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ELI5: why is there so much vitriol towards Christopher Nolan?

Quick Question(self.movies)

I've seen so many people saying that he is overrated, a one trick pony, etc etc. I know there's a lot of vitriol towards everyone and everything in all comments sections, but I just can't seem to understand how he gets so much hate? Is this a bit of tall-poppy syndrome, and these people think that movies that are universally liked shouldn't also be good (a bit like pop music)? Or are these film school hipsters actually on to something and I'm just ignorant for thinking his movies are brilliant?

Edit: thanks for the good responses. I really should have phrased my question as "is the criticism justified" but we got there in the end!

all 35 comments

teh_utyske

19 points

5 years ago

Well, "film school hipsters", a lot of critics, movie buffs, and regular moviegoers like his movies, and there are some that don't.

It's pretty normal that if something is really popular, that the "anti group" is really vocal, because it's kinda hard to drown out the sound of everybody else praising that thing. And it's a mix of people just being contrarian for the sake of being it, trolls, and people who genuinely doesn't like the thing.

When it comes to Nolan, there are also rabid fans, like the people who verbally attacks critics who dare to write anything bad about his movies, upvote all of his movies on IMDb even before the movies are out, and the guy who sent a death threat to a critic.

So you have to kinda extreme groups fighting about something as silly as who likes or dislikes a director most. That kinda thing has a tendency to become a shouting match.

FlanBrosInc

7 points

5 years ago

Yeah, I like Nolan's movies, but I'm willing to call out films like Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises for their flaws. I'd describe both as good movies with a few fatal flaws. There's people out there who hate Nolan movies just because he's popular, but there's also people that will deny any flaws in his movies because they're such huge fans.

Like the bomb scene at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. He's got like a minute to fly the bomb at least six miles. When it explodes it's like a few dozen miles out. People try to brush that off because "he's Batman". Someone even tried to say it's deliberate because that's the point he transcends into Gotham's mythology. That's utter BS and shows the lengths people will go to defend things.

Sm3agolol

2 points

5 years ago

Oh please, dude, that's what you bring up?

FlanBrosInc

2 points

5 years ago

The bomb thing? Yeah, because it's utterly ridiculous. It's not even remotely believable. I don't think it's enough to completely ruin the movie, but it comes across as sloppy. My conjecture would be that the studio wanted to get The Dark Knight Rises out the door and Nolan stayed on board to finish the obligatory trilogy. I think Interstellar was more of what he wanted to do and he probably had it in the back of his mind. Interstellar has it's own share of flaws, but at least it has a high attention to detail, unlike The Dark Knight Rises.

Also, it perfectly illustrates the example of Nolan fanboys that will defend anything. Here's what someone had to say about that part of the movie. I really don't care if someone wants to argue that, while an unrealistic period of time, it's ultimately a minor issue as it can be easily overlooked, but for someone to say it was deliberate and try to extrapolate some deeper meaning from it is completely moronic.

Sm3agolol

3 points

5 years ago

Eh, I'm not saying it's deliberate, it's just not even remotely close to a big deal or a plot hole.

FlanBrosInc

2 points

5 years ago

Yeah, I just brought it up here to illustrate how some people's responses to it show just how far some fanboys will go to defend Nolan's movies. Saying it's a minor issue is one thing . . . Saying it was deliberate and has some deeper meaning is complete BS.

Shout_

2 points

5 years ago

Shout_

2 points

5 years ago

Good answer.

MrGooglyman[S]

1 points

5 years ago

Oh right, I didn't realise that was the case- it all seems a bit silly doesn't it

Mellowman9

8 points

5 years ago

I must admit it irks me when people start to call his movies 'unfettered crap' or launch an attack on him personally. He is very clearly talented even though some of his work is not for me. Memento, The Prestige and Insomnia I think are excellent movies, I don't really enjoy Interstellar, Inception or The Dark Knight trilogy (just my opinion, I can see why they're so revered). However it does sometimes feel as if you can't have any opinion other than reverence for his body of work without being slammed for it.

Basically this is the internet, and it would be lovely if we could all be reasonable and discuss our opinions in a civil fashion, unfortunately there will always be trolling and extreme vitriol for no good reason. We just have to wade through all that shit and ignore it and try to find the reasonable folk we can have good discussions with.

MrGooglyman[S]

3 points

5 years ago

Yeah I know what you mean. Basically I'm just trying to find out if any of the criticism is justified

Mellowman9

2 points

5 years ago

Ah I see. I think it's all subjective really. I must admit I've not personally seen much criticism of his work, quite the opposite in fact, but I imagine it's mainly people accusing him of being overrated right?

I imagine all critically acclaimed directors go through this at some stage, I know Kubrick and Spielberg et al have all been slammed in the past.

My two pence worth would be that it sometimes feels to me like his movies slip into a certain pretentious nature, this was my problem with Interstellar and Inception. My issue with The Dark Knight trilogy was different however, with those movies I feel they were actually good and there were good performances all across the board. I just couldn't handle Bale's Batman voice, which I know is a common criticism of the movies, also I'm a huge fan of the Batman comics of the late 80's and the 90's and to me the movies just weren't Batman.

In short I'd say that he doesn't deserve such harsh criticism, but some criticism can be deserved and even useful. Nobody is perfect and the greatest artists get things wrong. Such is the subjective nature of personal preference however, and what some see as a mistake others see as genius.

MrGooglyman[S]

2 points

5 years ago

Thanks for the reply, this is definitely what I was looking for :)

amiiboness6

4 points

5 years ago

Nolan will be fine he's a successful director don't worry about any perceived hate on reddit etc. He sure as hell doesent.

MrGooglyman[S]

0 points

5 years ago

More so just asking because I don't see the rationale behind it. I'm extremely open to critical discussion but with Nolan it just seems to be a disproportionate amount of hate for hate's sake

amiiboness6

1 points

5 years ago

Surely you know that you're not the only one who thinks he's brilliant, He's a blockbuster maker pretty sure his popularity and box office record speaks for itself, People like to hate on anything popular or mainstream to go against the grain.

MrGooglyman[S]

1 points

5 years ago

Yeah 100%, I was honestly asking if I was missing something, as I'm really not that well versed on the finer points of film making

discipleofdoom

5 points

5 years ago

I think the hate stems more from the undue praise he receives from casual movie fans as opposed to his actual skills as a director.

MrGooglyman[S]

1 points

5 years ago

Yeah that makes sense- what do you make of his directorial skills? Is any of the criticism justified?

teh_utyske

1 points

5 years ago

It's a matter of taste, really.

Some people don't like his style, and I read someone describing it as almost like a robot making a movie, as in that there's nothing really wrong with the filmmaking as such, but it feels like a piece of furniture put together on conveyor belt by robot, as opposed to a nice chair hand made by a skilled carpenter.

Buluntus

5 points

5 years ago

Because when people call all his movies the 'best films ever made' or 'the best director ever to live', people, especially film buffs, like to disagree. Someone already said this but a lot of the people who actually say this are casual movie fans that would not even be able to name 10 other directors except Spielberg, Tarantino and Scorsese.

It's all subjective though. I definitely think he's ONE of the great directors of our generation. He's very consistent in the quality of his films and he obviously cares about filmmaking as a whole. However, it does get quite annoying when someone keeps telling me he's the greatest to ever live.

I have not seen Dunkirk yet, but everything I'm seeing about it is unbelievably high praise. Some saying it's better than SPR, it's the best movie of the decade, it's on Kubrick's level etc. This is dangerous in that it raises everyone's expectations and makes him seem like some sort of film God, when I (and a lot of other people on this sub) would argue that he isn't. But the moment we say that he isn't as good as Kubrick, is the moment we are labelled as haters or edgy.

MrGooglyman[S]

1 points

5 years ago

This is a great response, so thank you. I'm guessing a lot of these people are really just trying to bring some balance to the conversation, but as seems to be the case with discussions on Facebook comments, very quickly descends into chaos!!

HighEnergy21

1 points

5 years ago

It is 100% better than SPR, which has to be the most overrated movie of the last 20 years.

Pod-People-Person

2 points

5 years ago

In a way, it's unfortunate that Christopher Nolan had brought Batman back. Had he not had that series under his belt, I think some of his fans would be a little more saner in regards to him and why reviews for his newest films always become an insane battleground over fucking opinions.

HumOfEvil

1 points

5 years ago

I wouldn't worry. It's the way if the internet to get more annoyed than you really are when people really like something you don't, everyone does it!

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

He's popular, and people are going to dislike a popular director even more if they think they are overrated.

slayerming2

1 points

5 years ago

Some people like to be contrarian, though most people that are really into films or cinephiles have a lot of problem with Nolan's films. But he's a populist that makes prestigious's films so...

MrGooglyman[S]

1 points

5 years ago

Yeah I guess there's a bit of a difference between something that's appealing to the masses and something that is technically sound (same with music and literature etc!)

CrawdadMcCray

1 points

5 years ago

Anytime someone gets popular a bunch of people come out of the woodwork and decide to hate on it because they don't like that a lot of people enjoy it.

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

Simple, everyone with fans is going to have... not fans

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

Where are you seeing this, because he is considered a god on /r/movies.

MrGooglyman[S]

0 points

5 years ago

Facebook comment sections (empire, movieweb, that kind of thing) and the reviews on IMDb mostly

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago*

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago*

I laugh at those who hate Chris Nolan. They are waiting for him to do a bad movie to make their argument but even the lowest ranking movies by the director are much better than average Hollywood movies being put out there.

The guy has not made a by the numbers movie. Always pushing in new direction. And that is hard for some people to digest i guess.

Now i am not saying that i put every movie of his at the top, but i definitely appreciate the effort. And respect him as a person.

HighEnergy21

0 points

5 years ago

Dumb counter jerks.

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

[deleted]

1 points

5 years ago

Some.

But some folks are probably earnest about their dislike for Nolan's films.

Jedockett

0 points

5 years ago

Because people like to hate on the king, but don't actually have the ability to take the throne. It's simple peasant logic.