Variety Chief Film Critic
I have a feeling this may grow on me, although it falls into that vast category of radical films whose time and influence are far gone in the rearview mirror, and all that remains is a clumsy, obnoxiously surreal satire — and offensive in its certaintly that if people of color seized control, they’d make the same mistakes as The Man who’s been keeping them down. While I can’t think of an equivalently in-your-face sendup of American advertising culture (or…
Is this alternately dreamy and dippy nature reverie the missing key to Terrence Malick's oeuvre? Could it be the reason for the 20-year hiatus between DAYS OF HEAVEN and THE THIN RED LINE? After seeing this, did Terry throw up his hands and say, "It's done. Cinema has reached its apotheosis. There's no point in even trying to top it," then later decide to do exactly that with the opening sequence of THE NEW WORLD? And perhaps most important: How did it take this long to catch up with this movie? (although that gorgeous Blu-ray transfer from Twilight Time was worth the wait!)
Blasphemy to admit, but I took no pleasure in watching this slow-motion slog (the movie is so laconic that the characters actually pause to take a 20-minute nap at one point), although I will say that now I know where George Miller got the idea for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, sending a bunch of characters on a dead-end quest into uncharted territory, only to force them to return home to face the real issues.
Is this Christopher Nolan's best film? The first wave of critics seem to think so. I'll say this: the first 20 minutes or so had me riveted (although not in a SAVING PRIVATE RYAN way, just excited by the possibilities of what Nolan might do with those three separate timelines). And while it remains stunning throughout, DUNKIRK proves to be a pretty conventional movie. I don't love him as a director, but I've been far more impressed by his earlier…