Tim Lammers reviews 'Dunkirk'

Harry Styles hits the big screen in this new WWII drama.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This week pop star Harry Styles makes his acting debut in the new war film 'Dunkirk'. Tim Lammers has his review.

“Dunkirk” (PG-13) 3 stars (out of 4); Kid Quotient: None

Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan continues to amaze with “Dunkirk,” a World War II epic that is spectacular from filmmaking standpoint yet strains itself with the way the narrative unfolds.

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A story most certainly unknown to most American audiences, “Dunkirk” isn’t so much a war film than it is a harrowing tale of survival. Set in May 1940, the film recounts the miracle evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, where German forces have the soldiers trapped. With Allied ground forces unable to penetrate the enemy’s stronghold, fighter planes attempt to ward off the enemy while every naval and civilian vessel available attempt to cross the English channel to reach the soldiers before they meet a most certain cruel demise.

An ensemble film with far less dialogue than Nolan’s previous efforts, “Dunkirk” feels more like a docudrama than a narrative feature; so despite the extraordinary story that inspired it, the film ultimately doesn’t have nearly as much emotion as last year’s true-life World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Faults aside, you still have to applaud a filmmaker with as much clout as Nolan to inform audiences of important stories like “Dunkirk” that have been buried in history, especially smack-dab in the middle of the summer movie-going season that’s generally packed with mindless drivel.