Dunkirk ★★★½

I fall somewhere along the lines of where Matt Zoller Seitz fell on this film. At the end of his review he says, "If somebody were to ask me if I liked this film, I would tell them no. I loathed parts of it and found other parts repetitious or half-baked. But, maybe paradoxically, I admired it throughout, and have been thinking about it constantly since I saw it."

I have been thinking about this movie a lot since seeing it over the weekend, too. The spectacle of 70mm IMAX was an experience in and of itself, especially the opening shot which took my breath away. In fact, much of Hoyte Van Hoytema's photography was breathtaking. As was Mark Rylance's acting. And much of Christopher Nolan's directing. But I was left wanting a story that was easier to follow and allowed me to emotionally attach to one or more characters. In some ways this film felt like an over-correction for the overly verbose and didactic Interstellar, Memento, and Inception Although, I have considered, that Nolan's films reward multiple viewings. Maybe I need to revisit this film before making up my mind about it.

A war movie with British patriotism at its center makes for an interesting war movie. Relatedly, a war movie about failure or retreat is also fascinating. In a world that is marked by failure and the unexpected (is this the best movie about Brexit yet?), maybe this is the war movie we deserve, and the one we need right now. One that teaches us how to retreat or deal with failure gracefully.