Here Are Christopher Nolan Movies’ “Most Badass” Characters

Photo of author

By Iron Man

Discover the most badass characters in Christopher Nolan films! From iconic heroes to enigmatic spies, explore their epic journeys and unforgettable moments.

Christopher Nolan is a master filmmaker known for his ability to create complex and compelling characters that resonate with audiences. From mind-bending thrillers to epic superhero sagas, Nolan’s movies have featured a plethora of iconic and badass characters. In this article, we will delve into the ten most remarkable characters in Christopher Nolan’s films, each bringing their unique charm and strength to the big screen.

#10 Will Dormer – ‘Insomnia’ (2002)

Will Dormer, portrayed by the legendary Al Pacino, is a seasoned detective plagued by insomnia. Haunted by the accidental killing of his colleague, Dormer is determined to solve a murder mystery in an Alaskan town. Despite the relentless fatigue and mounting odds against him, he displays unwavering dedication and resilience. Dormer’s unwavering commitment to justice, even in the face of personal demons, makes him a compelling and gritty character.

#9 Leonard Shelby – ‘Memento’ (2000)

Guy Pearce’s Leonard Shelby is a man suffering from anterograde amnesia, making it impossible for him to form new memories. Despite this, Leonard is a capable fighter, proactive and resourceful in his quest to find his wife’s killer. To retain critical information, he leaves cryptic notes and tattoos them on his body, revealing his competence as a killer. Leonard’s journey to uncover the truth behind his wife’s death is filled with twists and turns, making him a captivating and enigmatic character.

#8 Alfred Borden & Bernard Fallon – ‘The Prestige’ (2006)

In Nolan’s lesser-known gem, ‘The Prestige,’ Christian Bale portrays both Alfred Borden and his secret twin, Bernard Fallon. As talented magicians, the duo indulges in an intense rivalry that becomes sinister after one of their escape acts results in the death of Borden’s wife. What sets them apart is the depth of their dedication to their craft. Fallon goes to extraordinary lengths to maintain the illusion of a single person, even going so far as to bear the physical consequences of his brother’s injuries during an act. Their mastery of deception and sacrifice make them fascinating and memorable characters.

#7 Catwoman – ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012)

Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, also known as Selina Kyle, is a multifaceted character. She is an agile and formidable fighter, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and uses her wit and resourcefulness to outmaneuver adversaries. While Catwoman is often portrayed as a villain, in this film, she showcases her moral complexity by helping the good side in their fight against evil. Her ability to adapt, her complex motivations, and her undeniable badassery make her a standout character in Nolan’s superhero universe.

#6 Dom Cobb – ‘Inception’ (2010)

Portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Dom Cobb is a skilled corporate spy specializing in entering people’s dreams to extract information. Armed with knowledge of gunplay and exceptional fighting skills, he navigates through dangerous dreamscapes with ease. The complexity of Cobb’s character lies not only in his espionage expertise but also in the emotional depth he carries, haunted by guilt and longing for reconciliation. His daring journey through multiple layers of dreams to plant an idea in a client’s mind exemplifies his badassery and complexity as a character.

#5 Joseph Cooper – ‘Interstellar’ (2014)

Matthew McConaughey’s Joseph Cooper, a former astronaut and engineer, is chosen to lead a desperate mission through a wormhole to find a new habitable planet for humanity. Cooper’s expertise in space travel and his unyielding bravery set him apart as a legendary character. His emotional struggle to leave his family behind and the resilience he displays in the face of interstellar challenges resonate deeply with audiences. Cooper’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the future of humanity makes him a true hero.

#4 Farrier – ‘Dunkirk’ (2017)

Tom Hardy portrays Farrier, a Royal Air Force pilot, in the harrowing World War II drama ‘Dunkirk.’ Amidst the chaos of war, Farrier exhibits unwavering perseverance and bravery. Despite his aircraft suffering critical damage, he continues to fight against the enemy, ensuring the safety of the soldiers below during the evacuation from Dunkirk. Farrier’s heroic actions and willingness to confront insurmountable odds make him an inspiring and unforgettable character.

#3 Ra’s Al-Ghul – ‘Batman Begins’ (2005)

Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al-Ghul is the enigmatic leader of the League of Assassins and serves as Bruce Wayne’s mentor in ‘Batman Begins.’ A master of martial arts and weapons, Ra’s Al-Ghul is immortal, thanks to the mystical Lazarus Pit, which grants him eternal life. His formidable skills, combined with his complex motivations, make him one of Nolan’s most memorable villains. Ra’s Al-Ghul’s role as a mentor and adversary to Batman adds depth and intrigue to the Dark Knight’s journey.

#2 The Protagonist – ‘Tenet’ (2020)

John David Washington’s The Protagonist is a mysterious time-traveling spy in the mind-bending thriller ‘Tenet.’ Skilled in combat and espionage, The Protagonist embarks on a mission that challenges our understanding of time itself. The complexities of his character are magnified when he confronts a past version of himself, blurring the lines between hero and anti-hero. His courage and determination to navigate the intricacies of time manipulation make him one of Nolan’s most enigmatic and compelling characters.

#1 Batman – ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy (2005-2012)

Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman in Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy remains an iconic benchmark in superhero filmmaking. This version of Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne, stands out for his humanity and vulnerability. Armed with his gadgets and unmatched combat skills, Batman takes on villains like the Joker and Bane without superpowers, relying solely on his wit and resourcefulness. Batman’s unwavering dedication to justice, personal sacrifices, and unparalleled badassery make him the quintessential Christopher Nolan character.