|Rating: 8.0/10 (387,374 votes)|
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Lee Armstrong
Runtime: 106 min
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Released: 21 Jul 2017
|Plot: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.|
Dunkirk is a 2017 war film written, directed, and co-produced by Christopher Nolan that depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. Its ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. The film is a British-American-French-Dutch co-production, and was distributed by Warner Bros.
Dunkirk portrays the evacuation from three perspectives: land, sea, and air. It has little dialogue, as Nolan sought instead to create suspense from cinematography and music. Filming began in May 2016 in Dunkirk and ended that September in Los Angeles, when post-production began. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot the film on IMAX 65 mm and 65 mm large-format film stock. Dunkirk has extensive practical effects, and employed thousands of extras as well as historic boats from the evacuation, and period aeroplanes.
The film premiered on 13 July 2017 at Odeon Leicester Square in London, and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on 21 July in IMAX, 70 mm, and 35 mm film formats. It is the highest-grossing World War II film, taking $527 million worldwide. Dunkirk received praise for its screenplay, direction, musical score, and cinematography; some critics called it Nolan’s best work, and one of the greatest war films.
The film received eight nominations at the 23rd Critics’ Choice Awards, winning for Best Editing, eight at the 71st British Academy Film Awards, winning for Best Sound, and three at the 75th Golden Globe Awards. At the 90th Academy Awards, it received eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (Nolan’s first Oscar nomination for directing); it went on to win for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.
In 1940, during the Battle of France, hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers have retreated to Dunkirk. Tommy, a young British private, is the sole survivor of a German ambush. At the beach, he finds thousands of troops awaiting evacuation and meets soldier Gibson, who is burying a body. After a German dive-bomber attack, they find a wounded man. They rush his stretcher onto a hospital ship, hoping to remain aboard, but are ordered off. The ship is sunk by dive bombers; Tommy helps another soldier by the name of Alex out of the water. They leave at night on a destroyer, but it is sunk by a U-boat. Gibson opens a hatch, freeing Tommy and Alex from the hold, and they get back to the beach.
With only a single, vulnerable mole available for embarking on deep-draft ships, the Royal Navy requisitions civilian vessels that can get to the beach. In Weymouth, a civilian sailor named Dawson and his son Peter set out on his boat Moonstone rather than let the Navy commandeer her. Impulsively, Peter’s teenage friend George joins them. At sea, they rescue a shivering shell-shocked soldier from a wrecked ship. When he realises that Dawson is sailing for Dunkirk, the soldier demands that they turn back and tries to wrest control of the boat; in the struggle, George falls and suffers a head injury that renders him blind. Elsewhere, three Spitfires cross the English Channel, heading towards Dunkirk. After their leader is shot down in a dogfight, one of the pilots, Farrier, assumes command, though his fuel gauge is shattered. They save a minesweeper from a German Heinkel He 111 bomber, but the other surviving Spitfire is hit and ditches. The pilot, Collins, cannot open his canopy to escape his sinking aeroplane, but is rescued by Moonstone.
Tommy, Alex and Gibson join some soldiers from a Highlanders regiment and hide inside a fishing trawler that lies beached outside the Allied perimeter, waiting for the rising tide to refloat it. German troops shoot at the boat, and water enters through the bullet holes. Alex, hoping to lighten the boat, accuses Gibson, who has been silent throughout, of being a German spy and demands that he leave. Gibson reveals he is French; he stole the identity of the dead soldier he buried, hoping to be evacuated with the British. Everyone abandons the fishing boat when it begins to sink. Gibson is unable to get out and drowns. Alex and Tommy swim towards a nearby destroyer, but it is sunk by a bomber. Moonstone manoeuvres to take on those in the water, including Alex and Tommy. Peter discovers that George is dead; when asked by the shell-shocked soldier, he lies that George is fine. Farrier shoots down the bomber before his fuel runs out. Gliding over the beach, he shoots down a fighter diving towards the mole, then lands beyond the Allied perimeter. He sets fire to his aeroplane and is taken prisoner. At the beach, Royal Navy Commander Bolton watches the last British soldiers leave. He notes that nearly 300,000 have been evacuated, ten times more than Prime Minister Winston Churchill had hoped for. He remains to oversee the evacuation of the French.
Arriving back in Weymouth, Dawson is congratulated for having saved so many men. The shell-shocked soldier sees George’s body being carried away. Peter goes to the local newspaper; a front-page article later commends George as a hero. Alex and Tommy board a train in Weymouth. Alex expects public hostility as the train approaches Woking, but they receive a hero’s welcome instead. Tommy reads out Churchill’s address to the nation from a newspaper.