Almost Everybody Loves Dunkirk

It might be Christopher Nolan's masterpiece, writes one critic
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2017 8:56 AM CDT

(Newser) Dunkirk looks like a winner. The World War II movie about the evacuation of Allied troops from the city in France boasts a 92% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 90% score from audiences. Director Christopher Nolan in particular is winning praise for the film, whose stars include Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Mark Rylance. Some samples:

  • Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: The film's greatest accomplishment "is to make us feel an almost literal fusion with its story. It's not so much that we've seen a splendid movie, though we have, but as if we've been taken inside a historic event, become wholly immersed in something real and alive."

  • Chris Klimek, NPR: The cinematography is spectacular, writes Klimek. "Subjects as ordinary as the foamy, mashed potato-like sand on the beach take on a hypnotic effect." Which prompts a related question: "Is it ethical to make a war movie this beautiful?"
  • Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Seldom has a film so eloquently captured the craziness, brutality, and arbitrariness of war," he writes. Dunkirk "just might be Nolan’s masterpiece."
  • David Edelstein, Vulture: If all the praise is too much, Edelstein provides some relief, complaining that Nolan's "cavalry-is-coming cliff-hangers are eye-rollers—overlong, corny, and clunkily edited." And, he adds, "When the structure of Dunkirk becomes visible, when it stands as a mathematical demonstration of brave individual choices lining up in a tidy row, you might realize that you’ve been had."
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