“Oppenheimer” Review Round-Up: One of the Best Biopics Ever Made

The review embargo was officially lifted on Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, and it comes as no surprise that the film is coming in for some of the best reviews in Nolan’s career. Maybe the best. After the film premiered in Paris last week (but before the review embargo was lifted), the first reactions were often of astonishment. Fellow filmmaker Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, First Reformed) went so far as to call it “The best, most important film of the century.” And now, the rest of the movie-reviewing world has seen it, and they’re just about unanimous in agreement.

Oppenheimer follows the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy, lauded by every critic for his performance) and his work on the Manhattan Project, as he led the United States effort to build the bomb before the Nazis could. At three hours long and with a forgone conclusion (at least for the part of this history people know off the top of their heads), there was never any guarantee Nolan could turn his biopic into a thrilling, harrowing masterpiece. He has.

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,” says Manohla Nargis, chief film critic at The New York Times.

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is a kinetic thing of dark, imposing beauty that quakes with the disquieting tremors of a forever rupture in the course of human history,” writes the AP‘s Jake Coyle.

Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post writes, “[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.”

There’s more like this. A lot more. Let’s have a brief glance at what some other critics are saying. Oppenheimer arrives in theaters on July 21. You probably want to see it on the biggest screen possible.

For more on Oppenheimer, check out these stories:

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” Called “Best and Most Important Film This Century” By Another Film Legend

“Oppenheimer” First Reactions: Christopher Nolan’s Historical Epic is Genuinely Mind-Blowing

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” IMAX Film Prints Are 11 Miles Long & Weigh 600 Pounds

Featured image: Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Courtesy of Universal Pictures. 


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