Be forewarned, this movie can be insanely confusing. There are three vignettes operating during this film: a pilot trying to keep the Luftwaffe at bay (while rescue attempts for the waiting soldiers on the beach are being made), a private citizen and his sons, who are lending a heroic hand to the survivors of sinking ships, and a small group of soldiers who are young, frightened, and only wish to get back home.
Time doesn’t run linearly during the many battle scenes. We know this, because one scene can be taking place at night, and the following scene is during the day. I understand this is the trademark of a Christopher Nolan film.
Dialog is sparse, and frequently can’t be understood because of the external sounds of war. The movie seems to depend on the facial expressions of the frightened men to know what’s going on in their minds – and it works beautifully.
I might add that if you’re not familiar with the Battle of Dunkirk, you may want to read a short article in Wikipedia that will help you gain insight into this dreadful event.
If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan, you won’t be disappointed.
Movie Grade: A