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Dunkirk (2017)

I can’t recall another war film as uniquely effective as Dunkirk. Writer/director Christopher Nolan takes us on an unrelenting tour of hell that makes Saving Private Ryan look like In the Army Now--without spilling a quart of blood or writing more than thirty minutes of dialogue. Centered on an early World War II skirmish that saw British soldiers trapped between advancing Nazis and the Atlantic Ocean, Nolan time-hops between three narratives as they converge, further driving home the oppressive disorientation of conflict. Dunkirk may be a monster-budget, mainstream summer movie headed up by smoldering hunks (Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh) and a pop sensation (Harry Styles), but it is not escapism. This is subjective confrontism at its finest, a reminder that war reduces everyday life to unending, awful choices in the service of mere survival. I imagine multiplexes replacing those obnoxious 3D glasses receptacles this weekend with trauma-blanket kiosks.

Check out Kicking the Seat Podcast #242 to hear Ian head for the shoreline with Erik Childress of the Movie Madness Podcast!