Dunkirk (2017), written and directed by Christopher Nolan, presents war in Europe within the broadness, or openness, of time—and even within a relatively brief duration of time.  Three time periods meet, in all of which men are warring and struggling to survive; all demand endurance.

How credible some of the details in the film are I don’t know, but an enthralling and exciting enterprise this is.  Although it contains more heroism than (British) patriotism, patriotism is there.  So are great surprises and little mysteries, as when a charitable old man compliments the British soldiers but never makes eye contact with them.  And when two of the soldiers quickly haul a wounded grunt on a stretcher a strikingly long way to a seabound ship, where, as it turns out, the grunt is in greater danger than he was before.

Unlike other war movies today, Dunkirk never becomes even slightly boring until, I’d say, the last 15 minutes.  But, as well, it is gratifying to see that it bounces back a bit before those minutes are over.