'Dunkirk' Reviews Reveal Harry Styles Has More Acting Talent Than David Beckham

The reviews are in from Christopher Nolan's new WWII film and Harry Styles did not disappoint.

MOST POPULAR

Having sat through all 106 minutes of Christopher Nolan's WWII film Dunkirk last night, I have two things to say.

1. It's nail-bitingly amazing and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, jumping all over the place like a grasshopper at all explosions/crashes/gunshots. You'll then want to sit in a dark room afterwards to process what you just saw.

2. I seriously advise you have a strongly drink next to you. Forget the tonic. Go neat. You'll need it to to steady your nerves. Heck, have two drinks.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

If you think I'm being dramatic, I'm not. Empire's review said the film 'thrusts you into a pressure cooker and slams the lid on' and it's a good thing it didn't have Nolan's typically sub three-hour runtime because 'audiences would likely have staggered out with PTSD'.

Regardless of the tension, the likes of Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Brannagh and Cillian Murphy, and beautiful panning shots across the beach at Dunkirk, make this film a worthwhile watch. Part of us also really wanted to watch the film simply to weigh up Harry Styles', of One Direction fame, acting skills.

After all, the World War II epic is the singer's acting debut and all we really know about the bloke is he can sing, likes to date A-listers, and has really, really luscious hair.

So, let us be the first ones to say that Hazza is surprisingly great in the film. So much so you forget he was ever in an X Factor-made boy band, and once dated Caroline Flack/Taylor Swift.

Granted, he technically doesn't speak all that much throughout the film (but no one really does, to be fair). Styles is essentially very good at looking cold, scared, sad and a bit angry, yet you somehow still come away feeling like he's successfully transitioned from boyband singer to bonafide actor.

And we're not the only ones who thought so:

Christopher Hooton, The Independent:

I think it's fair to single out Harry Styles' performance for analysis here as, frankly, Nolan brought it on himself by casting him (even if he underestimated the singer's fame). Yes, Styles is very competent and his performance does not stick out like a saw thumb as many feared; you immediately except him as a soldier alongside the infinitely less recognisable others. He doesn't exactly have any especially challenging scenes, but he is solid and takes the job seriously and I imagine, for better or worse, many lead feature film roles will follow if he wants them, given the immediate box office injection that comes with his casting.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Becky Lucas, GQ:

Harry Styles can actually act: Granted, Harry doesn't have that many lines in Dunkirk, but then, nobody does in this near-silent, extremely tense war film. It very quickly becomes apparent, following a mesmerising shoot-out scene starring Fionn Whitehead (more on him in number 3), that the nearly 400,000 men stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk were too stunned to say much. Relatively speaking, then, Harry Styles plays one of the more outspoken soldiers, capably demonstrating both depth and a survivalist instinct that dangles his character right on the line between human and inhumane. He also shows off some swimming skills. 'I definitely improved my swimming while shooting this film,' he said. 'But we couldn't really focus on any personal discomfort due to the history we were portraying.'

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Clayton Davis, Awards Circuit:

In his first major film role, One Direction's Harry Styles shows tremendous promise. His Alex makes one of the film's most apparent transformations, dipping in and out of horror, desperation, and anguish.

Nick De Semlyen, Empire:

[A]n impressive debut performance, and definitely not the Rihanna-in-Battleship debacle you may have feared.

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:

[A] bright, convicted, and unexpectedly not-at-all-jarring performance from Harry Styles, formerly of the boy band One Direction, as one of the young soldiers on the beach.

George Simpson, The Express:

And yes for the record Styles can act, unlike David Beckham's embarrassing attempt in King Arthur.

For others, there was this:

Matt Singer, ScreenCrush:

Harry Styles appears in this film.

Don't believe us? Go watch Dunkirk in cinemas from Friday 21 July and you'll see what we mean.

Oh and remember that strong drink, you hear?

More from ELLE UK: