I thought it was excellent. Even when it veered towards teary-eyed stiff upperlip Britishness territory.
And that Nolan reined in some of his more tiresome and self-indulgent traits. ie being overlong with too much unnecessary scenes and dialogue. He actually demonstrated that he can make a lean film when he tries (it certainly felt longer than the 1hr 40-odd mins, which is a good sign, and which I think is a perfect length for a film - if you can’t tell a story in that time-frame you’re in the wrong business, or just doing too much coke).
(An interesting aside, but related to above and him fitting a lot in. I only recently understood the animosity the evacuation created both between the British and French (the British side thinking ‘are you surrendering while we die for you’ versus ‘are you deserting us?’ on the French), and between the British army/ navy and the RAF. Those on the beaches and in the boats saw very little support by the RAF as they were repeatedly attacked. They weren’t aware that the RAF sought to protect them by attacking the Luftwaffe further inland, before they could reach the shoreline. The majority of RAF pilots killed during that period died over Belgium/ France and Holland etc. The other wings of the British army weren’t aware of this, and it was a huge bone of contention for years afterwards apparently. A recent C4 documentary covered it. Fascinating).
He did continue his love for a shot of a burning wreck - in this case it was a nice shot, and scene.
And his use of that loud drone type soundtrack/ sound effect (which he used in the first Batman, think it was the opening scene, the bank robbery). Really builds the tension. Not usually one to get sucked into a film but I did notice it in this, which is another positive.
Rylance and Hardy were excellent, as were the majority of the main characters. The young Irish guy from Love/ Hate is making a name for himself.
Thought the scenes in the planes were really good. Like with Fury, it’s something you don’t see much of, the mechanics and tactics of that aspect of war - it’s usually infantry focused, with a nod to the other components of armies.
All told I thought it was really good, surprisingly so for Nolan. Saw it on 70mm in the IFI. It looked great, but difficult to compare I suppose. Will go see it again as it deserves to be seen on the big screen.