Based on the true story about the Dunkirk Beach evacuation that took place in 1940. German forces pushed the allied army of the British and the French to the beach, where over 300,000 men, would be sitting ducks as there were very few vessels to carry out the mass evacuation. Civilian vessels were called in to help with the rescue. This film follows three stories, one involves a small group of soldiers attempting to flee from the beach, another focuses on one of those aforementioned boats and the last showcases two British fighter pilots trying to protect the ships from enemy planes.

In a summer of mindless popcorn flicks, sequels and superhero tales, the movie is a welcome break from it all. Writer/director Christopher Nolan has always been a gifted storyteller. Ever since he burst onto the scene with his first feature, Following, he has taken audiences on some truly unique journeys and this latest one will probably earn him his fourth Oscar nomination.

When Nolan creates a new narrative, he always searches for the best way to present it. Cinematography is of the utmost importance to him. In this outing, you can tell no shot was made without first being fully thought out. Over 100 minutes were shot using the newest IMAX cameras and the bigger the screen you can catch this movie on, the more rewarded you will be. It almost feels like you are on the beach too! In fact, check your local listings, as some theaters will be presenting it in 70-millimeter film. This was the best way to view a movie before digital projectors started to take over and it was the format IMAX theaters first employed.

Music plays almost throughout the whole picture, but it doesn’t stand out, as a good score shouldn’t. Instead it enhances everything. There is constant tension for all the characters and there is not a lot of dialogue either. The dogfights in the movie are going to be some of the best you have ever seen and Christopher Nolan shoots them all exquisitely. The editing is quite suburb, especially on how the three stories are woven together. Editor Lee Smith is also likely to find himself rewarded for his work.

This movie will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is in a non-linear format, which may put off some people. While the three stories are interwoven, the first takes place over a week’s time, the second, a day, and the final, an hour. There is plenty of action, but it can have slow moments too, yet those don’t last long. Bravo to Warner Brothers for putting this out in July, in what normally would have been considered for a late fall release.

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