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Critics: 'Dunkirk' May Be Christopher Nolan's Masterpiece

Critics: 'Dunkirk' May Be Christopher Nolan's Masterpiece

Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited film “Dunkirk,” an epic about the harrowing Allied escape from northern France near the start of World War II, is winning over the hearts and minds of critics.

Nolan, who has built a broad following through his “Dark Knight” trilogy and science fiction thrillers such as “Inception,” has created an intricate series of interlocking stories about the battle that some reviewers are calling his masterpiece.

“The nerve-racking war thriller Dunkirk is the movie Christopher Nolan’s entire career has been building up to, in ways that even he may not have realized,” wrote The Village Voice. “He’s taken the British Expeditionary Force’s 1940 evacuation from France, early in World War II_a moment of heroism-in-defeat that has become an integral part of Britain’s vision of itself_and turned it into a nesting doll of increasingly breathless ticking-clock narratives.”

Praise Almost Unanimous

The movie was scoring an astounding 98 percent “fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

“Dunkirk: Do Oscars Beckon For Nolan’s War Epic?” asked the BBC headline.

Entertainment Weekly was among those who noted that the massive retreat back to Britain across the English Channel - civilians sailed from England 26 miles away to ferry soldiers because the waters at Dunkirk were too shallow for troop transports - was in fact a victory.

“From that seemingly hopeless situation sprang one of Britain’s finest moments of the war. Had all of those soldiers been slaughtered or taken prisoner, Britain would have, in all likelihood, been forced to surrender to Hitler,” EW said.

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Intricate, Twisty Plot

“Take away the film’s prismatic structure and this could be a classic war picture for the likes of Lee Marvin or John Wayne,” wrote Variety. “And yet, there’s no question that the star here is Nolan himself, whose attention-grabbing approach alternates among three strands, chronological but not concurrent, while withholding until quite late the intricate way they all fit together.”

The Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX) movie stars Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden and former One Direction singer Harry Styles.

“Yes, Harry Styles can act - and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is his best movie yet,” wrote the Telegraph of London.

Many critics praised the action scenes from the battle - more than 300,000 troops were pinned down on the French coast - which includes aerial dog fights, bombed ships and brutal ground combat.

“Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" is a stone cold masterpiece,” says The Associated Press. “The screen and images envelope you with urgency, dread and moments of breathtaking beauty and grace as you wait with the soldiers, as the title card at the beginning says, for deliverance.”

Posted-In: Christopher Nolan Cillian Murphy Dunkirk Harry StylesPsychology Media Reviews General Best of Benzinga


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