Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to Interstellar is a WWII epic focusing on the week-long evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers off the beach of Dunkirk, France. The movie focuses on the battle from three different perspectives – the land, the sea, and the air. The cast includes Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, and Harry Styles (you know your film is good when you get a good performance out of a pop star). With non-stop intensity, violence, and loud sound effects, Nolan once again proves that he’s arguably one of, if not the best modern filmmaker working in Hollywood today. With his previous films, including The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, Nolan has been able to execute incredible action sequences with minimal CGI. His use of practical effects here is no less breathtaking. The scenes of planes shooting at each other, soldiers swimming away from sinking ships that are being bombed from above, and soldiers fighting for their lives are beautifully shot by Hoyte van Hoytema, who returns from having shot Nolan’s previous film with some more Oscar-worthy work that is majestic and engaging. The 70mm format makes the quality of the picture extraordinary and different. Hans Zimmer once again composes a magnificent score, and I sure hope he never stops composing for Nolan films, or for films in general. His score is thrilling and never stops playing throughout the film. No sound or shot failed to impress me and keep my eyes glued to the screen. As the loud noises of firing, explosions, and screaming encompass your ears and the auditorium, you feel immersed in the terror and fear experienced by the soldiers. The practicality of this movie is one of the most impressive parts of the film, as none of the sequences seemed unrealistic in any way. The movie doesn’t feel too carried by dialogue or character development, as each actor is treated as a bigger part of an ensemble cast. Don’t expect there to be one star of the movie you’ll be cheering for, because everyone in this movie is terrific. Like most movies of his, as I’ve said before, Nolan is the true star of this film. He brings so much realism and tension to each moment in this exciting and potent war epic that may just be one of the best war films since Spielberg’s masterpiece Saving Private Ryan. Most of this movie doesn’t quite feel like an action war film like most war movies, this one is more of a survival story, one that is masterfully put to screen and unbelievably masterful work of film that should not be missed.
Whenever Nolan settles on a topic to make a film out of, you know he’ll give it his all, because here you can feel all the passion Nolan had in this topic and how specifically he wanted everything edited and put together. The expensive $150 million budget is well worth it in this ambitious and nearly flawless summer blockbuster that is still able to feel like an Oscar contender type of film. This intense non-stop ride never has a dull moment and will always keep your heart pounding and push you to the very edge of your seat. One minor problem is that the film is about to end on a beautiful final shot but then briefly cuts to another shot and then ends there, but this may not bother me in future watches of this movie. I don’t see any of the characters or performances becoming some of my favorites anytime soon, but this film is truly about what each soldier experienced and how the battle played out. Christopher Nolan is one of the most dedicated and ambitious filmmakers of our time, and every film of his, from his low-budget thriller Memento to his Batman superhero blockbusters, demonstrates his love of cinema and his passion of everything he puts his heart into, and I sure hope we don’t have to wait much longer to see his next film.
If you want a powerful, marvelous, engaging, and thrilling movie to watch on the big screen, then Dunkirk is one that you’ll love. Definitely one of the best movies of the year and another excellent feature film that’s fantastic to look at on the big screen. A war film about humanity, survival, and resilience, this movie definitely won’t disappoint anyone seeking another profound and jaw-dropping Nolan movie, or an exciting and brilliant war movie like no other.