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Dunkirk Movie Quotes

Updated August 15, 2019 258 votes 92 voters 5.6k views8 items

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Here are the best Dunkirk movie quotes, telling the story of the film about the World War II evacuation of 400,000 soldiers from a beach in Dunkirk, France. The war movie was written and directed by Christopher Nolan and opened theatrically in the United States and United Kingdom on July 21, 2017. 

In Dunkirk, it's 1940 and Nazi Germany has invaded France. Allied forces flee north and reach the ocean-side town of Dunkirk. The Germans close in on the group, which includes British, French and Belgian troops, and surround them on the beach of Dunkirk. 

In what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called "a colossal military disaster," 400,000 soldiers are trapped with little hope of surviving or ever getting home. What follows documents the evacuation efforts from the view of the soldiers and those who helped in the effort, civilians included.

Dunkirk doesn't have a lot of dailogue, but the lines it delivers are certainly impactful. If you like these quotes, be sure to check out the best lines from other movies like Despicable Me 3, Baby Driver, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and War for the Planet of the Apes.  

  • 1

    We Shall Never Surrender

    Video: YouTube

    Soldier: What has happened is a colossal military disaster. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall never surrender.

    One soldier expresses his persistence in this Dunkirk movie quote. Yes, there was a huge disaster but that won't stop them from fighting to the end.

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    • 2

      400,000 Men on This Beach

      Video: YouTube

      Commander Bolton: The enemy tanks have stopped.
      Colonel Winnant: Why? 
      Commander Bolton: Why waste precious tanks when they can pick us off from the air like a fish in a barrel?
      Commander Bolton: There are 400,000 men on this beach.

      A conversation between Winnant and Bolton in these Dunkirk movie quotes give a peek into the story of the film and their current situation. They and 400,000 other Allied soldiers are trapped on a beach in France, completely surrounded by German forces.

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      • Photo: Warner Bros.

        I'm Not Going Back

        Shivering Soldier: Where are we going?
        Mr. Dawson: Dunkirk
        Shivering Soldier: I’m not going back. If we go there we’ll die. You're weekend sailors not the bloody Navy. You should be at home! 
        Mr. Dawson: There’s no hiding from this, son. We have a job to do.
        Shivering Soldier: Turn it around! Do it now!

        Mr. Dawson rescues the shivering soldier from the icy waters only to inform him that they're returning to Dunkirk to rescue others. The soldier is highly against that idea and makes it quite clear in these Dunkirk movie quotes.

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        • 4

          You Can Practically See It From Here

          Video: YouTube

          Commander Bolton: You can practically see it from here.
          Colonel Winnant: What?
          Commander Bolton: Home

          In a situation where few have any hope of surviving or ever getting back home, Commander Bolton offers some rare optimism. In these Dunkirk movie quotes he talks about almost seeing home, not that they're anywhere to close to it.

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