Oppenheimer (2023) Review (700th Review)




Director Christopher Nolan is an acclaimed film director that many, including myself, have found to be exceptional in the execution of the films that he directs. While he’s been around for quite some time, developing several short films (both released unreleased), several first noticed Nolan’s work as a director in his sophomore film Memento. Released in 2000, Nolan’s Memento was a complex film of dueling narratives story threads, which meet at the end of the film, producing one whole and cohesive narrative storyline. Even if you didn’t have Memento on your “movie radar” or even his third time Insomnia in 2003, many (and I do mean many) recognized Nolan’s directorial work after successful taking the DC superhero “cape crusader” (i.e. Batman) and created the celebrated Dark Knight trilogy (Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises). From there, Nolan went on becoming a much-respected director from critics and the public of moviegoers, with his other films like The PrestigeInception and Interstellar. Nolan’s approach to crafting a feature film is what makes him truly stand out, rooting his pictures with sociological, ethical, and philosophical concepts / ideas, the explanation and constructs of time, and the nature of personal identity and memory. Additionally, Nolan, who usually also writes the screenplay for most of his movies, also weaves very complex narratives, with some nonlinear storytelling and a tendency to emphasis characters (and their cinematic journey) rather than making the feature’s primary focus on its visual effects and other nuances. Such was the case with his latest 2017 film Dunkirk, which took branched out into the realm of WWII, but imbuing the feature with Nolan’s cinematic flourishes, while 2021’s Tenet continued to explore the director’s concept of time (the flow of it and inverted passage of time) in the realm of a sci-fi action thriller. Now, two years after the release of Tenet, director Christopher Nolan and Universal Pictures prepare for another release an explosive bio-pic drama in the release of Oppenheimer, a film to examine the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his work on the atomic bomb. Does this movie give a stirring and cinematic insight in the “father of the atom bomb” or is it bloated endeavor that explodes underneath the weight of inherit hype and anticipation?


J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) has proven himself to be brilliant theoretical physicists, educating himself by other genius minds that have nurtured and challenged his intellect in the realm of quantum mechanics and theory. After expecting a teaching job in Berkeley, Oppenheimer finds himself receiving an unlike invitation to be a part of the American war machine effort, tasked by General Leslie Groves (Matt Damon) to development of an atomic bomb as World War began to take shape in early 1940s. During the next several years, Oppenheimer is given the mission of assemblage, with the formation of a team that will work together with other dysfunctional geniuses, while trying to keep Groves and his military intelligence on an even keel pace with the operation. While Oppenheimer found a match in his wife, Kitty (Emily), and maintained a rocky lover affair in Jean (Florence Pugh), the physicist’s focus remains primarily on the organization of the Trinity Sit, taking scientists and military personnel to New Mexico to build an atomic bomb. Yet, even after the creation of the bomb, Oppenheimer faces scrutiny from various members, including trying to find common ground with Atomic Energy Commission figure, Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), as he quickly realizes that his success comes at a price, with those in charge of the nation unwilling to let him to have a way in the bomb’s legacy.


Sorry if this sounds a bit summary to what I said in my review for both Dunkirk and Tenet (the opening paragraph and this one), but it definitely speaks true to my point. So….as stated above…. Christopher Nolan has become a very successful and widely known film director over the past several years in Hollywood moviemaking. Whenever he announces his newest film to direct, the internet newsfeeds light up as many moviegoers and critics eagerly start counting down the days to its release. I do remember first seeing Memento and, at first glance, found it to be confusing, but I learned to appreciate its complexity and unconventional narrative over time (I definitely had to watch that movie several times to fully get it). And of course, I, like many, fell in love with Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, especially with The Dark Knight, and how Nolan’s take on the infamous DC comic book character changed the ultimate direction of superhero movies (for the better). Then came Nolan’s mind-bending feature of Inception and blew me away (probably one of my favorite Christopher Nolan movies) with its actors / characters of the movie (my first introduction to actor Tom Hardy) and within its intricate storytelling of individuals entering a person’s subconscious dreamscape.

Interstellar, however, was a bit of tossup. Sure, it had all the flairs and nuances of Nolan’s works as well as being well-acted and delivering a very intriguing story, but it was way too drawn out and a bit confusing in trying to decipher all the scientific technobabble for all non-master’s degree in quantum physics individuals. And finally, Dunkirk, Nolan’s last film, was truly a cinematic experience worth of all the praise and acclaim it received (in my opinion). The complexity of layering three different storylines (each one having their own distinct feeling and time flow) was a bit unorthodox, but I expected something that Nolan would want to achieve through a theatrical film. Its effective proved to be worthwhile, with Dunkirk succeeding in a great cinematic experience that was just as engaging as a feature film as it was for a WWII movie. As for Tenet, I did actually really liked the movie. Yes, it was a bit confusing at times and sort of didn’t explain the plot (or subplots) or even the world building aspects were a bit vague, but it stilled captured an enticing and excitement cinematic experience that showcased Nolan’s signature style with joyous glee and fun.

Of course, this brings me back around to talking about Oppenheimer, a 2023 biographical drama film that is based on the book “American Prometheus” by Bai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Despite Tenet being a weaker box office result (mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Nolan’s 2020 film received a lot of praise from critics and moviegoers alike; prompting the acclaimed director to begin his next project, which (strange enough) was going to be a biographical film that focuses the camera lens on Oppenheimer, the man who created the atomic bomb. Nolan doing a bio pic? Certainly was a very bizarre decision, especially since the director’s past films weren’t known for strong character development. Still, if Nolan was helming the project, I would certainly be up to see it. After that, the film’s cast was soon announced, with Oppenheimer having a vast collection of acting talents to be attached to the upcoming feature, with actor Cillian Murphy set to play the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. In 2022, the film’s official teaser trailer dropped with the theatrical screening of the film Nope, which I saw in theaters, and gave the us (the world) the first glimpse at the movie….and it looked incredible. The hype for the movie continued to be build and build with each passing month as Nolan’s next movie continued to gain momentum as moviegoers eagerly awaited to see what lies in store in Oppenheimer. Of course, this was fueled even more when it was announced that the film, which was going to be released on July 21st, 2023, was going to be release alongside Warner Bros’s Barbie, another high profile feature. Thus, the whole “Barbenhemier” face off was born as the two movies (and their fanbase) square off. However, I was quite excited to see Oppenheimer more than Barbie. So, I did get a chance to see Oppenheimer during its opening weekend. However, I had a few more reviews to punch out first, including Barbie, before I tackled this particular review. Now, I’m finally ready to share my personal thoughts on Nolan’s latest film. So, what did I think of it? Was it worth the hype. Well, yes it was and I loved it. Despite some very minor complaints, I felt that Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is excellent and gripping first attempt of the biographical motion picture endeavor, which is bolstered by the director’s signature style of filmmaking as well as solid presentation and a massive (yet well-acted) cast. This movie has had a lot of hype and anticipation being placed on this particular movie…..and I think that it surpassed my expectations, which were quite high. If you are cinephile and love movies…. this film is for you.

With Nolan at the helm, the famed director approaches Oppenheimer with a sense of integrity and respect for the source material, adapting Bird and Sherwin’s biographical book on the known physicist in a great respect and showing the humanity within him. Perhaps the most interesting aspect (to me, at least) was the simple fact of Nolan presenting the movie in telling of Robert’s life. Like many out there, I did know of Oppenheimer as a well-known theoretical physicist and as the creator behind the atomic bomb, but that was pretty much it. So, seeing his life being told and examined in the feature was definitely a cinematic treat to watch as events unfolded by further exploring his life in both in the public limelight and behind closed doors. Of course, this isn’t the complete “life and times” of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life being presented in the movie, but certainly highlights the main part of what made him both famous and infamous equally. As to be expected, Nolan makes the character of Oppenheimer the central focus of it all, keeping the film focused on him and those who moved in and out of his life for those primary years that involved the creation of the atom bomb (before, during, and after). What follows is an extensive look into Robert’s career throughout those said years, with Nolan beautifully showing the excitement of innovation, yet also showing the moral consequences on the end of the spectrum. It is for this reason that Oppenheimer excels, with the feature driving a sense of terror and intensity towards every minute of it, which culminates into final preparation in making the atomic bomb a reality within the Trinity Test. With such a different take on such dealings in a biographical film, Nolan makes his first step into that foray and definitely succeeds. Naturally, Nolan’s directorial nuances come into play and height everything towards his style and filmmaking credibility. So, while Oppenheimer could’ve been presented as a well-informed, yet “by the book” biopic drama endeavor, Nolan shapes the feature towards his customary stylish visual flair and theatrical complexity in his first outing in the biographical genre. And it definitely works….in atomic spades.

As is customary for a lot of Nolan’s movies, the present of time is felt throughout Oppenheimer’s three-hour runtime and definitely plays a part in the narrative’s innerworkings. While not as central prevalent as in Inception or Tenet, Oppenheimer runs more along the spiritual veins of Dunkirk, with Nolan layering the feature of different time periods, with one set during the events of the Manhattan Project, the second being set during Robert’s security clearance hearing, and a third during a Senate confirmation hearing for Strauss. The importance of these three threads are instrumental and vital to Oppenheimer’s narrative, with Nolan, who plays “double duty” on the film as director and screenplay writer, weaving them in and out of each other in a way that only someone like him could do. In addition, certain scenes are presented in full color, while other scenes are presented in black and white. It is a bit jarring at first and does take a little bit of getting use to it, but the payoff for it works in the feature’s favor, with Nolan generating a very multi-layered picture that speaks towards his concepts of time style as well as interlacing story threads together for a full realized tale of scientific discovery, questioning aftermath decisions, and jealously betrayal.

Another great and poignant attribute that Nolan does with Oppenheimer is in the film’s main message, which is quite meaningful and haunting at the same time. With maybe the exception of The Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan’s movies have always been rooted in some type of symbolism, moral questioning, and character assessment / understanding of a situation. Oppenheimer is no different and heavily implies upon the condition of human emotion and questioning of how far humanity is willing to push the boundaries of destructive power. Of course, the atomic bomb, while built with the ingenuity of understanding science and summed up by the collective knowledge of like minds of scientists, physicists, and engineers, is more about what it lead to, the devastating and disastrous force that lead to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; ending the conflict of Pacific Ocean efforts in WWII. Such powerful nature on a scale and magnitude that was used and wages by nations (men in power) and on the populace is a horrifying notion, which takes away from the scientific discovery of it all. Of course, this resides at the core of Oppenheimer, with Nolan demonstrating the palatability of such consequences of decisions as a moral ambiguity, which certainly weighs heavily upon Robert’s journey throughout. In truth, Oppenheimer presents the horrors of progress as humanity moves forward and both the judgements of good and bad that are weighed and measured on such resolutions in technological advancements. This, of course, adds that extra “oomph” to the feature’s proceedings in human emotion and gives a viewer plenty to chew on (and ponder on) in today’s real-world landscape of nations, leaders, and power figureheads of state. Does the end justify the means or is too much power give way to unspeakable terrors that lurk within the undiscover? Question for the philosophers out there.

Overall, Oppenheimer still a film that speaks to Nolan’s signature style, presenting a narrative that’s compelling and bold at the same time, symbolizing a man that ignite the world on its own path of destruction and a director’s heightened skills of cinematic creativeness for masterclass viewing experience.

In the presentation, Oppenheimer is quite the standout and another slam dunk visual presentation for Nolan’s work. While it doesn’t involve time-traveling individuals or mind-bending mechanics of a “dream world”, Nolan’s vision for his film makes a very bold and epic in size and scope. While some of the movie’s events are very personal and intimate in interior rooms and corridors, the movie doesn’t shy away from a expansive setting, with such intricate details of the feature’s timeline (circa 1930-1950s) are quite organic and a sense of realism. Thus, the film’s main players in the “behind the scenes” team, including Ruth De Jong (production design), Claire Kaufman, Olivia Peebles, and Adam Willis (set decorations), Elleen Mirojnick (costume designs), and Jake Cavallo, Samantha Englender, and Anthony D. Parrillo (art direction), should be commended for their efforts in bringing Nolan’s Oppenheimer to life in such a detail and vibrant way. Who should also be praised is film editor Jennifer Lame, who constructs the movie’s intricate timeline of events and handles those moments both beautifully and seamlessly throughout. Also, who should also be praised is the film’s cinematographer (and frequent collaborator with Nolan) Hoyte Van Hoytema, with his usage of camera photograph and dramatic shots / angles and utilizing shadowing / lightening helps deliver some cinematic moments in the film, which helps captivate that high quality of filmmaking that the director has been known for. Plus, as a sidenote, it was also ingenious on Nolan’s part that the movie doesn’t have any usage of CGI effects, which makes several sequences in the movie quite impressive to behold.

In addition, I do have to mention that the film’s sound team (sound editing and sound mixing) should also be praised for what they achieved on this project. While sound design has always been a paramount focus in Nolan’s movies (Dunkirk, Inception, Tenet), the usage of sound and how it is presented in the movie is quite electrifying and pulse-pounding to the ears, which helps build upon Oppenheimer’s tension and suspense. Definitely think that the sound editing / mixing departments should be nominated for awards during the upcoming award season. Lastly, film’s score, which was composed by Ludwig Goransson, delivers an equally effective and palpable sound throughout the entire presentation of Oppenheimer, with the soundtrack driving home many of the big “selling points” scenes throughout the movie. While some did criticize Goransson’s score for Tenet in a few areas (sounding similar to being a “discounted” Hans Zimmer production), the composer certainly finds his own voice in his composition for Oppenheimer, which demonstrates Nolan’s gravitas and poignancy, yet also finding the sublime within its subtlety, which is most notable within character dialogue and some imagery sequences. All in all, an impressive score for an equally impressive film.

There was very little to what I didn’t like about Oppenheimer, with the movie delivering on its grandiosity and scale throughout the entire feature. That being said, the film doesn’t walk away unscathed from criticisms toward its epic endeavor and overall execution. Perhaps the most prevalent thing that many can agree is the lengthy runtime that the movie holds. As stated above, Nolan doesn’t hold back from making Oppenheimer extensively long and the longest movie he’s ever done, with the production reaching a very elongated runtime. With a three-hour mark clocked in the film, Oppenheimer has a lot of overhead to examine of which the movie does throughout its various acts. That being said, the questioning of a three hour movie doesn’t seem to warrant that particular allotted runtime. Yes, there is a lot of ground to cover and a lot of people and faces to talk about, but I really don’t think that Nolan needed to make Oppenheimer as long as it is. Yes, there is merit to it all, which allows that extra room for that necessary “breathing room”, but the feature does have pockets of excess and easily could have been trimmed down for a much leaner final runtime, without sacrificing Nolan’s cinematic integrity. Such an example of this is the last act of the movie, which definitely has some to say about the main narrative being told, but sort of goes longer than intended, with Nolan having difficulty trying to close out the project. He eventually does, but keeps the feature quite long in the tooth and could’ve been trimmed down at this portion. Again, this was only minor point of criticism and didn’t really distract me as much as I thought it out to be. Just felt like it could’ve been shorter film and still keep the same type of intense integrity that Nolan was aim for.

Another small point of criticism that I had with the movie is the large cast of characters that movie in and out of the movie’s story. While there are plenty of familiar names of acting talents attached to Oppenheimer, I did feel like several of them get lost in the grand scale of the feature, with many weaving in and out of the story. Of course, the talent provided is astoundingly good as everyone gives great performances, but some don’t really stand out as much. What I mean is…. I recognize (and identify) the actor playing in the movie rather than the actual person that they are portraying. Again, just another minor quibble. Lastly, while some might be upset by this, I personally I am not, but Oppenheimer is strictly focused on the story surrounding “father of the atom bomb” and not so much on the events of World War II. What I mean is that movie doesn’t show the battles being waged overseas nor the dropping of the bomb over Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but rather focuses on the process of building the bomb and state of mind / being that the man behind goes through…..in being exalted and persecuted. Again, while some will argue that the movie should’ve shown such nuances to help build up cinematic tension for the feature and the true destructive and awesome power of Oppenheimer’s creation, then the movie would be taking away from the true main focus that Nolan intended…..Oppenheimer himself. It’s not so much about showing the final results of the atom bomb, but rather the journey that it’s creator goes through and the aftermath the follows. So, a brief point out experience for some viewers out there who might be expecting this. I personally did not, so it didn’t bother me at all.

The cast in Oppenheimer is quite impressed and just as equally expansive, with a sprawling ensemble of actors and actresses that Nolan has selected to play the great host of characters throughout his picture. Naturally, some have important parts, while others are only minor, yet everything one that participates on this project gives it their all in both their character representations and / or their screen presences, despite a major or minor role in the narrative. Leading the charge in the film is actor Cillian Murphy, who plays the feature’s main protagonist of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Known for his roles in many projects of Nolan’s past work (Batman Begins, Inception, and Dunkirk) as well as other projects like Peaky Blinders and 28 Days Later, Murphy has certainly been around for quite some time (over the past two decades) and has proven himself to be capable actor; appearing in both supporting roles as well as in lead parts in both big and small screen. Of course (as mentioned), Murphy has appeared periodically throughout Nolan’s pictures in both those character capacities, with Oppenheimer being his first (with Nolan) to play a main protagonist role in his movies and Murphy is spectacular in every scene that he’s in. From the moment he first appears to the final shot, Murphy perfectly encapsulates and embodies the character with such vigor and commanding presence, despite his small stature. His portrayal of Oppenheimer is quite compelling, with Murphy showing a man of intellect and of brilliant genius (a man of theoretical science action), yet also present him with a moral dilemma and of fragile state. The juxtaposition of these two is felt in almost every scene and Murphy imbues his performance with such integrity and theatrical presence to make the character compelling in every way possible. Even the actor’s subtle facial expressions show the horror and magnitude that the character feels without even uttering a single word. I could go on and on about this, but, suffice to say, Murphy is a perfect cast in the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer and definitely acts the “beat heart” for the feature; lending a profound since of humanity and gravitas for the film and capturing a powerful performance as the “father of the atom bomb”.

Looking beyond Murphy’s Oppenheimer, the main supporting characters definitely bring their “A” game and make their performances both quite cinematically entertaining and boldly gravitas; something befitting being a part of a Christopher Nolan film. Of this group, the one who “takes the cake” and definitely steals the spotlight is actor Robert Downey Jr., who plays the character of Lewis Strauss, the chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Known for his roles in Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and Chaplin, Downey Jr. has had a very illustrious career in Hollywood, with several high points that have an elevated his status as a recognizable and respectable actor amongst his peers and with moviegoers around the world. Thus, Downey Jr.’s involvement in Oppenheimer is indeed a welcome one and his overall screen time in the film is actually quite surprising. As mentioned, while there are plenty of recognizable faces in the movie, Downey Jr. gets a certain type of spotlight placed on him as he portrayals Strauss throughout the film. As Strauss, Downey Jr. gives a very magnetic and captivating performance, one that makes for one of his best roles in his career; something that might overshadow his superhero interpretation of Tony Stark / Iron Man in the MCU installments. Like Oppenheimer, Strauss is another catalyst for the feature, with Nolan spending equal amount of time with the character, with the pair acting as the driving force for the movie. It was such an amazing treat to watch Downey Jr. playing such a character, one that is so interesting to watch and how the actor delivers such a stirring iteration of the real life man. He’s basically the “other half” of Oppenheimer and makes for fine supporting character on the project. Hope he gets a “best supporting actor” nod in the upcoming award season.

Next, actress Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place) does quite a striking performance as Robert’s wife, Kitty Oppenheimer. Blunt gives a stirring portrayal as Oppenheimer’s wife, finding Kitty to be a woman who can see Robert for who he is….flaws and all. An individual who knows what’s at stake and tries to counterbalance her husband’s demons and dilemmas. Blunt handles the turmoil quite well and gives a intriguing performance. Perhaps the only downside to her character is that I felt that there was more to say about her than what was presented. The movie hints a lot of her own personal struggles (both physical and mentality) in Kitty and it seems like there could’ve been more to her character. Behind her, actress Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling and Little Women) does a great and relatively nuance performance in her role of Jean Frances Tatlock, a writer and known member of the Communist Party in the USA as well as having an illicit relationship with Oppenheimer for years. Of course, Pugh is quite the gifted actress and her portrayal of Jean showcases that point beautiful, presenting Robert’s mistress as a very tortured and lost individual.

Next, actor Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity and The Martian) gives a solid performance in his portrayal of Leslie Groves, a US Army General who enlisted Oppenheimer on and overseeing (military speaking) on the Manhattan Project. Damon always does a good job in whatever role he plays and certainly makes for a good portrayal of Groves, with the character able to change Robert’s notable quips every now and again. Lastly, I would say that actor Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Zero Dark Thirty) does a good job as US circuit court judge of appeals Roger Robb. While may not be as palpable or important as other supporting characters in Oppenheimer, but Clarke’s Robb does get a lot of screen time and shows his acting chops whenever he’s on-screen.

The rest of the cast, including actor Josh Hartnett (The Black Dahila and Pearl Harbor) as nuclear physicist Ernest Lawerence, actor Tom Conti (Reuben, Reuben and The Dark Knight Rises) as renowned German theoretical physic Albert Einstein, actor Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea and A Ghost Story) as US Military Intelligence Officer Boris Posh, actor Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody and No Time to Die) as nuclear physicist David L. Hill, actor / director Kenneth Branagh (Henry V and Murder on the Orient Express) as Danish physicist Niels Bohr, actor / director Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems and Good Time) as theatrical physicist Edward Teller, actor Dylan Arnold (Halloween and Mudbound) as J. Robert’s younger brother Frank Oppenheimer, actor James D’Arcy (Dunkirk and Agent Carter) as British experimental physicist Patrick Blackett, actor David Dastmalchian (Dune and Ant-Man) as American lawyer / congressional staffer William L. Borden, actor Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) US military officer Kenneth Nichols, actor Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story and Hail, Caesar!) as the unnamed senate aide to Lewis Strauss, actor Gustaf Skarsgard (Vikings and Arn) as German-American theatrical physicists Hans Bethe, actor Michael Angrano (Sky High and The Forbidden Kingdom) as American physicist Robert Serber, actor Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games and Scream) as American theatrical physicist Richard Feynman, actor Josh Peck (Drake & Josh and The Wackness) as American physicist Kenneth Bainbridge, actress Olivia Thirlby (Juno and No Strings Attached) as Czech-American physicist Lilli Hornig, actor Christopher Denham (Argo and Billions) as German theatrical physicist Klaus Fuchs, actor David Rysdahl (Dead Pigs and No Exit) as American chemist Donald Hornig, actress Louise Lombard (The House of Elliot and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), actor Harrison Gilbertson (Hounds of Love and In the Tall Grass) as MIT professor of physicist Philip Morrison, actor Trond Fausa Aurvag (The Bothersome Man and Lilyhammer) as Ukrainian-American physicist George Kistiakowsky, actor Olli Haaskivi (Manifest and The Deuce) as American nuclear physicist Edward Condon, actor Devon Bostick (The 100 and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules) as American physicist Seth Neddermeyer, actor Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises and Stranger Things) as American engineer Vannevar Bush, actor Tony Goldwyn (Scandal and The Last Samurai) as governmental official and American attorney Gordon Gray, actor Macon Blair (Gold and Green Room) as American lawyer Lloyd K. Garrison, actor Kurt Koehler (When Wigs Fly and Micro Love) as Thomas A. Morgan, actor Jefferson Hall (House of the Dragon and Halloween) as American writer Haakon Chevalier, actress Britt Kyle (Viral and Perry Mason) as Haakon’s wife Barbara Chevalier, actor Josh Zuckerman (Significant Mother and Kyle XY) as American physicist Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz, actor Alex Wolff (Hereditary and Old) as American experimental physicist Luis Walter Alvarez, actor Guy Burnet (Counterpart and The Feed) as George Eltenton, actress Emma Dumont (Wrong Turn and Inherent Vice) as Jackie Oppenheimer, actor Jack Cutmore-Scott (Tenet and Kingsman: The Secret Service) as security officer Lyall Johnson, actor Scott Grimes (Band of Brothers and American Dad!) as unnamed counsel, actor James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros. and American Splendor) as mathematician Kurt Godel, actor Danny Deferrari (Shiva Baby and Private Life) as Italian American physicist Enrico Fermi, actor Rory Keane (The Big Door Prize and The Pharm) as American physicist Hartland Snyder, actor Gregory Jbara (Blue Bloods and In & Out) as Chairman Warren Magnuson, actor Matthias Schweighofer (Army of the Dead and Resistance) as German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg, actor Harry Groener (A Cure for Wellness and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as US senator Gale W. McGee, actor Mate Haumann (The Last Kingdom and Fapad) as German-American physicist Leo Szilard, actor Steven Houska (Lovechild and The Bandit Hound) as US Senator Scott, actor Tim DeKay (White Collar and Second Chance) as US Senator John Pastore, actor James Remar (Renaissance Man and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) as Secretary of War Henry Stimson, actor Hap Lawrence (The Rich & the Ruthless and Brothers in Law) as US President Lyndon B. Johnson, and actor Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour and The Dark Knight) as US President Harry S. Truman, are delegated to secondary supporting characters in the film. As stated, some of these players have more screen time than others (some are only in one, while others are in multiple), but all give excellent performances in their whatever capacity they are allotted in the film. Plus, with maybe one or two exceptions, most of these characters were real-life individuals, so it’s great to see all these acting talents involved and to see them portraying these particular people who played a part of Oppenheimer’s life.


Creation does not come without consequence as J. Robert Oppenheimer soon discovers as assembles a team of engineers and scientist to create the first atomic bomb for the US and thus dealing with the implications of what he unleashed upon the world in the movie Oppenheimer. Director Christopher Nolan’s latest film takes what he’s best known for in his theatrical movie endeavors and translates it into a bold and spectacular project that juxtaposes the wonder and horror of Oppenheimer’s life. While the feature may struggle in a some very minor areas (mainly its lengthy runtime and the interweaving of the multitude of characters coming and going), a great majority of the film excels as a vision triumph showpiece, especially thanks to Nolan’s handling and style on the movie, an impressive interlaced script / timeline of events, a stunning visual presentation, a powerful score, beautiful cinematography, and fantastic ensemble cast, with notable performances from Murphy and Downey Jr. Personally, I loved this movie. It was definitely a Nolan (from onset to conclusion) and captured his incredible and meticulous filmmaking details to the letter, which made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. The story was woven beautifully and interlaced together through in a very ingenious and creative ways, while the film’s cast was perfect and gave some great performances all the way around and across the board. This was definitely the cinematic event of the year and it was amazing to view it in a 70mm IMAX presentation. Thus, as one can already easily surmise from the bulk of my review, my recommendation for this film would be a celebratory “highly recommended” as it’s a movie that should be seen both bold in scale and paramount importance, while also been personal and character driven; something that is somewhat uncommon in Nolan’s past work. From advance reviews and “word of mouth”, this picture is wholeheartedly worth seeing. While the movie may slightly lack the intensity of Tenet or Dunkirk, or the mind-bending and layered trip of Inception, or even the comic book blockbuster flair of The Dark Knight trilogy, Oppenheimer, with equal and measure of biographical drama and cinematic storytelling of, showcases a masterclass viewing experience on Nolan’s work as director and a filmmaker. Like all his projects, it’s not just a movie….it’s a viewing cinematic experience…..one that many will remember for quite a long time. In the end, Nolan’s Oppenheimer is crowning achievement in the great tapestry of moviemaking; a feature that will remember for excellency in direction, story, and character performances. Much like what Oppenheimer says after successful testing of the bomb….”the world will remember this day”….as well as this movie.


Also, as a personal side note, Oppenheimer is my 700th movie review since I’ve started blogging. This is truly a huge and celebratory milestone for me! I wanted give a special thank you to all my readers, followers, and fellow bloggers for reading my movie reviews and giving me this platform to share (with you guys) my views on cinematic tales.

4.7 Out of 5 (Highly Recommended)


Released On: June 21st, 2023
Reviewed On: August 7th, 2023

Oppenheimer  is 180 minutes long and rated R for some sexuality, nudity and language


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