HCA Gradebook: “Barbie”June 17, 2023
HCA Gradebook: ‘Haunted Mansion’June 19, 2023
Film: Oppenheimer (2023)
Plot: Oppenheimer is an IMAX®-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it.
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey, Jr., Dane DeHaan, Rami Malek, Josh Hartnett, Kenneth Branagh, and David Krumholtz
Director: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Universal Pictures
Number of Graders: 53
Average Grade: A-
Raquel Laguna Pardo
Oppenheimer is the best movie I have seen this year so far. I would even say it is Christopher Nolan’s best movie. The director combines biographical drama, and political thriller in the most fantastic way, as always. Cillian Murphy´s performance…no words… He is a firm candidate to sweep the next awards season. The movie is an incredible cinematographic experience. What a masterpiece!
Oppenheimer is an extraordinary piece of filmmaking. With incredibly immersive cinematography. Cillian Murphy gave a career-defining performance. Part Manhattan Project, part red scare’s persecution of Robert Oppenheimer. Intensely gripping. A must-see on IMAX.
Few films check all of the boxes for excellence. This does. Innovative direction, overwhelming technical achievements, perfect casting, in-depth characterizations & an encompassing vision.
Christopher Nolan manages to turn a history lesson into one of his best films yet. Oppenheimer isn’t just about the father of the atomic bomb but is instead a deep dive into the destruction caused by men in power.
Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s crowning achievement. It’s also one of the best films I’ve ever seen on the big screen (IMAX). At three hours, it does so much and at such an impeccable level, that it results in one of the most immersive, epic biopics ever. Cillian Murphy is outstanding (Oscar nom), while Robert Downey Jr. (Oscar nom) is riveting. The sound design, cinematography and Ludwig Grandson score, are all phenomenal. It delivers the cinematic experience we need from time to time, that reminds us of the power and beauty of movies. No qualms, my horse for Best Picture.
Oppenheimer joins the ranks of other Nolan masterpieces like Inception, Interstellar, The Dark Knight and The Prestige as a impeccably produced and often staggering achievement in cinematic storytelling. The film really fires on all cylinders. It’s visually and sonically audacious and even occasionally breathtaking, punctuated throughout its lengthy running time by Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson’s thunderous score and the superb ensemble cast, with Alden Ehrenreich, Dane DeHaan, Jason Clarke, Benny Safdie, Josh Hartnett, Florence Pugh and Matt Damon deserving special mention. Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt deserve Oscar nominations for their compelling supporting performances, both of whom deliver scene-stealing work before the film’s devastating conclusion. And of course, there’s Cillian Murphy. The Oscar for Best Actor should be engraved with his name now. He delivers a staggering, career-best performance as the “father of the atomic bomb,” a man initially driven by hubris and ambition, who becomes consumed with regret and the (literally) Earth-shattering enormity of the consequences of becoming “Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is the rare film that prevails on every single level. Teeming with exquisite visuals (Hoyte Van Hoytema), penetrating dialogue, a hypnotic score (Ludwig Göransson), and many outstanding performances, Oppenheimer surpasses all expectations.
Cillian Murphy delivers a remarkable depiction of the brilliant and enigmatic physicist, grappling with a profound sense of turmoil and deep inner conflict ignited by the catastrophic ramifications of his creation. He’s never been better.
The supporting cast shines, led by Robert Downey Jr’s Oscar-worthy performance as Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss. Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Casey Affleck, David Dastmalchian, & Benny Safdie are standout talents in this star-studded Hollywood ensemble.
Nolan’s script is a powerful reminder to learn from history, with its significant scale and relevance. It cautions against repeating WWII’s devastating actions while exploring the profound impact of a world-changing figure. A compelling and substantial lesson for us all to heed.
The IMAX presentation, with its cutting-edge facilities and impeccable sound, enhances the already mesmerizing experience. I highly recommend seeing Oppenheimer in this format if possible. The breathtaking sound design is massive and intensifies every moment of the film.
I’m really blown away here. I’ll go as far to say Oppenheimer is the early favorite to be crowned the best film of the decade. A film for the moment and for history, Oppenheimer is grade-A cinema and an absolute triumph not to be missed.”
Kevin L Lee
Imagine if Nolan took the writing/editing urgency of The Social Network and fused it with a beautiful but harsh invasion of visuals a la Terrence Malick. The result is OPPENHEIMER. Holy fucking shit, it is a thunderous epic about politics, loss of empathy, and impending doom.
Oppenheimer is a cinematic miracle. Perfectly capturing the spirit of JFK and The Social Network, Oppenheimer cements its place as the best film of 2023 and one of the greatest biopics ever.
Oppenheimer is an epic piece of cinema history with Christopher Nolan at its helm. Nolan pulls together the whose who of actors to create a three-hour masterpiece. The film is based on the true story behind the atomic bomb creation and the consequences that altered our nation’s history forever. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer is appointed as the leader behind the top secret “Manhatten project,” who faces harsh criticisms from start to finish. Cillian Murphy hits his stride as Oppenheimer and is magnificant in this role. Murphy can play into the physicist’s genius but show the emotional weight he carried after Los Alamos, New Mexico. Although Oppenheimer had many achievements in his life, his legacy was cemented after his three years working on the atomic bomb and all the death that came along with it. Nolan is smart with his choices of black and white and close-ups of Murphy, who is plagued with flashes of images that do not make sense until the film is over. It is Nolan and Murphy at their best in this frustratingly good film. Although it drags on a bit, the amount of detail is a necessary evil. While we don’t see the aftermath, the images that plague Oppenheimer throughout the film will take hold of you and burrow into your mind pestering you long afterwards.
A visceral and haunting journey into the turning point of the modern world. Cillian Murphy is iconic, Downey Jr. surprises, Florence Pugh and Emily Blunt astound, and Christopher Nolan absolutely delivers on this year’s most engaging biography. The sound mixing is always a concern for dialogue, and some of the time jumps don’t work. But this is Christopher Nolan at his best.
Oppenheimer is epic filmmaking at its finest. Director Christopher Nolan delivers a fascinating and compelling historical biopic with Oscar-worthy performances from Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr.
Paul McGuire Grimes
Christopher Nolan takes a film about science and technology and turns this into a political legal fight making the audience ponder the ethical nature of it all. There’s so much to take it that it may need multiple viewings looking at it through different angles each time.
Director Christopher Nolan turns in a cinematic masterwork with Oppenheimer – a biopic of epic proportions. Cillian Murphy gives a tour de force performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer, showing all the conflicted feelings of being the creator of the atomic bomb, not so much with words but with a searing gaze. Despite being three hours, it carries a massive punch and is an important and worthy watch.
We go into every Christopher Nolan movie expecting a major set piece that defines “cinema.” The truck flip in The Dark Knight and the rotating hallway in Inception come to mind. In Oppenheimer, the defining set piece is an explosion. This sounds straightforward for Nolan, especially since we’ve seen so many explosions in movies that we’re desensitized to them. This is the first explosion in a long time, though, where we feel the gravitas. Part of that’s because Nolan executes it practically. The real reason, though, is that we sense another explosion brewing within our titular character. After the explosion comes the aftershock, which is where the real meat of this story lies.
Oppenheimer is a monumental achievement from Christopher Nolan. A powerful story told on the grandest scale possible. Cillian Murphy seizes his moment & turns in a mesmerizing portrayal of moral torment. I also need to specifically shout out the strong Oscar-worthy supporting turns from Robert Downey Jr. & Emily Blunt, tremendous cinematography, thunderous sound, intricate editing & magnificent score. Nolan’s character study merges a thematically resonant story with a breathtaking soundscape & epic visuals. The IMAX experience for this one is a must. It truly left me in awe!
Oppenheimer is a crowning achievement of hard work from everyone involved in the film. The film only gets better as time goes on. Cillian Murphy delivers one of the most captivating performances I’ve ever seen.
Oppenheimer: The study of a man gripped by wonder, cursed with intellect, trapped in a changing world hungry with ambition and a lust for power. Nolan balances a warring narrative focus with a stirring symphony of picture and sound to deliver yet another masterpiece of cinema!
Within a three-hour tense, pulse-pounding historical epic about one of the most fascinating people to ever live on this planet, Christopher Nolan has delivered a truly haunting piece of cinema about the dangers of the bomb, how it crumbled the man that created it, and how corrupt the systems and institutions we put our faith into fail us once we lean on them, making for a damning showcase of American exceptionalism…. Nolan, whose last three features explored the topics of human survival, World War II, and nuclear annihilation, brings all of those ideas together to create not only his best film since The Dark Knight but easily one of the best films of the year.
True to form for the director, in delivering such an ambitious project, the choices to utilize IMAX cameras, an ensemble cast, innovative filmmaking techniques, and more have resulted in a blockbuster experience with plenty on its mind.
Shook me to my core. Absolute knock out. Nolan continues to build into a more profound filmmaker with every film he makes. This is as much of a film about Oppie, almost a biopic, than it is about the atomic bomb and what happened at Los Alamos. It’s one of the best modern “men are complex” films I’ve ever seen. So much to grapple with, much to consider. A masterwork in every sense, making three hours of dense conversations so much more engaging and exhilarating – in horrifying and haunting ways. Cillian Murphy’s performance is phenomenal, one for the ages, along with Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Along with the exceptional score by Ludwig Göransson make it that much more powerful.
Oppenheimer feels like it may just be Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus. It is undoubtedly his strongest script and most cohesive plot, and the way he picks apart his subject with such brutal and purposeful intent is masterful. Even with its massive three-hour runtime, the pacing and editing keep the audience fully engaged in the harrowing story.
Just as J. Robert Oppenheimer assembled the best minds for the Manhattan Project, Christopher Nolan brought together the best creatives around him to bring this story to the silver screen; in particular, Ludwig Göransson brings a different type of tension with his score. While it is refreshing to see Robert Downey Jr. deliver such an engaging performance post-Endgame, it’s Cillian Murphy who carries the 3-hr epic. Oppenheimer is an astonishing feat of filmmaking.
Christopher Nolan uses the skills he’s built through an already impressive career to deliver a haunting portrait of the man who invented the weapon that could destroy humanity. Coming at Oppenheimer’s story from multiple temporal directions, Nolan composes an audiovisual symphony unlike anything that’s been seen onscreen in a long time. Cillian Murphy’s lead performance is an instant Oscar contender, and Emily Blunt and Robert Downey, Jr. also deliver impressive supporting performances that may attract awards attention. Oppenheimer is the best film I’ve seen so far in 2023 and further proof that Nolan is working at a level unparalleled amongst his peers.
Oppenheimer gets into the mind of a haunted man. An explosive and nuanced exploration of power – its price and consequences. A wrestling match between rights and wrongs. Humanity at its most destructive creates an experience akin to horror – full of suffocating yet breathtaking dread.
Joel D. Amos
One of the more resonant historical cinematic moments in years has landed with auteur Christopher Nolan’s biopic, Oppenheimer. The story of the “father of the nuclear bomb,” Oppenheimer is an important biopic. What is wild is that the biopic is one of the more difficult landscapes for a filmmaker to traverse. In that aspect, Nolan handles the subject matter with a mix of reverence and a dash of disdain for a brilliant man’s work being used to end a war… yes.
On the other hand, Oppenheimer could never rationalize how his creation saved (and thus created) countless lives while mercilessly murdering war’s most innocent prey. The attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought an empire to its reluctant knees. More importantly, Nolan’s film orchestrates a symphony that serves as a sonic and visual seismic shift in the world politick. The bomb changed everything.
Not only does Nolan extraordinarily capture the titanic tension of the Nazi arms race, but also how it served as the launching pad for the Cold War.
Oppenheimer is a kinetic symphony of the highest order and the best film of the year. Nolan delivers a pulse-pounding, unforgettable epic standing tall as one of the best biopics of all time. An operatic yet stunningly intimate portrait of a brilliant man grappling with his actions.
Oppenheimer is perhaps Nolan’s best work since Inception. The film is a technical marvel, visually stunning and is successful in holding a precise amount of tension, anxiety and dread for nearly the entire 180-minute runtime. Cillian Murphy gives an astoundingly haunted performance as the infamous J. Robert Oppenheimer that will be no doubt the topic of many conversations come award season. With dreamlike editing, an intense, swelling score and a legendary screenplay, Oppenheimer is groundbreaking in more ways than one.
It’s hard to think of another biopic with such a graceful, grand, sweeping presentation like this. Treating every moment of the film like an epic, Nolan captures the feeling of being on the precipice of something equally awe-inspiring, and terrifying. Oppenheimer is arguably Nolan’s most successful film on an emotional level, immersing is in the perspective of its complicated protagonist. It avoids easy answers, prompting much discussion afterward. It occasionally loses itself in procedural details but is massively successful overall.
Christopher Nolan continues to impress with this thought-provoking character study. From beginning to end the movie sucks you into the complicated world of Oppenheimer. No one is portrayed in a romanticized fashion. They’re all fully human and flawed. And their good, bad, and naive choices all have consequences. The story and ideas are tackled so effectively that you leave the theater feeling less safe to live in our world. There are a few underdeveloped ideas and characters and it can be overly dense. But otherwise another great film from Nolan.
Oppenheimer is at times the undisputed best picture released so far this year and at other times one of the most frustrating. This all comes from how Nolan begins to quietly unfold the story of one of the most monumental moments in human history and then eventually gets to the big explosive moment.
Only Christopher Nolan can turn a biography on Robert Oppenheimer into an event film. Oppenheimer is very much a Christopher Nolan movie for better and for worse. The cast is stellar with Cillian Murphy as the lead. His performance as the father of the nuclear bomb is Oscar worthy and so is Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss in one of his best performances in recent memory. Nolan as always does a fantastic job at building tension in his films. In this case, it’s the lead-up to the test of the first atomic bomb. It’s even more suspenseful considering that you occasionally find yourself questioning the morality of Oppenheimer’s accomplishment. Yes he created a miracle in science, but it’s being used for the purpose of war. An issue that is still very much alive today. What keeps the film from being perfect are some of the overly long political hearings. Nolan does have a history of writing his scripts to where the dialogue is mostly exposition, and you will get the point the movie is trying to make before the movie itself does. That being said, Oppenheimer is certainly a well-crafted film, proving why there aren’t that many directors out there who can be as ambitious as Nolan is with the filmmaking craft.
A bit lengthy for me but cinematography is amazing! Cillian Murphy excels in this role. Composer Ludwig Goransson lends a commanding soundtrack to the powerful film. Interesting to learn that Oppenheimer was fascinated with the Bhagavad Gita and learned Sanskrit in the early 1930’s. And we see a quote from the Hindu scripture in the film “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds” as he reflects on the consequences of the atomic bomb – leaving you to question your own morals and as a collective society.
Christopher Nolan’s most emotionally charged film to date about ego and its devastating consequences. Oppenheimer is a truly impressive technical achievement that matches, and at some points, surpasses Nolan’s best work. But it’s Murphy’s performance that leaves the most lasting impression—stunning and devastating in equal measure.
A true epic of grand scale. Epic in its set piece and build up, epic in its length and script. Incredibly dense and might be hard for some audiences to follow but it’s worth the spectacle and the amazing performances.
Christopher Nolan’s latest film is all about grandeur, covering not just the creation of the atomic bomb but the life and personality of the man credited with it. Cillian Murphy turns in a lived-in performance that defines the film, one that features tremendous aesthetic elements to enhance a three-hour film that doesn’t feel nearly as long as it is.
Powerful storytelling. Technically superb. Murphy and Downey Jr. give masterful performances. This is a complex biographical epic that dances in many genres over several timelines and is deeply human but also challengingly dense and exhaustively long. It’s like being force-fed research manuals at times and will benefit from multiple viewings immensely due to the amount of history to consume, but I was mesmerized more often than not and found the ambition worthy of praise.
Not many filmmakers in the streaming era are given latitude from traditional studios to make original movies, let alone a $100 million budgeted adult drama, released in the middle of the busy summer movie-going season, about a controversial quantum physicist with no CGI, capes, major spectacle, or built in brand awareness. Then again, not many filmmakers are Christopher Nolan, one of the few remaining directors who makes his films for the biggest screens imaginable with an emphasis on total immersion and ear-shattering sound design. So, it’s no surprise “Oppenheimer,” a three-hour biopic about the “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer, where most of the movie is people talking in rooms (most of the time in black and white) about splitting atoms and the moral dilemmas of creating a world killer, is one of the most cinematic achievements of the year. Marvel could never.
Oppenheimer is that history bomb that keeps you in suspense as if you didn’t know the real story. Could have been 30-35 min shorter, but watching it on IMAX was worth the extra time.
Oppenheimer is grim, depressing, exhilarating, fascinating, and yet its beauty can’t help from drawing a few yawns and a few glances at our watches along the path to brilliance.”
Oppenheimer takes time to build up. It needs patience but the film has a wonderful cast, brilliant score, and cinematography. I loved the ending. Robert Downey Jr and Emily Blunt may get nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in this year’s awards season.
Like a British Prometheus, Christopher Nolan uses the incandescent power of cinema to illuminate a story and central figure of colossal proportions, that incites more admiration than passion.
Oppenheimer is hypnotic and absorbing, and in some ways, reminded me of The Social Network in the way it weaves past and present. While it definitely has Nolan flourishes, this film feels like his most timely and enduring in its commentary on a figure’s personal life vs. career contributions as well as political corruption. The deep bench of players and familiar faces can be a bit distracting, but Murphy’s performance firmly grounds the film into a focused character study and more than a Hollywood who’s who.
Oppenheimer crackles from every corner of the frame and Christopher Nolan’s huge swings here almost always pay off. It’s overwritten (except for Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, who woefully underwritten) and clumsily paced but Cillian Murphy is spectacular, Matt Damon gives his second killer performance this year and Robert Downey Jr gives his best in his best role in years.
In simple terms, OPPENHEIMER is a good, well-made film. But it is a lot of talking heads for most of the running time and as a result there was a point where I started to get sleepy. It’s told very much like a montage. Moving in and out of scenes very quickly can become hypnotizing in a way that doesn’t draw you in. In fact, there was a moment where I wondered why Emily Blunt was even in the movie. She finally gets her scene at the end but before that, I just couldn’t figure out why she wanted to be in the movie aside from working with Christopher Nolan. Which seems is why every straight, white character actor in the universe is in this movie. That said, it’s a pretty movie but I’m not sure why they are pushing the IMAX aspect of it a little beyond me. It takes about two hours and 15 minutes to get to the bomb, and then after that, it becomes a lot more psychologically Interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I liked a lot of it, but I do think this is another film where it becomes the film to rave about. Yeah, I wonder deep down inside of people and then also feel like they were confused at times and more quite sure who the people are. You almost need to do research before you see the movie. But it’s Christopher Nolan so you’re obviously going to get people who will rave about it regardless. But, is it perfect? No. Does it get boring and confusing at times? Yes. Is it visually interesting? Yes. is there a compelling story here? Of course. But it is a lot of white men being blowhards for 3 hours. Solid B.
Oppenheimer was a master class of intrigue. Deft defying in its story, with tension building throughout. The sound and production are phenomenal. On the acting side, Cillian Murphy has got himself an Oscar nom. no doubt. Matt Damon might be competing against himself in the Best Actor/Supporting Actor categories and Robert Downey Jr. gives us the performance to remember that he isn’t Iron Man anymore, he is the actor’s actor of decades past, and my goodness, he’s still got it. What brought this film down for me and my only beef with it, was the female characters. They were few and not fleshed out at all in the slightest of who they really were and meant in Oppy’s life and to The Manhattan Project as a whole. Florence Pugh was just basically there as a sex object when in real life, she almost derailed the entire thing. Emily Blunt does well with what she’s given – even if it was just scraps.
Oppenheimer is a film that I admired more than I enjoyed. A technical marvel with one hell of an ensemble cast. This is a major awards player with several key performances that I could see being part of the conversation including Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, and Robert Downey Jr. The score, cinematography, and production design are all a sight to see as well. Nolan is a master at creating a world and making the viewer feel like they are part of it. Oh, and it is an absolute must-see in IMAX. However, my biggest issue with the film is the narrative structure. There is too much build up which makes the film feel very drawn out. It needed to be tighter. It feels like it is two movies in one and even with a 3hr runtime, there are certain plot points that were overlooked or not fully developed. Also, all of the female characters are quite undeveloped and underused, which is a shame given the level of talent that was cast in those roles.
A fascinating film for two hours, almost entirely derailed by a third hour that focuses on personal grudges and political infighting between marginal characters in the film—essentially elevating a narrative device that should have been limited to structuring the story. The film is at its weakest whenever it resorts on monologues framed in medium close-up, which increase in frequency in it’s disappointing final hour. Beautifully composed and expertly paced before that final act, Oppenheimer may be imperfect but it’s certainly interesting enough to command praise and inspire conversation. A movie made to be talked about, not a disposable piece of entertainment—made on a large scale to be enjoyed best in a theater. Precisely what has been missing from studio filmmaking over the last decade, even if the film itself fails to fully deliver on its promising start.
I left the theater feeling like I’d learned something and it was awe-inspiring to watch but Nolan did not develop his characters or story in a way that moved me or left me with much other than a clinical exercise in historical moviemaking.
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is an intimate epic about one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. The 3-hour film boasts fantastic performances from Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey, Jr, (his best work in decades) and solid supporting work from Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh in underwritten roles. I admire the boldness behind creating a massive period epic that is essentially a character study about a complex individual, but the typical Christopher Nolan quirks (unnecessarily fussy timelines, overbearing sound design, underdeveloped relationships, and overuse of an otherwise wonderful score) kept me from fully embracing the film.
This is where “Oppenheimer” misses to a large degree. The amount of included risks within the movie centering around a crucial turning point in world history should be infinitely compelling, especially when crafted with off-the-scale production efforts. Somewhere, outside of small flickers, a fiery human heart is absent from all the artificial explosives. Rattle us. Scare us. Inspire us. Instead, it’s awfully hard to get hot-and-bothered about the bottom of “Oppenheimer”’s rabbit hole relying on a boardroom inquiry to renew someone’s security clearance and a congressional hearing to approve a Cabinet position appointment.
Wendy Lee Szany
Probably Nolan’s most visually stunning film to date. It suffers from some audio issues (dialogue inaudible at times). Cillian Murphy gave an incredible performance as well as Robert Downey Jr.
The movie, much like its titular character, is at war with itself. Oppenheimer is at its best as it’s on the track towards building the bomb and the immediate reckoning Oppenheimer must do in its aftermath. There’s seemingly a moment for every actor in the movie (Josh Hartnett and Matt Damon are early movie MVPs) and Nolan has such a grip on timing and getting the most out of everyone. However, the secondary plot which follows Lewis Strauss and Oppenheimer’s dealings with the US government post-bomb, slows the movie down to a crawl.