Filmmaker Paul Schrader has already dubbed Christopher Nolan’s new WW2-set biopic “Oppenheimer” as “one of the best films of this century,” and it seems the critics agree with him.
The film made its debut on Rotten Tomatoes a few minutes ago where it pulled in 97% (9.1/10) from 83 reviews, easily making it not just one of the year’s best reviewed films thus far, but one of the best in years.
Nolan’s story is based on Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography “American Prometheus”. Cillian plays Oppenheimer, the American physicist who was dubbed the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ – an enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.
Here’s a sampling of quotes from the reviews published thus far:
“Any filmmaker can create a cinematic universe. (Many have. Too many, some might say.) Very few can show you how a genius perceives the building blocks of our universe, right before that same person imagines something that threatens our existence in it.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone
“One of the many satisfactions of Oppenheimer, Nolan’s intellectually thrilling and morally despairing new film, is that it succeeds in locating some of those conventions within another of his ingeniously constructed narrative labyrinths.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“Nolan demonstrates his usual prowess for impeccable visuals and stunning craftsmanship within a deeply despairing portrait of an arrogant genius who, too late, realised the impact of his monstrous creation.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International
““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.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“This is a big, ballsy, serious-minded cinematic event of a type now virtually extinct from the studios. It fully embraces the contradictions of an intellectual giant who was also a deeply flawed man.” – David Rooney, THR
“Oppenheimer is a mainstream offering of uncommon resonance, sending the viewer out of the theater head-spun and itchy-eyed, ears ringing from all its sophisticated, voluble explosion.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“Cillian Murphy, with a thousand-yard beam, the half-smile of an intellectual rake, and a way of keeping everything close to the vest, gives a phenomenal performance as Oppenheimer, making him fascinating and multi-layered.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“‘Oppenheimer’ offers an indelible portrait of the age when people began wielding power they couldn’t necessarily control, and few movies have so disturbingly crystallized the horror of opening Pandora’s box.” – David Ehrlich, indiewire
“Oppenheimer” is slated to open in cinemas on July 21st.