Dunkirk ★★

Christopher Nolan masters the art of making death, war, drowning, narrowly avoiding drowning, getting shot, narrowly avoiding getting shot, brutal combat, and the downfall of France to Nazi Germany monotonous and completely uninteresting.

Man oh man, Zimmer's score! Ya know, those deep brassy quakes are perfect for building tension and excitement when used at the right moment. But Nolan adamantly ignores the feeble-minded concept of "restraint" and bravely blasts the score throughout the whole of the film because he has a hunch it'll make the entire goddamn thing exciting.

There's a solid cast; Hardy, Murphy, Branagh, Rylance, and a wild card intro for Harry Styles! That's a good group, but Nolan's innovative vision for them only involves having them repeatedly struggle to survive some grim torture that's been allotted the next ten minutes (usually it involves escaping some place they thought was safe but was then made unsafe a few minutes later because, like, a bomb was dropped on it, or a German shot at it, or there was an explosion, or something).

By the way, that was a masterful touch; cross-cutting between three separate timelines that are each passing at different rates, and as a bonus most of the shots look like the same exact stretch of open water, and as a double bonus the only warning of this time difference is three brief title cards at the very beginning that cryptically present the points in time that they start. That was pretty bold.

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