Oppenheimer (2023) Review



Personally, I think Oppenheimer is not only one of Christopher Nolan’s best films but maybe the best film of the year; the performances are faultless and despite the slow pace and lengthy runtime it really needs to be seen in 70MM IMAX. As someone who is hearing impaired I heard all the dialogue quite clearly, so any complaints about sound must just be the cinema they saw it in. Go see this and Barbie (if you must) and support movies on the big screen otherwise we won’t have big screens for much longer judging by this year’s box office.

Plot: The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

Review: The weekend of Barbenheimer has finally arrived and although I have no intention of seeing Barbie (maybe on streaming) I was absolutely going to be here for Christopher Nolan’s latest opus Oppenheimer. I was delighted to see so many people at a movie theatre again and there was a feeling that this was a bit of an event; afterwards groups of people were standing next to their cars all chatting away excitedly. We also got free film cells from Oppenheimer too which just upped our excitement levels even more.

It’s funny how this film has been so hyped up as if it’s a fun summer blockbuster when it’s really a talky 3 hour character-piece and yet despite the lengthy runtime I was never bored. My knees hurt but then I am 45 and everything hurts these days…

I’d heard the usual complaints going in about the sound mix not being the greatest but we had no issues at all and heard every line of dialogue. We saw it in 70MM IMAX, so if you’re wanting to know which way to see it that’s it. This wasn’t just a movie but a genuine experience; it felt like being back in the 90’s when we had event pictures which isn’t something we get much of anymore.

Oppenheimer almost feels like JFK or classic Oliver Stone and it’s great to see a movie like this get such a high profile; our theatre was packed to the brim and you could have heard a pin drop for the entire 3 hours.

I always wondered why Christopher Nolan chose to make Oppenheimer as a biopic doesn’t seem like the kind of film that’s going to be a huge hit, but audiences are clearly craving something new, so it will be interesting to see the box office. I think Barbie will certainly win as it’s more mass appeal but I’m pretty sure Oppenheimer will be the better picture. This is grown folks’ entertainment which is so refreshing after a year of bland and forgettable blockbusters that have come and gone making little impact on the box office.

Cillian Murphy deserves every accolade and if he doesn’t win an Oscar for Best Actor this year then it will be a travesty; I also want to see Robert Downey Jr. get nominated for Best Supporting actor as both have never been better. Murphy plays Oppenheimer as a very complex individual who is not entirely sympathetic; he is not only a womaniser, but he’s building a weapon that could destroy the world… which is probably worse than being a womaniser.

If you aren’t interested in talky character-based cinema then you should probably avoid this as it is 3 hours long and at times it does feel it and if I’m honest I was expecting the whole detonation sequence to be more spectacular.

The movie is more interested in Oppenheimer’s journey from eager scientist to a man riddled with guilt, so this is serious fare but we do get a few scenes of levity with Matt Damon’s General having a couple of funny lines. Emily Blunt also shines here as she spends a lot of the movie in the background but has a few moments where we see her at her absolute best. I also need to point out that Florence Pugh is naked for several scenes which automatically gives this movie 5 stars.

Ludwig Göransson provides the music score and the main theme is that familiar music we hear from the trailer which is genuinely epic and very Hans Zimmer-esque.

Overall, Oppenheimer may not be for everyone due to its lengthy runtime and talky scenes but if you’re looking for old-fashioned cinema of the highest caliber then this is a must-see and the best film of the year.