The Darkest Hour Review


Elissa Dallimore, writer

On December 22, 2017, the highly anticipated film, The Darkest Hour, was released in theatres across the nation. Directed by Joe Wright, this biographical war drama has received favorable ratings, earning an 84% from Rotten Tomatoes.


The 125 minute movie follows the life of Winston Churchill, from the days leading up to his appointment as Prime Minister to his handling of Dunkirk in the first year of World War II. The gravity of the events that faced the United Kingdom is emphasized through scenes detailing Churchill’s despair as he learns that the fall of Allied forces, such as France, to Germany is inevitable. This despair only deepens when Churchill is faced with a decision of whether to open peace negotiations with Germany in attempt to save 400,000 soldiers stranded on Dunkirk or to continue fighting.


“The movie really emphasized just how tough the decisions Churchill faced actually were. I think the scene where Churchill travels on the underground and asks British citizens what they would do if Britain was invaded by Germany was especially powerful,” comments Senior Cosette Thompson.


Such somber matters are balanced by interjections of humor to provide comic relief for the viewer. Often revolving around Churchill’s eccentric character, the light-hearted moments throughout the movie provide an insight into his personal life. Other scenes show how King George VI and Churchill were often at odds with each other at first but then formed an unlikely friendship, revealing a detail that viewers may have been unaware of before watching the movie.


“The movie directors effectively portrayed the personality quirks that he was well known for. I especially enjoyed when during a tense dispute with members of his war cabinet he said ‘Don’t interrupt me while I’m interrupting you,’” stated Oakdale alumni Alexander Queiroz.


Critics have been especially generous in their praise of Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill, commenting that he embodied the very spirit of the former Prime Minister. At the Golden Globes this month, Gary Oldman won Best Actor.


“Gary Oldman’s transformation into Winston Churchill was spectacular, he humanized Churchill a lot. I barely recognized him from the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!” exclaimed Thompson.


If you are interested in historical films, then make sure to see The Darkest Hour!