Darkest Hour (2017) Poster

(2017)

User Reviews

Add a Review
22 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
9/10
Split vote - so far
chong_an7 November 2017
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.
31 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Well worth seeing just to watch Oldman's performance.
MartinHafer24 October 2017
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.
42 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A superb film with an original and fresh insight into Churchill and WW2
fredkins19 November 2017
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.
25 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Wonderfully refreshing look at Churchill
michaeljtrubic25 September 2017
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.
30 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Brilliant and emotional
thomas-37915 November 2017
This film is absolutely brilliant from the acting to the sets..the editing is tight. Thrilling. It took me about 1 minute to accept Gary Oldham as Churchill...after that I was sold.

Probably my favorite film of 2017 so far. Pacing is superb. Historically pretty accurate

It's a must see for any WW2 fans, political fans and Winston Churchill fans.
18 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Riveting production despite its pat view of history
shanx2412 September 2017
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.
32 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
"This is a film about resistance."
jbostrom-643-24996016 November 2017
At the Paris Theater premiere in NYC last night, Joe Wright concluded his introduction by saying, "This is a film about resistance." That brought immediate and enthusiastic response from the crowd. Oldman gives a stunning performance, but the entire ensemble is clearly caught up in the relevance of the work, not a false note anywhere. Powerful film celebrating Churchill as in touch with the resilience and grit of working class commoners. The villains here are the snobbish pacifist appeasers. Hard to say what American audiences will make of this. It could go either way. There's enough populist ammunition here to leave a huge chunk of the American political landscape as devastated as the castle in Calais.
13 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Attended a history class
danzhangdan2 December 2017
I was curious about how Churchill behaved during the tough war time, and how he got things done without necessary support.

One observation which is useful to me. That's everyone will have fear at some moment. No matter he is a prime minister, or a king. Beyond the titles, they are ordinary human. They also need support from their loved ones, and the people surround them to conquer the fear, to gain the confidence.

Another interesting thing I learned from the movie is that Churchill was elected as the prime minister not because he is the perfect one, but because he is the only option for his party. All the PMs/Presidents are the results of compromise among involved stakeholders.

I also came to a more proper understanding about Chamberlain by this movie. In the history class, I didn't quite understand the word of "appeasement". Just simply thought that means Chamberlain was a traitor of his country. In this movie, I got another understanding about Chamberlain's appeasement policy. He just wanted to protect his country and people with the approach which seems making sense at that war time.

The words of "you can not reason with a Tiger when your head is in its mouth" seems quite obvious, but why Chamberlain's appeasement policy got supported at the beginning? I need to google it.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Gud 2017 movie
vladimirdubal7 November 2017
Incredible screenplay, visionary directing, outrageous acting, and riveting sound!

The inspiration, as per the screenwriter Anthony McCarten came from 4 speeches given by Churchill over the course of several weeks by Churchill, which makes up the period of the movie. The film exercises restraint in its emotive aesthetic choices - which coupled with the sound by Dario Marianelli- provide the supporting cloth for the actors' and actresses' visceral performances. The result is a portrayal which is honest, heartfelt, and magical.
13 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Hope he wins an Oscar
blackmamba999714 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was Gary Oldman'e finest hour. To play Winston Churchill was probably the most difficult role any actor had to endure. Since the early years of war films there were hardly any references as to who Churchill really was. Most times it was by way of radio broadcasts that the people heard him speak against Hitler and his regime from trying to conquer Britian during WWII. How sad it was that the war commission wanted to negotiate peace rather than to fight against tyranny.

This was why Churchill was so loved by the people because he was as real as they were. With problems or obstacles barring freedom or discontent from rising opposition within the war department. It was wonderful to see Gray Oldman release emotions on screen so that the viewer could feel what Churchill felt. Stuck between a rock, and a hard place with no exit in sight. Yet as with all seasoned men who has seen war themselves know clearly well that surrender is never an option.

With the Axis agreement both Japan, and Italy blindly signed the pact so that Hitler could rise to the top as the most supreme chancellor but on the sidelines stood Churchill. Watching unsuspecting nations become puppets to a madman. Gary pulled it off brilliantly as the most outspoken political leader in history, which is probably why he was ousted out of office for his efforts. How cruel that his own people stepped on his neck just out of spite. Britains leaders didn't want to win the war... they wanted the perks that accompany power to drive their fellow man into the ground while the rich looked down smiling greedily.

It was a great story showing us a historical view of why Winston dared not surrender to the enemy, and rightly so because as soon as the rescue operation Dynamo succeeded, the US and their allies helped stop Hitler in his tracks winning the war. However sweet victory was why Winston Churchill would never see it first hand because of the extreme betrayal of his own government provided. I think this is a wonderful movie for its bleak with gritty undertone scenes of dark forces lurking in shadows such as the war department as well as sudden appearances who helped brighten Churchill's day with a friendly face such as his wife Clementine Churchill (Kristin Scott Thomas) to Elizabeth Layton his personal secretary, (Lily James) who helped him keep his sanity among the vultures intact.

There were many different forks to take in the road, but when Churchill decided that the people should fight against incredible odds... it was no wonder that Britain remains as one of the most enduring countries through such suffering, and turmoil. Director Joe Wright did a fantastic job displaying each character with various emotional degrees. Or how he made Churchill look like the odd man out or just someone indelibly crazy for standing up against a powerful foe like Hitler. Whatever the case was that the British government wanted peace for it was certainly not enough for Winston, and his people.

I highly recommend this film for all audiences alike for its strong viewpoints on a needless war as well as demonstrating fine directing of cast, crew, and extras. The music fit the era, as did the radio broadcasts with its scratchy sounding noise that all war survivors have come to know, and dread. As I mentioned before above I really hope that Gary Oldman receives an award for his timeless portrayal of the most hip man of his time... Winston Churchill.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews