War is hell, and the new trailer for Dunkirk hammers that point home. Christopher Nolan’s war epic tells the true story of the 400,000 Allied troops who were stranded on a beach, while German forces surrounded them. With no easy way out, they orchestrated an incredibly dangerous evacuation of the beach that saved countless lives. As the stunning trailer shows us, it took operations on the land, in the sea, and in the air for the Allied soldiers to push back against the Germans.
No one does big-budget moviemaking quite as impressively as Nolan, and the sequences teased here—including a masked Tom Hardy battling some German war planes in the air—seem truly breathtaking in their realness. There are no gimmicky special effects here. What we’re witnessing feels even more awe-inspiring because it actually happened. Dunkirk, with its prime summer release date, should stand as an antidote to movie-going audiences who are tired of superhero movies, but who are still looking for spectacle filmmaking. It also features a murderers’ row of British thesps, including Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and, of course, Harry Styles, who appears in the trailer for a brief, heart-stopping moment. Check out the trailer above and catch Dunkirk in theaters when it drops on July 21.