Dunkirk ★★★★★

Dunkirk is not a war film, but a thriller packaged as one. The score is dangerously infectious. I was only able to finally exhale for the first time when the ticking clock cuts out in the final seconds, and even then, I found myself still tense days after the first viewing experience (note: Shape of Water robbed Dunkirk for best score at the 2018 Oscars, you can't change my mind). If you can, watch this projected in 70mm; the shutter between the frames gives the film another layer of racing intensity, not that it needed one. While I do think some characters were underdeveloped, this felt earned in my reading of the film because when's there's a threat, and an ocean between you and safety, survival is not a theme for characters to play off of, but an imperative. That's not to say that this film lacks nuance, however. Even upon my 5th viewing, I caught more details that allude to events and tensions that are going to come up or have already occurred simultaneously, further emphasizing the unrelenting chaos and violence of war. Watching this film is exhausting, in the best possible way.

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