It’s always fun to have a movie marathon — especially with film series that can offer up several installments to watch in a row, like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Fast & Furious, or any of the Marvel or DC superhero franchises.

But another cool twist on the typical movie marathon is to watch movie complements back-to-back — two films that aren’t connected in any way except for the fact that they’re about the same historical figure or incident.

It just so happens that we have two movies in the Box that fit this criteria perfectly: Dunkirk and Darkest Hour. They both revolve around the evacuation of Allied troops from northern France’s Dunkirk beach during World War II. Dunkirk — which I would recommend watching first — tells the story from the perspective of both the soldiers who are desperately awaiting rescue, and some of the men trying to help them against long odds.

Darkest Hour follows British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the same period of time and reveals why the Allied soldiers at Dunkirk didn’t get the aid they so desperately needed in a timely matter. Though both films have some fictionalized elements, taken together they give a solid history lesson about the rescue attempt Churchill himself described as “a colossal military disaster.”

The two movies have something else in common aside from their Dunkirk-centric plots: they’ve both stacked up multiple Oscar nominations (Dunkirk has 8, Darkest Hour has 6) and will be competing against each other on March 4 at the 90th Academy Awards for the ultimate honor of Best Picture.

If you’ve got even more time on your hands, there’s one more movie at the Box that’s set during the same time period. It’s the charming Their Finest, which takes its name from Churchill’s “This Was Their Finest Hour” speech, and revolves around a team at the British Ministry of Information that’s charged with making a morale-boosting movie about the Dunkirk evacuation.


What are other movies you like to watch back-to-back?