Darkest Hour

2017

Biography / Drama / History / War

173
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 115083

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Lily James as Elizabeth Layton
Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill
Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI
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1.13 GB
1280*682
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 10 / 123
2.09 GB
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English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
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915.12 MB
1280*688
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 14 / 266
1.9 GB
1904*1024
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 24 / 602

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferdinand1932 6 / 10

Almost history

As a film this is quite good; it's not dull, the performances are good, the production design is excellent, the script is a professional piece of work and even Oldman's make-up is not too distracting.

However, something is not right. If most people get their history from movies, this is concerning. It's obvious that actual events occurred with real people and what they did and said but in a movie this gets pasteurized into what smart people believe will be more thrilling, more sympathetic, more emotional. That process necessarily alters things into something that is even anachronistically rendered and therefore not in the record.

This defect occurs frequently in this movie , so it's not history but myth making. A good example is Churchill's dive into the Underground to meet the common person to steel his resolve. Now Churchill had a mixed view of the average voter, and he was a patrician, but even that aside, he did not need to take a Tube train survey to gauge opinion.

This scene is poached from Shakespeare's Henry V where the king goes among his soldiers the night before battle to hear them and take courage from their strength. Steal from the best is a good policy, but it's not history. It's Shakespearean history and that trades effect for accuracy too.

The audience is given this scene to present Churchill as an instrument of democracy; he's acting for what the people want, therefore he's doing the right thing. It's called pandering.

Well, it is just a movie.

Reviewed by richarddillomes 8 / 10

Never surrender

Darkest Hour is about one of the toughest crossroads the British Commonwealth and Winston Churchill went through: the former having to choose whether to negotiate with a rising dictator to let them keep their independence and in exchange support Hitler as he rules all over Europe, or to be the lone resistance against the tyrant where many of its other comrades has easily fallen to; the latter alone in wanting to fight the Germans until the very end, in a sea of voices favoring negotiated peace talks. The build-up and tension are palpable and there were crucial moments where you can really feel that the end is near such as the Royal Family being asked to escape to Canada and rule in exile and whether it was better to sacrifice 4,000 men in the Siege of Calais in order to save 300,000 in Dunkirk (whose adaptation is in contention for Best Picture this year.)

Gary Oldman's nomination for Best Actor for portraying Churchill is well-deserved. I have seen a couple of Churchills before (most recently John Lithgow in The Crown) and Gary's showed the most resemblance. You can barely make out his face except for his eyes which is still an enigma as when he played Sirius Black in the HP movies. Other notable performances include Kristin Scott Thomas as Clemmie (my aesthetic if I ever decide to grow old), Ben Mendelsohn as the embattled but still calm King George VI, and Stephen Dillane who you may miss as Stannis in GOT.

On a side note, I am fortunate to have come across and fell in love (okay somewhat obsessed) with Netflix's 'The Crown' that it felt like a reunion of sorts when I saw Clemmie, Eden and Bertie, which helped as I am usually averse towards war-themed movies. Also, was it too much to ask for to have shown a little Elizabeth running around Windsor Castle? Missed out on a golden opportunity there.

Lastly, this movie has stirred up a debate as to whether Churchill is deserving of such commemoration, owing to his views on superiority of Whites over other races (which some say was very common back in the day) and how he handled the Indian independence among others. It's true he was great in some aspects and the worst in others, but it does hold true of one of the many attributable quotes to Churchill: History is written by the victors.

Favorite quote (there's too many but this one sums up the movie): "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 8 / 10

a human portrait

It's the early days of WWII. The Germans are on the march and the Allies are retreating. Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) is not yet Prime Minister but is in line for the job. Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas) is his long-suffering supportive wife. Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) is his new secretary. He faces uncertainty from King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) and dying Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) while Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane ) pushes for peace negotiations.

This is a compelling historical character-study drama. The most intriguing aspect is that it depicts Churchill as a man slowly overwhelmed by the failing campaign and even considers a peace with Hitler. In many ways, it is a more human portrait and a much more dramatic character study. Historical accuracy is a little questionable especially the subway ride. I understand the premise but it feels manufactured. I don't know if there was ever such a note with all those regular people names and that speech to rally his supporters. If such an event happened, I would think he goes into the subway with his mind already set. He wouldn't need these regular folks to give him his direction. The climatic change in him is the meeting with the King. While I understand the idea that the normal people give him the strength to make the iconic speech, it feels fake. It's small bump in an otherwise beautiful, epic, thrilling road.

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