I think this is gonna go down as one of Nolan’s most mature movies. There’s no bullshit, just tense action and beautiful visuals. It’s not a quiet movie by any means but there’s also very little dialogue.
I was intrigued by the structure of it. It basically follows three stories, one of soldiers on the beach trying to get off, one of air Force pilots keeping the skies clear, and the civilian ship coming to save as many as they can. Each story has its own arc and characters and struggles but all that takes background to the overall disaster that is the death. So whole there are stories and characters it does a great job of depicting just how miniscule they are to the big picture. I also loved the way time is handled. The ticking clock is ever present in the score but each story starts at a different point. The beach story is a week before the climax, civilian ship is a day before, and the pilot story is an hour before. So it’s really well done how it skips between stories constantly but their times sync up for the ending.
I think the most powerful moments were seeing Cillian in the lifeboat giving orders before the war broke him, Tom Hardy saving the beach and giving himself up to the Germans at the end, and the kid on the civilian ship making the paper. I also loved how they had the kid read the Churchill speech at the end. While I didn’t connect with the movie as emotionally as, say, Interstellar, I did end up loving it way more than Interstellar by the end. Although they are obviously different movies.
I’m interested to see how this does with general audiences and at the box office. Part of me says it’s a little intense for the summer crowd. It’s all last half of Titanic with the impressive disaster filmmaking and none of the cliche characters or romance.