Andrew | A.J.’s review published on Letterboxd:
All we did was survive.
Explosive, unstoppable, a film that literally rattles bones - Dunkirk is a film of indescribable power and unbeatable humanity.
To say that this is Christopher Nolan's best film would be an understatement. Nolan gives this film his all and then some, delivering an experience that suffocates you. The way Dunkirk begins, goes, and ends is unparalleled - not even Mad Max: Fury Road achieves the level of electricity that Nolan does here. This film never, ever, ever stops.
The ensemble cast is magnetic, especially Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles, as the boots-on-the-ground kids trying to get home. Tom Hardy is absolutely brilliant as Farrier, a Spitfire pilot with eyes of steel. Hardy is able to grab your attention the same way he always does, using only his eyes.
Hoyte van Hoytema.... the cold of the images travels all the way into your bloodstream. Hoytema's work with the IMAX cameras is nothing short of transportive. Nolan has described the IMAX footage as "virtual reality without the goggles", but what a terrible comparison - VR is nowhere near this good. Hoytema's ability with IMAX is singular - he makes cockpits alternately roomy and claustrophobic, beaches beautiful and terrifying, and oceans like hells.
Dunkirk is a magnificent achievement, the kind of cinema that truly earns the title. Christopher Nolan has never made such a finely constructed and desperate film. Dunkirk depicts soldiers screaming for help when there is none, it shows humans faced with death, needing nothing short of a miracle - and the perseverance of the human soul.
We shall never surrender.