The Reel Review
Writer/director Christopher Nolan’s WWII epic about the 1940 evacuation of 330,000 Allied troops fleeing Nazi forces approaching the French coastal city of Dunkirk is pretty darn close to a masterpiece. It is told from the perspective of infantrymen under constant attack during the evacuation, fighter pilots trying to provide air cover, and the extraordinary private citizens who crossed the English Channel in their own boats to assist in rescue efforts. Although Nolan’s juggling of flashbacks and flashforwards is initially confusing and a bit jarring, it eventually heightens the sense of foreboding and drama, which features strong performances from Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and newcomer Fionn Whitehead, beautiful cinematography, and a rousing score from longtime collaborator Hans Zimmer, which packs the perfect goosebumps-inducing punch at the film’s big climax. Expect to see this satisfying war epic get lots of love come Oscar season.