Oppenheimer review: A technical feat that felt like a chore – The Movie Blog

Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an epic thriller filmed in IMAX® that immerses audiences in the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world to save it. The film stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. Oscar® winner Matt Damon stars as General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Lewis Strauss, founding commissioner of the US Atomic Energy Commission. Academy Award® nominee Florence Pugh stars as psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie stars as theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano stars as Robert Serber, and Josh Hartnett stars as pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Lawrence . Oppenheimer also stars Oscar® winner Rami Malek and reunites Nolan with eight-time Oscar®-nominated actor, writer and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh. The cast includes Dane DeHaan (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), Dylan Arnold (Halloween franchise), David Krumholtz (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), and Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises). The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment and Christopher Nolan. oppenheimer is shot on a combination of 65mm and 65mm IMAX® wide-format film photography including, for the first time, sections in IMAX® black-and-white analogue photography.

The good:

One of the strongest elements of oppenheimer It lies in the acting of the cast. Cillian Murphy’s performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer is a tour de force. He convincingly portrays the renowned physicist’s brilliance, inner conflicts, and moral dilemmas. Murphy’s ability to embody Oppenheimer’s complex personality elevates the film, making for an interesting character study. Emily Blunt was probably one of my favorites in the movie. She had some key moments where she just shined and seemed like probably the most relatable of all the characters. Matt Damon was also solid given his role as General Groves Jr. Also, the witty dialogue and banter between Matt Damon, who plays General Leslie Groves Jr., and Cillian Murphy add to the film’s entertainment value. The potential scene-stealer, however, could have been Robert Downey Jr. He totally disappeared in the role of Lewis Stauss, and his performance was so good that it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was up for Best Supporting Actor.


Nolan’s signature cinematography is at its finest in oppenheimer. The best part was the artistic imagery used to convey the mental duress Oppenheimer faced during the Manhattan Project. The images captured the weight of the decisions he had to make and the profound implications of his work. I appreciated the sections shot in black and white analogue photography, which created visually striking contrast and added depth to crucial scenes.

Other technical feats were also well executed, such as the sound production. I was really impressed with how both the sound design and the score played so well. important role in enhancing the key moments of the film. From the deafening sounds of the proving ground to the haunting atmospheric musical compositions, audio elements add to the film’s emotional impact. The tension and buildup leading up to the creation of the atomic bomb are masterfully handled. I thought it was a brilliant decision by Nolan to mute all sound during a few key moments. As a viewer, he almost felt like after so much suspense building up, you still had a moment where you were holding your breath in anticipation of what was to come. Nolan navigated the ethical dilemmas faced by Oppenheimer and his team, creating an immersive experience that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

The bad:

oppenheimer It’s not without its flaws and I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of the edit. I thought it made the plot feel a bit cumbersome and difficult to follow. Given the 3 hour running time, the editing and writing made the film’s pacing remarkable. Just when you think this movie is about the making of the bomb, it veers off in another direction about Oppenheimer’s personal life, and then veers off into political drama. Essentially, it felt like multiple movies rolled into one.

To make things a bit more difficult, in true Nolan fashion, much of the exposition felt clunky. There seemed to be a conceit in the film that viewers should already be aware of politics during the 1940s and have some sort of degree in physics. The problem I think this can pose is that while some people are learning a lot of the historical or scientific facts for the first time, it takes away the opportunity for them to really engage with the plot. It would be like studying for a test and listening to a friend tell you a story at the same time. Additionally, the film’s political and legal drama may seem heavy to some viewers. While it is essential to accurately depict the sociopolitical context of the time, a more subtle approach might have better balanced the film’s approach.


Another aspect that arouses criticism is the representation of female characters in the film. While Florence Pugh’s performance as Jean Tatlock is commendable, her character writing can come across as lacking in authentic appeal. I think this also became a general problem in the writing, which was that it didn’t feel like there was an emotional anchor present. When I talk about an emotional anchor, it usually comes from the main protagonist of the movie to help create a relational point for the audience. While Oppenheimer was shown to have some rough patches, my issue with story editing came back into play. Just as I started to connect with Oppenheimer, we immediately jumped to some scientific experiment, legal drama, or historical event that snapped me out of it. A bit more focus might have been helpful in that case.

The verdict:

oppenheimer is an exciting deep dive into the life and decisions of J. Robert Oppenheimer. With outstanding performances, stunning cinematography, and gripping tension, it delivers a captivating experience for audiences. I think the marketing for Oppenheimer was a bit misleading because it initially gives the impression that it’s about Oppenheimer and the lead up to the atomic bomb. If you think about this thinking you’re going to have a crazy explosion and mass kills and stuff, then you’re going to be disappointed. This is a biopic that has a lot of story to tell. Too much history in some cases.

Left to right: Cillian Murphy (as J. Robert Oppenheimer) and writer-director-producer Christopher Nolan on the set of OPPENHEIMER.

while I enjoyed oppenheimer Overall, I can’t say that I want to see this movie again. Of the above categories I mentioned, I’m a fan of Nolan, but I didn’t particularly like him. Dunkirk. I have a general understanding of physics from school, but this movie felt like I walked into a pop quiz. He was also not fully aware of, or interested in, the politics of the time. So for me, this movie felt like a chore. I feel like Nolan does so many things technically right in his movies that it’s very hard for him to make a bad movie. That said, I wouldn’t say Oppenheimer is one of Nolan’s best movies, but his worst movies are still better than most. I would say that oppenheimer It probably ranks in the bottom three of Nolan’s movies along with Dark Knight Returns and Dunkirk.

One thing I noticed in my observations with people who have seen the film is that there are factors that can depend on the viewer. For those of you who are history buffs, remotely familiar with the communist party, World War II, and 1940s politics, this movie is for you. For those of you who have a general understanding of physics then this movie is for you. If you are a fan of Nolan and love movies like Principle either Dunkirk, then this movie is really for you. If you don’t fall into any of those categories, then I wouldn’t say this movie isn’t for you. I would just say prepare for more than is advertised. However, be sure to see oppenheimer in theaters when you can.


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer(s): Christopher Nolan
stars: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, and Kenneth Branagh
oppenheimer hits theaters July 21, 2023. Be sure to follow E-Man Movie Reviews On Facebook, Subscribe on YouTubeor follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for more movie news and reviews!

Oppenheimer review: A technical feat that felt like a chore

  • acting – 10/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects – 9/10
  • Plot/Script – 6/10
  • Setting/Theme – 7/10
  • Surveillance – 8/10
  • revisibility – 5/10

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