ActionDramaHistoryReviewsDunkirk 4k Review

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
80/100
4K Disc Released
2017
HDR
HDR10 | Dolby Vision
Sound MIx
Dolby (5.1) | Sonics-DDP | Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio
2.39 : 1
IMDB Rating
7.9
Overall Score
Rating Overview
4K Picture
80%
Audio Quality
70%
Special Features
80%
Store
90%
Rating Summary
The special feature consists of a collection that is not only fascinating but also very informative. The movie's 4k UHD Blu-ray disc is highly recommended for those who would like to have a rich collection at home.

Dunkirk is a compelling and engaging war drama about World War II that was released in 2017. The movie was written, directed and produced by the fantastic Christopher Nolan. The film is a British-American-French-Dutch co-production and was distributed by Warner Bros. It is the highest-grossing World War II film of all time, making $526 million worldwide has spent $100-150 million. The movie received eight nominations at the Academy Awards and ended up winning three awards at the end. These were among many awards that the film received around the world.

Top filmmaker Christopher Nolan provides another blockbuster as Dunkirk lives up to its high expectations.

Movie Review:

Dunkirk received an enormous amount of praise for its screenplay, direction, musical score, sound effects, and cinematography. Christopher Nolan who has been making fantastic and mind-blowing science-fiction movies over the years decided to make a film based on World War II. He did such a tremendous job that many critics have called the film as Nolan’s best work as a director. Nolan finally received an Oscar nomination for best director for this film.

The movie is structured in a different way than other war movies. The film shows three timelines while it progresses and slowly unveils the narratives like Nolan’s other movies, Inception and Interstellar. But in this movie, he did it without the need for exposition or science fiction. Some argue that the movie lacks story and character. But most people do not feel that way. The film has a story with a fantastic build-up to every character. The movie asks the audience to look at it through their own eyes. The movie seems consistently brilliant, and the editing of its numerous individual scenes is stunningly done. The cinematography and attention to every detail in the production design looks perfect. Nolan made sure the movie delivers in narrative, action, visuals and thunderous score. Dunkirk successfully provided drama and emotions to the viewers and made this epic tale of a relentlessly tense military survival known to all.

The cast of the movie did an exceptional job. Most notably Mark Rylance who played as the captain of one of the many small English vessels that sailed out to save the trapped allied soldiers. Also Kenneth Branagh, who played as the British Colonel dreadfully trying to accomplish the rescue attempts.

Storyline:

The movie Dunkirk starts by showing hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops surrounded by the German enemy forces.  The soldiers are trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea as they come across an inescapable situation as the enemy starts to close in. The story unfolds in three points of views on land, sea, and air. The situation in land shows two soldiers doing whatever they can to escape Dunkirk even if that means they have lie, sneak and cheat. Kenneth Branagh is featured in this situation as the highest ranking British officer. He has the tough decision to make about who gets to live and die. In the second point of view, in the sea, hundreds of small boats operated by both military and civilians are escalating a desperate rescue effort. All of them endanger their lives in a battle against time to save as many people as possible, even if it is only a fraction of the army. And thirdly, in the air, it shows an hour-long operation that shows two air-force pilots given a task of protecting the defenseless men below and save as many boats and aircraft they possibly can.

The movie shows 400,000 men trapped on a French beachhead, where the German military surrounds them. The German pilots have been circling in the skies above. Hitler and co. have by then taken much of continental Europe and if they annihilate the men stuck in Dunkirk, England is expected to be next. That is the moment when the British Navy launches an undoubtedly impossible rescue mission. Churchill hopes for 30,000 survivors. Nolan’s movie shows how the mission to save 30,000 grows into a story to save 300,000 people. The story unfolds in a fantastic manner. No other war movie has told the story in a converging timeline. While many people have criticized revealing the story through different timelines but most people embraced the uniqueness of the film. The cinematography and the visual storytelling in the movie are just mind-blowing. The movie successfully gave a glimpse of the destructions during World War II with a fantastic ending.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc:

The Warner Bros. on 4K releases Dunkirk as part of a three-disc combo, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital pack. The first disc is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray consisting of the movie only. Disc Two is a region free Blu-ray with the movie only. And Disc Three is another Blu-ray having all the Special Features. The subtitles that can be added are English SDH, French, German SDH, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Picture Quality: 5 out of 5 stars

Dunkirk is released in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a fantastic HEVC / H.265 encoded 2160p transfer that features HDR10 grading. The movie was shot on film with a mixture of IMAX 65 and Panavision 65 cameras, yielding a large-format negative, which has been scanned at 4K. The film was released in the theatres with multiple aspect ratios. In the 4k disc, the director decided to go with a shifting aspect ratio in which the scenes filmed in IMAX appear at 1.78:1, but the scenes filmed in Panavision 65 are framed at 2:20:1. This is was not the first film Nolan has done it, he previously did it in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan personally handled the color correction and HDR grading for the 4k UHD.

The details and the sharpness look natural. They don’t look artificially enhanced in any way. The outdoor scenes look sensational because of this. The 4k UHD looks better than the Blu-ray counterpart. The wider shots look better while more grains of sand, ocean waves, and skin pores on faces are visible in the 4k UHD format. It may not be a huge change compared to the Blu-ray, but it does provide a better cinematic experience. The HDR is very effective in the 4k giving the picture quality the perfect amount of brightness. The richness in the quality is overall more significant than the Blu-ray.

The vivid image and color make the movie seem like reality. The picture quality of the movie should be the benchmark for 4k UHD and Nolan’s extra care for the release of this disc surely paid off.

Sound Quality: 4.5 stars out of 5

The 4k UHD Blu-ray is released with a dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Many people wanted a Dolby Atmos Track for the film, but it is reported that adding a DTS-HD MA 5.1 was Christopher Nolan’s decision. This is how he wanted people to hear the film at their home theatres.

The sound, however, is perfectly engineered and delivered in the best manner. The soundtrack is exceptionally detailed and powerful. From the screaming highs of dive-bombing planes attacking helpless soldiers to the enormous bombast of torpedoes tumbling ships, the sound successfully built tension and made it feel real to the viewers. Every bullet can not only be heard but also be felt while the dialogues are stunningly vibrant. The bass extension of the music is often lower than the roar of armament or the hum of plane engines. It successfully delivers a kind of fear and anxiety onto the viewers. The ticking clock in the opening sequence grabs the attention of the viewers, and the sound is delivered correctly in this scene.

This is undoubtedly one of the best tracks by a Nolan movie, but one can wonder why Nolan didn’t decide to go with a Dolby Atmos Track. However, the audio quality consists of zero faults other than that. The scenes that are entirely are as clear as the loud moments. Without the amazing audio quality, the movie cannot be appropriately experienced.  

Special Features: 4 out of 5 stars

The only reason special feature is rated low here is that it is not featured in 4k UHD Blu-ray. The extras are available on the third disc and are in Blu-ray format. The special feature is divided into five categories, and they have sub-sections in them as well. They can be played as a long movie of 1 hour 50 minutes or can be played separately. It is a huge collection of special features but there are no commentaries available. Everything is edited and sorted in the best possible manner. The details of the special features are given here:

Creation– Revisiting the Miracle, Dunkerque, Expanding the Frame, The In-Camera Approach.

Land– Rebuilding the Mole, The Army On the Beach, Uniform Approach

Air– Taking to the Air, Inside the Cockpit

Sea– Assembling the Naval Fleet, Launching the Moonstone, Taking to the Sea, Sinking the Ships, The Little Ships

Conclusion– Turning Up the Tension, The Dunkirk Spirit.

Final Verdict:

Christopher Nolan once again successfully delivered another fantastic and suspense driven movie with Dunkirk. The story and the making are done flawlessly, and it should go down as one of the best war films in history. The video and audio quality in the 4k UHD did justice to the film and are marvelous. The special feature consists of a collection that is not only fascinating but also very informative. The movie’s 4k UHD Blu-ray disc is highly recommended for those who would like to have a rich collection at home.