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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Critic Reviews for Darkest Hour
"Darkest Hour" is a straightforward, day-by-day depiction of world-changing events, told with meticulous simplicity.
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.
Churchill, by way of Darkest Hour, hands the actor some of the best speeches of his career, and Oldman brings them vividly to life.
"Darkest Hour" is a one man show for Oldman. And what a show it is.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for Darkest Hour
Gary Oldman delivers another great performance but in a superficial film that doesn't even try to escape the typical clichés found in so many biographies. Full review on filmotrope. com
This movie banks heavily on Gary Oldman's performance and makeup artist, and while they both do a great job, it's not enough to pull this film together. Oldman's performance, in both his speeches and his interactions with the other actors, is more admirable than it is entertaining, and the narrative drags and turns for seemingly no reason. The final line of the screenplay is great, and almost justifies all of its flaws, but there are just too many flaws in it to overcome.
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.
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