As is so often the case in the films of Christopher Nolan, the clock is ticking. On September 3 — and even earlier overseas — his eleventh movie, Tenet, opens in theaters. As the trailers suggested, it is classic Nolan: Advanced technology, boldly photographed action, and a high-concept that plays with the notion of time.

Since his career began more than 20 years ago, Nolan has returned to these same ideas time and again; few directors have as thematically or formally consistent filmographies. That makes his career — 11 features to date including Tenet — particularly rewarding to revisit. All of his movies speak to one another; repeating their visual motifs and reexamining their core beliefs. It’s never a bad time to look at Nolan’s work, but with a new project on the horizon it’s the perfect moment to reacquaint oneself with one of our most reliably adventurous big-budget filmmakers.

My own Nolan rewatch yielded this ranking of his movies — keeping in mind that the “worst” movie on this list is still better than the vast majority of films released by Hollywood in any given year, and the top two or three are among the very best movies of my life. They are...

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