Man who saved civilization

This year’s best movie about a spirited band of resisters fighting an empire of evil isn’t the latest entry in the “Star Wars” franchise, but “Darkest Hour,” an extraordinarily deft and moving depiction of the outset of Winston Churchill’s prime ministership during World War II.

Cabinet meetings and political intrigue aren’t the most natural cinematic material, although the underlying event in “Darkest Hour” is one of the most dramatic in modern history: One man standing defiant before the onslaught of an enemy army, rallying his nation with his willpower and words.

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