Friday, January 12, 2018

Film Review: Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk (Review)
United Kingdom/United States/France/Netherlands/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most suspenseful films I've watched in a while."

During World War II, allied soldiers are pushed to the shores of Dunkirk and forced to evacuate as the German Army surrounds them.

Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk. The plot primarily follows three parties. Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), a young British private, meets Gibson, a soldier who is burying a friend in the beach. While attempting to evacuate, Tommy rescues Alex, another soldier. Together, the three young men attempt to escape Dunkirk by any means necessary. In the sea, civilian vessels are requisitioned by the Royal Navy. Mr. Dawson takes his vessel, along with his son and their teenage friend, to Dunkirk to help in the evacuation. And, in the air, three pilots, including Farrier (Tom Hardy), head to France. The film leads to a strong climax and a great ending.

Dunkirk is a superb film. It is a fantastic cinematic experience. The plot is simple on the surface, but it is cleverly-edited and layered. I have said this in reviews before because it gets the point across, but I want to emphasize it this time: from beginning to end, this film captured my attention. Dunkirk is a movie that does not stop. It uses momentum, along with quiet but compelling characters, to keep you engaged and invested. This is one of the most suspenseful films I've watched in a while. To be completely honest, I must say I was even a bit scared at times. It packs so much into its ~110-minute runtime, it's ridiculous, especially when it's compared to other war films. And, unlike some war films out there, director Christopher Nolan doesn't resort to melodrama or long action sequences to create a fabricated sense of war—it all feels authentic here.

The cast was fantastic. Most of the actors cast as soldiers were quiet, obviously deliberately, but they were great. Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy were all stellar. It's an incredible cast, really. The film is a technical masterpiece. The cinematography is beautiful, the camerawork is engaging, and the lighting was perfect. The music and the sound were superb. I will say, though, the music can be a little too intrusive at times. The film was written and directed by Christopher Nolan. I haven't reviewed many Nolan films, but I do enjoy his work. I've never been the hardcore super-fan who loves everything he's ever made, but I loved this movie. I think his direction is exemplary.

Overall, Dunkirk is a superb movie. It is a masterpiece. Even if you're not a fan of the genre, this is a must-watch film. I especially implore you to watch Dunkirk if you're a fan of suspense in movies. This is easily one of the best films of 2017.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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