Starring: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, James D’Arcy, Tom Glynn-Carney, Barry Keoghan, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard
OUR RATING: ★★★★★
War drama written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan. Set in World War II, the story centers on the Dunkirk evacuation. Allied soldiers from the British Empire, Belgium and France are surrounded by the German army on the beaches on Dunkirk and evacuate it in Operation Dynamo between 26 May and 4 June 1940 during World War II. The movie opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.
Irate Soldier: Where’s the bloody air force?
Collins: Dunkirk’s so far, why can’t they just load at Calais?
Fortis Leader: The enemy had something to say about it.
Collins: But down here we’re sitting ducks.
Fortis Leader: Keep them peeled. They’ll come out of the sun.
Mr. Dawson: Ready on the stern line, George.
George: Aren’t you waiting on the navy?
Mr. Dawson: They’ve asked for the Moonstone, they’ll have her, and her captain.
Peter: And his son. Thanks for the help, George.
[George gets onboard their boat]
Peter: What are you doing? You do know where we’re going?
Mr. Dawson: Into war, George.
George: I’ll be useful, sir.
Collins: [referring to the fighter plane chasing them] He’s on me.
Farrier: I’m on him.
Colonel Winnant: Rear Admiral. Commander.
Rear Admiral: How’s the perimeter?
Colonel Winnant: Shrinking everyday. But between our rearguard and the French, we’re holding the line, and the enemy tanks have stopped.
Commander Bolton: Why are they stopped?
Colonel Winnant: Waste precious tanks, when you can pick us off from the air, like a fish in a barrel?
Commander Bolton: How long does London expecting the army to hold out before we make terms?
Rear Admiral: Make terms? They’re not stopping here. We need to get our army back. Britain’s next, then the rest of the world.
Commander Bolton: Christ. I mean, you can practically see it from here.
Colonel Winnant: What?
Commander Bolton: Home.
Commander Bolton: What about the French?
Rear Admiral: Publicly, Churchill’s told them “bras dessous”. Arm in arm, leaving together.
Colonel Winnant: And privately?
Rear Admiral: We need our army back.
Colonel Winnant: How many men are they talking about, sir?
Rear Admiral: Churchill wants thirty thousand, Ramsay’s hoping we can give him forty-five thousand.
Commander Bolton: There are four hundred thousand men on this beach, sir.
Rear Admiral: We’ll just have to do our best.
Commander Bolton: Right, well this mole stays open at all costs. We’re in artillery range from the west. If anything else sinks here, the mole’s blocked and we’re stuffed.
Rear Admiral: Can’t we load from the beaches?
Colonel Winnant: Better than standing out here when the dive bombers come.
Commander Bolton: It’s impossible.
Rear Admiral: Too shallow.
Commander Bolton: It’s anything drafting more than three feet can’t get near. We don’t have enough small boats to ferry men to the destroyers.
Rear Admiral: The mole it is then, gentlemen.
Shivering Soldier: Where are we going?
Mr. Dawson: Dunkirk.
Shivering Soldier: No, no, we’re going to England.
Mr. Dawson: We have to go to Dunkirk, first.
Shivering Soldier: I’m not going back. I’m not going back. Look at it. If we, if we go there, we’ll die.
Mr. Dawson: I see your point, son. Well, let’s plot the course. You can take your tea below and warm up. Pete, have we got space for a man to lie down?
Peter: Uh, yeah.
George: [referring to the soldier they’ve rescued] Is he a coward, Mr. Dawson?
Mr. Dawson: He’s shell-shocked, George. He’s not himself. He may never be himself again.
Shivering Soldier: You haven’t turned around.
Mr. Dawson: No, we have a job to do.
Shivering Soldier: Job?! This is a, this is a pleasure yacht. You’re, you’re, you’re weekend sailors, not the bloody navy. A man your age.
Mr. Dawson: Men my age dictate this war. Why should we be allowed to send our children to fight it?
Shivering Soldier: You should be at home!
Mr. Dawson: Well, there won’t be any home if we allow slaughter across the Channel.
Farrier: He’s turned his tail. I’m going to get after him.
Collins: Good luck. Watch your fuel. You’re at fifteen gallons.
Farrier: Fifteen gallons. Understood. Best of luck, Collins.
[he watches as Collins plane start to descend]
Farrier: Collins? Do you read?
[he sees Collins plane crash land into the sea]
Mr. Dawson: There’s no hiding from this, son.
Shivering Soldier: What is it you think you can do out there, on this thing?
Mr. Dawson: It’s not just us. The call went out. We aren’t the only ones to answer, you know.
Shivering Soldier: You don’t even have guns.
Mr. Dawson: Do you have a gun?
Shivering Soldier: Yes, of course. A rifle, a 303.
Mr. Dawson: Did it help you against the dive bombers and the U-boat?
Shivering Soldier: You’re an old fool. I’m not going back. I’m not going back. Turn it around.
Mr. Dawson: I’m not turning around.
Shivering Soldier: Turn it around! Turn it…
[he tries to shove Dawson to the other side of the steering wheel, George tries to stop him, but the solider pushes George who falls down below]
Peter: Calm it down, mate.
Shivering Soldier: Turn it around.
Mr. Dawson: Wait! Wait!
Peter: Calm it down, mate. George? George?
[to the soldier]
Peter: What have you done?
Peter: You’re a brave lad.
George: You and Mr. Dawson, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
Peter: You’re alright. You’re okay.
George: Sea Cadet, it’s the only thing I’ve ever done.
Peter: It’s alright. It’s okay. Just have some water.
George: I told my dad I’ve, I’ve done nothing at school. But I know I would do something one day. Maybe get in the local paper. Maybe my teachers would see it.
Peter: Now you get some rest. I’ll need you on deck as soon as you’re able.
George: I can’t.
George: I can’t see.
Commander Bolton: After yesterday’s losses, it’s one ship on the mole at the time.
Colonel Winnant: The battle is here! What the hell they’re saving them for?
Commander Bolton: The next battle. The one for Britain. Same with the planes.
Colonel Winnant: But it’s right there. You can practically see it
Commander Bolton: Seeing home doesn’t help us get there, Colonel.
Colonel Winnant: They need to send more ships. Every hour the enemy pushes closer.
Commander Bolton: They’ve activated the small vessels pool.
Colonel Winnant: Small vessels?
Commander Bolton: It’s the list of civilian boats for requisition.
Colonel Winnant: Civilian? We need destroyers.
Commander Bolton: Small boats could load from the beach.
Colonel Winnant: Not in these conditions.
Commander Bolton: But I’d rather face waves than dive bombers.
Colonel Winnant: No, you’re right. They won’t get up in this. The Royal Engineers are building piers from lorries. At least that should help us when the tide comes back.
Commander Bolton: We all will know in six hours time.
Colonel Winnant: I thought tides were every three?
Commander Bolton: Then it’s good that you’re army and I’m navy, isn’t it?
Alex: [trying to stop the boat sinking] Somebody needs to get off.
Highlander 1: Well volunteered.
Alex: We don’t need a volunteer. I know someone who ought to get off. This one.
[he points to Gibson]
Alex: He’s a German spy.
Tommy: Don’t be daft.
Alex: He’s a f***ing Jerry. Have you noticed he hasn’t said a word, because I have. You don’t speak English. If he does it’s with an accent thicker than sauerkraut sauce.
Tommy: You’re daft. Tell him.
[he points the rifle at Gibson]
Alex: Tell me.
Alex: Tell me, Gibson. Tell me!
Tommy: Tell him, for God’s sake.
Gibson: Francais. Je suis Francais!
Alex: A Frog? A bloody Frog? A cowardly little queue-jumping Frog. Who’s Gibson, eh? He’s a naked dead Englishman lying out on that sand. Or did you at least have the decency to bury him?
Tommy: He did. I helped him. I thought it was his mate.
Alex: Maybe he killed him.
Tommy: He didn’t kill him.
Alex: How do we know?
Tommy: How hard is it to find a dead Englishman on Dunkirk beach. He didn’t kill anyone. He was just looking for a way off the sand like the rest of us.
Peter: Careful. Careful down there.
Alex: [referring to George] He’s dead, mate.
Peter: So, be bloody careful with him.
Shivering Soldier: [referring to George, who’s he’s accidentally killed] Will he be okay, the boy?
[Peter looks at Dawson, who nods his head, confirming Peter did the right thing lying to the soldier]
Soldier: [as they watch the plane] It’s coming back round. He’s coming back round!
Collins: Come on, Farrier. Come on!
Blind Man: Well done, lads. Well done.
Alex: All we did is survive.
Blind Man: That’s enough.
Colonel Winnant: Well, Churchill got his thirty thousand.
Commander Bolton: And then some. Almost three hundred thousand. So far.
Colonel Winnant: So far?
Commander Bolton: I’m staying. For the French.
Alex: [referring to the paper] I can’t bear it. You read it.
Tommy: Can’t bear it?
Alex: They’ll be spitting at us in the streets, if they’re not locked up waiting for the invasion.
Tommy: [reading Churchill’s statement in the paper] Wars are not won by evacuations.
[a man knocks on their train window]
Alex: I can’t look.
Tommy: But there was a victory inside this deliverance which should be noted. Our thankfulness at the escape of our army must not blind us to the fact that what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster. We must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be.
Tommy: We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.
[we see as Farrier sets fire to his plane he’s captured and taken away by the German soldiers]
Tommy: [continuing to read Churchill’s statement] And even if this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.