Oppenheimer Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Alden Ehrenreich, Scott Grimes, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh, Benny Safdie, Olivia Thirlby, Rami Malek, Jack Quaid, Macon Blair, Casey Affleck and David Krumholtz

Director: Christopher Nolan

Oppenheimer Movie Review
Oppenheimer Movie Review (Photo Credit –Imdb)

What’s Good: You won’t just watch what’s happening on screen, you’ll feel it! Be it the explosion outside or inside the characters’ minds, especially Murphy’s Oppie

What’s Bad: The ‘feel’ portion of the above compliment is only limited to the IMAX screens (because of their gargantuan sub-woofers) and those are either very expensive to get in or are full for the initial period

Loo Break: It’s a 3-hour film, you’ll have to despite this being a 5/5

Watch or Not?: Only if you hold the patience of digesting too many dialogues, but I assure you that would come with one of the greatest gifts Modern Cinema has ever given to cinephiles!

Available On: Theatrical Release

Runtime: 3 Hours


User Rating:

Divided into two parts Fission & Fusion, the first one splits the story of ‘the big daddy of Atomic Bomb’ J. Robert Oppenheimer’s (played by Cillian Murphy comfortably securing his debut Oscar nomination) secret 1954 hearing regarding renewing his security clearance post the Promethean torture he faces following the historic moment of dropping the atomic bomb in Japan & the latter one (Fusion), shot in the recently invented IMAX b&w Kodak cameras taking us through Lewis Strauss’ (Robert Downey Jr) involvement in the Oppenheimer business as he runs for Eisenhower’s Secretary of Commerce in the year 1959.

Fission is crammed with the incidents that made Oppenheimer sit in front of the United States Government and plead (without showing it loud) them to cleanse his soul by letting go of the accusations of his tying with Communists. All this while he was working on creating a history that the world will remember. Fusion brings in the conspiracy theory side of the story depicting a diplomatic war between scientists & politicians of the US revolving around the legacy J. Robert Oppenheimer would leave for the world to witness.

Oppenheimer Movie Review
Oppenheimer Movie Review(Photo Credit –Imdb)

Oppenheimer Movie Review: Script Analysis

Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s meticulous 700-page long non-fictional book ‘American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer finally get the master who would not only translate the story for the biggest screen possible but also will make sure you feel each and every bang that comes with the most resonant story you’d find in the history of atomic physics.

When Christopher Nolan revealed that the viewers would be able to ‘feel’ the detonation, I dismissed it thinking it was the production house speaking but I forgot he’s someone who’d switch the production houses when it boils down to restricting his imagination. I was wrong and yes the ‘it’ scene, the explosion passed right through me. Yep, I know it’s an exaggeration to say that but Nolan has achieved a sui generis place in the history of World Cinema.

You won’t need a 4DX version to shake your seats if you’re watching this on an IMAX screen, thanks to Richard King’s in-sync transcending sound design with the music composer Ludwig Göransson (more on Music, a little later). Its sound is the soul of this Christopher Nolan film and you’re reminded of this in every single scene. The sound pushes everything, from the written print to the first-class performances by the first-class actors.

Also, can we sign a peace treaty regarding Nolan’s sound overpowering his dialogues? Because that’s the way he intends it to be, the lines which are audibly blurred aren’t something he wants you to focus on but the way they’re cut through with the score is what he’s trying to convey. Moving on from Wally Pfister, Nolan returns with the cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (for their 4th collab since Interstellar) and he continues to suck you into the narrator’s world with his sharply focused angles developing a connection sooner than you’d expect.

Oppenheimer Movie Review: Star Performance

Cillian Murphy is all set to get his debut Oscar nomination (and probably he’d win it too), but the more important thing is he’ll get this for a Christopher Nolan film. It almost looks like he’s achieved a character arc no other actor could’ve in Nolan’s filmography. From being the Scarecrow to the shivering soldier and getting a film which not only is perfect for him to lead but almost delivers the performance his lifetime (almost because I love Thomas Shelby too much), with this Cillian Murphy has achieved what only a handful of performers get to in their lifetime.

Robert Downey Jr as Strauss astounded me to the levels I didn’t expect. Put Cillian, and Matt Damon in Nolan films and you already know they’re going to outdo themselves but putting Robert Downey Jr, our beloved Iron Man in here l, Nolan challenged our hopes like he always does and won like he always does. Emily Blunt breaks the archetype of Nolan’s half-baked woman as she delivers a sensational performance despite the limited screen time.

Matt Damon is outstanding as Leslie Groves and holds his ground amidst the other towering performances. Florence Pugh’s mysterious Jean Tatlock leaves a brief impact with her solid presence, though the n*dity did come across as unnecessary but that might be because to cover her up with a fake CGI-created Black sheet done by the Indian censor board. Benny Safdie as Edward Teller, Kenneth Branagh as Oppenheimer’s Danish mentor Niels Bohr, and Josh Hartnett as Oppie’s close colleague Ernest Lawrence all come, achieve what they’re set to and leave delivering good acts.

Oppenheimer Movie Review
Oppenheimer Movie Review(Photo Credit –Imdb)

Oppenheimer Movie Review: Direction, Music

Christopher Nolan attempts his style to portray a biopic on screen, despite being a story based on true events this remains to be a classic Nolan film. Scattered timelines, different shoot styles, abstract montages to portray Oppenheimer’s psychological state, and an overtly detailed narrative, this has everything (and more) you’d expect from a Christopher Nolan film. What’s new is the fact that you’re going through what has actually happened in history through Nolan’s lens, which means you’d be subjected to multiple BRAAAMs throughout. The extreme tonal shift from being a political documentary along with sci-fi elements and almost touching the horror genre is commendable.

Is Ludwig Göransson the new Hans Zimmer for Christopher Nolan? Post Tenet (which Hans rejected for Dune), many of us thought we’ll see Zimmer return but it’s not the case. Ludwig continues to case what Zimmer is best at, blending the music so well with the narration that, at times, they feel like the same thing. While we still hope to see Zimmer-Nolan’e comeback, I don’t really mind Ludwig filling the void.

Oppenheimer Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, in a scene while getting frustrated from the country’s Politics destroying his image, Cillian’s Oppenheimer says “Is anyone ever going to tell the truth about what’s going here?” and I exclaimed, “Yes Oppie, one day Christopher Nolan will!”

Five stars!

Oppenheimer Trailer

Oppenheimer releases on 20th July, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Oppenheimer.

For more recommendation, read our Extraction 2 Movie Review here.

Must Read: Oppenheimer First Reviews Out! Christopher Nolan’s Magnum Opus Labelled Knockout That ‘Splits Brain Open’, Cillian Murphy & Robert Downey Jr’s Performance Leave Critics Stunned!

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