Darkest Hour

(2017)

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Title:
Darkest Hour
Release Date:
22nd November 2017
Runtime:
114 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Joe Wright
Writers:
Anthony McCarten
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 83%
IMDb Rating 7.5

Casts

Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI
Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill
Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill
Lily James as Elizabeth Layton
Pip Torrens as BBC Producer

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fredkins 19th November, 2017

A superb film with an original and fresh insight into Churchill and WW2

In the Q&A that followed the BAFTA screening for this superb film Gary Oldman called this a love letter to the British people. That seems appropriate for a wonderful telling of a brand new aspect of what made Churchill the greatest man of the last century and perhaps of all time. Because this film shows us just how much pressure Halifax and weaker members of the British establishment, put on Churchill to do a deal with Adolf Hitler. A deal that would have preserved the British Empire instead of bankrupting it to the tune of £145 Billion. (Junkers please note). You will learn much about Britain and Churchill and the crisis of May 1940 in this terrific film. Gary is as absolutely spell binding just as you would expect him to be. What you might not expect is an equally amazing performance by Ben Mendelssohn as King George (Ben was the the bad brother in Blood Lines). Lilly James is also super as the long suffering secretary to to Winston and Kristen Scott Thomas almost steals each scene as Clemmie, Winston's wife. The film isn't perfect. The scene on the London Underground was silly and irritating and more money should have been spent on the computer graphics. But I still give this a score of 10 because of something unexpected. The film is emotional. I felt myself choked up on 3 occasions not just because I am a Brit who loves the story but because Joe Wright takes us into the hearts of the characters and makes us feel their fear, their hope and their pain. Lastly the film is a wonderful reminder that Britain is special and different. It cannot be taken away that we did stand alone, without hope, without support from the USA, when all seemed lost. A salient reminder to remoaners that Europe often needs Britain. This is a cracker of a film. Don't miss it.

Reviewed by chong_an 7th November, 2017

Split vote - so far

At just under 1000 votes so far, I am stunned at the number of "1" votes. On the other hand, the 2nd-highest number of votes is for "10", so there is very much a love-it-or-hate-it quality to the voters. It would be helpful if some of the "1" voters explained why they hated the movie. This movie is about British backroom parliamentary politics, in the 1st month of Winston Churchill's prime ministership. With the war going badly, a rearguard of peaceniks is still trying to get a peace deal with Hitler, despite having been pushed out of power. It certainly worked for me, a political junkie. If you are one too, this is for you. If not, maybe like the "1" and "2" voters, you might be bored to tears and should stay away.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 24th October, 2017

Well worth seeing just to watch Oldman's performance.

At this point, "Darkest Hour" has an overall rating of 5.3. I do not understand this at all, but the film has not actually been released yet and has only been seen in film festivals. I assume the overall score will increase considerably--especially since the two reviews for it were quite positive. Now I must point out that I am a retired history teacher and I consider Winston Churchill to be perhaps the greatest politician of the century. So, I clearly have a bias and predisposition towards liking the movie...especially if it's done well. Is it a crowd pleaser? Maybe not, as the average movie-goer (especially teens) might not enjoy this or care a lick about the film. The story covers only a portion of the month of May, 1940...just before the fall of France during WWII. Prime Minster Chamberlain is about to be tossed out of office, as his appeasement strategy with Hitler has turned out to be completely stupid. In his place, some hope for Churchill to be the next Prime Minister...though some forces are working to depose him as soon as he comes to power. At the same time, the war is going as badly as it possibly can. Can Churchill survive this? Well, of course...duh, it's HISTORY! The reasons to see this are two big ones....the film has achieved the look of 1940 beautifully and Gary Oldman provides an Oscar- winning performance in the lead. If he is not at least nominated for this top award, I will be completely shocked...and he really managed (along with ample prosthetics) to LOOK and SOUND like the great man. Great job all around...and a perfect film.

Reviewed by michaeljtrubic 25th September, 2017

Wonderfully refreshing look at Churchill

I'm sure I am not alone in having seen everything ever filmed about the man. But this is nothing like I have seen before. He is so funny. We see his ability to make jokes like never before and there is more here than just dry sarcastic references. He keeps us in stitches. He must have told 25 jokes. This film starts in the days when Chamberlain knows he cannot continue as prime minister, alongside the crippling uncertainty of his cabinet meetings, and through to when the entire country, as a result of his speeches, stands firmly behind Churchill as war leader. What surprised me the most was how large a role the opposition party played in Churchill's rise to power. Excellent supporting cast from those distinguished actors we have seen in many BBC productions and "Game of Thrones". Ben Mendelsohn's portrayal of King George VI was stunningly well done. A real delight at Tiff - too bad no Q&A for my screening.

Reviewed by shanx24 12th September, 2017

Riveting production despite its pat view of history

We go to the movies to be gripped by powerful narratives presented with good scripts and moving imagery. This film has all of it, most especially a riveting performance by Gary Oldman. The subject matter will clearly divide audiences thanks to its pat view of history: UK as the righteous hero and everyone else as inept -- Italians and French losers, Germans the evil fascists, US completely unmentioned, Canada the quiet prairie for monarchs to escape to -- in the still-somewhat- mysterious Dunkirk incident where Hitler could easily have tightened the noose and pushed UK over the edge of what was evidently a crushing defeat, but somehow allowed them the leeway to escape by civilian boats. There's next to no mention of the French army that stood its ground and valiantly sacrificed itself to win a couple of days for the Brits on the beach. All that said, as a film, this is a gripping narrative with just the kind of insouciant wit you'd expect from Churchill. While movies such as "The Gathering Storm" with Albert Finney were more considered, Darkest Hour is the kind of production that wows awards juries and audiences. Worthy watch when it comes to a theater near you. I feel Nolan's "Dunkirk" would be richer if you saw it *after* Darkest Hour.