Hello Outposters, I’m back from watching Oppenheimer at the IMAX so my review is so hot off the press and if I’m honest, it was a little bit overwhelming. I’m writing this review less than an hour after it’s finished so I’m still processing it so bear with me because already my star rating has changed from when I left the cinema to as I write. There are NO spoilers, so fear not.

The Visuals

This film is stunning to look at. It is great to see a film with actual sets in actual locations and not a greenscreen. The costumes look fantastic, even Oppenheimer‘s ill-fitting suits. I’m not a luvvie by any stretch of the imagination, but you just know the cast would have been giddy wearing these on set.

The rooms at the universities, the various houses and apartments, the political settings, everything looks lived in and genuine. And wIthout researching it (because I need to get this down before I forget things), I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the town at Los Alamos the US Government built for the scientists to live in back in 1942, was rebuilt in meticulous detail for this movie.

And finally, the vast American landscapes that Nolan takes advantage of will leave you in awe at their beauty. There is no doubt in my mind that Nolan intended to leave you wide-eyed at their natural splendor in order to give you an uncomfortable reminder that you are watching a film about a man who invents something so horrifying that it can destroy all of it in a second.


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The Cast

Wow, there are some big hitters in this movie. Lots of faces you would have seen in many movies but can’t quite put a name to a face, as well as lots of actors that are big names that you had no idea were going to show up. It’s a bit like the early days of a Tarantino movie, where anyone and everyone wanted to be a part of it. Nolan has some serious pulling power.

Cillian Murphy is fantastic. He’s of a rare breed where he is able to transform himself and make you believe you are watching a character rather than watching Cillian Murphy acting. He goes through the whole repertoire from excitement, flamboyance, and egotistical, to a man at war with his inner turmoil, insecure with his decisions and at times, at his witts end.


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Matt Damon, as always is in great form and Florence Pugh is a scene-stealer. I will give hats off to Robert Downey Jnr though. For too long, RDJ, (unlike Murphy) is always just Downey Jnr on screen. However, he pulls it out of the bag here and it’s great to see him find his form again after so many years playing Iron Downey Junior.

The real stand out for me was Emily Blunt. She plays Kitty Oppenheimer, a woman with her own struggles and a (not so) secret alcoholic. She’s such a great actress she effortlessly flips from being melancholy to outbursts of violence. There are times when she’s talking or even just looking at the screen and you would genuinely feel like she’s had a few but doing her best to hide it, just like a real drunk.

If I was a betting man, Murphy and Blunt are odds on Oscars winners in 2024.


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The Movie

Now let’s get to the skin and bones of the movie, the good and the bad. I’ll start off by saying it was not what I expected. I had moments of being completely engrossed in the story and the performances I was watching, it was masterful stuff. And yet there were also times when I was wondering how much longer this film was going on for. That is a little criticism I have of Nolan’s movies. As much as I love his films (except Tenet) I do often feel like he doesn’t know when to wrap it up.

I’m probably muddying the waters here. I’m not saying the last act of the film went on too long, quite the opposite actually because I found the middle act was where my attention started to wane. But then again, this film isn’t really three straightforward acts. It’s typical Nolan where we have at least a couple of time frames intermixed to give you the overall picture. Not in a confusing way like Dunkirk, it’s much more structured and manageable.




The sound of the movie differs between moments of calm and conversational and Nolan uses black and white for these scenes. But then BOOM! An explosion assaults your ears followed by a glimpse of something alien that you can’t comprehend. All of which makes you sit up and refocus, it’s quite a genius tactic, to be honest, because there are lots of conversations and political talk. And here lies my main gripe about Oppenheimer, it’s 90% politics, 10% making of the bomb.

No spoilers, but I would have happily seen more bomb-making and the scientific hurdles Oppenheimer and his team had to overcome to make the bomb and less politics. Saying that, without politics, we don’t have a film. In a nutshell, Oppenheimer is a movie about a man who is called upon to create a weapon so deadly, it will bring an end to World War Two, and naively, an end to all wars.

You see, Oppenheimer takes on this challenge in the hope of creating a better world, it’s a necessary evil. He believes that once the world sees the power of the bomb, that world peace will ensue out of fear of destroying ourselves. However, as always with those seeking power in politics, it becomes a startling realization that after its initial uses in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our lunatic governments will actually continue the development of deadlier nuclear weapons as a way for countries to hold each other to ransom.



And Finally

Oppenheimer is a movie about the struggles of one man’s creation that he hoped would be eventually used for good only to be used for evil. It’s how the corrupt political establishment tried to destroy him and his reputation all because he refused to keep silent about the dangers of his invention, and wouldn’t to toe the line regardless if he helped end the second world war.

It’s a stark reminder (and apologies to my American brethren) of how the politicians in the most powerful country in the world have always been corrupt and self-centered and will literally use any means necessary to gain personal power and wealth. It’s not a 21st-century problem, and by no means solely an American one, but it does seem to be magnified tenfold in the US. This film is blatantly telling us that politicians and those seeking power are unable to see the wood through the trees and will happily burn the world to get want they want. Robert Oppenheimer gave them that exact power and he realized it far too late.

So my take- away from Oppenheimer is, if you are not a fan of movies that are three hours long, or politics, this is not the film for you. You won’t get endless explosions and lots of “oohs and aaahs” as things go bang on screen or plenty of car chases, if you want that, go and watch a Michael Bay movie.

If you like a slow burn, filled with political intrigue, double-crossing, complicated characters with warts and all, and great storytelling, this is a must-see. When I left the cinema I would have given it three stars, but as time has gone on and I remember more about it, this is easily a…



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