Dunkirk

Dunkirk ★★★★

Things I liked: fantastic technical elements and music/score, 2 or 3 great scenes, moving civilian/home front themes, highlighted defense/escape more than attack, portrayed some less obvious horrors of war (drowning, being close to home but far away, etc.), Harry Styles was pretty good

But: this is not a masterpiece, and I thought it didn't do too many interesting things within the war genre that weren't already hand-delivered by the history of the event. This is no Inglourious Basterds or Full Metal Jacket. I was disappointed by the lack of character development, which is always important, no matter what people claim about "those movies" that don't need it (often those movies just do it more subtly, like through dialogue). For instance, my favorite characters and moments in Dunkirk surrounded the small boating crew (father/son/friend), and they were the characters we knew most about. Nolan almost got there with the main-ish character--the scene where he defends his "friend" in the boat is good--but I would have liked less of Tom Hardy shooting and more concrete details about backstories and/or personal touches to liven things up. I think this is a really good film, but it feels a bit shallow and one-dimensional for something people are hailing as "another masterpiece" from Nolan.

My Nolan rankings: letterboxd.com/nickversaci/list/my-ranking-of-christopher-nolans-films/

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