Was Dunkirk Nolan’s best film?

I saw Dunkirk a few nights weeks ago (school started, life started, blogging has taken a backseat unfortunately). To be honest, I don’t think I need a better opening statement? As I’m sure most of you know, Dunkirk is about the Battle of Dunkirk in Dunkirk, France during WWII. I’m the polar opposite of a history buff, but I will say that the film was quite the cinematic experience. In short, I was blown away.

The film score for Inception might be my favorite film score ever; composed by none other than Hans Zimmer, who has a never-ending bromance with Christopher Nolan and who created the score for Dunkirk as well. If there had been any other composer, I don’t think the film would have been nearly as breathtaking. From the first minute to the last minute, there is the constant tick-ticking of a clock behind every scene. It’s not until the very last shot of the film–where it finally stops–when you notice that it was happening the entire time. When the credits were rolling, and I had noticed what just happened, I had the goofiest grin on my face. That was pretty smart. It truly makes you feel like there’s some huge impending doom coming to get you.

Was Dunkirk Nolan’s best film though? I’m not sure. In the course of two weeks, I watched Dunkirk, The Prestige, and Memento. I’ve pretty much seen every Nolan film besides Insomnia, Doodlebug, and Following (I might be missing a few, but you get the point). The Dark Knight and Inception are two of my favorite movies, period. I just can’t get over how good Inception’s score is. I really can’t. And how much of an impact it has on the entirety of the film itself. I watched that movie for the first time when I was 14 years old and I think it went right over my head. It took a solid two or three times after watching for me to fully wrap my head around the brilliance of that movie. Does Dunkirk compare to that? Probably not. Is it a better film than Memento or any of Nolan’s earlier films? I would say so. It all depends on how you look at it. Dunkirk is set in the course of a few days, and it didn’t need to be two hours long. I think some directors like to tack on as many minutes as possible to reach that two-hour threshold, because then they’ve “finally hit that mark.” Are 1.5 hour movies really worse? Why do they get such a bad rap? Dunkirk was good–just not as great as Inception.

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