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Is ‘Tenet’ Christopher Nolan’s Best Work?

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Christopher Nolan’s recent release Tenet is again making waves in the industry. It is, after all, the biggest film release in the Coronavirus pandemic and still managed to earn north of $350 million worldwide. But, from a critical standpoint, where does Tenet stand among Christopher Nolan‘s best films? Is it his best work, or do his past films supersede the current one? Let’s take a look.

Where does Tenet rank among Christopher Nolan’s best films?

Is Tenet Christopher Nolan's Best Work?
Warner Bros. ©

Now, we wrote this before in our review that Tenet is indeed one of the most unique films ever made. For that alone, it deserves to be among Nolan’s finest works. However, we hate to break it to you, but it isn’t the best film that Nolan has ever made. The movie still had a few weaknesses, for instance, the dialogue not being audible. And the movie was plagued with weak characters. It’s because of the acting brilliance of Robert Pattinson and John David Washington that those characters seemed interesting. It’s the insanity and uniqueness of the plot that make Tenet so incredible. Therefore, according to our judgment, we have put it at 6th in our list of all of Christopher Nolan’s movies ranked. So, how does the rest of our list goes? See below:

5. Dunkirk

Dunkirk
Warner Bros. ©

Just like Tenet, Dunkirk is also unique among all the films that Nolan has made. It completely changed the way people saw war films and added a whole new layer of realism to it. Everyone knows that Nolan is not a fan of CGI, and in this film, he just goes to show how incredible a movie can be without CGI and with actual action, with just some graphical enhancements. It is indeed one of the best war films ever made, which is why it deserves to be on the list of the best films Nolan ever made.

4. Memento

Memento
Newmarket ©

If you’ve watched Memento, you can easily spot the blueprints of Tenet in this movie with its non-linear storytelling. This movie truly showed the talent that Christopher Nolan possessed as a director and how well he executes scripts that play around with time. Memento has now become a cult-classic, which Tenet is also on its way to become. The difference, however, is that Memento managed to achieve that with an abysmal budget of less than $5 million. And that makes this movie simply incredible.

3. Batman: The Dark Knight

Batman: The Dark Knight
Warner Bros. ©

How can we forget to add arguably the greatest super-hero film ever made to this list? Not only that but with The Dark Knight, Nolan also managed to give comic book fans the greatest antagonist to ever grace the silver screen. With his Batman trilogy, Nolan showed that realistic super-hero films can exist. And it’s a model that Warner Bros. and DC have been trying to mimic ever since, and have mostly failed. Just goes to show how talented Christopher Nolan is at what he does.

2. Inception

Inception
Warner Bros. ©

Just like Tenet, Inception stands as a masterful attempt at making dreams turn into reality, quite literally. Nolan’s reputation as a sci-fi movie director who keeps on churning unique script got five stars with this film. It had arguably the most star-studded cast that Nolan had ever assembled, with incredible action, a very intertwined plot, an incredible end, and some very compelling characters. It’s with these movies Nolan touched perfection. And in the next movie, he pretty much achieved it (according to my opinion, at least).

1. Interstellar

Is Tenet Christopher Nolan's Best Work?
Paramount ©

To this day, Interstellar remains one of the best cinema experiences that I have ever experienced. It had an incredible score, second only to Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, insane cinematography and special effects, amazing script, great writing, emotionally compelling characters, and an amazing end. And for a physics fan like myself and Nolan himself, this movie was nothing less than a nerdg*sm. To see an actual black hole be used as a part of a movie, along with concepts of time dilation being executed so perfectly in front of our eyes was magical to see. You can perhaps say that I am biased, but I give good reason despite my bias.

Interstellar
Paramount ©

One thing that is common in most of Christopher Nolan’s filmography, and continues with Tenet, is that he is one of the few blockbuster directors who still brings unique and standalone scripts into life. Most Hollywood films in this day and age are either adaptation of a novel, comic book, a foreign film, a remake, or a sequel. Now, they’re in no way bad by any means. But, to see a director like Nolan who continues to maintain his unique identity with his standalone script is truly encouraging for the industry. And we hope he continues to do so for a long time and inspires a new breed of directors who follow in his footsteps and bring new creative stories to our cinema screens. That is the only way we will get cult-classics like Tenet.

Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to write your own list of Nolan’s best films.

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