Some movie previews let you know you just saw everything good in the movie. 

Not Dunkirk

I might have to see it by myself because it’s a war movie, but the previews are loaded with tension. 

Well, some of them. 

Some feature a pop singer as a cheap way to get younger fans into seats. Bleh. 

(Note to movie people: Have a little more confidence in your product.)

No, the original trailer I saw emphasized what most people don’t know. 


On the way to victory in World War II, the allied forces had a few setbacks. 300,000 members of the British army were caught on the French beach of Dunkirk after retreating. The Germans pushed them to the water’s edge. 

They were trapped, with no way to fight and nowhere to run. 

Across the channel their countrymen raised every fishing boat, sailboat, row boat – and set off after them. 

Unarmed civilians. 

Against the most powerful and vicious army the world had ever seen. 

See, we know how the war turned out. They didn’t. 

The army trapped on the beach had zero knowledge they’d be saved. The fishermen and ferries and tour guides had no idea they’d come back alive. 

They all realized something that today we have a hard time envisioning: that the good guys might lose this war. 


The fear, tension and pride in such a situation comes through in the preview. I believe Dunkirk will be one of the best movies of the year.

I also believe it’ll be a great lesson in storytelling that writers will benefit hugely from, so I’m recommending you go see it. I think there’s a lesson in tension in it for you, and $10 is a cheap price for an education. 

16 thoughts on “Dunkirk

  1. When ever I get depressed about the human race I think of Dunkirk and how the miracle happened. It was an honest to God miracle and I get goosebumps. I think I might watch this movie, even though I can’t watch war movies too sensitive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think even if you don’t watch the movie, simply knowing the story is pretty amazing.

      Again, we all know everything turned out OK, but at the time it was occurring, no one else knew it would turn out OK. Many times things like that did not turn out OK, so it’s pretty cool – and even though we know the ending, it’ll be the suspense and human element that make a compelling drama. That’s where the real lesson in storytelling will be.

      Liked by 1 person

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