Critic Consensus: Dunkirk serves up emotionally satisfying spectacle, delivered by a writer-director in full command of his craft and brought to life by a gifted ensemble cast that honors the fact-based story.
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Critic Reviews for Dunkirk
Nolan's sense of memory and of history is as flattened-out and untroubled as his sense of psychology and of character.
It isn't a standard war movie, but it sure is some beautiful, difficult thing.
Occasional bursts of flames, imperiling many of the effectively nameless characters, come as a relief from the chromatic tedium.
The movie works. Time and again, the action swells and dips, like a wave, then suddenly delivers a salty slap in the face.
Audience Reviews for Dunkirk
Powerful, stunning, and exceptionally crafted by Nolan (his second best film after Dark Knight), Dunkirk is a landmark achievement that deserves the highest of praises and the highest of awards.
Imagine that you were the proud parent of a gifted child who grew up to be a world respected writer of note and fame. Then imagine that that selfsame child wrote you a thank you card, a tribute to you as a parent. Well Chris Nolan is that child, England the proud parent, and herein is the card, designed from first to last to offer thanks and love. There are some bits that only the parent, having been where the events depicted occurred, will get, but its designed that way. This is a thank you card to England herself, and why??? Because of how she comported herself in this, the very worst of times. And who cares if the Yanks don't get it?
Nolan's technical superiority is on full display in the intensely shot Dunkirk, but the film lacks a compelling character and it's unique storytelling methods kept me semi-confused throughout the majority of the film. The action sequences are top-notch and the movie is beautifully shot, but the emotional moments rang hollow to me. I am one of the biggest Nolan fans you will find and I think the hype train got me a little on this one. I went in expecting a masterpiece and came out a little disappointed. This is still a good film worth watching, especially if you are familiar with the true events it is depicting or are an avid war film fan, but the storytelling could have used more. Ultimately, I probably won't watch it again, but Dunkirk is eye candy if nothing else.
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