Take my words with a grain of salt because I have a super basic taste when it comes to movies and near to zero "film" education lol. And I have big hype girl tendencies (in my own way anyway).
I honestly think this is what cinema should be more like. It feels like a quintessential old school film, but also very experimental, horrifyingly intense (there were moments I literally stopped breathing), yet almost slowburnish at times, and the combination turns out to be so dreamy and tight it ends up being truly one of a kind directorial effort from Nolan.
Yet I have no idea how well the structure will sit with the GA - hearing about it, I almost expected something that would completely go over my head too, but I ended up loving it, while someone I watched this with (no interested in film whatsoever) pointed out the non-chronological, repeated order as a weird "flaw" and a turn off. While the structure, like everybody else and their grandma mentioned, is unconventional indeed, it's nothing too jarring and I'm honestly slightly baffled by how someone could not get "into" that. It surrounds you with disordered chaos so perfectly and whenever a scene cuts and jumps back and forth - it actually doesn't feel irritating or confusing. It feels like prolonged suffering in a way, it drags you through all of that shit, sand and water, and I consider that to be a massive plus.
I also have to mention I really don't understand how people could say the characters were impossible to connect with. While this is a cold movie, it's different in that regard. People are either looking to pick on shit, or just are silly if they truly feel like they need the movie to drown them with manipulated, dragged out and romanticized sentiment for them to feel relatable and register as real "emotion". The characters aren't paper-thin nobodies, but they're not ever meant to be anything more than just a group of people thrown into this situation and forced to react immediately under these circumstances. But there is emotion, even if it slaps you with its bleakness. It just ends up being more heartbreaking this way. It's all very subtle, showing through the actors expressions ever so slightly (some of it I thought was brilliant lol), kind of in "stiff upper lip" manner. But I honestly felt for these people, like come on, my heart fucking sank to the bottom of the sea on a couple of instances. None of that ever tries to manipulate you into emoting, but I wouldn't count this as an emotionless movie. I thought the cast was great.
The soundtrack is insane, but I kind of feel slightly deaf still lol. Some of the scenes truly feel like watching horror. It's overall tight and INTENSE as fuck, but I actually felt nightmarish watching anything related to underwater/drowning. I felt drained in a way after this ended. But if I do have to say something I'm not sure I "like", is, ugh. The amount of soldiers truly does force you to "make-believe" the overall size of this evacuation. And yeah, the beach does look a little too tidy for such an overall chaotic and horrific event.
Holy shit I need a nap. I'm not sure how to rate it (both score-wise and compared to other Nolan's movies), but it's absolutely one of my favorite Nolan movies and the best of 2017 so far hands down. I'd probably need a separate oxygen tank if I watched this in 15/70. Senpais from WB, please help a sista out. So maybe 9,5
P.S. I love Mark Rylance
and Tom Hardy holy shit