The movie begins in late May 1940. Already eight months into World War II, Germany’s formidable army sweeps into Belgium, and then, France is next. As a result, the outnumbered Allied Forces collapse under the sheer volume of the invader, and 400,000 troops find themselves with their backs to the cold North Sea, stranded on the sandy shores of the French coastal town of Dunkirk. Now, with the relentless German Luftwaffe hammering the beach, and with the distance between England and continental Europe just 33.3 kilometres across the Strait of Dover, the massive evacuation operation code-named Operation Dynamo commences, involving hundreds of naval and civilian vessels. As three Royal Air Force Spitfires try to fend off the Nazi attacks and buy some time, the grizzled civilian captain, Mr Dawson, his son, Peter, and his friend, George, struggle to rescue as many soldiers as they can, in a desperate operation that will serve as a pivotal point for the war effort, and become known as the “Miracle of Dunkirk”.
This is a Christopher Nolan movie. At the very least it’s going to be a magnificent spectacle and it is. This movie uses real planes, real ships, real locations, huge amount of extras to immerse you in this moment, to make you feel completely taken over by it. Also, the explosions and gunfire look so real, they don’t feel Hollywoodized, also, almost 2/3 of this movie is shot on an IMAX camera which really made the experience that much better. This movie is just about the battle and the rescue. That’s the whole movie. There’s never a moment that just let’s you breathe. You’re introduced to a few characters very quickly throughout the movie and you’re right in it.
I have one major issue with this movie and one minor one. You really don’t care about any of the characters, you don’t know anything about them, they just appear on the screen and that’s it. You don’t get a moment like in other war movies where the characters sit down and have a nice little conversation with each other. I think if he just made the characters a little more interesting so you could have someone to root for, it would have improved the movie a lot. This is also a short runtime for a Christopher Nolan movie, but I think still a little too long. If they cut out about 5 or 10 minutes of this movie, the runtime would have been just right. 8/10*
Director: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan
Runtime: 107 minutes