Oppenheimer Review: Christopher Nolan’s 12th and Best Yet

A cinematic masterpiece.

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Oppenheimer‘ has written its name in the history books as one of the greatest movies in Cinematic History. The movie surpassed all expectations and fans are glad that Christopher Nolan did not oversell the movie. Universal Studios prior to the movie’s premiere had only released limited visuals into the movie and saved the moment for the big screen.

The movie is based on the life of the physicist Robert J. Oppenheimer who helped the United States develop the world’s first atomic bomb. Cillian Murphy does a fantastic job of playing the lead role. Alongside Cillian, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, and Florence Pugh are some honorable mentions who are commended for their respective roles.

*Contains Spoilers*

Oppenheimer – More than just a biopic

Christopher Nolan is the Director. That line is more than enough for moviegoers to understand how good Oppenheimer is. But more than the direction, here’s a look at how the movie ranks in terms of cinematic elements.

Oppenheimer And Trinity
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Narrative – 10/10

The movie starts with Robert J. Oppenheimer sitting in a closed trial regarding his security clearance. The reason for the trial is Robert’s past links with left-wing communities which give the U.S Government a reason to believe that Robert is a communist. The movie perfectly transitions between the three main storylines. 

  1. Oppenheimer’s Trial
  2. The Manhattan Project
  3. Admiral Lewis Strauss’ hearing

As Oppenheimer talks about an event in the past during the trial, the film smoothly switches to the storyline. Christopher Nolan who wants people to watch the movies from a perspective with which he directs them, perfectly encapsulates the feeling. 

Cillian Murphy
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Cinematography – 10/10

We made sure to watch the movie on the first day, on the biggest IMAX screen near us, and it did not disappoint. The quality of the visuals is Immaculate. For the first time, IMAX 65 MM and 65 MM Large Format Cameras were used for the filming of the movie. 

The Close-up shots, Pans, Zoom, Aerial, and all camera angles truly added to the immersive experience of the movie. Christopher Nolan managed to take the audience back to Los Alamos and other places in the 1940s.

Special Note – During the first show, not a single phone was visible in the movie theatre. That’s how spectacular the visuals were from Oppenheimer. Special shoutout to Hoyte Van Hoytema, the film’s cinematographer.

Emily Blunt And Cillian Murphy
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Background Score and Sound Effects – 10/10

Ludwig Göransson composed the score for Oppenheimer and if we were to describe it in one word, It is ‘Melodic’. The score complemented well with the on-screen scenes and truly raised goosebumps. Ludwig has previously won an Academy Award for his score on Black Panther in 2019. The Violin combined with various effects and sounds contributes to the film’s ambiance. 

Along with the score, the sound effects were superb. From explosions to the dialogue, everything was crisp and clear. 

Albert Einstein And Oppenheimer
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Visual Effects – 9.8/10

The only reason the movie does not score full in this criterion is the fact that Christopher Nolan did not detonate an actual atomic bomb. Jokes aside, Nolan’s known for the use of practical effects in his movies, which are very evident in Oppenheimer.

From the trial explosions to the Trinity Test, the visuals were astounding.  Nolan and his team even captured the neutrons bouncing. They shot the movie in the same locations as the events took place, according to the book ‘American Prometheus’.

The production did a pretty good job of recreating Los Alamos from the 1940s and other locations in Oppenheimer. Jennifer Lame did a great job at editing the movie.

Oppenheimer Poster
© Universal Pictures

Plot – 10/10

Christopher Nolan is known for putting a lot of research into the genre and topics of every film that he undertakes. He has accurately depicted the events from the life of Robert J. Oppenheimer. The plot is interesting and intriguing. 

The Trinity Test had the entire audience on the edge of their seats. The 2-minute countdown to the explosion was probably one of the most nerve-racking moments from the film, followed by the explosion which was the cherry on top. 

The movie is more than just the Trinity Test, it follows the aftermath and all the incidents which led to Oppenheimer’s security clearance being revoked. 

Oppenheimer Trinity Test
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Acting – 10/10

If Cillian Murphy were to have a time machine and go back to Los Alamos, people would easily mistake him for Oppenheimer. His emotions, the dialogue, and everything about his portrayal of the physicist for the duration of the movie made us forget that it is Cillian and not Robert.

Robert Downey Jr. does a great job as Admiral Strauss. In a scene where he loses his cool over physicist David Hill (Rami Malek) testifies against him, fans can feel the turmoil of Strauss. Emily Blunt does a fantastic job as Kitty Oppenheimer who is supportive of Robert yet makes sure to let him know when she is wrong. 

Strauss And Oppenheimer
© Melinda Sue Gordon

Here’s some of the best dialogue from the movie –

  • I have become death, the destroyer of Worlds” (Oppenheimer)
  • Do you think the Japanese give a shit about who built the bomb?” (President Truman)
  • The World Will Remember This Day” (Oppenheimer)
  • How about this is the most important thing to ever happen in the history of the entire world?” (Leslie Groves)
Matt Damon As Leslie Groves
© Melinda Sue Gordon

We agree with Matt Damon on that one. Oppenheimer will be talked about for years to come. It’s not a must-watch, it’s more of ‘You have to watch it in your lifetime’. Grab tickets to your nearest IMAX screens.

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Levin Plassery
Levin Plassery
Hello, My name's Levin, out here navigating through typos and writer's block, one word at a time. Ps, the glass in the picture is not a sign of my crippling alcoholism which has resorted me to writing, am only 21.

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'Oppenheimer' has written its name in the history books as one of the greatest movies in Cinematic History. The movie surpassed all expectations and fans are glad that Christopher Nolan did not oversell the movie. Universal Studios prior to the movie's premiere had only...Oppenheimer Review: Christopher Nolan's 12th and Best Yet