Dunkirk Review: 8 Ups & 2 Downs

A war movie like no other.

Dunkirk movie
Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is finally here, arriving of course on the tidal wave of hype that accompanies any Nolan movie these days. Critics so far have been effusively praising the director's ambitious war film, and though general audiences are likely to be a little more divided on it, it's definitely another technically mesmerising addition to his filmography.

Is it as exciting or epic as Nolan's Dark Knight series, or as ingenious as Inception? Absolutely not, but given the subject matter it doesn't really need to be, and as far as recent entries into the genre go, Dunkirk is absolutely one of the best and hardest to shake. Above all else, it once again shows Nolan's filmmaking sensibilities evolving, and as such it's fascinating to consider where he might go next.

So, how are the movie's Oscar chances? Who stands out among that giant ensemble cast? And what's Hans Zimmer's score like? It's time to find out...


2. There's Minimal Character Development

Dunkirk Tommy
Warner Bros.

Likely to be the most consistent complaint about this movie is its rather minimal approach to character development. Indeed, the majority of the film's characters aren't even named during the movie, and in an attempt to make a more streamlined film, there's almost nothing in the way of expository backstories or insights into the lives of these men away from the war.

While on one hand this does indeed result in a more taut and sparing movie free from many of the genre's storytelling cliches, it also means that audiences may struggle to become fully invested in their plight.

Sure, the attempt to survive an almost impossibly Hellish scenario should be something that just about any human being can relate to on a primal level, but in writing most of the characters as total blank slates, it's also likely to prevent many viewers, especially more casual cinemagoers, from getting fully emotionally involved in what's going on.

How much of an issue this is will vary wildly between audiences, but it'll surely be the one big issue coming away from Dunkirk.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.