Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Director:

Christopher Nolan
Popularity
161 ( 173)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 60 wins & 230 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fionn Whitehead ... Tommy
Damien Bonnard ... French Soldier
Aneurin Barnard ... Gibson
Lee Armstrong ... Grenadier
James Bloor ... Irate Soldier
Barry Keoghan ... George
Mark Rylance ... Mr. Dawson
Tom Glynn-Carney ... Peter
Tom Hardy ... Farrier
Jack Lowden ... Collins
Luke Thompson ... Warrant Officer
Michel Biel ... French Soldier 2
Constantin Balsan Constantin Balsan ... French Soldier 3
Billy Howle ... Petty Officer
Mikey Collins ... Soldier
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Storyline

May/June 1940. Four hundred thousand British and French soldiers are hole up in the French port town of Dunkirk. The only way out is via sea, and the Germans have air superiority, bombing the British soldiers and ships without much opposition. The situation looks dire and, in desperation, Britain sends civilian boats in addition to its hard-pressed Navy to try to evacuate the beleaguered forces. This is that story, seen through the eyes of a soldier amongst those trapped forces, two Royal Air Force fighter pilots, and a group of civilians on their boat, part of the evacuation fleet. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Time is running out. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie features the most footage shot on 65mm IMAX film stock to date, with one hour and nineteen minutes of the final cut being footage that was shot on the IMAX film stock. This beats out a previous Christopher Nolan movie, The Dark Knight Rises (2012), which had one hour and twelve minutes of its final cut being footage that was shot on IMAX film stock. See more »

Goofs

Once the Dutch fishing boat floats on water, the film presents that bullets penetrate the ship's hull even at a depth where water leakage was uncontrollable. While grounded, it is likely that bullets would penetrate ship's hull. But once floating, it is unlikely that the common German rounds would penetrate the hull because of the water resistance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tommy: [to French soldiers] English! I'm English! Anglais!
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Crazy Credits

"The following Dunkirk little ships recreated their courageous and historic journey for this film: Caronia, Elvin, Endeavour, Hilfranor, Mary Jane, Mimosa, MTB 102, New Britannic, Nyula, Papillon, Princess Elizabeth, RIIS I" See more »

Alternate Versions

In Spain, the film was projected on 2.35:1 screens in the 2.20:1 aspect ratio. But the film was finally projected with black bars on the four sides of the screen. This same situation happened with Jurassic World and just before the film started a text appeared on the screen explaining the 2.00:1 aspect ratio fitting on the 2.35:1 screen adding black bars up an down. Dunkirk didn't show any explanation before the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brockmire: Placed on Waivers (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Variation 15 (Dunkirk)
by Benjamin Wallfisch
Produced by Hans Zimmer
Based on a theme by Edward Elgar
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User Reviews

 
Micro as opposed to macro version of the battle
17 July 2017 | by somfSee all my reviews

Saw an early screening tonight in Denver.

I don't know where to begin. So I will start at the weakest link. The acting. Still great, but any passable actor could have been given any of the major roles and done a great job. I know almost no more about the battle of Dunkirk after seeing the film than I did before, and I am not exactly a WWII historian. Truth be told, I learned all I know about the battle of Dunkirk from the movie poster. Does that weaken the film? Hell no, this is a film about survival. The opening scene tells it all and sets the stage as we get our first glimpse into a young soldier's need to stay alive, and his creative attempts to do so. That actor may even be considered the main character of the film. More words have been written so far in this review than he speaks. And I have no clue who the actor in that role is. It is humorous that Tom Hardy looks like Bane through most the film in the role of a pilot wearing an oxygen mask throughout. Kenneth Branagh is the only officer with any lines in the film, so that should give you an idea of the POV that we experience. We are the enlisted man trying to find a way to stay alive in a chaotic and harrowing battle. Though I believe Dunkirk will win every single technical Oscar, I would be surprised if it has any acting nominations at all.

How does Nolan elevate this above other films of a similar nature? I think he says it best himself, when he describes Dunkirk as a thriller more than a war film. He pulls that off superbly.

When a ship starts to take in water as numerous bullets penetrate its hull, I wanted to jump out of my seat and cover up the holes myself.

The film has three separate stories that are titled Mole, Sea and Air. And we all know where Moles live. The way the narratives of the three stories unfold and how they are all tied together is what makes the film a masterpiece. Much has been said about Nolan using IMAX film cameras and how the film is enriched by this. I don't know. I doubt I saw actual film being projected at my screening. Every frame looked terrific though.

So what is the most superlative aspect of the film? Gotta be the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer will win the Oscar for this without a doubt. So , so brilliant. This is not a soundtrack that I would buy at the store and play on my stereo. This is a soundtrack that weaves throughout the three narratives seamlessly and creates this phenomenal sense of tension. There are times when a two or three minute tense orchestral passage plays continuously as the story shifts from the ground to the sea then to the air and the music draws the three stories together. Zimmer's soundtrack reminds me of the way that Bernard Hermann's work was so vitally important in building suspense in most Hitchcock films. Though that description almost sells Zimmer short. His soundtrack is that good.

I don't think this is a film that will retain even half of its strength in your home theater. No folks, this is a film that you cough up for an overpriced IMAX ticket and rationalize it by knowing that experiencing Dunkirk in any other fashion will just not cut it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Netherlands | France | USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

21 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dunkirk See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,513,488, 23 July 2017

Gross USA:

$189,740,665

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$527,016,307
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (5.1)| Sonics-DDP | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.43 : 1
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