The passage of time thing was intentional, because it varies. For the pilot, the whole thing last for an hour or so. For the sailor and his son it's a day. For the young soldier it's several days of ordeal. The narrative is very non-linear and seems condensed, but its actual length is over several days. As for the rest of what you've written, I can't really agree with most of the stuff. The film tried to portray the chaos, fear and hopelessness of soldiers who were in Dunkirk. It's anxiety-inducing and downright claustrophobic during some scenes. At the same time it got the whole "art" vibe to it, so it's an atypical war film. I'd go as far and say that it isn't an actual war film, at least in the general sense of what war films are. There's very little combat except for the dogfights, there's no clear focus of why and how is this all happening. You don't even get to see the Germans in the film - well, you get, but it's very little. The whole experience is so far away from the modern idea of war film and simply focuses on POV of three relatively ordinary characters in desperate situations. Who they are matters very little, the only thing that matters is what they're going through. I liked the film. It was interesting to see Nolan direct a historical film, and an art war film at that. Quite unconventional. Far from perfect tho.