Dunkirk Review: a time traveling war movie

Dunkirk is many things, but traditional it is not. A war movie is what it’s labeled as, but I usually don’t care about war movies. What I care about, however, is details. The smallest details, if precise enough, turn into something big, and that’s this director’s specialty. Christopher Nolan, the same guy that brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, and Inception, has returned with his most grounded and yet most ambitious film to date.

This isn’t your typical war movie. It’s more of a silent-survival-thriller—or, a ride”, as Nolan calls it. Through Dunkirk, you’ll hardly understand what anyone is saying, and that’s the point. They’re only meant to be background noise to the score and sound effects. It often sounded like clocks ticking, or a heartbeat, creating an immediate and sudden suspense through the entire 106 minutes of the film.

M.G. Siegler:

CGI is at a minimum here and as such, the visuals are arresting. And given that it was shot in 70mm (and IMAX), it might be the most visual film of all time. Especially when you consider just how little dialogue there is in the film. So little that the score is the far more important audio component (you could argue this is true in many great films, but there’s no argument here).

That. Ticking.

This is a story about time traveling, but only from our point of view (more on this later). This is a story about a war against the Germans, but you never see the Germans. This is a story without much of a story. Instead, Dunkirk throws you directly into the battle, with no buildup, no character development, and hardly any dialogue though the entire film. Dunkirk didn’t waste a second on anything that didn’t matter. This film is about one thing and one thing only: absolute immersion.

Robbie Collin:

You could describe Dunkirk as a silent film at heart — and the superb Hans Zimmer score, battering, surging, metronomically counting off the seconds, is such a constant presence it’s more or less an accompaniment.

The Enemy” is what they’re called through the movie, never The Germans”. You never see them either. This makes them appear scarier than they already are.

David Ehrlich:

You never see the Germans. […] The opening text refers to them as just the enemy.” They are as vague and violent as the dream projections in Inception,” less of a literal force than a deadly abstraction that lives under our skin, feeds on our fears, and erodes our shared purpose.

My favorite part of Dunkirk is understanding the way time is manipulated. Nolan controls time like no other (Inception’s dreams, Interstellar’s time relativity, Memento’s story told backwards). Dunkirk’s story is told through three perspectives: The Mole (on land) takes place within a week, The Sea takes place within a day, and The Air takes place within an hour. If you’re not conscious of this, the story being told from scene to scene, appears to be happening all at the same time. And it’s because of this that I’ve watched this movie several times already. Land, sea, and air aren’t happening at the same time, now try to keep up.

M.G. Siegler:

It’s amazing what you can do when you cut out backstories and let the story speak for itself. […] And this can work when the story actually speaks for itself three different times, from three different perspectives, at three different speeds.



I’m Nash. I create things. Become a member today. 1


  1. $10/month or $100/year


    Every month I go through each service that’s connected to nashp.com — memberships, merchandise, Patreon, album sales, Tip Jar, etc. — and when transferring those little balances into my bank account, and seeing them collectively become a small paycheck, it’s always fascinating.

    A bunch of little buckets working together for the bigger picture.

    Thank you.

Stories From Me


Stories From You


Stories From The Internet




Archive

2018

Organizing and Decorating Nevaeh’s Room

Cross Church Notes: Family Feature (12/30/18)

December Photos

Creative Minds: December

My 15 Favorite Rap Albums of 2018

Creative Minds Shirts

Cross Church Notes: The Simple Gospel (12/23/18)

I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower. — Banksy

For My Brother: 004 - Chuck E. Cheese Party

Criminal justice overhaul: The unlikely story behind the bill that wouldn’t die

Searching For Kanye West

Darkroom For iPad: Faster. Easier. More Powerful.

The Making of “Mr. Bentley: The Birthday Card”

Cross Church Notes: Family Feature (12/16/18)

Luka Doncic Signature Moves Highlights 2018-2019

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)

Black Thought - Conception feat. Reek Ruffin (Official Music Video)

Invisible Man (LOOP2)

What To Watch

Little Buckets

We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing…an actor, a writer…I am a person who does things…I write, I act…and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun. — Stephen Fry

Cross Church Notes: Family Feature (12/9/18)

Eminem - Kick Off Freestyle (Remix with Beats)

November Photos

Eminem - Good Guy ft. Jessie Reyez

Marvel Studios’ Avengers - Official Trailer

OWC Travel Dock

An Inside Look at Apple’s Biggest Step Yet in Health Care

Cross Church Notes: First Thursday (12/6/18)

December 5, 2018

Wes Anderson’s new movie, The French Dispatch

Beautiful ebook novels with Ulysses - Matt Gemmell

For My Brother: 003 - Creative Minds

Cross Church Notes: Family Feature (12/2/18)

October Recap (It was a busy month)

Why iPad Pro

Introducing the new iPad Pro — Apple

October 30, 2018

Bet on Yourself | A Gary Vaynerchuk Original Film

Amazon-Backed Smart Glasses For $1,000: First Look

Jay Rock - Wow Freestyle ft. Kendrick Lamar

Apple’s Radical Approach to News: Humans Over Machines

Red Dead Redemption 2: Review Roundup

What the Hell Happened to Darius Miles? — By Darius Miles

iPhone XR: Great For Everyone - Austin Mann

Feature Request: Pairing and managing the Apple Watch from the iPad

Stardew Valley - iOS Launch Trailer

October 24, 2018

Apple Watch

Apple’s Upcoming TV Service to Launch in 100+ Countries in 2019, Starting With the U.S.

October 19, 2018

iPhone XR Hands-on: Everything You Need to Know

Red Dead Redemption 2 Launch Trailer

A Review of the Apple Watch Series 4 — The Sweet Setup

How to Watch Basketball

Creative Minds: October

Navy Seal Commander explains why wake up at 4am

Chris Paul - One Goal

Cross Church Notes: Ghost Stories (10/14/18)

Austin Kleon - Bond 2018

Genius Gets Smart With Apple Music

You say backpack. I say rocket.

THE MULE - Official Trailer

Project xCloud: Gaming with you at the center

Handling Deadlines and Multiple Projects with OmniFocus and MindNode

Podcast: Brain States (Daniel Clark on Focus, Sleep and Neuroscience)

Podcast: Brain States (Daniel Clark on Focus, Sleep and Neuroscience)

Out of Time (2003)

Cross Church Notes: Ghost Stories (10/7/18)

Anderson .Paak - TINTS ft. Kendrick Lamar (Official Lyric Video)

Scratched Cornea: Productivity Life Hack

Eminem - Venom

Invisible Man (Are We Dreaming)

Finding Purpose, by Jay Ray

Scratched My Eye

Find Your Spark

Confirmation Bias And the Power of Disconfirming Evidence

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Chris Paul Speech To The Next Generation of Basketball In Los Angeles.

Media Giants Rev Up Streaming Services to Compete With Netflix — Variety

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal — 48-minute walkthrough

Cross Church Notes: Made For This (8/26/18)

August 24, 2018

Get lost in the breathtaking game Sable

NBA 2K19: Broadcast Trailer

Kobe Bryant Top 40 All Time Plays

Serial Box creates books for the age of Peak TV

Yuno - Fall In Love [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Dizzy - Pretty Thing

Cross Church Notes: Made For This (08/19/18)

Audacious Fox: 1Password as a Digital Will

August 16, 2018

How Music Was Made On Super Nintendo

REASON - The Soul (VISUAL)

Consolidating Groups

Travis Scott - STOP TRYING TO BE GOD

Cross Church Notes: Made For This (08/12/18)

Apple Glasses Are Coming - Here’s Why

Red Dead Redemption 2: Official Gameplay Video

5 Common Grammar Mistakes Even the Best Writers Make

NBA 2K19 - Take the Crown

Vector: Anki’s tiny robot that wants to hang

Anki Reveals Autonomous ‘Vector’ Home Robot With AI Learning to Help Around the House

No Man’s Sky: Next Review

Mac Miller - 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Concert (Feat. Thundercat)

LeBron James to Produce Docu-Series ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ for Showtime

Home of the Future with Grant Imahara

New Musical Express: Travis Scott — ‘Astroworld’ review

Disney’s Streaming Service Starts to Come Into Focus

Cross Church Notes: Made For This (08/05/18)

The Work Required to Have an Opinion

General Magic - Official Trailer

An ode to back to school shopping

Redesigning Siri and adding multitasking features to iOS

Drake - In My Feelings

Daring Fireball: Apple Closes With Market Cap Over $1 Trillion

Daring Fireball: Apple Closes With Market Cap Over $1 Trillion

Apple Is Worth $1 Trillion; 21 Years Ago It Was on the Brink of Bankruptcy

August 1, 2018

It Is the Very Act of Doing Something that Actually Helps with Clarity.

Carmelo & Paul - Secret Workout In Vegas (Video)

Summer Project: 2018

Nintendo has sold nearly 20 million Switch consoles

Netflix Acquires Andy Serkis’ Mowgli From Warner Bros

With so much content, viewership is moving further and further away from release dates

What it means to be an artist

Let go of the belief that everything is important

Carmelo finalized his buyout with Atlanta

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (07/29/18)

LeBron James Fights For His Family | THE SHOP

Extinction | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Rockets sign Clint Capela to five-year deal

Zoning Out in the Age of Netflix

Denis Villeneuve is making a series of Dune movies

I Think We’re Alone Now - Teaser Trailer

July 24, 2018

July 23, 2018

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (07/22/18)

Glass - Official Trailer

July 20, 2018

little things that matter

Peter Jackson’s new First World War film

Gemini Twins, by Charles Phillips III

No Man’s Sky NEXT (Trailer)

Finding My Best Self

UNCHARTED - Fan Film (2018)

Summer Collection (Shirts)

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (07/15/18)

Do You Even Matter?

Mac Miller - Self Care (Video)

Journal: July 13, 2018

Become a Better Runner - Anatomy of a Stride

How MoviePass (Doesn’t) Work

The Impact of Akira: The Film that Changed Everything

Star Wars: Episode IX Cast Announced

1-800-273-8255

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (7/8/18)

Frank Ocean: How an Accomplished Writer Became a Reclusive Superstar

James Altucher on How to Reinvent Yourself and Create the Future with Lewis Howes

‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ Official Trailer | Paramount Network

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (07/01/18)

Cross Church Notes: Extreme Summer (07/01/18)

Childish Gambino - Storytelling Through Hip-Hop

Iteration and Haptic Feedback

Trying to Conceive, by Chelsea Breaux

Frank Ocean - Godspeed (DVSN Remix)

About the iPhone 7 Design

Apple in Talks to Acquire Luxury Carmaker and Formula One Team McLaren

Kottke.org’s New Site Design (and the importance of launching things unfinished)

Just write and publish

iPhone is the new Film

iPhone 7 Render: Space Black Edition

iPhone 7: Day 1 (Photoblog)

What to expect from next week’s iPhone 7

Rounders: A Netflix Review

I didn’t watch either of the two Saints games, and that’s ok

The iPhone 7 completely demolishes Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 in a speed test

MKBHD: iPhone 7’s performance and camera

Dear Casey (Introduction to the iPhone)

Neil Cybart on AirPods

Inside an AirPod

iPhone 7 Ad

Skiler’s leaving for the Army: a photoblog of us saying goodbye

Apple tees up the future with iPhone 7 | TechCrunch

Pace, Rhythm, and Blogging

iPhone 7 At The US Open

The Power of Creation, by Ashley Cox Samanie

iPhone 7 Plus Photos from the Titans-Vikings Game

Propaganda Smoke Screen

‘If you think Apple Watch is a flop you are a moron.’

Carol: how my grandma impacted my life

Courage

Apple is trying to turn the iPhone into a DSLR using artificial intelligence

Introducing iPhone 7

Introducing AirPods

Don’t Blink: a two minute video, quickly showing everything Apple announced today

Galaxy Note 7 Exploding Battery Issue Gifts Samsung’s Victory To Apple’s New iPhone 7

Dear Younger Me

Making the Climb: a guest post by Gilbert Marcel

Kanye Deconstructed: the human voice as the ultimate instrument

Phones are exploding, and nobody cares

Isaiah Rashad - Wat’s Wrong ft Zacari & Kendrick Lamar

Writing, Archives, Friends

NBA 2K17 Gameplay Blog with Gameplay Director, Mike Wang

Creative Minds: Small Group