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Following (1998)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 5

Super brief but efficient, Following represents director Christopher Nolan's burgeoning talent in tight filmmaking and hard-edge noir.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2

Super brief but efficient, Following represents director Christopher Nolan's burgeoning talent in tight filmmaking and hard-edge noir.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 20,742

My Rating

Movie Info

Christopher Nolan made his feature directorial debut with this 16mm black-and-white British suspense drama, shot on weekends with a $6,000 budget. Wannabe writer Bill, aka "The Young Man" (Jeremy Theobald), is "between jobs," living in impoverished circumstances with no prospects, plots, or outlines. Desperate for ideas, he begins following people in the street to "gather material," more accurately described as a venture into voyeurism. When Cobb (Alex Haw) realizes he's being followed, he

Dec 11, 2001


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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (5) | DVD (16)

Entertaining, but material doesn't develop the full, edgy potential that similar paranoid-triangle efforts realized.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Audiences will walk out of the theater shocked to find that only 70 minutes have gone by.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Besides the similarities in playing with time and structure, Nolan is already zeroed in on his favorite cinematic theme: obsession.

December 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

a harbinger of things to come, an exercise in the kind of temporal gymnastics, sleight-of-hand shifts in perspective, and rigorous insights into the dark depths of human nature that have defined Nolan's later films

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

This clammy, noirish thriller time-hops with a vengeance.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Before Memento, his breakthrough picture, Christopher Nolan made an impressive debut with the modest, short, but captivating film noir, Following.

July 4, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Following est un exercice de style et d'ingéniosité qui nous rappelle [Memento] tout en ayant un cachet bien particulier.

October 7, 2004

Unlike some other flicks that have had this sort of labyrinthine structure, Nolan's made sure that everything works...

August 1, 2003
Reel Film Reviews

This edgy little bit of nastiness is a good reason to start getting excited about British movies all over again.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Low-budget debut from Memento's director subtly transposes you to a sinful urban nightmare.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

A challenging and intriguing piece of work.

October 8, 2002 Full Review Source:

Mesmerizing neo-noir drama.

September 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Uses a fragmented storyline, but it doesn't really serve to advance the plot or increase the suspense. In this case, it seems to be just a directorial trick

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

The film leaves a good impression on the viewer as one that is ably directed, written, acted, and photographed.

February 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A stylish and interesting film.

December 15, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

...offers more pleasure as a jigsaw puzzle than it does as a movie.

September 18, 2001 Full Review Source:

It's brilliantly scripted and carefully planned. Yet it feels loose and improvised.

August 21, 2001 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Christopher Nolan has crafted a spare but gripping black-and-white neo-noir debut feature that features some classic elements of the genre.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Christopher Nolan's 1999 debut feature becomes Memento-on-training-wheels.

June 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Audience Reviews for Following

March 11, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Shot on weekends in 16mm black and white with available, often natural, light and on a budget of $6,000, this is the riveting feature film debut of one Christopher Nolan, who acted as writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and producer.

Presented in non-chronological order, this British neo-noir suspense thriller film is about a young wannabe writer with writer's block who tries to get inspiration from following various people around. It starts off fine enough, but soon leads him down a dark path of crime, deception, and betrayal.

There's some twists here, and the themes are things that have stuck with Nolan ever since, so this is undeniably a key entry in his filmography. It's made cheaply, and is rough around the edges, but I really appreciated the raw and gritty approach. Often overlooked, or perhaps just overshadowed by the similar, more polished Memento, this is an essential work that needs to receive more attention.

It's filled with tension, suspense, and all kinds of twists and turns, and takes great influence from film noir and the French New Wave. In fact, had the violence and profanity been toned down, then this could almost pass as an entry into either of those genres.

Definitely give this a look. It's not perfect, but it definitely delivers the goods where it counts.
July 11, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This, the debut of a great film director and writer, is a fantastic movie. I could not believe it was only 70 minutes. The narrative is amazing. The story seems so simple, but becomes very complex and intriguing as the film develops. Christopher Nolan is so good at keeping our intrest while hiding so much from us. A great film from a great filmmaker.
December 15, 2012
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

While this film kickstarted Christopher Nolan's strategy of creating movies with convoluted plots in order to make them appear more clever, "Following" is nonetheless a brief, well-acted, and suspenseful low-budget thriller.
October 4, 2012
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

    1. Cobb: You can tell a lot about people from their stuff.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
    1. The Young Man: Why would you take their old CD's?
    2. Cobb: Easy to grab a load, easy to sell, totally untraceable. A good staple. The other stuff's a lot more tricky, far more unpredictable.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
    1. The Blonde: Nobody in their right mind would steal from him.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
    1. The Policeman: Why did you do it?
    2. The Young Man: How can I explain? Your eyes pass over the crowd, and if you let them settle on a person, then that person becomes an individual.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
    1. The Young Man: I'd been on my own for quite a while by then and I'd become lonely.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
    1. The Young Man: The following is my explanation, well my account of, well, what happened.
    – Submitted by Kia M (13 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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