The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

REVIEW: ‘Oppenheimer,’ story of the atomic bomb’s creator

From young, anxious scientist to world’s most famous man
An official poster of Oppenheimer.
An official poster of “Oppenheimer.”

I am going to just come out and say that this is the best movie that I have probably ever seen in the movie theater. A three-hour movie seemed to take maybe half that time; “Oppenheimer” was immersive and enthralling like nothing I have seen before.

The last time I went to a sold-out movie was the opening night of “Avengers: Endgame.” The energy in the theater was starkly (pun intended) different across the two movies, but it was exciting to have a full theater.

The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer is one that I had not heard before, other than the fact that he was the “father of the nuclear bomb,” so I went into this movie flying blind apart from that fact.

I am usually the kind of guy who will sneak a peek at his phone during the movie to see approximately how much time is left (I know, I know; I’m that guy), but I vowed to keep my phone off in my pocket so I could catch every line of dialogue from the movie.

I do not think I would ever call a movie perfect, but “Oppenheimer” is pretty darn close. My two gripes with the movie are small, so I will get them out of the way now.

The first one is kind of silly, and it is the fact that there are just so many characters that it is slightly hard to keep track of all of them.

I almost always watch movies or TV shows with captions on when I am at home, so if I forget who is talking I can either see their next line of dialogue on the screen or look it up on my phone. But with a movie with such a big scope, I understand why director Christopher Nolan needed to include so many characters, and it makes the movie better.

My second little nitpick is the audio mixing is kind of weird at times; occasionally I could not quite pick out what a character said because the background score or soundtrack was just a little bit too loud — a problem that will be remedied when I watch this movie with subtitles at home.

Now onto the good stuff; spoiler alert, there is a lot of good stuff. The casting is done essentially perfectly. Every character is believably told. Gary Oldman as President Harry Truman threw me off a little bit; I did not recognize him until I looked up the cast after the movie.

Hats off to Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt. They performed both of their characters with such depth of emotion and character that there were some points where I forgot “Oppenheimer” was a biopic and thought it was just a new story being told.

While I am usually one to fact-check every little detail in movies that I watch, I simply do not want to do that with “Oppenheimer;” I just want to sit back and think. I have decided not to go into the plot at all so you can experience “Oppenheimer” for yourself, but it makes you weigh your ethics.

This movie is told at three separate points in time — a classic Christopher Nolan trope — and is just slightly hard to follow at first until you pick up on what is happening. There are some “ah-ha!” moments that are gratifying once you piece the plot together.

In my opinion, the biggest part of this movie is how ethics are weighed. We see Oppenheimer go from a young, anxious scientist to the most famous man in the world, and the man who has arguably made the biggest impact on the world in the past 100 years.

There are moments where the characters weigh the consequences that the creation of the atomic bomb would have on the world at the time of its creation and going forward. “Oppenheimer” is truly a spectacle and should not be seen by the faint of heart, but it is a movie that I wholeheartedly recommend.

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About the Contributor
Joey Franklin is a junior majoring in communications from Fairwood, Washington.