July 21, 2017

Dunkirk: Movie Review

You probably don't have much time to read a three page film review and you probably want the basics. We'll make it quick and easy to save you time. This is the Dunkirk movie review.


Christopher Nolan creates one of the best, most breathtaking, and suspenseful films of the year, if not the decade. Each shot is carefully selected, with no filler, and the decision to shoot with using film makes each scene a sight to behold.

Based on the events throughout May and June of 1940 during World War II, Dunkirk follows a group of young soldiers awaiting evacuation on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, a family aboard a sailing boat en route to rescue the soldiers, and two British fighter pilots protecting the passage from German bombers. 

Courtesy of Warner Bros.
There are too many aspects of Dunkirk to praise. From its nail-biting, nonstop tension, the ferociously choreographed dogfights, and the tolerable presence of Harry Styles, Nolan creates an edge-of-your-seat masterpiece. The Inception director transcends war films by barely making Dunkirk into a war film. There are definitely scenes scattered throughout. The first five minutes of the film and the dogfights interspersed throughout make for compelling war moments, but they are merely semblances to mask audiences from the survival tale taking place on all fronts: land, sea, and air. Royal Air Force pilot Farrier (Tom Hardy) has the weight of hundreds of boats and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians on his shoulders as he defends the English Channel from the enemy. The young Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Alex (Harry Styles) go through impossible odds to survive on land and sea as soldiers awaiting for evacuation on the beaches. Each moment the boys are handed an opportunity to leave they are pushed back onto the haunting beaches. War is merely a backdrop to survival and suspense as Nolan's Hitchcockian homage vision dominates the screen.  

Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Dunkirk was presented on 70mm film in IMAX and was the single most visually pleasing theatrical presentation. It does have its occasional problems in character development, but the overall ingenuity of the story covers up for any messes made along the way. Dunkirk is not a, "I'll watch it when it comes out on DVD/Blu-ray," film. The only way to watch it is on the big screen.

Grade: A
Good Qualities: Great Story, Practical Effects, Suspenseful, Beautiful
Bad Qualities: Minor Character Development 

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