Nolan, though more critically praised than many directors and more commercially successful than most …has been dismissed by many cineastes as slick and quasi-intellectual.
I think this is because they misunderstand what his films are doing. Nolan’s entertainments, the best ones, anyway, are games. I don’t mean that they resemble puzzles or tricks (though they do that, too), I mean that they are most satisfying when understood as games, not as novelistic narratives. They are contests with rules and phases, gambits and defenses, many losers and the occasional victor, usually a Pyrrhus type.
James Verini on Christopher Nolan’s games: http://nyr.kr/LZ7KyO