The Men of Dunkirk

The actors who make this film great!

BY: Zak Wojnar

Christopher Nolan is one of the most revered filmmakers working today. His films rely on tight scripting and visceral visual impact to deliver experiences unlike anything else in the medium, and he is a fan favorite for his adult-oriented takes on fantastical premises. He practically reinvented the superhero film with his Batman trilogy; Inception was a completely engrossing action flick with a totally unique setting, and Interstellar effortlessly blended science fiction with straight-up fantasy in an inspiring way.

His latest film, Dunkirk, is a historical war epic about the legendary evacuation of the British army from France. Outnumbered, outgunned, and out of hope, the British and French forces were at the end of their rope, so to speak, just waiting to be picked off by the Nazis, who were bearing down on them like the inevitable touch of Death itself.

The film does a tremendous job of capturing the harrowing nature of battle, the ever-present fear of sudden death, and the desperate struggle endured by the Allied soldiers at Dunkirk…it also has a lot of handsome hunks in its lead roles. In addition to being a stunning tribute to the brave soldiers on that hallowed beach, Dunkirk is, after all, a 100 million dollar blockbuster extravaganza, and hot guys are pretty much a necessity for any Summer movie event.

Let’s take a look at the handsome men of Dunkirk:

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy
Hardy is a recurring player in the films of Christopher Nolan, having starred as the villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, and as a suave criminal in Inception. This time, he plays an ace fighter pilot who spends literally the entire film strapped into his trusty Spitfire plane, shooting down Nazi bombers and struggling to protect the evacuation efforts.

Jack Lowden

Jack Lowden
Tom Hardy‘s wingman in the skies above Dunkirk is played by Jack Lowden, a relative newcomer who is well on his way to A-list superstardom. While Dunkirk is his first larg-scale feature film, the actor had previously earned rave reviews for his appearance in the epic, six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s War & Peace. Up next for the 27-year-old actor is England Is Mine, a biopic of famed Smiths frontman, Morrissey.

cillian murphy

Cillian Murphy
Another frequent Nolan collaborator, Cillian Murphy is best known to fanboys for his scene-stealing turn the hammy and underused villain, Scarecrow, in the Batman movies, as well as for his current lead role on the hit BBC crime drama, Peaky Blinders. In Dunkirk, he plays a shell-shocked soldier who is rescued by civilians and has a nervous breakdown when he learns they are taking their unarmed boat to the battle to aid in the evacuation.

Harry Styles

Harry Styles
Christopher Nolan claimed he had no idea Harry Styles was so famous, and that he cast him in Dunkirk based solely on his talent at the audition. Whatever the case may be, Styles‘ presence in the film certainly boosted the film’s profile within the tween female demographic.

Here, the erstwhile One Direction member plays a soldier trapped on the beach, struggling with the morality of his unrelenting drive to survive, at any cost. The film doesn’t place blame on any of the soldiers for submitting to their survival instinct; rather it throws shade at “armchair quarterbacks” who puff their chests out and proclaim,”If it were me, I would have done things differently,” as if they have any idea what it’s like to be in the middle of a war zone, with bombs exploding around you, and your best friends being ripped apart without warning.

Jack Lowden

Fionn Whitehead
This is the first film for young Fionn Whitehead, 21. To say he was thrown into the deep end of the pool for his first outing as a film actor is something of an understatement, to say the least.

He plays Tommy, a named derived from the old-timey nickname for a British infantryman, and the film opens with his harrowing escape from the Nazis, with their bullets whizzing past him and taking down his fellow soldiers. He miraculously makes his way to the beach, where the true battle properly begins.

Aneurin Barnard

Aneurin Barnard
The 30-year-old Welsh actor plays Gibson, a desperate army private with a peculiar secret, who delivers a show-stopping performance while barely uttering a single word of dialogue. Barnard has been wowing audiences ever since he won the Laurence Olivier award for his role in the London stage production of Spring Awakening in 2010.

james darcy

James D’Arcy
D’Arcy plays one of the officers overseeing the evacuation, and his scenes, with fellow British actor Kenneth Branagh, are among the film’s few brief moments where the audience can relax and catch their breath.

D’Arcy is best known to American audiences for his role as Edwin Jarvis in ABC’s short-lived Marvel TV series, Agent Carter. He also appeared in Cloud Atlas, portrayed Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock, and played a leading role in Madonna‘s underrated W.E.


Kenneth Branaugh

Kenneth Branagh
At 56, Branagh may be a little older than most of the hunks on this list, but we think he’s still pretty hot, like a gracefully aged silver fox! He certainly plays up his aged testosterone in Dunkirk as a military Commander in charge of overseeing the battle.

In addition to directing hotshot blockbusters like Thor and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Branagh is best known for directing beloved Shakespeare adaptations like Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry V. He also starred as the traitorous Iago in Othello, a rare Shakespearean film appearance which he did not direct.

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance
If Branagh‘s military leader is too “old man Testosterone” for you, maybe the lighter, more paternal touch of Mark Rylance will do instead. He’s 57 years old, but having something of a career high, having just won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (beating out the odds-on favorite, Sylvester Stallone) for his role in Steven Spielberg‘s Bridge of Spies.

In Dunkirk, he plays a kindly old man who brings his unarmed little boat out to the war-torn battlefield in an effort to save some lives. He’s motivated by bravery, duty, and another, more secret reason, which would be a spoiler to reveal here.