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Dunkirk Early Reactions: Nolan's WWII Thriller Is a Colossal Achievement

By Ryan Scott — July 10th, 2017

It sounds like Christopher Nolan has cemented his place as one of the best directors working today. After tackling Batman with The Dark Knight trilogy, making some great modern sci-fi movies with Inception and The Prestige and making some great thrillers in the form of Memento and Insomnia, he has finally made his war movie with Dunkirk. The movie has screened for critics and the first reactions are in, which praise it as an original, but possibly divisive WWII thriller.

Dunkirk is set to arrive in theaters on July 21 and marks Christopher Nolan's first directorial effort since the very ambitions Interstellar. With the release date fast approaching, Warner Bros. decided to start showing the movie to critics, and it sounds like most everyone loves it. Erik Davis, who serves as the managing editor over at Fandango, praised every aspect of Dunkirk from the relentless pacing to Hanz Zimmer's score. Here's what he had to say about it.

"#Dunkirk is chaotic, relentless, thrilling & one of the most captivating movies you will see this year. A master class in craft. What a ride. From direction to editing to cinematography to score, w/ #Dunkirk Christopher Nolan proves he is one of the great filmmakers of our time."

Christopher Nolan is almost totally responsible for the success or failure of Dunkirk. Not only did he direct the movie and produce it, but as opposed to having his brother Jonathan Nolan help write the movie, Christopher Nolan wrote the script for Dunkirk himself. It sounds like that worked out quite well, at least in the eyes of critics. However, it is being said that there isn't a whole lot of dialogue and that this is very much not a non-traditional war movie. According to Film Struck's Alicia Malone, it may even be divisive among moviegoers.

"Dunkirk: intense! 3 intercutting stories on 3 time frames. Almost a silent film, w/ incredible score. May be divisive. I Loved. See 70mm!"

One very common reaction from critics is that this is a movie that demands to be seen in a premium large format. Warner Bros. is giving Dunkirk the largest 70mm release in decades, so people across the country will have the chance to see the movie in the best possible presentation. Dunkirk also sports an A-list cast, even though they reportedly don't talk much, with Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and former One Direction member Harry Styles. Some have expressed concern about Styles' casting, but Collider's Steve Weintraub claims he kills it.

"A lot of people were wondering about @harry_styles & unknown cast. They're all great but Dunkirk is not about any one solider."

Despite it being released in the heart of the summer movie season, Dunkirk seems like the kind of movie that could be in the conversation come awards season. Could Christopher Nolan finally be picking up an Oscar? We'll have to wait and see. For now, you can check out all of the early critical reactions for Dunkirk below.

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