"Dunkirk" is Christopher Nolan's magnificent new movie about an early and pivotal event that shaped the course of WWII for England in 1940.
I had issues with some of his editing choices, including the way he intercut three different timelines between soldiers on the beach, Spitfire pilots, and civilian sailors, but it still was a captivating experience.
The Germans swept across Belgium, trapping British and French forces between the English channel and the beaches of Dunkirk, only twenty-six miles away from Dover and they were 400K soldiers and stranded.
Churchill, who was in office for only16 days, had hoped that they'd be able to save at most 30K of them in total. It was the entirety of the English army.
I heard Kenneth Branagh tell Stephen Colbert that what happened next has been dubbed the "Dunkirk spirit."
Civilian boats came from England to help rescue their boys.
It's not your Spielberg/Private Ryan take of WWII, but an isolated, impressionistic version of actually being on the beach, trapped in desperate situation while Spitfires are trying to keep the Germans from bombing the shores and destroyers ahead.
Make sure you see it on the biggest screen possible.