Dunkirk Nolan Fans Member Reviews (NFometer)

Christopher Nolan's action triller about the WWII story commonly known as The Miracle at Dunkirk. July 21, 2017.
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^ Among his best for me. I need a couple of re-watches to really rank it accurately among his other top tier films though.

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Boyd wrote:Saw it in 2K Imax, which was still really immersive and everything connected wonderfully. Dunkirk felt like chaos controlled perfectly by Nolan.

Read impressions here.
I'm impressed you caught all this the first time around, or at least that you were able to. Many of these catches are a "third time viewing" kind of thing for me.

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m4st4 wrote:That's what happens when you hype something 24-7, for two years. I've done it before and I'm going to cinema clear minded this time round. ;)

For those of you who've seen the movie, can you possibly rank Nolan movies now, or is it too early? Is Dunkirk low tier, mid tier or among his best for you?
Before I provide my lists (I rank his films in two different ways: the quality of the films versus my preference for the films), I'm going to explain why I have two different lists to begin with.

Rough analogy, but who is your favorite athlete? By statistics alone, would he or she even be considered to be in the top three in their respective sport or league?

Some movies can be perfected on a technical level; I like to think that The Godfather is. Seriously, on all whims, they could not have done better than they did. Just because the movie was made so gloriously does not mean that I like it the most. The Dark Knight has plenty of things that I wish they did differently, but it by no means did not have enough negatives to take away from being my favorite movie. Are the Final Destination movies, the Fast & Furious movies... are they at the pinnacle of their genres? Not even close; but I enjoy them much more than movies that have achieved better technical scores.

Again, it's all in personal taste. Give me a McDonald's double cheeseburger at [what was once] 99 cents over $33 Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger eight days a week, price almost being negligible. Just because it's a more properly made (and healthier) burger does not mean I would have to like it more.

Okay, here we go. If I were to rank them today, it would be...

Best to worst (and none are bad):

1) The Prestige
2) Dunkirk
3) Batman Begins
4) Memento
5) Insomnia
6) Interstellar
7) Inception
8) The Dark Knight
9) The Dark Knight Rises
10) Following


Favorite to least (and I love them all):

1) Inception
2) The Dark Knight
3) Interstellar
4) The Dark Knight Rises
5) The Prestige
6) Memento
7) Dunkirk
8) Batman Begins
9) Insomnia
10) Following


If not for the screenplay (lack of plot/character development), Dunkirk would top the "quality of the film" list.

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I found the most signyfying thing about Dunkirk is the fact that many writes about how it's important to see this movie in IMAX, instead of how touching, how original, how clever, how emotional or how revelational it was.

If you was there back then, it was a totally different thing when Nolan previous movies came out.
m4st4 wrote:For those of you who've seen the movie, can you possibly rank Nolan movies now, or is it too early? Is Dunkirk low tier, mid tier or among his best for you?
Low tier.

1. Inception
2. The Dark Knight
3. Interstellar
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. The Prestige
6. Batman Begins
7. Memento
8. Insomnia
9. Dunkirk
10. Following

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Joined: July 2017
Lurked on here for a while. I don't quite bother with participating in on-site member ratings, but just wanted to share my views on a specific segment of this film: I very strongly disagree with one of the main gripes that some people have with this movie -- of not enough character development / lack of emotion.

I actually think Nolan absolutely nailed this one. The lack of depth to any single character is entirely by design. Every man stranded on that beachhead or stuck in midst of the vast ocean had the single, common goal of getting home. Fullstop. There wasn't some higher, more glorious purpose to their existence.

The sense of flatness and bleakness that permeates throughout the entire film is encapsulated perfectly at just how unspectacular and unassuming any single character is portrayed. Any emotion stems from events that happen right in the moment. No rumination on events that happened from some earlier stage in the war, nor reminiscing of family back at home. This infuses a sense of authenticity and genuineness to the movie.

The Brits at this stage of war were being beaten to a bloody pulp, forced into a swift and unyielding retreat with no time to regather their footing.

Through the years we've been fed plenty of war films that have made for great drama. Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, so on so forth. Dunkirk wasn't meant to be a drama, but purely a war film. In retrospect, the historical evacuation of Dunkirk is viewed as a triumph. A pivotal moment in history. But Nolan stays true to being in the moment, to earnestly throwing the audience into the moment -- every detail, micro and macro, is dealt with with total honesty.

I utterly love the fact that there was zero emotional manipulation. At no point is the viewer coaxed into feeling or caring a certain way. No dramatic build up to Sergeant Elias's tragic death. No drawing of attention to Captain's Miller's valiance and moral code. Almost like a documentary, the impetus is left on us to make our own emotional investments. Nolan's "coldness" as a filmmaker is an enormous plus point in this instance.

Why is Churchill's speech recited right at the end of the film? Rather than at the beginning or towards the end so as to direct the audience towards the theme of dogged survival? Simply because Churchill's speech was made to address the larger context of the resistance against Nazi Germany, not for the specific events at Dunkirk itself. The survival of the British Empire, rather than merely the salvation of troops stranded on the beaches in France.

The events at Dunkirk at that juncture was nothing more than a blip in the grand scale of war. No character in this movie was meant to stand out from the tens of thousands of extras whom appeared on screen for seconds. The characters in the film are only vessels through which the historical account is told.

-----

All-in-all, Dunkirk was a incredible, spectacular film for me. Not sure if I'm ready to term it a masterpiece just yet (a second viewing is required). The only issue I have is with the necessity of (the extent of) non-linear narrative. Believe quite a few others must also share this sentiment.

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I understand why you're kind of disappointed with Dunkirk.
However, something you have to take into consideration is that some reviewers and people as well, look at what the film is trying to achieve within its own parameters, or what does the film think of itself. Is it achieving what it's trying to achieve and does it succeed (with confidence). The reason why Dunkirk got such high marks, is because it highlights Nolans strenghts and downplays his weaknesses. And it fully reaches what it tries to achieve and then some. The same goes for films like Gravity and Fury Road, which were also films with sparse dialogue, thin characters and technical mastery, but both got glowing reviews, just like Dunkirk.

Ofcourse, a personal reaction to the film also counts and everybody is entiteld to his own opinion, but too often people look at a film sayin: i expect this and i want that bla bla bla, but in my opinion that's not the right way to look at it.
With dunkirk a lot of people said: i wanted the characters to have more backstory or something similair. But that's not what Nolan tries to do here, the characters have no backstory because Nolan wants you to feel like you could be one of them. With a backstory to these characters, that would've been harder to do.

So to come back to your point, the film doesn't try to be original or clever or revelational, but a direct, uncomprimising thriller about the evacuation, and what it felt like being there.

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m4st4 wrote:For those of you who've seen the movie, can you possibly rank Nolan movies now, or is it too early? Is Dunkirk low tier, mid tier or among his best for you?
His best:

1. The Dark Knight
2. Memento
3. The Prestige
4. Inception
5. Interstellar
6. Dunkirk
7. Batman Begins
8. The Dark Knight Rises
9. Following
10. Insomnia

My favorite:

1. The Dark Knight
2. The Prestige
3. Inception
4. Interstellar
5. Memento
6. The Dark Knight Rises
7. Dunkirk
8. Batman Begins
9. Following
10. Insomnia

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Dunkirk is imo among his best. I'm not sure how I'd rank it though. Need to see it again for that. And disseldor nailed the explanation of characters, exactly what I was thinking and why it absolutely worked in this.

Edit: I remember someone on here saying they thought the script sucked, but I thought the writing, except for maybe a line or two, was brilliant in this regard lol.

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Joined: August 2016
I was impressed by the movie. I didn't *love* it. It's not the type of movie that I rewatch multiple times, but it's the type that leaves a lasting impression. It was emotional, at times very touching. It's been hours since I watched it and I'm still thinking about it.

The structure was ambitious, perhaps too ambitious and complicated for the GP. It was... Interesting. I liked it, but some people around me seemed to find it too confusing to follow.

I loved the score.

As for the actors, I was most impressed by Rylance, Branagh and Styles. Can see one of them getting the best supporting actor nomination.

Overall, it's a very good movie, technically one of the best from Nolan; I hope his directing finally gets acknowledged by the Academy.

I'm already wondering what kind of movie he will do next.

Rating: 8/10
Last edited by Darkline on July 20th, 2017, 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Imagine thinking the script sucks. Just because it's not tailored around characters but around events and the structure of these events. Without this specific structure, you couldn't have had tension throughout the entire god damn film.

Just imagine that. Completely missing the point of the entire movie.
Last edited by RIFA on July 20th, 2017, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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