Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 25

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Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

Following is a wickedly clever story of how a young man's obsession with following people leads him into a dark underworld. Bill, the unlikely hero, is a marginalized but intriguing Everyman who follows strangers at random on the street. When Cobb, a man Bill has been following, catches him in the act, Bill is drawn into Cobb's world of breaking into flats and prying into the personal lives of their victims. In Cobb, Bill finds a strange companion, part mentor, part confessor and part evil twin. With an ingenious structure that involves flashforwards and doubling back, the film tests our knowledge and understanding just as the protagonist is being duped into an elaborate triple-cross. This first feature heralds in Christopher Nolan a promising new talent to the indie film scene.

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Jeremy Theobald
as The Young Man
Lucy Russell
as The Blonde
John Nolan
as The Policeman
Dick Bradsell
as The Bald Guy
Gillian El-Kadi
as The Homeowner
Jennifer Angel
as The Waitress
Darren Ormandy
as Accountant
Guy Greenway
as Heavy No. 1
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News & Interviews for Following

Critic Reviews for Following

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (3)

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

    Mar 26, 2009

    Dennis Harvey

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

    Jun 25, 2001 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Following certainly offers evidence to Nolan's now hallmark visual ingenuity - not only with the black-and-white photography but with the quasi-Hitchcockian framing.

    Nov 5, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Following shows the convenience and inconveniences of coexistence... [Full review in Spanish]

    Dec 14, 2017 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • Besides the similarities in playing with time and structure, Nolan is already zeroed in on his favorite cinematic theme: obsession.

    Dec 20, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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

    Dec 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Following


Christopher Nolan's first feature film, shot only on weekend when he and his crew had free time, is definitely an ambitious one to say the least. This very short 70 minute film follows a writer to follows people in order to get ideas, when one day he stumbles across a man who goes even further and breaks into homes to learn about that person. That portion of the film is brilliant, but once romance plays a significant part in the story, the film becomes much less interesting and pretty unnecessary. I really enjoyed watching this movie though. It's script is well-written, it's story well-crafted, and the performances were very solid. "Following" is definitely a showcase for the talent that Christopher Nolan would grow into and for that I admired it even more. It is not a great film and it is very simple, but overall it is really enjoyable.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


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.

Chris Weber
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.

Sanjay Rema
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

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