Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour

DVD - 2018
Average Rating:
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During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly appointed British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Publisher: Universal City, CA :, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
Branch Call Number: DARK
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,rda
NTSC,rda
digital,optical,surround,stereo,Dolby Digital 5.1,Dolby Digital 2.0,rda
1 videodisc (125 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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d
danomcd
Apr 23, 2018

Yes Gary Oldman's performance and transformation in this movie is amazing. The part that I found incredibly distracting and which ultimately ruined the movie for me is how it is basically "historical fiction" - Winston Churchill was a leader and a charismatic speaker true. However, this movie seems to also portray him as a military genius who PERSONALLY found the solution to the trapped troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. True he as Prime Minister might have made the ultimate decision but I HIGHLY doubt that his generals would have been shocked by the idea of sacrificing of 5 thousand troops to save 300 thousand troops.
On a much smaller note I also found the use of actors in the same characters as the Netflix show the "Queen" (I think their was a couple at least) a little distracting as well.
For me I would have preferred they showed it more historically accurate.

1
1tarheel
Apr 23, 2018

The limited time frame feels like both a liability and a benefit for this movie. I wanted the film to go on for another 3 hours, I guess. I was also intrigued by their portrayal of the appeasement position, which seems much more reasonable in this light. That surprised me.

And, of course, Gary Oldman turns in another astounding performance; I'm always astonished when I compare to 'Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.' Hard to believe it's the same guy.

g
graybear1
Apr 18, 2018

Gary Oldman was great, but until the last few minutes we found the movie watchable but not compelling, as you would expect a best-picture nominee to be. We also question how historically accurate many of the scenes were. We realize that filmmakers often take artistic liberties, but it just seems that in this instance, maybe they shouldn't have. At any rate, we've seen a couple better films on Churchill. If you watch this, you should definitely watch Dunkirk first. Otherwise much of the drama will be minimized.

t
TBrien
Apr 17, 2018

Good character study with the backdrop of political in-fighting at home and the invasion of sovereign states abroad. Great subway scene toward the end where Churchill takes the people's pulse, but those really moving, compelling moments were infrequent. Oldman was good, but I thought Lithgow as Churchill in "The Crown" was better.

k
Kathrynsbraunstein
Apr 17, 2018

Excellent but Frightening.
First, the vast majority of people alive today weren't even born yet when this film takes place so it might lack relevance to young people. But the acting was superb; Gary Oldman was excellent and certainly deserved the Academy Award that he received for his role in this film. The supporting cast was very good including Kristin Scott Thomas as Clemmie, Churchill's wife.
The action was fast paced and of course Churchill's words were a remarkable feat of the English language.
The frightening aspect of the film was how close the Allies were to losing the War at that time- May 1940. What would have happened if the Allies had negotiated for peace with that monster? The world would have been plunged into hell. A sober thought.
Katie B.

DPLjosie Apr 17, 2018

Amazingly well-acted and well done. I'd recommend watching this in conjunction with Dunkirk.

h
hecto
Apr 12, 2018

A compelling retelling of the 'decision to fight on' In May 1940. Gary Oldman's Churchill is beyond praise, of course, as is Kristin Scott-Thomas' cameo as Clementine. But look for Stephen Dillane's outstanding portrayal of Halifax. In my opinion Joe Wright's gamble on making Churchill's apocryphal 'Underground ride' the hinge of his resolve pays off. Purists who inform us that the episode never happened (as if that needed to be said!) miss the point: the film is a drama, not a chronicle. And speaking of chronicles, it was inevitable, I suppose, that Chamberlain had to be excoriated as incompetent and naive for those same dramatic purposes. But those who accept this indictment ought to ask which PM channeled prewar defence spending to the RAF and approved the construction of the chain of radar stations in the southeast. Without those decisions - they were Chamberlain's - the skies above Britain in the summer of 1940 would have been an even scarier place.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Apr 11, 2018

Before watching the film I had this fear that for 2 hours I would be watching a grumpy old man babble non-stop. That proved not to be the case. I don't know about the historic accuracy of some of the details - Churchill riding the underground to talk to common folks in London; him walking around bare-footed and in pajamas, etc. - but overall the script was rather engaging. I generally don't have a strong liking for historical dramas but enjoyed this one thoroughly.

j
Jgrooms
Apr 02, 2018

Wonderfull acting and cinematography. It certainly captures the spirit of the age.
While I realize movies have to take historical licence to tell complex events. For example, composite characters and explanatory dialog to explain settings.

Unfortunately the writers have created a historic farce. And why? The story, well documented and not open to serious debate, is as dramatic as one could possibly be.

The Churchill, Halifax, Chamberlain relationship portrayed as a conspiracy never happened. The possibility of a negotiated settlement with Germany, possibly the single most important event in history, is extreme revisionist and doesn't hold up to any serious scholarship. Churchill did not waver and did not ride in the tube to find his resolve among Londoners. So much dramatic licence even to the dates. The overwrought use of the changing date shots gets the events wrong to make the timeline fit a fantasy narrative.

The brief FDR/Churchill dialog does a good job at capturing how weak Roosevelt was and how his inability to lead very nearly resulted in the collapse of Democracy.

And no there is simply no comparisons to make between Churchill and the latest demagogue delivered up by history. Hopefully a Churchillian character is amongst us now and he/she will deliver him to the dustbin of history as Winston succeeded in doing.

If one wishes to learn about leadership and a great man under the pressure of unforeseen events where the outcome was unknowable see:
Martin Gilbert, Churchill
John Lukacs, Five Days in May
Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders

l
Loge99
Apr 01, 2018

An excellent film, Oldman does a fantastic job of creating the Churchill character. The photography is dark enhancing the claustrophobic, underground offices of the War Dept.

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