Jonathan White’s review published on Letterboxd:
For ages, since at least TIFF when Lise and I saw Darkest Hour, I’ve been curious about Dunkirk. I cheerfully followed the ‘You Have To See It In … ‘ memes over the last year. I’ll have to ring in, though, that Dunkirk is a visual masterpiece. The kind of visual masterpiece that doesn’t draw attention to itself, but rather brings you along with it’s story.
If I were to point out one detraction, it would be Nolan switching between 1.85:1 and 1.77:1. While there have been many open mat films in days of yore .. including Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, and many films like Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest that change AR’s to progress the story, and Dolan's Mommy to make an emotional statement, in this day and age I think Nolan would have been better off to just stick to a 1.44:1 for IMAX and 1.77:1 for non IMAX.
All this is nitpicking, though, as I thought this film was brilliant. I haven’t been a fan of Nolan’s more recent films, but here, I felt he really transcended himself. This was a period that had a very specific story, yet he eschewed that to just offer moments. While there were characters that took us through the film, there was never a maudlin attachment to them … we just observed them.
This new style has made me re-assess Mr Nolan and his work. While I can’t quite deem it a complete masterpiece, at this first viewing anyway, it sure has a lot of the qualities of one.