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Dunkirk (2017) Review

When 400,000 Men couldn’t get home. Home came for them. From the visionary Christopher Nolan comes his next epic movie.

The time has come my friends, I got to see my most anticipated movie of the year last night from my favourite director in Hollywood; Christopher Nolan. Ever since I heard about this project that he was working on, I was immediately excited. Definitely more so being a History major. In my eyes Christopher Nolan has not made a bad film, he has however made a weaker film – The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Release Date: July 21st, 2017

Genre: Action, Drama, History, War


Recommendation for Version: IMAX*

*Im going to start adding this in my reviews as some movies don’t necessarily need the IMAX treatment, but theres definitely many films that definitely benefit from the IMAX experience, and are actually worth the ticket price*

“You can practically see it from here.”

Its always a waiting game in-between Christopher Nolan projects. He doesn’t make a film every year, its usually every 2-3 years. Sometimes the wait to see what he is doing next is too much. I saw the brief trailer for Dunkirk and I was immediately hooked because I knew it was going to be a World War 2 movie, however there had to be something, some sort of twist, some sort of Nolan flair, and there was.

Dunkirk is Drama, History and War film about the evacuation of soldiers from Belgium, The British Empire and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German Army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, between May 26-June 4, 1940, during the Battle Of France in World War II. What follows is an edge of your seat, intense, jaw-dropping one hour and 47 minutes.

Dunkirk is written and directed by Christopher Nolan. His filmography for writing and directing consists of Following (1998), Memento (2000), Insomnia {Only Directed, didn’t write} (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Interstellar (2014). I can proudly say I have seen all of Christopher Nolan’s films, and can whole-heartedly recommend all of them. He is a true master of his craft, and Dunkirk is absolutely no slouch. From the films very subtle opening, to the end I was gripped to the screen, anxiously awaiting what was going to happen next. He starts out in what seems like a traditional war picture, but after one of the characters throws away his gun, you know you’re in for something a little different.

I also like how you really did get that Nolan flare, he told his story in 3 different perspectives, the land, the sea and the air. He also made it feel like a documentary kind of thing, that you were actually there when this event was happening, from the sound design to the visuals. Every bullet felt as if it whistled by your head. I think IMAX played a major role in this feeling, as every bullet made my heart jump a bit, every explosion made my stomach churn, it was definitely an amazing experience in IMAX, highly recommend that format if its available in your area.

The style of this movie needs to be discussed a bit more, as it wasn’t a film about dialogue, in fact there was very little dialogue in the movie. It felt more of a silent movie with really amazing action sequences, or survival sequences. I have never quite seen a film done this way, usually its a lot of build up to the action or to the climax, but the whole movie you were on the edge of your seat, anticipating the next aerial attack or carpet bombing, you were cringing at the chance of more gun fire whistling out, and holding your breath when there were aerial combat scenes.

Dunkirk stars a lot of actors I’ve never heard of before, which I think really worked with this movie as you weren’t superbly focused on an A-List actor, doing an A-List job for an A-List pay check. You had big named actors, that have been nominated by the Academy for Acting, who have had multiple starring roles that weren’t top billing, and I noticed that in the credits and thought it was quite interesting. But there were a lot of actors I did know.

Mark Rylance played Mr. Dawnson, Tom Hardy played Farrier, Jack Lowden played Collins, Kenneth Branagh played Commander Bolton, and Cillian Murphy played Shivering Solider.

Mark Rylance’s filmography consists of Bridge of Spies (2015), where he won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. I quite enjoy his acting, and I thought he was outstanding in Bridge of Spies. I really enjoyed his role in Dunkirk, and I thought he played it masterfully. The amount of heart he portrayed with not a lot of talking was really impressive.

Tom Hardy’s filmography consists of Black Hawk Down (2001), Band Of Brothers {TV Mini Series} (2001), Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), Layer Cake (2004), Bronson (2008), RockNRolla (2008), Inception (2010), Warrior (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), This Means War (2012), Locke (2013), The Drop (2014), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), and The Revenant (2015). I don’t think its hard to tell if you know me, or even reading through the movies I’ve seen out of Hardy’s filmography, that I am a big fan of him. I will watch anything with Tom Hardy in it, I think he’s a fantastic actor. Dunkirk was no different, and I thought he played his role with class and grace. He actually had some of my favourite scenes in the movie for sure; a lot of them extremely intense, so intense that I actually noticed I held my breath in some places.

Jack Lowden’s filmography consists of Denial (2016) and Battlefield 1 {Video Game} (2016). I am not too familiar with Lowdens work at all as you can tell, however Denial was an incredible story and a movie and I highly recommend it. It would be interesting to go back and rematch Denial now and see if I could pick him out as I definitely recognize his face, but I couldn’t place what movie I saw him in.

Kenneth Branagh’s filmography consists of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). I thought I have seen way more of Branagh’s films, turns out I haven’t but he has a very recognizable face. I should definitely see a few morel of his films, because I enjoyed him a lot in Chamber of Secrets (2002), and I thought he was excellent in Dunkirk.

Cillian Murphy’s filmography consists of 28 Days Later… (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Red Eye (2005), Sunshine (2007), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), Tron (2010), In Time (2011), Red Lights (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Anthropoid (2016), and Free Fire (2016). Cillian Murphy is in my eyes an extremely underrated actor, he doesn’t get enough credit for his range and his acting ability. I’m too the point now in watching a lot of his films, that he is definitely one of my favourite actors, and I will watch anything and everything he does. I think he is spectacular. He did a great job in Dunkirk as I knew he would have. There was a lot of emotion behind his character and his actions were quite erratic and interesting.

This film really showed off the skill of all the actors involved, as there wasn’t much talking, there was more action and more human emotion. Which in theory could come off very stilted and cliche. But Nolan as usual was able to get excellent performances out of each and everyone of his actors. At no point did you see any “weak” characters, everything and every emotion and every human feeling was portrayed with such skill, that I felt like I wasn’t watching actors, that I was watching a documentary on the subject, and I don’t think thats very easy to do.

Christopher Nolan is truly a master of his craft, and in this reviewers opinion, he’s the best director working today. Anything and everything he touches is gold, and Dunkirk is just another notch in that belt.

This is definitely in my top 3 favourite Christopher Nolan films, and my top film so far for 2017. Give Nolan a freaking Oscar already!

I give Dunkirk… a 5/5.


Until Next Time!


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