Not long ago, I watched and reviewed Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and stated it was one of the best war films I’ve seen in ages. Just when I thought the World War II film genre couldn’t get any better, along comes the always great Gary Oldman in quite possibly his greatest and biggest role yet (pun intended) in Darkest Hour. History and war buffs who love Churchill or those who enjoy epic films will want to keep the light going during this darkest moment in history, as you’ll come away loving one of the best movies out there.
Our own Travis Seppala reviewed this masterpiece while it was in theaters, and you can take a look at his review for all the of plot and casting details. Here I’ll just go right into my take on the film and the special features included in the home release. I completely agree with everything Travis stated in his review, as it’s both amazing and scary how Gary Oldman literally becomes Winston Churchill in hands down his greatest performance ever. I remember reading somewhere that he does it so well, it was actually shocking WWII historians with his portrayal, and I can attest to this as it needs to be seen to be believed. Director Joe Wright also does an amazing job helming this film as he uses this great cast with such precision that you’ll swear every minute of the movie is a perfect reenactment of pivotal moments of Churchill’s life and PM career.
Watching this on a high definition Blu-ray disc just serves to make this epic even better as every perfectly acted moment is seen and heard with crystal clarity. As if this wasn’t enough greatness for viewers, there’s a few small but interesting extras to look into once you’re done fighting on the beaches. There’s audio commentary by director Joe Wright who discusses how the film came to be and how it was working on it. “Into Darkest Hour” has Wright going even more into behind the scenes details on the making of the movie, and possibly the coolest and sadly shortest extra is “Gary Oldman: Becoming Churchill” that gives us a very brief look into how Oldman became the character both physically and mentally. I wish this one was longer as I enjoyed every bit of it. It also would’ve been nice to have some documentaries on the real Winston Churchill, Britain’s role in World War 2, and more as these would’ve rounded out the extras nicely.
Darkest Hour is an amazing film that nails Churchill’s life and fight for his country in a near flawless package. History buffs will be both shocked and amazed how Oldman transforms in Churchill in such a way that would make the real Churchill question if he’s really himself or not. This fantastic performance combined with other spot on acting from a perfect cast and some brief but interesting extras easily make this a must have that you’ll want to fight in the fields and in the streets to get into your collection.