I decided to pop into the Century 16 theater on Saturday night to see Oppenheimer, and I wasn’t disappointed. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about the creator of the atomic bomb so the movie was quite eye opening. After seeing it, I fact checked what I could remember and it seems Nolan was very loyal to the story. The film was over three hours long but I didn’t notice as much because it was so well done. I expect nominations for Best Actor (Murphy), best director (Nolan), Best Picture, and very likely others. I was pleased to see Josh Hartnett make a strong appearance in the film (he was really good) and Matt Damon was excellent. Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic. Gary Oldman also makes an appearance toward the end of the movie. Be aware that there are one or two fairly graphic sex scenes, so if that’s something you don’t really care for you might want to delay your viewing until you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. I’d give it a 9/10 (maybe 8.5) rating.

Curious to see who else has seen it and what you think!

I liked it. I also did some googling after the movie because there were a couple of characters that I didn’t recognize/remember (Roger Robb being one of them). I think it helps if a person is a little familiar with the events of the times.

The build up to the test of the first bomb is fascinating.

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We saw it over the weekend also. We were both very impressed by it, and decided we needed to get both the book (An American Prometheus) and the movie when it comes out on blu-ray.

I knew a bit about Oppenheimer going into the movie. He was rather complicated, and had regrets about the bomb. I also knew a little about his political leanings, but not enough to form an opinion.

All in all I was quite pleased with the movie. I found the acting across the board to be really good. I would very much recommend the movie. I hope to say the same of the book that it’s based upon.

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I Saw this provocative but very interesting documentary way back in the day. A perfect introduction to Documentary films which was perfect for a college age person. It juxtapositions naivete about physics, government rhetoric, political posturing etc.
I plan to watch the movie soon, but I’m going to revisit Atomic Cafe again since its been over 30 years.


I seem to have a different perspective compared to most reviewers. While the movie had its merits, I found the script to be lackluster and failed to leave a lasting impact. Nevertheless, the performances by the actors were commendable, and the depiction of the bomb on the grand 70mm IMAX screen was undeniably marvelous. Having previously been to Los Alamos and spent time in New Mexico, I had high hopes for this film, but sadly, it fell short of my expectations. It felt more like a straightforward retelling of a historical event, akin to reading a summarized Wikipedia article.

While I’m not opposed to intimate scenes in movies, I found that they didn’t add much value to the overall narrative. If you’re considering watching this film, I’d recommend going to an IMAX theater to experience the awe-inspiring bomb sequences.

The movie’s attempt to delve into the moral complexities surrounding the creation of the bomb was apparent, but I don’t believe it succeeded in fully exploring this profound ethical discussion. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 6, as it had its moments, but overall, it didn’t achieve what it set out to do.


Planning on seeing the movie, I’m well into the Prometheus book & posted a few thoughts in the JD Williams thread: https://forum.utefans.net/t/the-j-d-williams-thread/4067/270?u=ma-ake

Maybe some stuff the movie missed:

He apparently intimidated a lot of other physicists with how quick and well-rounded he was intellectually, gave a speech in the Netherlands in Dutch having never spoke it a month previous, had poems published, etc.

After his downfall, he sailed to the Caribbean, bought some land on St. Johns in the US Virgin Islands, and threw parties that included some really high rollers, along with the locals.

St John: The tiny island where Robert Oppenheimer escaped his legacy - BBC Travel


They actually showed that in the movie. It was a good scene.


Additional material from New Mexico:

A rare look at the secret of Oppenheimer’s Manhattan Project (koat.com)

I’m sure Bama had the same sense going to Los Alamos & Alamogordo, but just walking around the Wendover airport and thinking about those pilots training in the Enola Gay there is a little spooky.


I liked the scenes in NM. Having family relatively near Alamagordo and White Sands helps. The LANL has a museum there in Los Alamos that is worth going to. Obviously they can’t tell you everything ever done there, but IIRC it gives a decent history of the Lab and the area. It’s been about 2 decades since Mrs CCU and I visited Los Alamos, and would love to see it again.

I will have to disagree that the movie didn’t leave an impact. Mrs CCU had a couple “damn” and “holy crap” statements during the movie. It had enough of an impact on me that I will do more research on my own. Glad it fits in with stuff I’m already delving into so it’s not a completely new avenue for my curiosity to follow.

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Remember watching Atomic Cafe quite a long time ago. Quite a sobering production where the ending demonstrates the unimaginable effects of such powerful weapons.


Probably a slam dunk for Best Picture, Actor & Director. 3 hours loooong. Glad I saw it once. Don’t need to see it again.

I’ve read a lot about the subjects dramatized in the film, including the biography. Both the film and the biography don’t delve into the morality of the H-Bomb in a satisfying way, and it may not be possible to do that and cast Oppenheimer in a sympathetic light. In my opinion, he was on the wrong side of history in his opposition to the H-bomb. Andrei Sakharov himself, who was the father of the Soviet H-bomb and later turned Soviet dissident and liberal humanist, and was suppressed by the Soviet Union, agrees:

Sakharov believed that American academics had been unfair to Teller’s resolve to get the H-bomb for the United States since “all steps by the Americans of a temporary or permanent rejection of developing thermonuclear weapons would have been seen either as a clever feint, or as the manifestation of stupidity. In both cases, the reaction would have been the same – avoid the trap and immediately take advantage of the enemy’s stupidity.”

Sakharov never felt that by creating nuclear weapons he had “known sin”, in Oppenheimer’s expression. He later wrote:

After more than forty years, we have had no third world war, and the balance of nuclear terror … may have helped to prevent one. But I am not at all sure of this; back then, in those long-gone years, the question didn’t even arise. What most troubles me now is the instability of the balance, the extreme peril of the current situation, the appalling waste of the arms race … Each of us has a responsibility to think about this in global terms, with tolerance, trust, and candor, free from ideological dogmatism, parochial interests, or national egotism."

— Andrei Sakharov[14]


The proof is in the pudding. MAD has worked for now over sixty years, and the US won the Cold War. Even more, since 1945 the extent of peace has been unprecedented in world history, and it’s hard to deny some credit to MAD.

It was a political witch hunt that took down Oppenheimer. He was railroaded in an unfair “trial.” But Lewis Strauss, Edward Teller and others wanted Oppenheimer out of the way because they felt he was dead wrong about the H-bomb. And he probably was. This does not justify the witch hunt in any way.


Moreover, Oppenheimer advocated for development of battlefield nukes in lieu of the H-bomb, and later both the USSR and the Untied States would independently conclude that battlefield nukes would lead inexorably to big nukes and mutual destruction. So they independently decided to avoid them completely. Even the biography concludes that Oppenheimer was on the wrong side of history in this respect.


Excerpt from John Podhoretz’s review:

When middlebrow movies of this kind—Gandhi, Cry Freedom, The Killing Fields, and many others—vanish from the scene, that doesn’t make new space for highbrow stuff, because high culture will always be an elite minority taste. Instead, everything just goes lower. And that’s exactly what happened with Hollywood. Over the past two decades, movies that try to tell a real story about real people (and I don’t just mean actual real-life people like Oppenheimer, but just everyday folk) have gotten smaller and more insignificant. They are unambitious and unassuming. When they work, they work because they are touching slices of life and seek only to make us shed a tiny tear. They’re not weighty. They’re gossamer.

Oppenheimer is weighty, and it’s kind of magnificent. Writer-director Christopher Nolan has decided the story he is telling is the most important story in human history, and he wants to do it justice. This movie’s level of ambition is something I’m not sure we’ve seen in a major studio release in decades, and Nolan is so skilled a storyteller and so authoritative a director that his reach blessedly does not exceed his grasp. This is not a subtle movie, and there’s barely a joke or a laugh in it; as in all his pictures, Nolan presents us with an earnest, formal, and heavy world. But what he doesn’t do is preach, and that is what makes this movie such a triumph. Oppenheimer is a wildly ambiguous portrait of its titular subject, the work he did, the life he led, and even the humiliation to which he was subjected by political and ideological enemies. The titanic performance of Cillian Murphy, who does nothing to ingratiate himself with the audience, takes this incredibly complex and deeply troubled man and follows him through four decades of scientific growth, political activism, engineering achievement, and raw power politics. And it does a beautiful job posing the key question of his life without answering it: In doing something transcendently great, did he do something evil?


Weirdly, I prefer the movie (Imitation Game) and work of Alan Turing.

The thing to remember about Teller is that he never saw a large project that wasn’t better accomplished by the bomb. Digging canals, creating deep harbor channels, etc.