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It looks beautiful and at times immerses you in the action, but that's about it
Personally, I was disappointed by it. And I actually like Inception and Interstellar.
It looks very good, and the scenes where stuff was happening did immerse you in the experience. I admire the lack of dialogue and the use of actors who looked authentic, warts and all.
But the characters were almost like cardboard cutouts and I did not feel any sort of attachment to any of them nor did I reach any deeper understanding of them. There was not nearly enough historical context provided.
I hated the soundtrack. I found it was grating and at times the movie was just too loud. Some will say it was supposed to be grating, but I still found it pretentious. It's like the usual "bwaaaaaas" we hear for dramatic effect in all the blockbuster films and their previews. It worked for me at the beginning of Inception, but they didn't cram that kind of thing into every scene like they do here, and there was an actual soundtrack that wasn't just bombastic noise IMO. A guy can't even take a dump without the soundtrack trying to make it seem epic.
I also felt that many parts just dragged on, and that there were things that didn't quite make sense to me, such as:
I didn't understand why all the soldiers stood on the pier like sitting ducks. In WWI, people figured out that you shouldn't build trenches in a straight line because a plane can just swoop down and machine gun everyone in it. Yet here are the soldiers standing exactly in that formation. I was surprised that the planes continued dropping bombs rather than just gunning everyone down. The soldiers also just kept cowering instead of firing at the planes. Enough people firing a volley seems like it wouldn't be in vain.
The scene in the boat with the bullet holes appearing and everyone arguing about how someone should leave, even though the weight of the water coming in was several times that of a single man, and then them trying to plug the holes with their hands when I could've sworn I saw things lying around in there that they could have used. Even if they did manage to plug the holes with their hands, they couldn't possibly keep them plugged the whole way, and people will still have to go up to sail the boat. Let alone the fact that it made no sense for Germans, or whoever else, to waste time distracting themselves with target practice on a vessel and giving away their position when in a real combat situation.
I found the flight scenes to be redundant and boring. There were times when it did feel realistic and was kind of cool, but then they would just show what almost felt like the same scenes repeatedly. Some say they actually reused footage.
When that pilot goes down and can't get out of the cockpit, I felt it was such a drawn out cliché. And I didn't understand why the other pilot stays behind and lands further east on the beach instead of landing and evacuating with the others. I thought maybe it was so that he could be there in case there were other planes to shoot down, but then he would have stayed in the area, not left it.
The scenes on the civilian yacht felt unnecessary and unengaging. The flashback to Cillian Murphy's past didn't add anything to the story and wasn't clearly transitioned into, making it confusing. And I didn't understand why all of these people came on the boats when each of them is taking the space of a soldier who could be evacuated.
Similarly confusing and pretentious was how there were supposedly three parts to this with an amount of time accompanying each, which I didn't understand, e.g. "the mole (one week)" and "air (one hour)." I hate when this is done unnecessarily. Tarantino loves overusing that.
All the British pride schlock was cringe-worthy, from the kid who is a "hero" because he hit his head and died, taking up the space of multiple soldiers as he was lying down, to many of Kenneth Branagh's one-dimensional scenes, to the writing at the end just before the credits.
To me, it felt more like a pet project that Nolan enjoyed geeking out over while making, but that isn't as pleasant for the actual viewers, except Nolan fanboys who will eat up anything he does and call it a masterpiece, hence the artificially high rating on IMDb and the glowing reviews everywhere.
There are also doubts as to its historical accuracy, though I personally am not knowledgeable in the topic.
An article in Slate titled "What's Fact and What's Fiction in Dunkirk" claims that it is largely accurate.
But then I've heard others say it isn't historically accurate, e.g. claiming that:
-The number of soldiers and boats shown was nowhere near the true scale of what happened
-There were anti-aircraft guns present
-There were more than three spitfires available that day
-There was no high-ranking officer such as Branagh's character on the ground
-The beach looked too clean, when in reality there were debris everywhere
-The buildings in the background are all undamaged when in reality they had taken heavy damage
-It contains many anachronisms: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5013056/goofs