Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
If you want to watch Dunkirk, by all means do so in IMAX. It's an exhilarating experience that's so intense and nail-biting that it feels like you are part of the action in Dunkirk.
I've already given Christopher Nolan enough praise already in how brilliantly crafted his films are and his dedication to practical effects, but, my gosh, is Dunkirk his best looking film to date! His sheer dedication to recreating this WWII event, by reusing old boats and planes, to even filming in the actual location. He is truly the best filmmaker working today, as his knack is hard to beat.
I read and watch reviews all the time, and I understand that some people (such as Jeremy Jahns) complain about the characters being one-dimensional. I get it, it's not a character-driven film last like year's phenomenal Hacksaw Ridge. But at the same time, I don't think the character development was what Nolan was going for. The way I see it, this is a deeply exhilarating event film focusing more on the psychological terror of the situation these soldiers went through to try to get out of the horrible situation they were in. Heck, even Saving Private Ryan focused more on the hellish nature of war more than the actual characters (with the exception of Tom Hanks and the Private Ryan Matt Damon character) and that's also one of the most influential war films ever made. Dunkirk shows that even with a lack of character development can a film be deeply investing because of the extravagance going on.
It is style over substance? No, because it doesn't give up characterization in favor of the high-dollar money shots. Rather, by brilliantly focusing on the event in a non-linear structure through three different scenarios (land, air, and sea) is still able to enthrall as a work of art. There's still staggering performances in this movie, including Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branaugh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and One Direction's Harry Styles of all people, but the movie is more on the actual event and heroism involved over characters stopping every five minutes to reminisce about their home life.
With so many amazing works of art Nolan has done in his career, it's hard to rank something like Dunkirk. But it is a staggering accomplishment for authentic practical effects and the film industry in general. The arial dogfight sequences alone are worth the extra IMAX admission.
One of the highlights of the year, and will do down as yet another essential in Nolan's already amazing resume of blockbusters and art.
Call me a rabid Nolan-ite, but Dunkirk, like so many of his other films, definitely earns my highest rating....