| So first let me say that this is like the third time I've noticed Nolan's scores and how he uses music in his films. This score is very loud and overbearing and feels constant but also super duper effective. Of course the ticking clock sound (this feels like some OP weapon introduced into a shooter that needs nerfing. it's like hitting an auto-tension button on your audience) and these long rising drones that are reminiscent of incoming planes. Then when the planes do come they are all but screaming at us. And when danger happens, these abrupt notes cutting off like a NIN song or something. It's really extraordinary and goes a long way in making this 106-minute movie feel like 318 minutes (in a good way).
Also, the rest of it. Great great filmmaking. I didn't know anyone's name, I didn't care. There were like 30 lines of dialogue in the whole film, I couldn't understand a third of them thanks to british accents and whisper-talking, I didn't care. It's a story of evacuation and losing that still felt triumphant in the end. There's no paragraph of text explaining the rest of the way, no picture credits telling us this guy went on to open a hardware store and that guy died in a barfight. All these things are really freaking hard to do.
The IMAX photography also stuns. Tom Hardy, face obscured, body un-moving, not saying anything, is still super fun to watch because 1) i can see his eyes through the goggles and 2) i can see the freaking ocean behind him outside of the plane! I mean not all the time but still, the dogfighting footage in this film is just incredible. I'm sure there's a ton of digital effects work going on here but it all feels authentic. The higher resolution of IMAX makes all the difference with that. And the framing... the freedom of having so much air above the actors even in medium shots because you've got this great big nearly 4:3 70mm box to fill up. The very first shot with a group of soldiers on a french street, and you can see every building and the street and the flyers floating down through the air and make out details of everything... is remarkable. And seeing the vast expanse of beach as you watch a couple guys running toward a grounded boat or through a line of troops or whatever. It's indicative of a complete grasp of what these images can do.
Really I just had one nitpick which deals with the very end... and a character... and a plane... that I didn't understand. The rest of it was pure tense cinematic bliss.