Thursday, July 20, 2023

Oppenheimer Movie Review

Cillian Murphy stars in Oppenheimer

Can You Hear the Music?

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: During World War II, Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves Jr. (Matt Damon) appoints physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) to work on the top-secret Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer and a team of scientists spend years developing and designing the atomic bomb. Their work comes to fruition on July 16, 1945, as they witness the world's first nuclear explosion, forever changing the course of history. Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck, Rami Malek, and Kenneth Branagh.

What's Good: Oppenheimer argues, "Brilliance makes up for a lot," but three hours of utter boredom and pomposity isn't my idea of a good time. Murphy delivers a solid (but hardly spectacular) performance as the titular character, balancing dreariness and franticness (allegedly on one almond a day.) Unfortunately, it's not enough to carry a movie of this hype and magnitude.

What's Not: The cast is full of unnecessarily famous faces, almost half of whom have appeared in previous Nolan films. Trouble is, they lack color (literally) and emotion. Oppenheimer starts off with some promise, but peters out into a failed copy of Oliver Stone's JFK meets The Theory of Everything... taking us hostage in the process (for three excruciating hours.)

Budget: $100 million

Runtime: 180 minutes (Criminally overlong.)

Target Audience: Fans expecting/hoping for the Nolan of old, history aficionados and science nerds (in no particular order.)

Bottom Line: Downey Jr.'s character asks, "Who'd want to justify their whole life?" Nolan's attempt to justify Oppenheimer proves disastrous for the simple fact that it's not entertaining. Oppenheimer might call himself "the great salesman of science," but watching his life unfold isn't all Nolan wants it to be.

: D (Without Murphy, an F.)