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Christopher Nolan is one of the most cerebral blockbuster directors in the business, with the philosophical underpinnings of his films as key as their explosions and visual effects.
To that end, his work almost always has that one line in which a character gives the film’s theme in a nutshell. (Or in the case of The Dark Knight, three to five of those lines.) Some might call these lines too “on the nose,” but we just call them “awesome.” With his ninth film Interstellar out now, it’s time to look at the 10 most Nolan-y lines ever.
It should go without saying, but: spoiler alert.
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“I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still there. Do I believe the world’s still there? Is it still out there? Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.” — Leonard Shelby
Watch THR‘s interview with Nolan and the cast of Interstellar below.
See more videos by subscribing to THR’s YouTube Page!
Batman Begins (2005)
“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy, and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood. I can be ignored. I can be destroyed. But as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.” — Bruce Wayne
The Prestige (2006)
“Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge. The magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called the turn. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn’t clap yet, because making something disappear isn’t enough. You have to bring it back. Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled. — Cutter
The Dark Knight (2008)
“You crossed the line first, sir. You hammered them and in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” — Alfred
“Don’t talk like one of them, you’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me. They need you right now. But when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper.” — The Joker
“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.” — Gordon
“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient. Highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed — fully understood —that sticks.” — Cobb
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
“You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!” — Bane
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulder to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.” — Batman
We won’t spoil the film for those who haven’t seen it yet, so here’s a quote from the first teaser trailer, which let people know immediately, “yep, this is pure Nolan.”
“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known.” — Cooper