Dunkirk

Dunkirk ★★★★★

Seen for the second time after my first viewing at London's estimable BFI IMAX on opening weekend was spoiled by the obnoxious prick sat next to me loudly shovelling popcorn into his face while whispering excitedly to his companion. Told him to be quiet and seemingly upset the pair of them then had to sit in the ensuing rage like I was the bad guy. I was aware of great things happening on screen but was completely detached. Total waste of time and money.

HOWEVER. I returned on Wednesday to my local cinema and had the most perfect experience. Midday, biggest screen, room basically empty, no one ostentatiously hoovering up popcorn - in fact no one on my aisle or in my eyeline whatsoever. Just how I like it.

And what a film this is. Peak Nolan. So controlled, so beautifully shot, the score drives the film along at a breathless clip, building and building, constantly ramping up the tension as the stakes become clearer and increasingly more dire. This is visceral, immersive, survival cinema that called to mind GRAVITY, UNITED 93 & 127 HOURS. It has you on the edge of your seat and in its vice-like grip which just gets tighter and tighter as events spiral out of control, terrible and brilliant things happen simultaneously, until eventually there is the most incredible sense of euphoric relief when we realise certain characters are, finally, safe.

Packed full of extraordinary imagery and with a rare power; this is impeccable filmmaking that doesn't come along very often.

An instant classic.