Rated 3.0

Christopher Nolan’s ambitious film about the 1940 evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk is one of the great visual cinematic spectacles of the 21st century, and for that, he should be applauded. Unfortunately, some of his scripting and editing decisions take away from the effectiveness of his movie. In a strange way, this is one of his least successful films. We’re talking about the guy who made Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Inception, Insomnia and Memento. All of those films are better movies than Dunkirk. They are, in fact, great movies. Dunkirk is a good movie, and an occasionally astounding one if you manage to see it on an IMAX screen. Nolan shot on film, with all scenes intended for IMAX. Mixed with some incredible soundtrack work by Hans Zimmer, the movie begs to be seen in theaters. All that said, it still feels like a bit of an empty experience in some ways. I’m glad I saw it. I’m glad it exists, but it didn’t blow me away. Any Nolan fan knows that he loves to make his movies complicated in relation to time—Memento being a prime example—and the director himself has called Dunkirk his most experimental yet. Nolan is out to prove that you can cut away from a harrowing ship-sinking sequence to an also harrowing battle sequence set in the air and maintain the tension. He simply doesn’t pull off the stunt every time. There are moments when he cuts away to another timeline that are nothing short of totally frustrating and unnecessary. It feels like a director being a little too cute.