Put your hands together for a solid war movie with <2hr run time.

“Dunkirk” is an unyielding triumph of technical finesse and finely tuned editing. Without pausing to explain much background or grander strategic meanings of the battle or war, Nolan skips right to the meat of what he wants to accomplish. That clear purpose in means unnecessary run time is taken off and highlighting what’s already there. This works to the great benefit of the film’s airtight composure.

The deafening and brilliant sound of “Dunkirk” might actually be the only flaw of seeing the film in the much preferred theater experience. With the backdrop of such intensity, certain English accents and dialogue can easily be missed. But “Dunkirk” isn’t a film where that really matters. A light script is intentionally employed, preferring to showcase visual tensions rather than having them explained to the audience.

A rare kind of film that dispenses with the expectations of similar genre contemporaries, “Dunkirk” substitutes visceral small arms combat in favor of the more subtle and often forgotten dreads of the war. Nolan successfully weaves a sense of unfathomable dread with a masterful command and editing of both sound and time as he fits the pieces of his film together. Indeed, “Dunkirk” doesn’t actually showcase visuals of enemy combatants. This rare downplaying of blood lust to the greater emphasis of time, desperation, and random tragedy is fresh, brilliantly executed, and a somber display of a unique heroism in which victory was retreat.

8.9/10