“Dunkirk”: Less Interested In Blowing Your Mind Than Breaking Your Heart

Christopher Nolan’s WWII drama is more straightforward than his recent work, but looks no less effective.

“Dunkirk”: Less Interested In Blowing Your Mind Than Breaking Your Heart

WHAT: The first trailer for Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s latest, out July 21, 2017.

WHO: The film stars Nolan regulars Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, as well as Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and–sure, why not?–Harry Styles.

WHY WE CARE: Christopher Nolan is one of the singular filmmakers working today, capable of making a big-budget adventure/drama (dude loves his adventure/dramas) with mind-blowing original concepts like Inception and Interstellar in an era where studios are extremely reticent to greenlight such ideas. We’re always watching what a guy like that is gonna do next, and the answer from the trailer for Dunkirk–which tells the story of the nine-day Battle of Dunkirk that occurred in France in 1940–is “tell a straightforward war story with a gorgeous, epic sense of scale.” Nolan has successfully blown our minds in his work before, which makes it kind of nice to see that he’s apparently leaving the “your daughter is now 40 years older than you” and “the stairs go upside down” tricks behind in order to take us viscerally into one of the more harrowing battles of World War II. With a cast that includes both members of his Dark Knight/Inception repertoire and big-name newcomers like Branagh and Rylance, this looks like Nolan getting his Spielberg on, and that doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.