Oppenheimer Movie Review

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It’s being marketed as a biography on J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb” and a theoretical physicist. Christopher Nolan’s newest is a tremendous film, but the term “biopic” doesn’t seem enough to describe its scale and ambition. Oppenheimer is a complicated and rich historical drama set over many time periods. It interweaves judicial drama, love affairs, scientific breakthroughs, and personality cults in the classroom. However, Oppenheimer stands above all other monster films as the pinnacle of the genre.   Oppenheimer is a complicated and rich historical drama set over many time periods. It interweaves judicial drama, love affairs, scientific breakthroughs, and personality cults in the classroom.  However, Oppenheimer stands above all other monster films as the pinnacle of the genre.


The engineers who were closest to the Manhattan Project were aware of the possibility that the atomic bomb may set fire to Earth’s atmosphere. In the movie trailer, that dread is evident, but it doesn’t slow down the race toward the creation of a bomb that changed the course of history. The recent trailer for Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy as the theoretical physicist and Los Alamos Laboratory director who oversaw the design of the atomic bomb, features artful explosions and the deeply unsettling crackle of a Geiger counter but focuses primarily on Oppenheimer’s (Murphy’s) struggle with the gravity of what he and his colleagues are creating.

Time is of the essence as Oppenheimer, his wife Kitty (Emily Blunt), and Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves (Matt Damon) recruit numerous scientists to become part of the Manhattan Project without their understanding of what they are becoming a part of. However, Oppenheimer is well aware, and the teaser highlights how his understanding of the bomb and its potential was a source of both great optimism and terrible dread.


GenreHistory, Dharma, Biography
Original LanguageEnglish
DirectorChristopher Nolan
ProducerEmma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan
WriterChristopher Nolan

Release Date

Release Date in India

July 21, 2023

July 21, 2023

DistributorUniversal Pictures
Production Co.Atlas Entertainment, Syncopy
TrailerWatch Now
Oppenheimer movie review


Robert Oppenheimer, at a young age,  enrolls in classes at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory to learn under Patrick Blackett. Because Blackett is so demanding, Oppenheimer leaves him a poisoned apple, which visiting scientist Niels Bohr almost consumes by mistake. Oppenheimer encounters Werner Heisenberg while pursuing his doctorate in physics at Germany’s University of Göttingen. He moves back to the States with the hopes of fostering further research in quantum physics and takes a teaching position at both Berkeley and Caltech. Katherine Puening, a scientist and former communist, becomes his future wife.

After assuring U.S. Army General Leslie Groves that he has no communist affiliations, Oppenheimer is recruited to command the Manhattan Project to produce an atomic weapon. Jewish Oppenheimer is especially motivated by the prospect that the Nazis, led by Heisenberg, have a nuclear weapons program. In Los Alamos, New Mexico, Oppenheimer gathers a group of scientists to work on the bomb in secrecy. Among them are Edward Teller, Isidor Isaac Rabi, and David L. Hill. Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein debate the potential for a nuclear explosion to cause a global catastrophe. Oppenheimer finds out that information from the Manhattan Project may have been leaked to the Soviet Union by a Soviet spy.

Some of the project’s experts begin to question the bomb’s relevance after Germany’s capitulation in World War II. The bomb is finished and the Trinity test is performed successfully shortly before the Potsdam Conference. Oppenheimer becomes famous as the “father of the atomic bomb” when President Harry S. Truman authorizes the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ultimately leads to Japan’s surrender. Oppenheimer, haunted by the death and devastation, warns Truman against creating more potent weapons. As president, Truman sees himself as exempt from blame for the bomb’s deployment and takes offense at Oppenheimer’s sorrow. Oppenheimer opposes expanding nuclear technology and is Teller’s main opponent when it comes to the hydrogen bomb. During the height of tension with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, his position becomes controversial. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss is angry with Oppenheimer for openly ignoring his worries about the export of radioisotopes. He also thinks Oppenheimer said something negative about him to Einstein.

Oppenheimer is misled by Teller and others during a hearing when his political power was supposed to be stripped away. Strauss uses Oppenheimer’s ties to communists both past and present, including Tatlock and Oppenheimer’s brother Frank, to his advantage. Oppenheimer’s reputation takes a hit and his policy clout is nullified despite the testimony of Rabi and other friends on his behalf. Hill reveals Strauss’s ulterior reasons for orchestrating Oppenheimer’s demise during his nomination hearing for Secretary of Commerce in the Senate. Massachusetts Representative John F. Kennedy casts the deciding vote against Strauss’s confirmation. As a kind of political rehabilitation, President Lyndon B. Johnson awards Oppenheimer the Enrico Fermi Award in 1963. Earlier, Oppenheimer and Einstein discussed the far-reaching ramifications of nuclear weapons, not Strauss. Oppenheimer claims that his and Einstein’s worst nightmare of setting off a chain reaction with global consequences has come true.


The Father of the Atomic Bomb’s emotional journey is depicted brilliantly by Christopher Nolan, known for his epic narrative. He takes an interesting tack by examining the biography of the man who invented the atomic bomb rather than its production.
Cillian Murphy gives a terrific portrayal of Oppenheimer, expertly capturing the physicist’s nuanced personality. The audience is taken aback by Robert Downey Jr.’s compelling performance as the villain Lewis Strauss. The picture is elevated by the performances of Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, and Emily Blunt as Kitty and Oppenheimer’s wife, respectively.
One of the most spectacular parts of the film is the A-bomb explosion, which was filmed entirely without the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Oppenheimer’s postwar address, his exchanges with Albert Einstein (Tom Conti), and the well-written dialogue round out the list of highlights. Some viewers may become bored with the film’s three-hour duration, but others who are invested in the story will probably not mind.
Viewers unfamiliar with Oppenheimer’s biography may find the film’s use of sporadic timelines, a key aspect of the storyline, to be confusing. Having some knowledge of the physicist’s history before watching is recommended. The potential for interest is diminished in the first hour since it is less dramatic than in the second. Some viewers also may not like the alternating black-and-white and colorful sequences. People who aren’t acquainted with Oppenheimer’s narrative may get lost in the plethora of characters. The film directed by Christopher Nolan expertly depicts the ups and downs of the theoretical physicist’s life. The film’s soundtrack by Ludwig Goransson and its excellent sound design are two of its strongest points. He produces work that is worthy of recognition. Although the editing of the first half might have been better, the cinematography is excellent. The high quality of the film’s production is astounding, particularly in its use of practical effects to represent the atomic bomb’s blast.
Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s latest example of his extraordinary storytelling skills. Cillian Murphy gives a terrific performance, and he deserves every accolade that comes his way. The movie is a definitely a recommended owing to the aforementioned reasons.

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