Film Review: Darkest Hour

I’ll keep it simple. I had a great and enjoyable time with this film. This is something I don’t say lightly. From drama, to comedy, to suspense, it is a rollercoaster of emotions. And I left the cinema with a great big smile on my face.

The story takes place during the first three weeks or so of when Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, is chosen as prime minister amidst Hitler’s invasion of Europe. During which, the series of events that unravelled at Dunkirk were happening (If you’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ last year, you know what I’m talking about).

Overall, you can definitely see that this is a small film with a small budget. And the focus is on the characters and their relationships. There no giant spectacles or big epic scenes. And the film didn’t need any.

Obviously, I am not going to judge the historical accuracy of the film. Writers, directors, and producers can take some liberties with any historical project. In the end, this is not a documentary, nor should be taken as such. I am judging it on the basis of it being a film, not the accuracy of the events.


What I like

Gary Oldman’s performance is Oscar-worthy without any doubt. He is definitely one of the frontrunners to win. The whole film rests on his performance. Even though this is a very good film, his acting is what puts it on the map for everyone, and I don’t think it would be where it is in terms of acclaim if it weren’t for Oldman.

An emotional film from drama to comedy and everything in between that will get you hooked on Gary Oldman’s performance throughout.

A good score will enhance any film. And this is no exception. The music is terrific, and elevates the movie, especially in climactic scenes.


What I dislike

I know that the electricity grid was still a new thing back then, but I’m really wondering if the House of Commons in the UK was as dark as they portray it in the film. From a lighting point of view, it looked like an attic with one window. Maybe it was a stylistic choice to have the focus on whoever is giving a speech in the middle (and, aesthetically, I do like it). But I didn’t feel like it was necessary or served any purpose in the film.

There is a certain subway scene (not going to say more, because that would be a spoiler) where the dialogue just was not good, and it didn’t even seem natural. All I could think of when I was watching the scene was “that’s not how people talk”.

Sometimes, if you’re not paying attention, you might not understand what Churchill is saying. Now, you could take that as being normal, because in the beginning of the film it is said that he mumbles sometimes. Or you can take it as affecting your experience watching the movie, and hence as a negative thing.


Score: 7.5/10


My Scoring System

0/10: Cannot get worse than this (unrealistic)


I do not have an opinion whether you should watch it or not.

6/10: It has redeeming qualities. You might like.
1/10: Absolute rubbish. 7/10: A good movie that I enjoyed. Recommended.
2/10: Just a bad movie. 8/10: A brilliant movie that is a must watch for everyone.
3/10: So many problems with the movie. 9/10: Masterpiece. Godfather level.
4/10: Wouldn’t recommend watching. 10/10: Cannot get better than this (unrealistic)


Scoring system inspired by John Campea (online movie critic, YouTube content creator).


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