Christopher Nolan's Favorite Films - Movie List

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Got this from IMDB's trivia section on his bio page. I added quotes from Nolan about the movies.

2001: A Space Odyssey
"From a storytelling point of view, from a directing point of view, there is one thing I associate with what [Kubrick] does, which is calm. There is such an inherent calm and inherent trust of the one powerful image, that he makes me embarrassed with my own work, in terms of how many different shots, how many different sound effects, how many different things we’ll throw at an audience to make an impression. But with Kubrick, there is such a great trust of the one correct image to calmly explain something to audience. There can be some slowness to the editing. There’s nothing frenetic about it. It’s very simple. There’s a trust in simple storytelling and simple image making that actually takes massive confidence to try and emulate."

The Black Hole
"Even to a nine-year-old Star Wars fanatic this seemed pretty uneven, but some of the special effects still impress, and it boasts one of the most unexpectedly weird climaxes in cinema history. I actually had to rent it as an adult just to check that I hadn't made up the whole ending." 

Blade Runner

"I have always been a huge fan of Ridley Scott and certainly when I was a kid. Alien, Blade Runner just blew me away because they created these extraordinary worlds that were just completely immersive. I was also an enormous Stanley Kubrick fan for similar reasons."

When Nolan made Batman Begins he reportedly showed Blade Runner to the cast and crew and told them, "This is how we're going to make Batman.". Also note that he included Rutger Hauer in the cast for Batman Begins.


"The beauty of a heist film (or a film noir, like “Chinatown” which is somewhere around 110 minutes of exposition) is in watching the pay-off (read: the fucking heist)."

The Hitcher
"As a teenager I never questioned the logic of this Eighties chiller, but now it seems mind-bendingly arbitrary plot-wise. However, it does feature the criminally underappreciated Rutger Hauer in his finest and most influential Euro-psycho performance this side of Blade Runner." 

Lawrence of Arabia

"Cinema is working at its absolute best is when it's a grand-scale film that really works and does something you haven't seen before. That for me is always the brass ring."

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

"George Lazenby is no one's favorite James Bond, but for me the anonymity at the center of this lavish production only serves to reveal the Bond machine firing on all cylinders: superb editing and photography, incredible score, great setpieces. The most romantic in the series, and it actually has, of all things, a tragic ending."

Star Wars

"Marvellous escapist entertainment on a grand scale."² 

The Man Who Would Be King

"When I look at the films that have really influenced me, most of them are box office failures: Blade Runner, The Man Who Would Be King—a terrific movie—but there's no correlation between my favorite films and box office success." ³ 


"I've no idea what the critical consensus is on this one, but as style-over-substance movies go, this is fabulously entertaining. I love it not just for its often imitated dangling-from-the-ceiling heist sequence but also for Peter Ustinov's incredible comic performance."