3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

If you were hanging out for a typical Nolan film with elaborate plot twists or charismatic baddies, you may be disappointed.

Sure, members of his usual dream-team are on board (Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy are to Christopher Nolan as Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are to Tim Burton), as well as his trademark suspenseful string-based backing track used to full effect. There’s also the attention to detail and beautiful cinematography we’ve come to know and love. But the similarities end there.

British troops and their allies have been surrounded by the German army on the beach at Dunkirk, and are trying to safely evacuate across the water back to England, under the direction of Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh).

On paper the plot sounds pretty dull, so Nolan has done a great job in actually making a watchable movie out of it. But overall, i’d say it’s more interesting than entertaining. It’s the atmosphere and the sense of historic realism that are the real stars of the show. It’s certainly not your typical popcorn flick.

There isn’t a great deal of dialogue, but the acting is decent all round. I was impressed with Harry Styles’ portrayal of a soldier named Alex – he has shown that he is more than just a pop star. Tom Hardy as air force pilot Farrier reminded me of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, with his military coat, posh English accent and oxygen mask.

Dunkirk premieres in Sweden on 19 July.

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