At the end of May in 1940, the Allied forces in France were pushed west to the beachhead at Dunkirk. Over 400,000 men and equipment were trapped with nowhere to go. The air was filled with German planes and their ships patrolled the sea. Commander Bolton of the Royal Navy, played by Kenneth Branagh, supervised the evacuation with few ships and little hope. However, the Royal Navy implemented a plan to have civilian ships sail to Dunkirk to pick up the men. Mr. Dawson, played by Mark Rylance, steers his ship across the English Channel to pick up as many survivors as he can. Meanwhile, British Spitfires try to provide cover but they, too, face the perils of war. Tom Hardy plays one of those pilots, Farrier, who makes it to Dunkirk, but has no fuel to return home.
Without this effort to save the troops, Britain would not have survived World War II. They were desperately low on soldiers and equipment and without these survivors, the path into Britain would have been open to the Germans. While Dunkirk was a loss in the war, it showed the spirit of the British nation and carried them through the war.
This is an excellent movie for World War II and history buffs. It took the viewer into the war from the safety of the movie theater. There was a slight break in continuity involving the rescue of a British pilot, but spoiler alert, he was saved.