AlexDavies’s review published on Letterboxd:
Adrenaline charged calming simplicity roaring down from the heavens in heavy and soft sprits of vacuous passages of arms. Story…plot…I must have forgot all enthralled by the experimental and experiential proceedings and movements of character, music and all facets of war. Spitfire to destroyer, beach to boat, high command to private, bullet to bomb, and life to death. All interworking. Jumping from one another thunderously, yet naturally. The ticking of time. The tick of the universe. The approaching bringer of light or darkness, in war there is little choice in which path you seek or what end is brought upon you. Only the passing of time in a world where the present is everything and weighs down on you like 10 tones, in such a state of situation as war, add another 100 tones. The past becomes a dream as it fades, the future is a seemingly endless amount of grey clouds and fogs to sift through. That tick creates and brings pressure, insinuates time is running down, but time here feels inflated. Almost everlasting as if I could watch another 3 hrs of the film effortlessly. There is a strange duality at work between what I just mentioned and numerous other elements of Dunkirk. A coetaneousness that works in those realms however in universal and more intricately minor ways as well. Stark conformity and normality is brushed upon Dunkirk. Thousands, millions of lives lost in this war and many over the millennia. That normalization of warfare is one of our biggest downfalls as a species, coming from a place of self-conceit. Nolan accepts this and shows through thick and thin the reality, palpability and genuineness of it. Lives lost for no logic or sense, Dunkirk was a delectable choice for such a statement as its all defining get our boys home, and go home weaves perfectly with the aforementioned intentions set about in this film. No vested interest in patriotism or nationalism, a simple message and motif each and every human can relate and bear upon with too. Moments are so real I’m thrown aback to films such as Come and See, the overwhelming sound and actions tosses you into the depths of depravity and calamity, yet also the alertness, mindfulness and vitality by actually being there. Sounds vibrate to the core, swelling in flashes of power and emotion leaving the body ill at ease, edgy, on-guard, and discomposed only to be decomposed, reassembled and built back up as triumphantly time-honored all-embracing crescendos of soul and circumstance.
Do we even notice the changes from IMAX to film anymore, Nolan registers on bloody seamless levels in those regards. Him and Zimmer… Legends will be written about their pairing.
One of the best anti-war films ever. No question.
One of the best films ever made. Of course.