Matt Z’s review published on Letterboxd:
1. It can't be understated how impressive it is that Nolan got us Americans to care about a WWII story that happened BEFORE the U.S. became involved. We love our war stories that portray us as the heroes.
2. Nolan was genius to cast Harry Styles. Not only was he properly cast and fit well with his peers, but the box office numbers will undoubtedly be boosted by a new demographic of younger, female fans of the pop singer.
3. Nolan loves to tackle the theme of TIME. Memento, Inception, Interstellar, and now Dunkirk. The use of 3 intersecting timelines is achieved masterfully.
4. This is loud. So loud that it's panic inducing. The audience is surrounded with sound, just as the soldiers are encircled by the creeping enemy.
5. The script is about 76 pages long.
6. Hans Zimmer builds that tension with his ticking score. It reminds me of the Joker's one-note theme in The Dark Knight. It's not something you want to revisit by purchasing the soundtrack, but it's incredibly effective in the film.
7. If I had to describe the film in one word, that would be RELENTLESS. This movie doesn't seem to have an ebb and flow. You don't feel at ease until about the 100 minute mark.
8. The film is split into three distinct perspectives: land, air, and sea. The most impressive shots come during the aerial battles. Hardy knew his role would be one of many, but seemed happy to be along for the ride.
9. Never has a military retreat seemed like such a victory.
10. Dunkirk teaches us that war films don't need to be personal. They don't need to have much character development. What they need most is high stakes, realism, and to put each audience member alongside the soldiers.