Following (1999)




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

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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.
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Jeremy Theobald
as The Young Man
Alex Haw
as Cobb
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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Critic Reviews for Following

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

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

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

June 18, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 25, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

June 25, 2001
Village Voice
Top Critic

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

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