10 Best Christopher Nolan Movie Soundtracks

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Over the past two decades, Christopher Nolan has directed and produced some consistently impressive and often confusing films. Classic Memento to his latest mind-blowing work, Principle, Nolan has become an excellent world builder and achiever.

One of the key aspects of the film is the accompanying music. The composers of his films set the emotion, intensity and impact of the plot to music. His next Oppenheimer will probably have an impressive score too. He has another opportunity to use film music to bolster his impressive slate of films with phenomenal soundtracks.

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ten Sequel (1998) – David Julyan


The Christopher Nolan Sequel

As Christopher Nolan’s first director, Following chronicles a writer named Bill running out of content for his next assignments. Anxious to find tangible stories, Bill begins to follow people on the streets of London to easily find inspiration. As he continues to plagiarize lives, he has a run-in with a thief and his career takes an interesting turn.

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As the composer of Nolan’s first film, Julyan has a close bond with the incredibly respected director. His contribution to Following allowed the film to have an inherent sense of suspense. The constant ethereal piano in the background makes intense scenes all the more unexpected.


9 The Dark Knight (2008) – Hans Zimmer


Joker holding a playing card in Dark Knight.

The second episode of Nolan in the Black Knight The series is one to remember for movie addicts and superhero fans. After establishing what Nolan’s Batman would look like in Batman begins, an iconic and shocking opening scene in The black Knight shows what the Caped Crusader’s new antagonist would look like.

One of Christopher Nolan’s frequent collaborators is Hans Zimmer. Composing the score for more than half of his films, Zimmer is familiar with Nolan’s creative intentions and habits, and his contributions to film soundtracks show it. With “Why So Serious?”, Zimmer proves to be the perfect man to write the score for a gritty, dark, and often frightening film.


8 Remembrance (2001) – David Julyan


Leonard Shelby in remembrance

Maybe Nolan’s Escape Movie Was Memento. There he managed to find his style and create habits and clichés that he will never completely abandon. A twisted plot about memory and murder justifies a specific type of film music, which would capture, in song, the ups and downs of the film’s main character.

Rising to the Challenge is Nolan’s first composer, David Julyan. Making good use of the strings, Julyan provides a satisfying score to accompany a man’s desperate attempts to find out who murdered his wife. While straightforward compared to Nolan’s other films, Julyan proves that a little can go a long way when it comes to film music.


7 Principle (2020) – Ludwig Göransson


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Christopher Nolan’s 2020 Sci-Fi Action Movie Principle pushes the boundaries of what viewers know about time and space. Following the protagonist as he unveils the duality of time in motion, the film has many ups, downs and emotional moments.

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Ludwig Göransson, composer of scores for The Mandalorian and Creed, teamed up with Christopher Nolan to bring a futuristic soundtrack to a deliberately stunning film. With tracks like “Freeport” and “Red Room Blue Room,” Göransson creates an otherworldly atmosphere befitting a time-shattering film.


6 The Prestige (2006) – David Julyan


A staple of Nolan’s writing and directing career is his masterpiece Prestige. This is the thrilling story of two magicians – once friends – who compete in shows after the death of their assistant. David Julyan provides a simple and at times intense score to a plot that twists and turns in massive fashion.

His work may go unnoticed, because Prestige is one of Nolan’s most popular films for its history, but Julyan humbly uses its own resources, not trying to do too much or be too showy in its contribution to a phenomenal film.


5 Batman Begins (2005) – James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer


Batman overlooking Gotham with a swarm of bats in the Batman Begins banner

As Nolan’s first superhero film, the film’s score held up to more pressure than most would believe. co-composed by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, the composers may have felt the pressure that the score says set the tone for Batman’s next seven years on screen.

With their score for Batman begins, Zimmer and Howard give viewers a Gotham Knight-worthy (musical) introduction and insight into the trajectory of Nolan’s now-beloved trilogy.


4 Dunkirk (2017) – Hans Zimmer


Alex standing with the other men on the boat, looking shocked in Dunkirk

Another non-linear contribution to Nolan’s catalog is a World War II film titled Dunkirk. Winning Oscars for Best Sound and Best Editing is impressive, and Hans Zimmer’s collaboration in composing a score suitable for a film of such quality, sonically, is phenomenal.

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Whether in tracks like “Supermarine” or “End Titles (Dunkirk)”, Zimmer adds an intense, upbeat, and sometimes eerie soundtrack to Nolan’s massive war film. “End Titles (Dunkirk)” specifically has a stroke of genius in Zimmer’s use of a ticking watch as part of the music. Not only does it give a sense of urgency, but it offers an unconventional addition to music that is rarely used.




3 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – Hans Zimmer


Bruce flirts with Selina in The Dark Knight Rises

The third and final installment in Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy comes out with a bang – literally. With an emotional and brooding film of (almost) three hours, Batman faces serious difficulties to protect the city of Gotham. Christopher Nolan is tasked with closing an open-ended story, introducing a subtle future for Batman and his companions, and giving the Dark Knight an exit as grand as his on-screen tenure.

One of Zimmer’s most popular tracks of the Black Knight trilogy, “Rise”, is a perfect summary of the film and its score. With thundering drums and soulful strings, Zimmer uses music to figure out who Batman is.


2 Interstellar (2014) – Hans Zimmer


With Christopher Nolan’s imagination and knack for making films that challenge natural things, it was only a matter of time before he explored the realm of space. And when he did, he did it beautifully. Making one of the best original movies of the 2010s, his massive, family-focused black hole flick is etched in history as a work of genius.

Hans Zimmer’s gift to the masterpiece that is Interstellar is most easily seen in the “Cornfield Chase” track. An iconic piano riff is played over ambient strings to bring the film’s pivotal scene to life. Many fans and musicians have reproduced this piece, considering it a staple of film music.


1 Creation (2010) – Hans Zimmer


The team infiltrating someone's mind in Inception.

What Christopher Nolan considered an interim project during the Black Knight trilogy has over time become his most cherished gift to the cinema. Creation may have a confusing plot and cinema’s most contested cliffhanger, but it’s equally emotional and heartbreaking.

Hans Zimmer’s magnum opus “Time” comes at the end of Nolan’s investigation of dreams. Not only is this song Zimmer’s most popular, but it’s also perhaps the most moving. The simple riff played on the strings is finally distilled into gentle piano repetition, bringing the film to an epic and emotional close.

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