DUNKIRK Family Movie Review3 min read

Review by Thomas Olsen


Allied soldiers in Europe are surrounded by the German army with little hope of surviving. 


Dunkirk is an unconventional but striking war film. It’s both inspiring and horrific. While other war films tend to depict the gore and violence of war, Dunkirk goes the route of letting you feel what it’s like to be stuck in the hopelessness and despair of war. Along with depicting the terrors of war it’s also a moving story about courage and selflessness. There is very little exposition to the film. It doesn't waste time with back stories of the characters but allows you to experience the terror the characters are experiencing first hand.

It throws its viewers right into the middle of the action. Like most of director Christopher Nolan film’s (The Dark Knight TrilogyInterstellar) it plays out almost like a puzzle and takes its time piecing itself together. By the end it forms together as a piece of art that is absolutely stunning and inspiring to behold. This structure maybe frustrating for some viewers but it’s something that is unlike any other war film. 

Along with an inspiring story Dunkirk is also masterful at creating tension and suspense. The actors, while limited on dialog, make you feel like you are watching real people trying to survive this dreadful experience. The sound design is absolutely fantastic and also plays a large role in creating the tension and suspense throughout the film. Hans Zimmer's score is another ingredient that puts you on the edge of your seat.

While many of Nolan’s films tend to be long epics, Dunkirk is tightly paced and immerses you in the conflict of all the characters on screen. The cinematography is also incredibly beautiful throughout. At times it can be a bit difficult to differentiate some of the characters, but it’s not enough from making this one one the best films of the year. 



Dunkirk is rated PG-13. There are 2 f-words and mild profanity. There are intense and realistic war sequences through out the film. Soldiers are gunned down by machine guns but no blood is present. There are soldiers who are shown drowning as well as being killed by explosions. One character is shot in face and another knock unconscious by being hit in the head. Airplane pilots are seen being shot down and crash landing. 


War, no matter the reason for it, always has devastating consequences. Every life is important and has value. Many times in life we have to learn to rely on others to help us. We can’t always save ourselves. Bravery and courage takes sacrifice and not just a desire to help others. No matter our circumstance we can always find ways to help and serve others.

We're Nolan fans here at Your Family Expert. Check out this smart breakdown of his style and consider picking up this 6-film Bluray set of his films to support our efforts!

Thomas Olsen is currently a graduate student studying professional counseling. He also hosts a podcast called Superhero MovieCast that focuses on reviewing, analyzing, and discussing the inspiring themes of superhero movies. You can find all the latest episodes on iTunes, or the podcast app! 

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