Dunkirk is the latest film from writer-director Christopher Nolan, and, along with Baby Driver and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, was one of my three most anticipated films of the year. Going into a Christopher Nolan film, I expected two things. One: great writing. Two: Phenomenal sound editing and visual effects. Not only were both of those expectations met, but the latter exceeded them. Dunkirk is one of the best films I’ve seen all year, hands-down.
This is the first time Nolan has done a film focused on true events, and he truly knocks it out of the park here. His direction proves to be (unsurprisingly) effective, and this is some of his best work yet. The cinematography and landscapes are astoundingly beautiful and Nolan’s attention to detail is, from what I can assume, very realistic.
The acting is great as well. This movie has quite a mix of cast members. You have the more well-known actors such as Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), and Cillian Murphy (The Dark Knight Trilogy). Then you have the lesser-known actors such as Fionn Whitehead, who plays the lead role of Tommy. Each of these actors delivers their lines perfectly, and in Murphy’s case, his performance as a soldier with PSTD is possible Oscar worthy.
The visual effects, and sound editing, like I mentioned before, are phenomenal. Plain and simple. There’s nothing really much to it than that. Last year’s Mel Gibson-directed film Hacksaw Ridge was nominated for both the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing Academy Awards. Dunkirk will for sure be nominated for its sound editing and Christopher Nolan for direction. The visuals are breathtaking and really made me feel like I was in the battle myself. This is a film that starts immediately with action and never has a dull or boring moment throughout its entire run.
While I rarely felt like I wanted characters to make it out alive, this isn’t that kind of movie, to begin with, so it’s hard to do that anyway. There were a few tense moments (no spoilers, of course) where I was on the edge of my seat, wanting to see what would happen, but it was rare.
The fact that Nolan used real locations, real planes/boats, and more extras than you can ever imagine only adds to the level of extreme realism that is conveyed to the viewer in this film. I think that anybody who wants a tense, gripping movie will definitely find a multitude of things to enjoy in Dunkirk.
If you’re someone who wants a realistic, intense, and well-written war film with outstanding performances, go see Dunkirk. If you’re the type of moviegoer who likes their films loud and bold, with plenty of explosions thrown into the mix, go see Dunkirk. Honestly, see it even if you don’t usually go to the movies. You’ll love it. I’m going to give Dunkirk an A.
Side note: Harry Styles’ performance actually isn’t bad in this film. I (as you can probably expect) did not like One Direction at all, but he’s a good addition to the cast.
Dunkirk stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy. Directed by Christopher Nolan.