Before you can judge Dunkirk for everything that it is, you must acknowledge everything that it is not. Is it a great piece of cinematic work? Yes. Is it visually beautiful? Check. Does it know how to cause its audience the sweet annoyance of anticipation and fear? It does. But that does not mean it is perfect by any means of the imagination, and the most important thing you can know about this movie before you choose to sit down and watch it is that this is not a war movie by the most general definition. Christopher Nolan is an artistic director and one who thrives on the complexities in a story, not in the straightforward narrative, and he chose the Battle of Dunkirk specifically to reflect that. He tells the story the way an artist would, not the way a storyteller might, or even the way that someone present at the event itself might have. He took three different stories and wove them together to showcase the entirety of the battle in the best way he knew how, and while that makes for a great visual for all those who love film and its artistry, it might not always be the best way to tell the story of a battle we’re not always taught about in history class.
It is almost time for the summer to draw to a close, and that means there are still a few more summer blockbuster films to catch before school starts up again. Sure, the sun may not have gone away, but wouldn’t you rather sit in the air-conditioning and relax instead of getting one more sunburn? Here’s what’s coming up for you in the month of August.