Oppenheimer Review

Turning Three Hours of Men Talking in Rooms into a Cinematic Masterpiece

Mason Moeller

7/25/20233 min read

Oppenheimer is a movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen. It is a movie that tells the story of one of the most influential and controversial figures of the 20th century, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. It is a movie that explores the scientific, political, and moral challenges and dilemmas that he faced during and after World War II. It is a movie that showcases the vision and talent of one of the most acclaimed and ambitious filmmakers of our time, Christopher Nolan.

The movie is a three-hour historical epic that spans several decades and locations, from Oppenheimer's early years as a brilliant physicist and professor at Berkeley, to his involvement in the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, to his downfall and ostracism during the Cold War. The movie uses a nonlinear narrative structure that switches between different time periods and perspectives, creating a rich and layered portrait of Oppenheimer and his role in history. The movie does not follow a conventional biopic formula, but rather presents Oppenheimer as a complex and conflicted character, who is driven by curiosity, ambition, patriotism, love, and guilt.

The movie features stunning visuals and sound design that immerse the audience in the scientific, political, and moral dimensions of the atomic age. The movie was shot with IMAX cameras and is best experienced on the largest screen possible. The movie recreates the historical settings and events with meticulous detail and accuracy, from the laboratories and bunkers of Los Alamos, to the deserts of New Mexico where the first atomic test took place, to the skies and cities of Japan where the atomic bombs were dropped. The movie does not shy away from the horrific consequences of the atomic bomb on Japan and the world, showing the devastating effects of radiation, fire, and blast on human lives and environment.

The movie also boasts a magnificent score by Ludwig Göransson, who previously collaborated with Nolan on Tenet. The score is based on the violin, which reflects Oppenheimer's personality and emotions. The score also incorporates elements of electronic music, percussion, and choir, creating a contrast between the human and the technological aspects of the story. The score is dynamic, immersive, and haunting, enhancing the drama and suspense of the film.

The movie is anchored by a tour-de-force performance by Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer. Murphy delivers a nuanced and captivating portrayal of Oppenheimer's brilliance, complexity, loneliness, and guilt. He captures Oppenheimer's charisma, intelligence, passion, and vulnerability. He conveys Oppenheimer's inner turmoil as he struggles with his conscience, his loyalty, his relationships, and his legacy. He is supported by a stellar ensemble cast that includes Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh and more.

The movie raises profound questions about the nature of power, responsibility, and humanity in the face of unprecedented technological advancement and destruction. The movie explores the ethical and moral implications of creating and using weapons of mass destruction. The movie examines the impact of science and technology on society and culture. The movie challenges the audience to reflect on their own views and values regarding war, peace, security, freedom, justice, and progress.

The movie is Nolan's most ambitious, complex, and human work to date, showcasing his mastery of storytelling, filmmaking, and spectacle. The movie is a monumental achievement that deserves to be seen and discussed by audiences and critics alike. The movie has been praised for its breathtaking scope, ballsy execution, intelligent script, powerful performances, emotional impact. Some critics have called it one of the best films of 2023 and one of the greatest biopics ever made. But the movie has also faced some criticism for its length, complexity, density, occasional obtuseness. Some critics have argued that the movie could have given more attention to the Japanese perspective and experience of the atomic bomb.

Oppenheimer is a movie that is not only a cinematic masterpiece, but also a historical and cultural milestone. It is a movie that tells the story of a man who changed the world, for better or for worse. It is a movie that asks the audience to think about the consequences of their actions, and the choices they make. It is a movie that challenges the audience to question their assumptions, and to seek the truth. It is a movie that inspires the audience to learn more about history, science, and themselves. It is a movie that is worth watching, and worth remembering.