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‘Oppenheimer’ – What Are the Critics Saying?

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Christopher Nolan finally blew up a Nuke. So, let’s see what are the critics saying about it.

Oppenheimer is just one day away from being released worldwide, and the review embargo has finally been lifted by Universal. Based on the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, the Christopher Nolan film follows one of the biggest stories in the history of the modern world.

Oppenheimer’s ensemble cast has to be one of the most stacked casts of all time. Led by Nolan’s longtime collaborator Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer, the ensemble cast includes Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss, Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer, Matt Damon as Leslie Groves, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock, and too many more to mention.

Oppenheimer Reviews
Credit – Universal Pictures

So, let’s see what the critics are saying about Oppenheimer, but before that Buy Yourself a Ticket for Oppenheimer to find out if you like the film for yourself or not. Check out the review quotes from different publications lifted by Rotten Tomatoes below:

Cillian Murphy, with a thousand-yard beam, the half-smile of an intellectual rake, and a way of keeping everything close to the vest, gives a phenomenal performance as Oppenheimer, making him fascinating and multi-layered.

– Owen Gleiberman from Variety

This is a big, ballsy, serious-minded cinematic event of a type now virtually extinct from the studios. It fully embraces the contradictions of an intellectual giant who was also a deeply flawed man.

– David Rooney from Hollywood Reporter

Oppenheimer is a mainstream offering of uncommon resonance, sending the viewer out of the theater head-spun and itchy-eyed, ears ringing from all its sophisticated, voluble explosion.

– Richard Lawson from Vanity Fair

With Oppenheimer, Nolan is more mature as a filmmaker than ever before, and it feels like we may just now be beginning to see what incredible work he’s truly capable of making.

– Ross Bonaime from Collider

Intelligent non-IP-driven filmmaking on a scale we simply don’t see in movie theaters anymore.

– Matt Singer from ScreenCrush

“Oppenheimer” offers an indelible portrait of the age when people began wielding power they couldn’t necessarily control, and few movies have so disturbingly crystallized the horror of opening Pandora’s box.

– David Ehrlich from indieWire

Though they may seem disparate, the many elements of Oppenheimer refract and reflect each other, like a bunch of atoms creating a chain reaction or a group of scientists building off each other’s ideas to forge something new.

– Christian Holub from Entertainment Weekly

This is the big bang, and no one could have made it bigger or more overwhelming than Nolan.

– Peter Bradshaw from Guardian

Either despite its intense craft or because of it, Oppenheimer works.

– Stephanie Zacharek from TIME Magazine

A biopic in constant free fall, Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s most abstract yet most exacting work, with themes of guilt writ-large through apocalyptic IMAX nightmares that grow both more enormous and more intimate as time ticks on.

– Siddhant Adlakha from IGN Movies

Elevated by Cillian Murphy’s exacting performance, Nolan’s biopic on the father of the atomic bomb is majestic and morally complex.

– Tomris Laffly from TheWrap

Oppenheimer is so prone to bouncing around that it often feels like Nolan shot far too much footage and cherry-picked moments that felt impactful to him rather than the ones necessary to set off a narrative chain reaction resulting in a cohesive movie.

– Charles Pulliam-Moore from The Verge

Nolan is a director who knows how to hold an audience’s attention, whether it’s in a bomb test or a political hearing.

– Reuben Baron from Looper.com

It’s more impressive for how the director has made such a personal narrative feel epic, not just in visual breadth but in dramatic sweep, presenting a story from the past that feels knotted to so many present anxieties about nuclear annihilation.

– David Sims from The Atlantic

As a physical experience, “Oppenheimer” is something else entirely—it’s hard to say exactly what, and that’s what’s so fascinating about it.

– Matt Zoller Seitz from RogerEbert.com

Downey is the crucial supporting player, and he gives a shrewd, dynamic performance as the wily, insecure, powerful Strauss.

– Caryn James from BBC.com

Oppenheimer is a devastating portrait of man’s hubris in the face of change, with some of the most startling & horrifying images of Nolan’s career.

– Graeme Guttmann from Screen Rant

“Oppenheimer” is a great achievement in formal and conceptual terms, and fully absorbing, but Nolan’s filmmaking is, crucially, in service to the history that it relates.

– Manohla Dargis from New York Times

[Nolan] has brought to life not just J. Robert Oppenheimer, but the still-crucial arguments he both started and tried to end. Oppenheimer boldly posits that those arguments are still worth having, in a film of magnitude, profundity and dazzling artistry.

– Ann Hornaday from Washington Post

Simultaneously a biography, a mystery, a polemic, and a dense character study, Oppenheimer feels like the film Christopher Nolan has been preparing to make his entire career, and it may very well be his best work.

– Dylan Roth from Observer

One of the many satisfactions of Oppenheimer, Nolan’s intellectually thrilling and morally despairing new film, is that it succeeds in locating some of those conventions within another of his ingeniously constructed narrative labyrinths.

– Justin Chang from Los Angeles Times

Any filmmaker can create a cinematic universe. (Many have. Too many, some might say.) Very few can show you how a genius perceives the building blocks of our universe, right before that same person imagines something that threatens our existence in it.

– David Fear from Rolling Stone

A masterfully constructed character study from a great director operating on a whole new level. A film that you don’t merely watch, but must reckon with.

– Dan Jolin from Empire Magazine

Oppenheimer is a movie that makes you say “Oh my God” over and over again — in awe and in terror.

– Johnny Oleksinski from New York Post

Oppenheimer is a tour de force. An unmatched director at the top of his game throwing off the shackles of science fiction and superheroes to tell the raw story of one man’s transformation into something both more and less than a human being.

– Jake Kleinman from Inverse

Oppenheimer seems to be impressing a lot of critics, as it has recieved overwhelmingly positive reviews. It currently holds an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and 9 out of 10 on IMDb. So, if you weren’t sure before about the film we hope that these reviews have helped you. Oppenheimer is all set to hit theaters on July 21, 2023. Check out the trailer and official synopsis for Oppenheimer by Universal Pictures below:

“Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is an IMAX®-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order 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 portrays General Leslie Groves Jr., director of the Manhattan Project, and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Lewis Strauss, a founding commissioner of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Academy Award® nominee Florence Pugh plays psychiatrist Jean Tatlock, Benny Safdie plays theoretical physicist Edward Teller, Michael Angarano plays Robert Serber and Josh Hartnett plays 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.”

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