Dunkirk Nolan Fans Member Reviews (NFometer)

The 2017 World War II thriller about the evacuation of British and Allied troops from Dunkirk beach.
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No shit I actually feel a little different. After I saw it yesterday I felt cold and depressed

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^lol I felt WEIRD yesterday. Today is... alright, but stuff like this always leaves an odd feeling behind for a bit.

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Such an attack on the senses.

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Before my review (if you can call it that), I have one thing to say: I watched Dunkirk on a regular digital screen and THANK YOU JESUS for making the projection fill the entire screen. You don’t know how pumped I was when the Warner Brothers logo appeared and there were no black bars on either side.

Now that that’s out of the way, I seriously enjoyed this film. I’m actually surprised by how I much I liked it, after the somewhat divisive reactions. I’m going to start with my favorite things about Dunkirk:

- Don’t know if this makes sense, but I loved how abrupt this started. Apart from the opening text, there’s no real introduction and the film puts you right in the middle of the action. The opening sequence, while not showy, was pretty fantastic in how immediately grabbed your attention;
- The narrative structure was definitely interesting. While not as impressive as I thought it was going to be, it helped sustain suspense. The moment in the middle of the film when Nolan started to give you a hint on how the three timelines were going to merge was a great payoff;
- The cinematography was out of this world and on a technical level, my favorite thing about the film. It looked incredible, I can’t imagine how good this must look on an IMAX screen. The aerial footage was ridiculous, and I’m not hesitant in saying that this might be Nolan’s best looking film. Of all the potential awards, cinematography is the one I really hope it gets recognized;
- To those who say Dunkirk is emotionless, I disagree. If you didn’t feel anything by end of the film… that says more about you than anything else. The ending is up there with the best Nolan has ever made and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the film as much as I did if Nolan didn’t stick the landing on this one;
- The acting was competent all around. From the established actors, Branagh and Rylance gave the most impactful performances, while Tom Glynn-Carney and Styles (to my surprise) were the newcomers who impressed me the most.

On to my negatives… There were definitely some issues I had with the film, but they are nitpicks more than anything else:

- The weather changes between shots bothered me and took me out of the immersion a few too many times;
- While I cared and rooted for the characters to survive, I did find myself wishing Nolan had given us a more predominant protagonist… I don’t remember if Tommy’s name was even mentioned once;
- I have to agree about the lack of scale, as I never got the sense that 400,000 soldiers were in that beach. Nolan’s aversion to CGI hurt the film there;
- The climax got perhaps a bit too confusing for its own good, even while understanding the outcome in the end;
- I was hoping for the soundtrack to be on my favorites list, but it didn’t make enough of a mark on me. It worked well with the visuals, but it wasn’t memorable at all, so that was disappointing.

So yes, it’s not a perfect film. But that’s the thing, I don’t believe Nolan has ever made a perfect film, and I think that’s part of the reason we enjoy his films - they all have specific quirks, for better and worse. Dunkirk is somewhat different from the rest of his filmography, from genre to tone, but it manages to still feel like a Nolan film - it’s visually distinct and has a unique "personality" that any fan would recognize.

I see why some people have called this cold or distant, but that works here: war is not supposed to be welcoming.

I give Dunkirk a 9/10 and already look forward to watch it a second time.

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Master Virgo wrote:Memento for me might be the single most rewatchable film I've ever seen.£
For me it's probably TDK (28 times); once I felt actually physically sick from watching it and hated every second because I started seeing everything beyond the scene except the scene - lame extras, background noise, logical flaws etc. Still love it of course, just in smaller doses.

Anyway, thank you all for responding to my question about the CN ranking after Dunkirk, feel free to add to it, whoever comes later. :gonf:

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Okay, I'm going to hit the "I didn't care about any characters" from another angle (possible spoilers).
Many reviewers, like the ones who would state my above quote, acknowledge that Nolan's vision puts you onto the beach with the soldiers as if you are one of them. There are 400,000 soldiers. Tell me, critics... does Tommy know all of the men that are on that beach? Does he know any of them? Did Dawson know him? Did Dawson know any of the soldiers on that beach, or the shivering soldier, or the pilot he rescued despite the fact no chute deployed?

What the critics don't realize (and I didn't bother to realize for myself until now) is that these men call each other brothers. They don't have to be related and they don't have to be acquaintances. They just have to have a common goal, and that they did. Why was Tommy defending Gibson inside of the boat when he never even said a word to the guy? Maybe it's because Gibson offered Tommy water; maybe it's because Gibson saved Tommy's life when he was drowning. Why did Gibson do those things? He has no reason to, except for the fact that he cared. Why did he care? Like Tommy, Gibson was simply trying to survive.

We as audience members are also soldiers on that beach. We are holding our breaths, covering our ears, and want to reach into the screen and hang on to one of the people there so they aren't overtaken by the enemy forces. They would die for their fellow comrades, and they will do it without a second's hesitation. No learning names, no delivering messages, no earning trust. Time was against them and they acted on it, all because they cared. If you as an audience member are unable to care about these people because they didn't mention their daughter and their cat, and you can't see the point as to why they can care without knowing those instances, then Nolan failed to captivate you the way that he intended, and you missed the mark on what he attempted to convey for you. To quote Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige: "It's inhuman to be so cold."

And I said all of this without ever once mentioning Bolton, Farrier, or every other civilian who came to rescue those men.
Last edited by MuffinMcFluffin on July 20th, 2017, 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Master Virgo wrote:Memento for me might be the single most rewatchable film I've ever seen.£

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- See Dunkirk: check
- Read spoilerific reviews: check
- Catch up on reactions on NF: check
- Read Vader's review: awaiting

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It fucking sucked.


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