Kenneth Branagh in Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Dunkirk saw the beloved filmmaker release what could almost be described as an experimental war blockbuster in the heart of the summer - and yet achieved great box office success. Now, Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that the war epic will be re-released in select theaters for the holiday season. The studio is giving fans another chance to re-experience the film, or find it for the first time on the big screen in the way it was meant to be seen.

The re-release of Dunkirk will be done in two phases. First, on December 1st the war epic will be available in limited engagement at 50 IMAX and 70mm locations in 34 domestic markets around the country. This will give audiences in or near these markets the chance to experience Christopher Nolan's film in the way that the director initially intended, allowing movie-goers to get the most out of the cinematic experience. On January 24, 2018, the re-release will be expanded to an additional 250 locations to provide yet another opportunity to see the feature.

This re-release by Warner Bros. is obviously timely, as Dunkirk stands a good chance of being in heavy contention during the award season. This maneuver reminds Oscar voters of the film while they are being distracted by a lot more awards fodder, and gives those who missed it the first time around another chance to experience it. Warner Bros. surely has high hopes for the movie when it comes to picking up hardware in the next few months, with there being a solid case to be made for Best Picture, Best Director and a whole host of technical awards. As Oscar campaigns go, what better way to pitch your case than to let the work speak for itself and give people a chance to see it? While the Academy voters can probably expect screeners, not even the nicest home theater systems can match the fully-immersive IMAX presentation.

By all accounts, including those of the filmmaker himself, Dunkirk is a movie that needs to be seen on the largest screen possible. Christopher Nolan is a noted and vocal film evangelist who endeavors to use large format celluloid whenever possible on his productions. Dunkirk itself seems to be an argument for the importance of the traditional cinema, and its superiority to the home experience. The re-release in coming weeks will give Nolan another chance to make that case.

Dunkirk excelled in the thick of summer surrounded by more traditional blockbuster fare. Despite being a non-traditional film, with little in the way of plot, dialogue or character, it grossed $525 million worldwide. The stellar box office proves that good word of mouth and the power of Christopher Nolan's name can bring in audiences to see a movie that is more an exercise in tension than a traditional narrative. Check out our review for Dunkirk, and take a look at the movies still coming out in what's left of the year in our release schedule.

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