Ranking My Favorite Movie Twists From Christopher Nolan


There is no such thing as a Christopher Nolan movie without a twist. It’s his signature staple in every movie. As an audience, we sit in our chairs, waiting in anticipation for a moment that will both shock and dumbfound us. To quote a line from Nolan’s upcoming movie, Tenet, “Don’t try to understand it. Feel it.” Don’t try to understand the twists. Feel it, enjoy it, and then run home to Reddit to look at fan theories that attempt to explain it.

Here are my five favorite movie twists from Christopher Nolan.

5. Interstellar – Cooper Is Murph’s Ghost

After Interstellar, Nolan went back to the drawing board and thought to himself, “How can I create another mind fuck about time? I got it! The movie’s about time… but it’s in space!” What dreams are to Inception is what wormholes are to Interstellar. Frankly, Nolan could have just marketed this movie as “Matthew McConaughey goes to space,” and I was sold. Instead, Interstellar was a fun adventure that made me question the existence of time. In terms of the twist, it was more rewarding than surprising especially since we got a scene with McConaughey and Ellen Burstyn. Love you, Murph.

Warner Bros.

4. Memento – Leonard Is The Killer

I’m assuming people will take issue with this ranking because many believe it’s not only one of Nolan’s best twists but it’s his best movie. For me, the final scene still leaves me confused to this day so it’s not as satisfying since I can’t explain it. Memento‘s twist is still shocking to this day. I just rewatched the clip and I’m still in awe. For those who don’t know, Leonard is actually the real killer in Memento. Leonard accidentally killed his wife with an insulin overdose. He continues to hunt a “killer” because he can’t face the grief of his deadly mistake and devises plans to hun for a killer that doesn’t exist. Although most of us haven’t committed murder, we all make up our own truths in order to ignore reality. It’s a harsh, but scary truth.

3. Batman Begins – Ra’s al Ghoul Is Liam Neeson

When the guy you least expect turns out to be the villain, that’s when you know the twist worked. In Batman Begins, Liam Neeson was first introduced as Henri Ducard, Bruce Wayne’s mentor, and introduction to the League of Shadows. When Bruce saved his life and left him to heal, I knew he would be back in some way. However, when Ducard revealed himself as Ra’s al Ghoul, my jaw hit the ground. Neeson’s bad guy was the perfect appetizer for the iconic villain that would follow in The Dark Knight, the Joker.

2. The Prestige – Christian Bale Has A Twin

I always believe that two Christian Bales are better than one. The Prestige is one of Nolan’s best scripts, but it gets lost in the shuffle because of its location in Nolan’s filmography. The film that comes before The Prestige is Batman Begins and the film that comes after is The Dark Knight, with the latter universally recognized as one of the best superhero movies ever made. In other words, The Prestige gets sandwiched in between the first two chapters in one of the most important trilogies of the 21st century. The though the film gets lost in the shuffle, the twist is top-tier Nolan. Bale revealing himself to be a twin is the shocking twist, but the entire movie is a game of one-upmanship. From Tesla’s machine to the water tank reveal, The Prestige is full of surprising twists every 15 minutes, just the way Nolan likes it.

1.The Dark Knight Rises – Talia Stabs Batman

WHERE’S THE TRIGGER? I’m going to receive a lot of backlash for this pick, but hey, it’s my list and I can do what I want. Out of the five Nolan movies I’ve seen in theaters Nolan, Talia stabbing Batman was by far the loudest reaction from the crowd. Once Talia said, “But he’s not the child of Ra’s al Ghoul,” and punctured Batman’s suit, the sound of gasps filled the theater so much that you could barely he the next couple of lines. It may not be Nolan’s best twist, but it will always hold a special place in my memory.

What is your favorite movie twist from Christopher Nolan? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

The One Problem I Have With Inception


In the 2010 blockbuster, Inception, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, says, “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” I’d like to believe that 2020 is a dream.

We may not be able to plant ideas in our minds for a better year, but we can reminisce about Inception. The Dark Knight may be Christopher Nolan’s best movie, but Inception is his most important movie. After the success of The Dark Knight, Nolan could literally (say ‘literally’ with the voice of a 15-year-old teenager) do anything he wanted. Not only did Nolan write and direct the greatest superhero film ever made, but helped create the most memorable character of the 21st century, Heath Ledger’s Joker. The Dark Knight was so influential that the Academy increased their number of Best Picture nominees from five to ten because the film was noticeably absent in that category.

Nolan had all the juice in the world. He could have completed the trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises as his next move. In 2020, where Marvel, Disney, and well-known IP like Mission Impossible dominate the box office, producing an original blockbuster is not only risky, but it’s a death sentence. Instead, Nolan decided to create a summer blockbuster from an original concept. I’m not an expert, but I think Nolan made the right decision since the film grossed $825 million-plus worldwide and received 8 Academy Award nominations (4 wins) including Best Picture.

Warner Bros. Pictures

In simplest terms, Inception is a mind-fuck. It’s straight out of the Christopher Nolan playbook. The film is a high-concept idea with huge set pieces, visually-stunning action sequences, and a signature twist to keep the audience guessing. Everyone recognizes Nolan’s talent as a filmmaker. However, with many of his films, there are some fans that will go to the ends of the Earth to defend Inception and then there are those who will do whatever it takes to prove that Inception is a terrible movie. For a director that consistently grosses hundreds of millions at the box office, Nolan is extremely polarizing.

Now would be a good time to say that I’m a huge Nolan fan who believes Inception was one of the ten best films of the decade. I don’t need everything in Inception to make sense. I don’t always need the science to match up. I’m ok with suspending reality for two and a half hours to watch Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and the rest of the gang travel through dream levels. Was Leo still stuck inside his dream at the end? The answer is no. Move on, Internet.

Despite my love for Inception, I’ve always had one major problem with the film. It has nothing to do with the logistics of dreams and the moral effects it can have on the world. It also has nothing to do with any technical aspects of the film. My one problem with Inception is the scene with Mal’s death.

For reasons I can’t fully comprehend, this scene makes me laugh every time. This is not the time for a laugh whatsoever. It’s actually pretty tragic. Cobb’s wife, Mal, could not face reality after 50 years in the dream world. Mal thought she was still dreaming so in order to wake up, she decided to commit suicide by jumping out of her hotel room. Mal also framed Cobb for her death with the hopes that Cobb would commit suicide, too. Mal’s death tortures Cobb throughout the entire movie because he’s responsible for her introduction to the dream world. Cobb achieved inception with Mal, which ruined her life. This guilt and failure to move on are why Mal shows up to thwart every one of Cobb’s plans on each level. And yet, I’m the asshole who laughs when Cobb screams, “Mal no!”

In a movie about traveling within dreams and ideas that go against the laws of nature, Mal’s tragic death is the storyline I found to be the most ridiculousness. It’s heartbreaking that Mal died, but I find it hard to believe that Cobb, a criminal mastermind and innovative thinker, could be so easily outsmarted and framed for a death he did not commit. However, the real reason for my laughter is Leo’s reaction. Leo is on my Mount Rushmore of actors I love and adore, but there’s something about a dramatic and over-the-top Leo scream that makes me smile.

This problem is truly a “me problem,” but thankfully, it does not ruin the movie. Inception hive, stand up!

To Tenet Or Not To Tenet: Would You See The Film On July 17?


Will you see it on July 17? The biggest mystery around Tenet has nothing to do with espionage, reverse-time-travel, or inversion. The enigma lies with its release date. COVID-19 has shut down theaters for almost two full months now. Blockbusters such as No Time To Die, Black Widow, and Fast 9 pushed back their release dates to the end of the year and in Fast 9‘s case, 2021. However, the one film that’s stood its ground is Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which is scheduled to open on July 17.

But will it really open on July 17? Nolan has been adamant about keeping the film in theaters and some view Tenet as the movie to reopen the box office. With an estimated budget of $200 million, Tenet will not go directly to VOD. The latest trailer made that clear when the words “Coming To Theaters” flashed across the screen. For Tenet to even open, it will need a domestic release of at least 3.5k theaters.

Let’s say everything goes according to plan and Tenet hits theaters in mid-July. Would you go to the theater to see Tenet? Not only are people contemplating this dilemma, but executives at Warner Bros. are debating that same question. Let’s make the case for and against going to the theater.

John David Washington in Tenet


It’s A Christopher Nolan Movie

Hundreds of directors release movies every year, but how many of those films become cultural phenomenons and box office sensations without famous IP attached like Marvel or Star Wars? Only two names come to mind: Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino. With all due respect to Tarantino, he’s a distant second behind Nolan in terms of box office gross from original ideas. You could argue for James Cameron as well, but he’s only released 1 film since 1997 so it’s hard to judge the Avatar director against Nolan, who’s released 10 features in that same time frame.

Nolan is arguably the only director who can “eventize” his movies. He’s a true blockbuster auteur. A Christopher Nolan film becomes a topic of cultural discussion for weeks on end. Cinephiles seek out Nolan’s films and show up to the theater in masses, which is rare in today’s streaming world. Think about this. Besides Memento, every other Nolan movie released in the 21st century has grossed over $100 million. Take away his Dark Knight trilogy. Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk all grossed over $500 million worldwide. That’s insane considering how hard it is to find success at the box office without involvement from superheroes, Dominic Toretto, or Disney characters.

The Mystique Of A Christopher Nolan Film

Gun to your head, could you successfully explain the basic synopsis of Tenet? Nolan’s latest film covers espionage and reverse-time-travel, right? Here’s a synopsis from Warner Brothers:

“John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s original sci-fi action spectacle “Tenet.” Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.”

Does that even help? Part of the reason why Nolan’s films are so beloved revolves around the film’s mystique and mystery. To say Nolan keeps plot information, casting updates, and character details close to his chest would be an understatement. It’s easier to explain the ending of Inception than it is to learn about Nolan’s characters and plot pre-release. This secrecy gives his films a “must-see” aspect in order to discover the unknown and avoid spoilers on the Internet.



Thank you, Captain Obvious. However, it can’t be understated that the world is in the middle of a global pandemic. There are still hundreds of safety concerns that frankly, won’t be answered between now and July 17. These are all questions that need to be asked as states gradually open their movie theaters. People want things to get back to normal, and slowly but surely, they will. However, the threat of contracting a virus should be at the bottom, not the top, viewers’ minds going into a theater. In 2020, it’s quite the opposite.

Theaters Are (Kind Of) Closed

It’s a scary time to own a movie theater. The rules and regulations inside movie theaters are about to change. Will theater attendees need to wear a mask? How many viewers will be allowed in each theater? Will the theaters be cleaned regularly? According to NBC, expect to wear a mask. Theaters will most likely open at 50% capacity to begin. How will ticketing and concessions be handled? Will online purchases be the only ticketing option? There seem to be more questions than answers. By the fall, theaters should have a solid plan in place, but in an unpredictable world, can they be fully ready to go by July 17?

Final Answer

Weighing all of the concerns, I would go to the theater to see Tenet. Nolan is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. I see his movies on the opening weekend. I’m willing to take the risk and will carefully follow every rule imposed by the theater. However, fans are not going to have to make a decision anytime soon. Due to the concerns from the virus and the fact that many theaters may not be open in July, Tenet will most likely move back towards the latter half of 2020 or the summer of 2021. If theaters in Los Angeles or New York City, which have 30 of the top 100 grossing theaters in North America, remain closed for the near future, Warner Bros. is not going to release Tenet on July 17. Maybe Nolan can apply what he’s learned about time travel to the current world and make the world normal again.

Will you see Tenet if it open on July 17? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

10 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2020

John David Washington in Tenet

The year in film for 2019 is about to close after the Oscars on February 9. Once that happens, we’re officially onto 2020 (Read that with a Bill Belichick voice). 2020 is going to be an interesting year. There are no Star Wars films and Disney is only releasing one live-action remake (Mulan). Most likely, the box office is going to be down, but that doesn’t mean the quality of films will diminish. Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, and Denis Villeneuve will all release films. Plus, Black Widow and Wonder Woman return to the center of pop culture. Here are the 10 most anticipated movies of 2020.

I tried to mix it up and include a variety of movies from different genres. I could have easily put both Marvel films, the new Fast and Furious (this is my personal favorite), and every awards season contender on the list. However, I tried to include one movie every couple of weeks so movie nerds like myself have something to look forward to every month.

The Invisible Man – February 28

Blumhouse has significantly changed the horror industry with how films are made and released. Low budgets and huge returns are the Blumhouse special. Since 2017, Blumhouse has produced four films that have grossed over $240 million: Split, Get Out, Halloween, and Glass. The next potential hit could be February’s The Invisible Man. Directed by Leigh Whannell (Saw writer), The Invisible Man stars Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, an abused ex who leaves her partner. However, when Cecilia’s ex commits suicide and leaves his fortune to her, Cecilia believes her ex is still alive as an invisible man, wreaking havoc in her life. Do not be surprised if The Invisible Man quickly grosses $100 million.

A Quiet Place Part II – March 20

A Quiet Place was phenomenal. Can A Quiet Place Part II live up to the hype? To be honest, I have no idea what to expect. The sequel revolves around the Abott family, led by Emily Blunt, and their fight for survival in the outside world. John Krasinski wrote and directed the sequel so he’s earned our trust. Don’t forget to pack a Xanax.

No Time To Die – April 10

Goodbye to my favorite Bond, Daniel Craig. Sign me the hell up for Craig’s final James Bond film. There’s no need to hype up a film that doesn’t need my help drumming up interest. I need another long tracking shot from Cary Joji Fukunaga more than I need air.

Wonder Woman 1984 – June 5

It took some time to find its footing, but DC found its first critical and financial hit with Wonder Woman in 2017. The 80s are hot right now so I support the decision to set the Wonder Woman sequel in 1984. 2020 and 2021 are going to make or break the future of the DCEU. In succession, the DCEU will release Bird of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984, The Batman, The Suicide Squad, and Black Adam over the next two years. Your move, Marvel.

Tenet – July 17

Christopher Nolan, espionage, and time travel. Do I need to say anything more? Christopher Nolan movies are the only original movies in Hollywood that can be advertised as events. Prepare to be mind blown.

The French Dispatch – July 24

As I tweeted out earlier, “Cast. Stacked.” The French Dispatch is Wes Anderson’s first live-action film since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not much is known about Anderson’s latest film, but it’s described as a “love letter to journalism.” That cast is enough for me to buy a ticket.

Last Night In Soho – September 25

Edgar Wright’s follow up to Baby Driver will be Last Night In Soho. This is all I have on the film and it’s from Empire: In 1960s London, Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), who may or may not live in the decade, starts an unusual friendship with Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). It’s described as a psychological horror, but look for Wright to add his typical comedic spin like he’s done in the past films like Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver.

Zola – TBD

Do you remember the 2015 Twitter thread about the tale of a stripper and her crazy friend? It is WILD. Turns out, Twitter threads make good movies. Zola, which is based on the thread, premiered to positive reviews at Sundance. I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Whether you read the thread or go in blind, Zola will be insane.

Mank – TBD

David Fincher has not directed a film since 2014’s Gone Girl. During the 6-year absence, he essentially became the godfather of Netflix thanks to his work on House of Cards, Mindhunter, and Love, Death & Robots. Fincher will still be working with Netflix, but this time, it’s for a film called Mank, which centers around Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), and his battles with Orson Welles over the screenplay credit for Citizen Kane. I don’t see a world where Mank is not a huge part of next year’s awards season.

Dune – December 18


This is the big one. This will determine if Denis Villeneuve, who I believe had the best decade for a director in the 2010s, can join Christopher Nolan and create films that become events. The movie is Dune, which revolves around the son (Timothée Chalamet) of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy. It’s based on the 1965 novel of the same name. It’s noteworthy that David Lynch also adapted the novel into a feature film in 1984. I’m most curious about its release date and box office performance. This will be the first time since 2014 where December will not have either a Star Wars or superhero movie on its release schedule. Can Dune fill this void and become a giant blockbuster?

What is your most anticipated movie of 2020? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.