The Top Ten Movies of 2017 - #04 - Dunkirk 5 years ago

The Top Ten Movies of 2017 - #04 - Dunkirk

"Wars are not won by evacuation."

Welcome to JOE's countdown of the Ten Best Movies of 2017. We'll be counting them down one-by-one, with the #1 spot revealed on New Year's Eve.


The #04 spot goes to... DUNKIRK

Irish Release Date: 21 July

Cast: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Barry Keoghan, Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead

Director: Christopher Nolan


Budget: $100 million

Worldwide Box Office: $526 million

Having proved himself with big budget, bigger-idea blockbusters, smart and exciting movies like Inception, Interstellar and The Dark Knight trilogy that all managed to make some serious bank, people were questioning why writer/director Christopher Nolan would take what initially appeared to be a creative step backwards with a straight-ahead war story, based on a part of World War II that we've all pretty much know inside and out.

Even the set-up didn't lend itself well to cinematic tension, as we all already knew how it ended, and what was movie-worthy about watching thousands of soldiers avoid a fight?


It turned out, of course, that we should never have questioned our faith in Nolan's abilities, as what initially seemed simple became incredibly complex, what seemed obvious became murky, and what seemed un-cinematic became the most cinematic movie of the year.

Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures

Splitting his incredible cast of well-known legends and up-and-coming talents across three battlefields - by land, by sea, by air - and then splitting those across three time-frames - one hour, one day, one week - and then watching how each of these storylines split and then converge in on each other, and the effects of the actions in one can snowball into a reaction in another.


It is the big screen playground we've seen him tackle so well in his big blockbusters, but tied in with the tricksy storytelling we've seen him bring to the likes of The Prestige and Memento.

With a minimum of dialogue, instead he relentlessly cranks up the tension thanks to the fantastic performances he gets from his actors, the brilliantly gritty cinematography, as well as the always amazing soundtrack work by Hans Zimmer.

It is still the movie we recommend more than any other this year (except, maybe, Blade Runner 2049) that you watch on the biggest screen with the loudest sound system you can find.

For further reading on our end of year list, check out the following: