"Dunkirk" is the story of one of the greatest military miracles to ever take place. The film, directed by Christopher Nolan, takes place on the beaches of Dunkirk as the British people rally to save the 400,000 British soldiers stranded on the beach in France during World War II. When the British government tasks the military to remove these soldiers and bring them home, the commanders involved reveal that they can only rescue about 30 - 45,000 men.

The British people rally to bring the soldiers home by bringing as many private boats as possible to pick up the soldiers and bring them back across the English Channel and home to England.

It is a story that reveals the dread of war. The movie had a strong opening first weekend.

The viewpoint and plot

Although the story is told in third person, movie goers get to see the perspective of the action from multiple characters within the story. The first is that of the pilots who are patrolling the area to protect the boats and ships in the area. The Germans have strafed the beaches with their planes, and many casualties lie on the beach. The commander of the navy ship, played by Kenneth Branaugh, is trying to get the casualties off the beach before loading the other personnel.

Another viewpoint comes from two soldiers who sneak aboard the navy ship so that they can escape. It appears that they are acting cowardly and trying to escape instead of waiting their turns on the beaches along with the other soldiers.

Although they make it to the ship, the ship is hit with a torpedo, and the soldiers have to the leave the ship on lifeboats. Some of the soldiers don't make it and end up in the water dead.

The third viewpoint comes from a man and his two sons who are on one of the boats that sails to save the soldiers. The action cuts among these three viewpoints as well as the action taking place on the beach.

What makes 'Dunkirk' worth watching

Even though the characters seem somewhat generic because their names are never revealed in the story, their story is compelling enough to make the moviegoer want to keep watching. There are moments of intense tension because one minute there's a scene where the characters are discussing the progress of the operation, and the next minute there is an action scene where viewers are waiting to see where the Germans strike next.

Then tension is palpable as it becomes a "who lives and who dies" situation.

The British pilots are running out of fuel, and it is a wait and see situation as to which pilots get shot down, who has to ditch their planes, and who will survive. While the last pilot to land in the water struggles to free himself from the cockpit, other soldiers on a boat try to discover whether one of the soldiers on the ship is a German spy. The boat is in danger of sinking because it has been hit by the strafing of a German war plane. As the boats begin to arrive to take the soldiers away from the beach, the Germans make one last ditch effort to kill as many soldiers as they can. The fear in the eyes of each soldier is so real that it will put the moviegoer on edge.

Most history buffs know the ending. It won't stop them from being on the edge of their seats until the final credits roll. It is a story of both bravery and cowardice, where the best comes out in heroes, and the worst is seen in those who shouldn't have been there to begin with.