Director: Christopher Nolan Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan Running Time: 107 minutes
There is something perfect about Christopher Nolan directing a war film. Christopher Nolan, often brilliant, sometimes befuddling, always big. The man who turned superhero vs cartoon villains stories into post-9/11 think pieces and insisted that dreams have very strict rules. The man who directed Anne Hathaway monologuing among the stars about the meaning of love with all the tender feeling of an alien looking in at her through the window. Nolan has made his name with meticulous filmmaking and technical prowess rather than emotional depth and his 10th and possibly best film puts him at his greatest distance; he’s a general surveying a map moving tiny pieces across it, planning explosions not speeches. Nolan’s telling of the evacuation of British forces from Northern France after the disastrous battle of Dunkirk certainly has the emotions there if you want them – this actually happened, people actually lived or died as a consequence of what’s depicted here – but only Kenneth Branagh as a Commander overseeing the events, has much time for teary-eyed bluster for the homeland. Everyone else is too busy scrambling for survival.