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Published On: Fri, Jul 21st, 2017

‘Dunkirk’ is Christopher Nolan’s best movie: a beautiful war film with heart, thrills and lasting impact

It wasn’t easy to shake off the brutality and gore Steven Spielberg presented in the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, arguably the best war film of the modern era. Now Christopher Nolan submits Dunkirk, a completely different approach to film story telling, exploring heroism during World War II and capturing the horrors of war.

Nolan and Emma Thomas have produced a film void of bloodied soldiers or gore, includes very little dialogue and requires the audience to engage the story told in “Nolan Time” — in this case, three different time jumps all interwoven around the British evacuation from the beaches of France in 1940. While the audience may struggle to learn the characters’ names, each man has a unique persona, experience and challenge to overcome.

Dunkirk is told from the land, sea and air, opening with a brilliant, powerful scene of soldiers fleeing towards the beaches amidst a leaflet drop from the Germans, calling for their surrender or die.

The Germans are winning World War II, controlling the seas with U-boats, the air with the Luffwaffe and across the land, pressing the Brits against the rough seas of the English Channel. What was days is crammed into just under an hour-and-a-half.

A surviving soldier Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) meets up on the beach with Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and Alex (Harry Styles) attempting to get to the Mole (a pier) and a safer position where Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) is coordinating the evacuation. The beaches are under attack as plane drop bombs and gun down fleeing soldiers.

In the air is a small squadron of fighter planes racing to Dunkirk on limited fuel rations, most notably Tom Hardy’s Farrier (again behind a mask for most of the film) and Collins (Jack Lowden). As boats are in short supply, Mark Rylance’s Dawson decides not to wait for the Royal Navy’s orders and heads out onto the waters with his son and the son’s friend, George (Barry Keoghan). Dawson at one point proclaims: “Men my age dictate this war, why should we not fight it?”

This is the BEST WAR FILM SINCE PRIVATE RYAN.

Critics of Nolan usually prefer linear storytelling and Dunkirk can be difficult to sort out until your more than halfway through the film. That said, it makes the film more engaging and enjoyable with repeat viewings. Men are killed, but blood is being splattering on a camera and audiences don’t have to endure vulgar or profane dialogue.

This Oscar nomination territory: editing from Lee Smith, a career-best musical score from Hans Zimmer, and stunning cinematography from Hoyt Van Hoytema. Nolan delivers incredible dog fight shots, crushing blows in the seas and a genuine, unnerving fear of being stranded on the land.

Dunkirk is by far the best film of the year thus far and receives 5 stars out of 5 stars.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. […] movies is mostly what has been the norm, rape, murder, hunger, and disillusionment. In the case of Dunkirk, the movie is full of suspense and not many details that are given about the […]

  2. Elizabeth says:

    While the cinematography was excellent, I was disappointed with this movie. It failed to portray the factual enormity of the desperation and the heroic rescue of Dunkirk.

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