Dunkirk is a masterpiece, no questions asked, and it’s one of the best films to arrive in theaters this year. Go see it in the glorious 70mm!
Believe the hype… Dunkirk is not only a great film it’s one of the best films of this year, if not the best. Writer-Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception and Interstellar) soars with this brilliantly crafted work of art. Dunkirk will get your blood rushing, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout its entirety. Nolan’s film serves up as an emotionally satisfying spectacle and helps break new ground in the war genre. Dunkirk serves as a grand example of spectacular writing, acting and directing.
There’s a reason why we continue to go to the movies and Dunkirk is one of those reasons. Nolan’s craft and form have never been better, delivering his best film to-date. This is Nolan at his most mature state, sending crowds everywhere cheering from their seats. Upholding Nolan’s direction is his well ensemble cast (Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles and newcomer Fionn Whitehead) and the musical genius himself, Hans Zimmer. The score is one of Zimmer’s very best pieces of work and will fully engulf you into the film.
Zimmer hits hard in this memorizing score, creating something even more beautiful. Zimmer is a master composer of our time and deserves an Oscar. Listen for the constant ticking of a watch throughout the film. The rising tension in the score will keep viewers on edge as it molds the story seamlessly. Nolan uses a different approach in storytelling to this WWII epic, by showing us a non-linear plot formed around three stories. These stories being i. The Mole, ii. The Sea and iii. The Air. The film's narrative follows the three major threads covering different periods of time: the land is a period of one week, the sea is a period of one day, and the air is a period of one hour. All are perfectly interwoven throughout the film.
In an introductory text, it states that “in 1940, after the invasion of France by Nazi Germany, thousands of Allied soldiers retreated to the seaside city of Dunkirk. As the Allied perimeter shrinks, the soldiers await evacuation, a seemingly hopeless situation.” Nolan takes his time focusing on the British soldiers, never showing us the enemy but from a far. This gives the audience an uncomfortable feeling of not knowing where they will strike next. With very little dialog, Nolan throws his camera on the backs of his actors. Displaying each spotlight tightly on them, never shifting the focus. Newcomer Whitehead gives us an Oscar-worthy performance full of courage and reflection. Oscar-winner Rylance shows us the bravery of a civilian sailing to help the stranded soldiers.
Oscar-nominee Hardy shows off his brawn and keen of eye skill as an air pilot. Oscar-nominee Branagh gives us hope as the commander waiting for his men to be rescued. Actor Murphy shows us a broken soldier escaping from Dunkirk and how selfishness can turn into deadly consequences. Making his acting debut, singer Harry Styles is a revelation delivering some of the film’s most intense scenes. Like Paths of Glory or Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk is a monumental achievement on the war in cinema. Some amazing facts about this film are that it used real ships and planes and the film uses very little CGI. All the effects are practically done.
About 75 percent of the film was shot on IMAX cameras, which is why seeing it in the glorious 70mm is more raw and intimate. Nolan also used cardboard cutouts for boats and people, making the illusion ever more real. And finally, Nolan shot the entire film where the actual historic event took place. Dunkirk is an unforgettable film and ranks as the best war movie of the decade. It proves that big-budgeted movies can, in fact, be called art. It has heart, soul and a vision that honors the fact-based story. This phenomenal film receives the highest honor from me, 5 stars. Dunkirk is a masterpiece, no questions asked. The Oscar race for Best Picture is officially a go! “When 400,000 men couldn't get home, home came for them.”
Dunkirk is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For intense war experience and some language.