Darkest Hour (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Darkest Hour (2017)



Critic Consensus: Darkest Hour is held together by Gary Oldman's electrifying performance, which brings Winston Churchill to life even when the movie's narrative falters.

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During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill's courage to lead changed the course of world history.

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Gary Oldman
as Winston Churchill
Kristin Scott Thomas
as Clementine Churchill
Stephen Dillane
as Viscount Halifax
Ronald Pickup
as Neville Chamberlain
Ben Mendelsohn
as King George VI
Lily James
as Elizabeth Nel

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Critic Reviews for Darkest Hour

All Critics (246) | Top Critics (45)

"Darkest Hour" is a straightforward, day-by-day depiction of world-changing events, told with meticulous simplicity.

December 18, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

And yet for all that telling about how it was, the film feels much more like happy fantasy than detailed history, a fond look back on the lead-up to a moment of moral righteousness.

December 15, 2017 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…

Churchill, by way of Darkest Hour, hands the actor some of the best speeches of his career, and Oldman brings them vividly to life.

December 14, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Darkest Hour" is a one man show for Oldman. And what a show it is.

December 8, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Oldman brings a wicked wit and compassionate heart to the role, one for which he seems almost superhumanly suited for - and that's really saying something, consider how many great actors have played Churchill.

December 7, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Darkest Hour invites viewers inside the heart and mind of a great leader but never really captures his deep rapport with the British people, which turned out to be one of his greatest political assets. Dunkirk takes a more populist approach.

December 7, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Darkest Hour


The best about this look at the weeks when Churchill became prime minister in Britain, just as Hitler was conquering Western Europe, is that it doesn't mess up the telling. At the same time it telegraphs every single scene, and one can perceive some of the dramatis as little more than nationalist rhetoric with a eye towards the Academy Awards. The failure here is that the work is not as good as is advertised. On its own, away from the hoopla, it will become a schoolroom assignment the students will hate the teachers for, but some might actually learn something from.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

As with many of the biopics I've seen recently, Darkest Hour is more focussed on delivering you the facts than getting you involved with the characters. It is an interesting idea to have the majority of the story revolve around the of whether or not to sue for peace. That as a core concept in so much as the question of "Do I take the guarantee of saving my country or do I take the risk of saving the world?" and beyond that "Is there even a right answer to that question? And who am I to decide something this big?" is a great philosophical centre for a movie. But I never felt like I knew why any of these people had the answers that they gave. I get that in a historical context, these aren't characters they are real life people, so they answers they had are the answers we see, but again, we are only given the "what", not the "why". Except you can throw all of that away because here comes Gary Oldman in his Oscar nominated transformation to make this movie 100% worth watching.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

Great performance but nothing to write home about unfortunately!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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