Dir: Christopher Nolan; Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Barry Keoghan, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Jack Lowden, James D’Arcy, Kenneth Branagh. 12A cert, 106 mins.
Of the many things that stun and convulse you in Dunkirk, the smallest might have the most lasting impact. Early on, as the camera surveys the British soldiers stood along the French shoreline in thin, straggling columns, one thought – they’re so young – jams in your head like a door stop, and gets driven in harder with every passing minute.
Christopher Nolan’s astonishing new film, a retelling of the Allied evacuation of occupied France in 1940, is a work of heart-hammering intensity and grandeur that demands to be seen on the best and biggest screen within reach. But its spectacle doesn’t stop at the recreations of Second World War combat.