Valerie’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have to admit that when I saw trailers for Dunkirk in theaters, months ago, I wasn’t thrilled at all and I even said that I probably wouldn’t watch this film because it doesn’t appear to be my taste. I dislike most war movies – it’s just so difficult for me to like them for some reason, unless they have strong anti-war messages (Full Metal Jacket, for example). So I wasn’t looking forward to it. But I still kept Dunkirk on my radar nevertheless because I think Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director/writer (regardless of people’s mixed views in terms of his work) and, reluctantly, I thought I’d give Dunkirk a try. Well I am extremely glad that I chose to see this film; Dunkirk surprised me in virtually every way possible. It’s gripping and compelling straight from the very beginning. It starts off mercilessly and the tension seemingly overflows from the screen. The panic and terror is palpable and each moment is so frighteningly realistic that I’d consider Dunkirk (easily) one of the greatest war films ever made.
Normally I would complain about the lack of dialogue because dialogue is so important to me, but I don’t believe it was necessary in Dunkirk and I think it flowed so naturally despite little communication between characters. It’s the emotional expressions on their faces that give us very profound ideas about what they’re going through and how they’re handling the widespread destruction. Dunkirk even moved me to tears at certain points because it was very solemn and unfortunate, it was like nobody could catch a single break in those vicious battles.
I also thought that the cinematography was gorgeous and the performances from all of the actors were amazing. Even Harry Styles, who has minimal (or none?) acting experience was impressive in his role. Dunkirk was sensational to me and I could see myself giving it a full 5 stars after a second watch, I’m thoroughly stunned at how much I enjoyed this I’m in actual shock right now.