called The Dark Knight. Approaching the sequel, Nolan wanted to expand on the noirish quality of the first film by broadening the canvas and taking on "the dynamic of a story of the city, a large crime story ... where you're looking at the police, the justice system, the vigilante, the poor people, the rich people, the criminals". Released in July 2008 to great critical acclaim, The Dark Knight has been cited as one of the best films of the 2000s and one of the best superhero films ever made. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times found the film to be of higher artistic merit than many Hollywood blockbusters: "Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind." Ebert expressed a similar point of view, describing it as a "haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy." The Dark Knight set many box-office records during its theatrical run, earning over $1 billion worldwide. At the 81st Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, winning two: the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing and a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger. Nolan received many awards and nominations for his work on the film. It was designated as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress in 2020 and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
After The Dark Knight's success, Warner Bros. signed Nolan to direct Inception (2010). Nolan also wrote and co-produced the film, described as "a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind". Starring a large ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film became a critical and commercial success upon its release in July 2010. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a perfect score of "A+" and called it "one of the best movies of the [21st] century". Mark Kermode named it the best film of 2010, stating "Inception is proof that people are not stupid, that cinema is not trash, and that it is possible for blockbusters and art to be the same thing." The film ended up grossing over $836 million worldwide and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay; it won the award for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. Nolan was also nominated for BAFTA and Golden Globe awards, among other accolades.
In 2012, Nolan directed his third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, with Christian Bale reprising the title role. Although Nolan was initially hesitant about returning to the series, he agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother and David S. Goyer that he felt would end the series on a high note. The film was released in July 2012 to positive reviews; Andrew O'Hehir of Salon called it "auteurist spectacle on a scale never before possible and never before attempted". Christy Lemire of The Associated Press wrote in her review that Nolan concluded his trilogy in a "typically spectacular, ambitious fashion", but disliked the "overloaded" story and excessive grimness. Like its predecessor, the film was a box office success, becoming the thirteenth film to reach the billion-dollar mark. During a midnight showing of the film at the Century 16 cinema in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman opened fire inside the theatre, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. Nolan released a statement to the press expressing his condolences for the victims of what he described as a senseless tragedy.
During story discussions for The Dark Knight Rises in 2010, Goyer told Nolan of his idea to present Superman in a modern context. Impressed with Goyer's first contact concept, Nolan pitched the idea for Man of Steel (2013) to Warner Bros, who hired Nolan to produce and Zack Snyder to direct. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, and Michael Shannon, Man of Steel grossed more than $660 million at the worldwide box office, but received a divided critical reaction. Despite the mixed reviews, Nolan was thoroughly impressed by Snyder's work, saying that the director "knocked it out of the park", and that he believed the film would have the same potential to excite audiences as when he himself saw the Christopher Reeve version in 1978.
2014–2019: Established Hollywood auteur
Nolan next directed, wrote, and produced the science-fiction film Interstellar (2014). The first drafts of the script were written by Jonathan Nolan, and it was originally to be directed by Steven Spielberg. Based on the scientific theories of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, the film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Michael Caine, and Ellen Burstyn, Interstellar was released in November 2014 to largely positive reviews and strong box office results, grossing over $700 million worldwide. A. O. Scott wrote, in his review for The New York Times, "Interstellar, full of visual dazzle, thematic ambition ... is a sweeping, futuristic adventure driven by grief, dread and regret." Documentary filmmaker Toni Myers said of the film, "I loved it because it tackled the most difficult part of human exploration, which is that it's a multi-generational journey. It was a real work of art." Interstellar was particularly praised for its scientific accuracy, which led to the publication of two scientific papers and the American Journal of Physics calling for it to be shown in school science lessons. At the 87th Academy Awards, the film won Best Visual Effects and received four other nominations – Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Production Design. In 2014, Nolan and Emma Thomas also served as executive producers on Transcendence, the directorial debut of Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister.
In the mid-2010s, Nolan took part in several ventures for film preservation and distribution of the films of lesser-known filmmakers. His production company, Syncopy, formed a joint venture with Zeitgeist Films to release Blu-ray editions of Zeitgeist's prestige titles. As part of the Blu-ray release of the animation films of the Brothers Quay, Nolan directed the documentary short Quay (2015). He also initiated a theatrical tour, showcasing the Quays' In Absentia, The Comb, and Street of Crocodiles. The program and Nolan's short received critical acclaim, with IndieWire writing in their review that the brothers "will undoubtedly have hundreds, if not thousands more fans because of Nolan, and for that The Quay Brothers in 35mm will always be one of latter's most important contributions to cinema". An advocate for the survival of the analogue medium, Nolan and visual artist Tacita Dean invited representatives from leading American film archives, laboratories, and presenting institutions to participate in an informal summit entitled Reframing the Future of Film at the Getty Museum in March 2015. Subsequent events were held at Tate Modern in London, Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, and Tata Theatre in Mumbai. In 2015, Nolan also joined the board of directors of The Film Foundation, a US-based non-profitable organisation dedicated to film preservation, and was appointed, along with Martin Scorsese, by the Library of Congress to serve on the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) as DGA representatives.
After serving as an executive producer alongside Thomas on Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), Nolan returned to directing with Dunkirk (2017). Based on his own original screenplay and co-produced with Thomas, the story is set amid World War II and the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in 1940. Describing the film as a survival tale with a triptych structure, Nolan wanted to make a "sensory, almost experimental movie" with minimal dialogue. He said he waited to make Dunkirk until he had earned the trust of a major studio to let him make it as a British film, but with an American budget. Before filming, Nolan sought advice from Spielberg, who later said in an interview with Variety, "knowing and respecting that Chris [Nolan] is one of the world's most imaginative filmmakers, my advice to him was to leave his imagination, as I did on Ryan, in second position to the research he was doing to authentically acquit this historical drama." Starring Fionn Whitehead, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and Kenneth Branagh, Dunkirk was released in theatres in July 2017 to widespread critical acclaim and strong box office results. It grossed over $526 million worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing World War II film of all time. In his review, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "It's one of the best war films ever made, distinct in its look, in its approach and in the effect it has on viewers. There are movies—they are rare—that lift you out of your present circumstances and immerse you so fully in another experience that you watch in a state of jaw-dropped awe. Dunkirk is that kind of movie." The film received many accolades, including Nolan's first Oscar nomination for Best Director.
In 2018, Nolan supervised a new 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), made from the original camera negative; he presented it at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. USA Today observed that festival-goers greeted the director "like a rock star with a standing ovation." A year later, Nolan and Thomas received executive producer credits on The Doll's Breath (2019), an animated short directed by the Quay brothers. By the end of the decade, Nolan had established a reputation as a "Hollywood auteur" and "star director". The Cinemaholic wrote, "A celebrity in his own right, he is one of the most recognizable names in the directing world. He has seen unprecedented success both in commercial and critical space—a rare feat to achieve by all means. There are legions of fans across the globe—and not just in America—who worship him and follow his every move."
Nolan's next directorial effort was the science fiction film Tenet (2020), a project The Sunday Times described as "a globe−spinning riff on all things Nolanesque". He had worked on the screenplay for more than five years after deliberating about its central ideas for over a decade. Delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenet was released in August 2020, and was the first Hollywood tent-pole to open in theaters after the pandemic shutdown. Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh, the film grossed $363 million worldwide against a production budget of $200 million. Tenet received generally positive reviews from critics, but was also described as the most polarizing effort of his career. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film a full five stars, calling it "preposterous in the tradition of Boorman's Point Blank, or even Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, a deadpan jeu d'esprit, a cerebral cadenza, a deadpan flourish of crazy implausibility—but supercharged with steroidal energy and imagination." Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter described it as "a chilly, cerebral film—easy to admire, especially since it's so rich in audacity and originality, but almost impossible to love, lacking as it is in a certain humanity." The film won Best Visual Effects at the 93rd Academy Awards, and was also nominated for Best Production Design.
Following the release of Tenet, Nolan joined the Advisory Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and Tom Shone's book about Nolan's work, The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan (2020), was released to critical acclaim. Sam Mendes called it "Erudite, complex, labyrinthine and mind-expanding—it's as close as you're ever going to get to the Escher drawing that is Christopher Nolan's remarkable brain." Nolan and Thomas served as executive producers on Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021), a director's cut of 2017's Justice League.
In September 2021, it was announced that Nolan's twelfth film would be a biopic based on J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atom bomb. The film will be financed and distributed by Universal Pictures, marking the first time since Memento that the director has not made a film for Warner Bros. The deal with Universal was secured when, having met with other studios, Nolan was promised a production budget of around $100 million with an equal marketing budget, total creative control, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, a 100-day theatrical window, and a blackout period from the studio wherein the company would not release another movie three weeks before or three weeks after his release. In October 2021, it was announced the film, titled Oppenheimer and shot in IMAX and 65mm film, would release on 21 July 2023. The film stars Cillian Murphy in the title role, with Hoyte van Hoytema, Jennifer Lame, and Ludwig Göransson all returning in their respective technical roles.
Nolan is married to Emma Thomas, whom he met at University College London when he was 19. She has worked as a producer on all of his films, and together they founded the production company Syncopy Inc. The couple have four children and reside in Los Angeles, California. Protective of his privacy, he rarely discusses his personal life in interviews. However, he has publicly shared some of his sociopolitical concerns for the future, such as the current conditions of nuclear weapons and environmental issues that he says need to be addressed. He has also expressed an admiration for scientific objectivity, wishing it were applied "in every aspect of our civilization." Nolan made a donation to Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2012, and he serves on the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) Board of Governors.
Nolan prefers not to use a mobile phone or an email address, saying, "It's not that I'm a Luddite and don't like technology; I've just never been interested ... When I moved to Los Angeles in 1997, nobody really had cell phones, and I just never went down that path." In an interview with People in December 2020, Nolan confirmed he does not have an email or a smartphone, but has a "little flip phone" that he takes with him from time to time.
Nolan's films are often grounded in existential and epistemological themes, exploring the concepts of time, memory, and identity. His work is characterised by mathematically inspired ideas and images, unconventional narrative structures, materialistic perspectives, and evocative use of music and sound. Guillermo del Toro called Nolan "an emotional mathematician". BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz described the director as "an art house auteur making intellectually ambitious blockbuster movies that can leave your pulse racing and your head spinning." Film theorist David Bordwell opined that Nolan has been able to blend his "experimental impulses" with the demands of mainstream entertainment, further describing his oeuvre as, "experiments with cinematic time by means of techniques of subjective viewpoint and crosscutting." Nolan's use of practical, in-camera effects, miniatures and models, as well as shooting on celluloid film, has been highly influential in early 21st century cinema. IndieWire wrote in 2019 that the director "kept a viable alternate model of big-budget filmmaking alive" in an era where blockbuster filmmaking has become "a largely computer-generated art form."
Having made some of the most influential and popular films of his time, Nolan's work has been as "intensely embraced, analyzed and debated by ordinary film fans as by critics and film academics". Several of his films have been regarded by critics as among the best of their respective decades, and according to The Wall Street Journal, his "ability to combine box-office success with artistic ambition has given him an extraordinary amount of clout in the industry." Tom Shone deemed Nolan "the most successful filmmaker to come out of the British Isles since Alfred Hitchcock." In 2016, Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception appeared in BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century list. In the following year, five of his (then nine) films featured in Empire magazine's poll of "The 100 Greatest Movies". Nolan has been described as "American cinema's most experimental blockbuster auteur" and a "franchise unto himself."
Geoff Andrew of the British Film Institute and Sight & Sound magazine, called Nolan "a persuasively inventive storyteller", singling him out as one of the few contemporary filmmakers producing highly personal films within the Hollywood mainstream. He also pointed out that his films are as notable for their "considerable technical virtuosity and visual flair" as for their "brilliant narrative ingenuity and their unusually adult interest in complex philosophical questions". David Bordwell observed that Nolan is "considered one of the most accomplished living filmmakers", citing his ability to turn genre movies into both art and event films, as well as his box office numbers, critical acclaim, and popularity among cinemagoers. In 2008, film critic Philip French deemed Nolan "the first major talent to emerge this [21st] century". Film critic Mark Kermode complimented the director for bringing "the discipline and ethics of art-house independent moviemaking" to Hollywood blockbusters, calling him "living proof that you don't have to appeal to the lowest common denominator to be profitable". The Observer described Nolan as a "skilful, stylish storyteller, capable of combining the spectacle of Spielberg with the intellectual intricacy of Nicolas Roeg or Alain Resnais". Mark Cousins applauded the director for embracing big ideas, "Hollywood filmmakers generally shy away from ideas—but not Christopher Nolan". Scott Foundas of Variety declared Nolan "the premier big-canvas storyteller of his generation", while Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times called him "the great proceduralist of 21st century blockbuster filmmaking, a lover of nuts-and-bolts minutiae."
The filmmaker has been praised by many of his contemporaries, and some have cited his work as influencing their own. Rupert Wyatt said in an interview that he thinks of Nolan as a "trailblazer ... he is to be hugely admired as a master filmmaker, but also someone who has given others behind him a stick to beat back the naysayers who never thought a modern mass audience would be willing to embrace story and character as much as spectacle". Kenneth Branagh called Nolan's approach to large-scale filmmaking "unique in modern cinema", adding "regardless of how popular his movies become, he remains an artist and an auteur. I think for that reason he has become a heroic figure for both the audience and the people working behind the camera." Michael Mann complimented Nolan for his "singular vision" and called him "a complete auteur". Nicolas Roeg said of Nolan, "[His] films have a magic to them ... People talk about 'commercial art' and the term is usually self-negating; Nolan works in the commercial arena and yet there's something very poetic about his work." Martin Scorsese identified Nolan as a filmmaker creating "beautifully made films on a big scale", and Luca Guadagnino called him "one of the ultimate auteurs."
Damien Chazelle said of Nolan, "This is a filmmaker who has managed, time and again, to make the most seemingly impersonal projects—superhero epics, deep-space mind-benders—feel deeply personal". Olivier Assayas said he admired Nolan for "making movies that are really unlike anything else. The way I see it, he has a really authentic voice." Discussing the difference between art films and big studio blockbusters, Steven Spielberg referred to Nolan's Dark Knight series as an example of both; he has described Memento and Inception as "masterworks". Denis Villeneuve said of Nolan, "[He] is a very impressive filmmaker, because he is able to keep his identity and create his own universe in that large scope ... To bring intellectual concepts and to bring them in that scope to the screen right now—it's very rare. Every movie that he comes out with, I have more admiration for his work." James Cameron expressed disappointment that Nolan was not Academy Award-nominated as Best Director for Inception, calling it "the most astounding piece of film creation and direction of the year, hands down".
|2006||The Prestige||Buena Vista Pictures / Warner Bros.|
|2008||The Dark Knight||Warner Bros.|
|2012||The Dark Knight Rises|
|2014||Interstellar||Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros.|
Awards and honours
As of 2021, Nolan has been nominated for five Academy Awards, five British Academy Film Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. His films have received a total of 36 Oscar nominations and 11 wins. Nolan was named an Honorary Fellow of UCL in 2006, and conferred an honorary doctorate in literature (DLit) in 2017. In 2012, he became the youngest director to receive a hand-and-footprint ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Nolan appeared in Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2015.
|Year||Title||Academy Awards||BAFTA Awards||Golden Globe Awards|
|2008||The Dark Knight||8||2||9||1||1||1|
|2012||The Dark Knight Rises||1|
- Nolan has continued his collaboration with the Belic brothers, receiving a credit for his editorial assistance on their Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues (1999). Nolan also worked alongside Roko Belic on documenting a safari across four African countries, organised by the late photojournalist Dan Eldon in the early 1990s.
- "Superior Court of The State of California for the County of Los Angeles" (PDF). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
- "Christopher Nolan". British Film Institute (BFI). Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- "Christopher Nolan, Christianity, the Bible, Faith and Cinema". By Faith, ByFaith Media: Christian Inspiration, Encouragement & Adventure. ByFaith Books, ByFaith TV, ByFaith Documentaries & Missions. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
- Mooney, p. 3.
- Shone, Tom (4 November 2014). "Christopher Nolan: the man who rebooted the blockbuster". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Feinberg, Scott (3 January 2015). "Christopher Nolan on 'Interstellar' Critics, Making Original Films and Shunning Cell Phones and Email (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan injects his sci-fi with soul". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Boucher, Geoff (11 April 2010). "Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' — Hollywood's first existential heist film". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Christopher Nolan's Inception tops British box office". BBC. 22 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "Nolan sentenced for escape attempt". Chicago Tribune. 7 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- Lawrence, Will (19 July 2012). "Christopher Nolan interview for Inception". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 17 November 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Mooney, p. 4.
- "On Christopher Nolan's birthday, how many of his 15 favourite films have you seen?". Hindustan Times. 31 July 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Timberg, Scott (15 March 2001). "Indie Angst". New Times Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Nolan's move from Highgate to Hollywood" Archived 26 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Evening Standard (London); retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Christopher Nolan's final frontier". Andrew Purcell. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- Covert, Colin. "Christopher Nolan explains his 'cinematic brain' at Walker Art Center". StarTribune. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Shone, p. 26.
- "Genghis Blues". Musicdoc.se. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- O'Sullivan, Graydon (2013), p. 67.
- "Remembering My Brother Dan Eldon: A Journalist Who Died To Tell the Story". Huffingtonpost. 7 December 2013. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- Mooney, p. 5.
- Shone, p. 48.
- "Nolan's Mind Games". Film London. 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Mooney, p. 6.
- Tempest, M. "I was there at the 'Inception' of Christopher Nolan's film career" Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 24 February 2011; retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Wally Pfister ASC on Christopher Nolan's Inception". thecinematographer.info. 2010. Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Fearville (1997)". BFI. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan: The Movies. The Memories". Empire. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "UCLU Film Society, London". UCL. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Hooton, Christopher (10 April 2017). "Christopher Nolan's student short film Doodlebug shows the Dunkirk director's humble beginnings". The Independent. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
- "Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Brian Barnes discusses 'The Redeeming'". Nerdly. 27 December 2017. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- Pulver, Andrew (15 June 2005). "He's not a god – he's human". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "The Man behind the Mask". UCL. 8 December 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Duncker, Johannes (6 June 2002). "The Making of Following". christophernolan.net. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Interview with Christopher Nolan" Archived 5 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Metro; retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Ressner, Jeffrey (Spring 2012). "The Traditionalist". DGA Quarterly. Archived from the original on 25 November 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Tobias, S. Interview: Christopher Nolan Archived 18 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, avclub.com, 5 June 2002; retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "Tiger Awards Competition: previous winners". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Awards for Following" Archived 27 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine. IMDb; retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Maslin, Janet. "Hero With No Memory Turns 'Memento' Into Unforgettable Trip". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- "Criterion – Following". Criterion. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Mottram, p. 176.
- Mottram, p. 177.
- Mottram, p. 62–64.
- Morgenstern, Joe. "Hero With No Memory Turns 'Memento' Into Unforgettable Trip". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Conard (2007) p.35.
- "Memento". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Christopher Nolan awards". The New York Times. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- Session Timeout – Academy Awards® Database Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine (29 January 2010); retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade". Metacritic. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "'Titanic,' 'The Goonies,' 'Field of Dreams,' 'Memento' Added to National Film Registry". Variety. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- "'Memento' recognition landed Christopher Nolan in the director's chair for big-budget 'Insomnia'". 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- deWaard, Tait (2013), p. 49.
- "Insomnia". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 2 August 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Insomnia". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Ebert, Roger (24 May 2002). "Insomnia review". Rogerebert.com. Archived from the original on 13 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Schickel, Richard (19 May 2002). "Sleepless in Alaska". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "Christopher Nolan Talks Howard Hughes Project, 'Interstellar' & More In Interviews, Plus Featurettes, New Pics & More". Indiewire. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film at Some Point". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Jagernauth, Kevin. "Trivia: When Christopher Nolan First Came To Warner Bros., He Was Offered 'Troy' To Direct". The Playlist. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Gemma Arterton to star in Christopher Nolan-penned thriller 'The Keys to the Street', Meeting with Ridley Scott for 'Alien' prequels' Archived 25 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Playlist, 9 June 2011.
- Child, Ben (12 February 2009). "Nolan signs to take Inception from script to screen". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- "Nolan Drops The Prisoner". Contact Music. 13 August 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- Greenberg, James (8 May 2005). "Rescuing Batman". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
- "Christopher Nolan looks back over the Dark Knight trilogy in this extended interview". Filmcomment. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Insomnia". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "The Complicated Legacy of Batman Begins". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Shawn Adler (14 August 2008). "He-Man' Movie Will Go Realistic: 'We're Not Talking About Putting Nipples On The Trapjaw Suit". Archived from the original on 2 September 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Christopher Nolan Season at BFI Southbank in July 2012" (PDF). British Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Review: Batman Begins". New York Post. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Batman Begins (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- "Batman Begins". IMDb. Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
- "Exclusive: Christopher Nolan Talks 'Batman Begins' 10th Anniversary". Forbes. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Interview about The Prestige". Christopher-priest.co.uk. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Jeff Goldsmith (28 October 2006). "The Prestige Q&A: Interview with Jonathan Nolan". Creative Screenwriting Magazine Podcast (Podcast). Creative Screenwriting. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
- "Nolan wants 'Prestige'". Variety. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "The Prestige (2006)" Archived 25 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo; retrieved 10 April 2011.
- Murray, Noel. (3 December 2009) The best films of the '00s|Best of the Decade Archived 27 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. The A.V. Club; retrieved 26 January 2011.
- "The Prestige". Roger Ebert. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "They've got something up their sleeves". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
- "The Prestige". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "The Prestige". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- Garth Franklin (31 July 2006). "It's Official: "Batman 2" Gets A Title". DarkHorizons. Archived from the original on 25 January 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2007.
- "The Dark Knight: The Original Feature". Empire. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "The 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000–2009)". Paste. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Review of the Decade – Year-By-Year: Empire's Films Of The Decade". Empire. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Manohla Dargis (18 July 2008). "The Dark Knight-Showdown in Gotham Town". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Roger Ebert (16 July 2008). "The Dark Knight". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Brooks Barnes (28 July 2008). "Dark Knight Wins Again at Box Office". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "The Dark Knight (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "The Oscars 2009" Archived 21 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. BBC News.
- Mcnary, Dave (14 December 2020). "'Dark Knight,' 'Shrek,' 'Grease,' 'Blues Brothers' Added to National Film Registry". Variety. Archived from the original on 14 December 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
- Fleming, Michael (11 February 2009). "Nolan tackles 'Inception' for WB". Variety. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
- "Warner Bros. Keeping INCEPTION in Oscar-voters' Minds with "New" Behind-the-Scenes Featurette". Collider.com. 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Roeper, Richard. "Inception Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
- Kermode, Mark (24 December 2010). Kermode Uncut: My Top Five Films of the Year. BBC. Event occurs at 5:05. Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Schuker, Lauren (16 July 2010). "Studios Root for 'Inception'". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- "Inception (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "2011 Academy Awards Nominations and Winners". Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- Bettinger, Brendan (10 March 2010). "Christopher Nolan Speaks! Updates on Dark Knight Sequel and Superman Man of Steel". Collider.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- Boucher, Geoff (27 October 2010). "Christopher Nolan reveals title of third Batman film and that 'it won't be the Riddler'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
- ""The Dark Knight Rises": Christopher Nolan's evil masterpiece". Salon. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- NME.com. "'The Dark Knight Rises' receives overwhelmingly positive early reviews". NME.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- Lemire, Christy (16 July 2012). "Batman Review: Is 'The Dark Knight Rises' An Epic Letdown?". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- McClintock, Pamela (2 September 2012). "Box Office Milestone: 'Dark Knight Rises' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Brown, Jennifer. "12 shot dead, 58 wounded in Aurora movie theater during Batman premier". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Christopher Nolan on Theater Shooting: 'I Would Like to Express Our Profound Sorrow'". Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Christopher Nolan on Batman and Superman". Superhero Hype!. 4 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- Itzkoff, Dave (22 May 2013). "Alien, Yet Familiar". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Man of Steel Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "Christopher Nolan talks producing Man of Steel – Access Hollywood". Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar': 'Dark Knight Rises' Director Lines Up Next Project". Huffington Post. 9 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (10 January 2013). "Christopher Nolan's Merging An Original Idea With Jonah Nolan's Old Screenplay For 'Interstellar'". The Playlist. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' To Be Paramount–Warner Bros Co-Production And Joint Distribution". 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Interstellar Reviews". metacritic.com. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Interstellar (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- "Off to the Stars, With Grief, Dread and Regret". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Space station film school: How astronauts shot this glorious IMAX movie". CNET. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- James, Oliver; Tunzelmann, Eugénie von; Franklin, Paul; Thorne, Kip S. (February 2015). "Gravitational lensing by spinning black holes in astrophysics, and in the movie Interstellar". Classical and Quantum Gravity. 32 (6): 065001. arXiv:1502.03808. Bibcode:2015CQGra..32f5001J. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/32/6/065001. ISSN 0264-9381. S2CID 3415942.
- "Interstellar 'should be shown in school lessons'". BBC. 23 June 2015. Archived from the original on 24 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
- James, Oliver; von Tunzelmann, Eugénie; Franklin, Paul; Thorne, Kip S. (2015). "Visualizing Interstellar's Wormhole". American Journal of Physics. 83 (6): 486–499. arXiv:1502.03809. Bibcode:2015AmJPh..83..486J. doi:10.1119/1.4916949. S2CID 37645924.
- "Oscars 2015: See the Full List of Nominees". Time. 15 January 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- Kit, Borys (13 June 2012). "Christopher Nolan to Exec Produce Wally Pfister's Directorial Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- McNary, Dave (19 February 2015). "Christopher Nolan's Syncopy Teaming With Zeitgeist on Blu-ray Releases (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Sharf, Zack (20 August 2015). "Why 'The Quay Brothers in 35mm' is One of Christopher Nolan's Greatest Accomplishments". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
- Labrecque, Jeff (27 July 2015). "Christopher Nolan's next movie is a documentary short". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Foundas, Scott (11 March 2015). "Christopher Nolan Rallies the Troops to Save Celluloid Film". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Tarantino and Nolan share a Kodak moment as studios fund film processing". The Guardian. 31 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Reframing The Future Of Film". 14 March 2018. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (22 April 2015). "Christopher Nolan Joins Film Foundation Board". Deadline. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "DGA Congratulates Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan on Appointments to National Film Preservation Board". The Directors Guild of America. 7 May 2015. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Rahman, Abid (13 October 2014). "Charles Roven: Ben Affleck "Was the First Guy We Went to" for Batman Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- Nemiroff, Perri (10 November 2014). "Christopher Nolan Discusses Ben Affleck's Casting in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice". Collider. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Golhen, Gaël (28 February 2017). "Christopher Nolan et ses collaborateurs révèlent 7 infos sur Dunkerque". Première. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Nolan, Christopher (8 July 2017). "Spitfires, flotillas of boats, rough seas and 1,000 extras: Christopher Nolan on the making of Dunkirk, his most challenging film to date". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
- Lang, Brent (8 November 2017). "Christopher Nolan Gets Candid on the State of Movies, Rise of TV and Spielberg's Influence". Variety. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- McNary, Dave (11 March 2016). "Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead to Star in Christopher Nolan WW2 Action-Thriller 'Dunkirk'". Variety. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- McMillan, Graeme (17 July 2017). "'Dunkirk': What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- "Dunkirk Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 22 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Keegan, Rebecca (24 July 2017). "How Dunkirk, Summer's Boldest Box-Office Gamble, Paid Off". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 27 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Dunkirk Becomes Highest Grossing WWII Film at Global Box Office". Screen Rant. 15 September 2017. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- "Not a victory, but a triumph in 'Dunkirk'". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Oscar Nominations 2018: The Complete List – 90th Academy Awards". ABC. 23 January 2018. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Turan, Kenneth (3 May 2018). "Christopher Nolan restores Kubrick sci-fi masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey' the old-fashioned way". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- Mandell, Andrea (13 May 2018). "Christopher Nolan inspires crazed Cannes crowd, talks 'Batman' trilogy". USA Today. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "The Doll's Breath". illuminationsmedia. 11 September 2019. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- Hill-Parks, Erin Elizabeth. "Discourses of Cinematic Culture and the Hollywood Director: The Development of Christopher Nolan's Auteur Persona" (PDF). Newcastle University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- Cain, Rob. "Even With Star Director Nolan, 'Dunkirk' Was A High-Risk Gamble For Warner Bros". Forbes. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "10 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Christopher Nolan". The Cinemaholic. 26 July 2019. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- Shone, Tom (23 August 2020). "Film review: Tenet". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- Maytum, Matt (June 2020). "Time to Spy". Total Film. No. 299. pp. 30–35.
- Pamela, McClintock (6 September 2020). "Box Office: 'Tenet' Debuts to $20M as U.S. Theaters Reopen, Nears $150M Globally". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
- "Tenet (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 3 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
- Rubin, Rebecca (3 November 2020). "Christopher Nolan Defends 'Tenet' Box Office Results". Variety. Archived from the original on 22 November 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
- "Tenet Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
- Sharf, Zack (21 August 2020). "'Tenet' Divides Critics: Nolan's Latest Called a 'Monumental Spectacle' and 'Head-Scratching' Dud". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 9 January 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
- Bradshaw, Peter (25 August 2020). "Tenet review – supremely ambitious race against time makes for superb cinema". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
- Felperin, Leslie (21 August 2020). "'Tenet': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- Hipes, Patrick (15 March 2021). "Oscar Nominations: The Complete List". Insider. Archived from the original on 15 March 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- Giardina, Carolyn (10 November 2020). "Christopher Nolan, Rob Legato Join SMPTE Engineers Advisory Board". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
- "The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan". Penguin Random House LLC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan". Library Journal. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Guerrasio, Jason (10 March 2021). "Deborah Snyder says Christopher Nolan supported her husband Zack in his quest to make the 'Snyder cut'". Insider. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (9 September 2021). "Christopher Nolan Bombshell: Director Talking To Multiple Studios On Film He'll Direct About J. Robert Oppenheimer & Development Of The A-Bomb In WWII". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 5 November 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (14 September 2021). "Christopher Nolan Chooses Universal Pictures For His Film About J. Robert Oppenheimer & The A-Bomb". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 10 November 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
- "Inside the Studios' (And Apple's) Frenzy to Get Christopher Nolan's Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 September 2021. Archived from the original on 15 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- Kroll, Justin (8 October 2021). "Cillian Murphy Confirmed to Star As J. Robert Oppenheimer In Christopher Nolan's Next Film At Universal, Film Will Bow in July 2023". Deadline. Archived from the original on 19 November 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
- "The Z To A Of Christopher Nolan". Empire. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Christopher Nolan biography". Entertainment Scene 360. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Christopher Nolan profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Lewis-Kraus, Gideon (30 October 2014). "The Exacting, Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Stern, Marlow (10 November 2014). "Christopher Nolan Uncut: On 'Interstellar,' Ben Affleck's Batman, and the Future of Mankind". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
- "Watch Christopher Nolan and Kip Thorne Discuss the Physics of Interstellar". Time. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
- Donor Lookup Results Archived 6 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Open Secrets.
- "About Us". mptf.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
- Riley, Jenelle (19 July 2012). "'Dark Knight Rises' Director Christopher Nolan's Shocking Admission: No Cell Phone, Email Address". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- "Christopher Nolan Embraces Film Tech But Doesn't Own a Cell Phone". Backstage. 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Smith, Nigel (12 December 2020). "Christopher Nolan on His Viewing Habits, the 'Hard Job' of Making Films and Why He Doesn't Email". People. Archived from the original on 9 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
- "Time, Memory & Identity: The Films of Christopher Nolan". Grin – Master's Thesis written by Stuart Joy. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Parks, Erin Hill (June 2011). "Identity Construction and Ambiguity in Christopher Nolan's Films". Widescreenjournal. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- The Fictional Christopher Nolan. University of Texas Press. 2 October 2012. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- D'Angelo, Mike. "The rational wonders of Christopher Nolan". The Dissolve. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Child, Ben. "Interstellar's sound 'right for an experimental film', says Nolan". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Beyl, Cameron (23 October 2017). "Christopher Nolan: The Ultimate Guide to His Films and Directing Techniques". Indie Film Hustle. Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
- Gompertz, Will (21 August 2020). "Tenet: Will Gompertz reviews Christopher Nolan's epic". BBC. Archived from the original on 27 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
- Bordwell, David (28 January 2019). "Nolan book 2.0: Cerebral blockbusters meet blunt-force cinephilia". Observations on film art. Archived from the original on 9 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "Influencers: Christopher Nolan's Team Is the Big-Budget, Practical-Filmmaking Alternative". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 3 December 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
- Itzkoff, Dave (30 June 2010). "A Man and His Dream: Christopher Nolan and Inception". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- "The Creatives That Defined the 2010s". Complex. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Meyer, Joshua (28 July 2017). "Why Christopher Nolan Was the Quintessential Filmmaker of the 2000s". Slashfilm. Archived from the original on 11 March 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
- "Quentin Tarantino is most-studied director in the UK". Digital Spy. 6 November 2013. Archived from the original on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- "An Evening with Christopher Nolan". The Film Society of Lincoln Center – descriptions courtesy of The Criterion Collection and Film Society of Lincoln Center. 27 November 2012. Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade". Metacritic.com. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Best Movies of the Decade (2010-19)". Metacritic.com. 18 December 2019. Archived from the original on 1 January 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- Phipps, Keith; Robinson, Tasha; Rabin, Nathan; Tobias, Scott; Murray, Noel (3 December 2009). "The best films of the '00s". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 29 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- Fritz, Ben. "Why Hollywood Loves 'Interstellar' Director Christopher Nolan". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan". Kirkus Reviews. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- "The 21st Century's 100 greatest films". BBC. 23 August 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "The 100 Greatest Movies". Empireonline.com. 23 June 2017. Archived from the original on 29 November 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
- "With 'Dunkirk,' Christopher Nolan Proves He's Blockbuster Cinema's Most Daring Auteur". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- "The Hollywood Reporter 100: The Most Powerful People in Entertainment 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 September 2018. Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Christopher Nolan". British Film Institute. 2012. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- "Widescreen: Hollywood's big ideas". Prospect. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "DUNKIRK Part 2: The art film as event movie". Observations on film art. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- "The top 50". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
- "Newsmaker: Christopher Nolan is a different kind of storyteller". The National. 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Gilbey, Ryan (23 July 2017). "Christopher Nolan: from superheroes to Dunkirk's small tales of heroism". TheGuardian.com. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- "Widescreen: Hollywood's big ideas". Prospect Magazine. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Film Review: 'Interstellar'". Variety. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Ten years after it changed Hollywood, 'The Dark Knight' is back in theaters. Accept no substitutes". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Erbland, Kate (2 June 2017). "Duncan Jones on How He Models His Career After Christopher Nolan – Q&A". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- "Sam Mendes Says He Was "Not at All" Interested in Bond at First, Took Direct Inspiration From Nolan's 'Dark Knight' Films". The Playlist. 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "The Dark Knight Effect – How Hollywood fell for – and learned from – the greatest superhero sequel ever made". Empire. 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Harding, Oscar (15 February 2013). "Exclusive Interview: Rupert Wyatt On Birdsong & Why He Quit Planet Of The Apes". Whatculture!. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Kenneth Branagh on Dunkirk and The Nolan Experience". Roadshow. 29 June 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- Shone, Tom (4 November 2014). "Christopher Nolan: The Director's Cut". These Violent Delights, Tom Shone. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
- "Martin Scorsese: There's always the budget, but I am more concerned about the creative freedom". Filmtalk. 26 October 2015. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- Kaleem Aftab (21 March 2018). "Luca Guadagnino: "I Try To Surrender To My Evidences"". The Talks. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "Damien Chazelle on Dunkirk". Variety. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "Olivier Assayas: Kristen Stewart's approach to acting is very honest, very human and very pure". Film Talk. 13 October 2016. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "In conversation with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider on The Front Row". YouTube. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Interview: Steven Spielberg talks movies 'Tintin,' 'War Horse'". AzCentral. 19 December 2011. Archived from the original on 16 March 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Denis Villenueve Aspires to Be Like Christopher Nolan, and Why He Wants to Make 'Dune'". Indiewire. 22 December 2017. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan turns 49: Here is what Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and other directors say about him". The Indian Express. 30 July 2019. Archived from the original on 23 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
- "Honorary Fellows of UCL". UCL. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- "Back to where it all began: Christopher Nolan awarded honorary doctorate at UCL". UCL. 2017. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
- "Christopher Nolan Hand and Footprint Ceremony, EW Magazine". Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Christopher Nolan" Archived 17 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Time, 16 April 2015; retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "No. 62507". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2018. p. N24.
- Mottram, James (2002). The Making of Memento. New York: Faber. ISBN 0-571-21488-6.
- Conard, Mark (2007). The Philosophy of Neo-Noir. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-7230-9. Archived from the original on 18 May 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- Kellner, Douglas M (2009). Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era (1st ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405198240. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- Fischer, Mark (2011). "The Lost Unconscious: Delusions and Dreams in Inception". Film Quarterly. University of California Press. 64 (3): 37–45. doi:10.1525/FQ.2011.64.3.37.
- Duncan Jesser, Jody; Pourroy, Janine (2012). The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy. Abrams. ISBN 978-1-4197-0369-0.
- McGowan, Todd (2012). The Fictional Christopher Nolan. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-73782-2.
- deWaard, Andrew; Tait, R. Colin (2013). The Cinema of Steven Soderbergh: Indie Sex, Corporate Lies, and Digital Videotape. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-16551-8.
- Rabiger, Michael; Hurbis-Cherrier, Mick (2013). Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-135-09921-3.
- O'Sullivan, Natalia; Graydon, Nicola (2013). The Ancestral Continuum: Unlock the Secrets of Who You Really Are. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-451-67454-5.
- Furby, Jacqueline; Joy, Stuart (2015). The Cinema of Christopher Nolan: Imagining the Impossible. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-85076-6.
- Eberl, Jason T.; Dunn, George A. (2017). The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-498-51352-4.
- Abad, José (2018). Christopher Nolan. Madrid: Cátedra. ISBN 978-84-376-3772-3.
- Mooney, Darren (2018). Christopher Nolan: A Critical Study of the Films. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-14-766-7480-3.
- Gouda, Soman (2018). Yogi in Suits:Christopher Nolan and Vedanta. SomeKranthi. ISBN 978-1-9806-1543-9.
- Cameron, James (2018). James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-16-838-3590-5.
- Joy, Stuart (2020). The Traumatic Screen: The Films of Christopher Nolan. Intellect Ltd. ISBN 978-17-893-8219-8.
- Shone, Tom (2020). The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan. Knopf. ISBN 978-05-256-5532-9.
- Belluomini, Lance (2020). "Tenet as Philosophy: Fatalism Isn't an Excuse to Do Nothing". In Johnson, David Kyle (ed.). The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1–21. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-97134-6_99-1. ISBN 978-3-319-97134-6. S2CID 230597057. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.