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Darkest Hour Review

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Darkest Hour Official Site

Darkest Hour shines brightly.

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2017 was a rough year for movie lovers.  Remake after sequel after remake and all of them sub par in the script.  There were a few shining moments (Thor: Ragnarok, Dunkirk, Wonder Woman) but while we are currently in the Golden Age of Television the film industry seems to have run out of creativity like an alcoholic runs out of booze and like that alcoholic they are scrambling around desperately sucking the last few drops out of empties from the trash bin and have finally fallen into taking sips from the gas tank of their car (cough cough Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets cough cough).  

Such is the state and standard of movies that when a movie with a good script and excellent acting comes along it feels like the first few drops of the shower you take after swimming home in an open sewer.  Too bad the script is based on an actual story rather than real creativity but nevertheless a movie like this is quite the balm for the hurt sensibilities of any filmophile.  

Gary Oldman stars as the great Winston Churchill, one of the greatest Prime Ministers in British history, a true friend to the USA, and a true enemy of totalitarianism.  It follows the events surrounding his appointment as well as the events regarding Dunkirk (as ably told in the great Christopher Nolan film by the same name).  He truly feels that there can be no peace or capitulation with Hitler but is being forced into it by the events and others in the UK government who wish to sue for peace.  

The film shows his resolve and strength of will.  He absolutely will not bow to Hitler nor what he represents but is pressured by others in the government until he takes the time to speak to some of the common British citizens.  It is also a fascinating character study.  Churchill was definitely and eclectic person with very particular standards as shown by his interactions with his long suffering secretary Elizabeth Layton (Lily James.  She was great in Baby Driver.  I'm glad to see her career progressing).  

The movie isn't flawless and after a movie year that had more appeal than week old roadkill I probably wouldn't lather it with as much praise as I do.  There was a sub plot involving Mr. Churchill's wife Clemmie (Kirstin Scott, Thomas - The English Patient) and his family that seemed important but honestly went no where.  There were some scenes from the front that were either not enough or completely worthless that could have been dropped or added too (literally in either direction.  More or less but somehow they had exactly the wrong amount).  

However for a WWII movie with zero action I found it incredibly engrossing and immersive.  The acting was stupendous and overall incredibly engaging.  Each speech that Gary delivers as Winston Churchill has you believing in the fight against evil and that good will triumph in the end.  I therefore give this film 4.5 out of 5 Enigma machines (history nerds tell me what that is from) and my strongest recommendation that you all see it.  


P.S. If you like these reviews my friend Joren and I are doing a regular podcast once a week.  Listen to our opinions on movies, TV, role playing games, nerd dating, and (lately) crypto currency.  Check out the NerdKungFu podcast either on iTunes or you can listen to it right here.  Thanks!


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