Oppenheimer (2023)

R 181 min - Drama, History - 19 July 2023
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The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

Director:  Christopher Nolan
Writers:  Christopher Nolan


The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer's role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

Tagline: The world forever changes.

Genres: Drama, History


Official Website:  http://www.oppenheimermovie.com
Language:  Dutch, English
Release Date:  19 July 2023

Box Office

Budget:  $100,000,000
Revenue:  $952,000,000

Company Credits

Production Companies:  Syncopy, Universal Pictures, Atlas Entertainment

Technical Specs

Runtime:  3 h 01 min

Christopher Nolan Discusses What Inspired Him To Tell This Story on Film: “There are many paradoxes and ethical dilemmas in it. That was the difficulty.
According to Christopher Nolan, it’s difficult to depict the story of someone who was a part of an unusual chain of events.


Known for his works on Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Tenet, and other movies, filmmaker Christopher Nolan is currently preparing for his upcoming release, Oppenheimer. The tale of “Oppenheimer,” which is based on nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, is full with ambiguities and moral quandaries, the director revealed ahead of the film’s premiere.

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

Speaking about what ignited the fire within him to tell J. Robert Oppenhimer’s story, Nolan said: “Oppenheimer’s story is one of the great stories that there is. It’s full of paradoxes and ethical dilemmas, and that’s the kind of material I’m always interested in. While the movie tries to help the audience understand why people have done the things they’ve done, it’s at the same time asking ‘should they have done the things they’ve done?’.”

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

According to Christopher Nolan, films are a unique storytelling medium that can immerse viewers in a subjective experience, allowing them to form opinions similar to those of the characters while also providing a slightly more objective viewpoint on them. We make several attempts to delve deeply inside Oppenheimer’s mind and accompany the viewer on his emotional trip. The film’s difficulty was to convey the tale from the perspective of someone who was part in an ultimately incredibly catastrophic series of events, but who did it for the right reasons.

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

“Oppenheimer,” which was directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by Universal Pictures (released by Warner Bros. Discovery), will launch in Indian theaters on July 21. Advance reservations for IMAX theaters in India are already available.


At the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in 1926, 22-year-old J. Robert Oppenheimer, a doctoral student working under experimental physicist Patrick Blackett, struggles with anxiety and homesickness. Oppenheimer leaves Blackett with a poisoned apple after becoming upset with his demeanor, but he later retrieves it. Oppenheimer is advised to pursue theoretical physics at the University of Göttingen by visiting physicist Niels Bohr.

There, Oppenheimer completes his PhD and gets to know Isidor Isaac Rabi, a fellow scientist. Later on, in Switzerland, they encounter Werner Heisenberg, a theoretical physicist. Oppenheimer starts teaching at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley because he wants to advance quantum physics research in the country. He weds biologist Katherine “Kitty” Puening, an ex-communist, and has a sporadic liaison with Jean Tatlock, a troubled communist who ultimately appears to have committed herself.

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

Oppenheimer recognizes that the discovery of nuclear fission in December 1938 has the potential to be weaponized. Colonel Leslie Groves of the US Army appoints Oppenheimer to lead the Manhattan Project in 1942, in the midst of World War II, with the goal of creating an atomic weapon. The principal worry of Jewish nuclear researcher Oppenheimer stems from the possibility that Heisenberg’s German nuclear research program could produce a fission bomb for the Nazis.

In addition to working with physicists Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, and David L. Hill at the University of Chicago, he puts together a team that includes Rabi, Hans Bethe, and Edward Teller from the Los Alamos Laboratory. According to Teller’s estimates, an atomic explosion might set off a disastrous chain reaction that would burn up the atmosphere and wipe off humanity. After speaking with Albert Einstein, Oppenheimer determines that the likelihood is bearably low. After his plan to build a hydrogen bomb is turned down, Teller tries to quit the project, but Oppenheimer persuades him to stay.

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

Through the Szilárd petition, several Project scientists questioned the weapon’s continued importance after Adolf Hitler’s death in 1945; Oppenheimer maintains that the bomb would end the Pacific War and save lives. Following the successful completion of the Trinity test, President Harry S. Truman gives the order to strike Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons, forcing Japan to submit. Despite receiving public acclaim, Oppenheimer is troubled by the deaths and widespread devastation. When he subsequently runs into Truman, he berates Oppenheimer because he feels responsible for Oppenheimer’s decision to use the bomb after Truman admits his own guilt. Truman brushes off Oppenheimer’s call to limit the development of nuclear weapons.

As an advisor to the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Oppenheimer’s position causes controversy, and in the midst of the growing Cold War, Teller’s hydrogen bomb garners new attention. Lewis Strauss, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, is angry at Oppenheimer for publicly dehumanizing him by downplaying his worries about exporting radioisotopes and for suggesting talks with the Soviet Union following their successful detonation of their own bomb. Additionally, he thinks that in a 1947 conversation between Oppenheimer and Einstein, Oppenheimer disparaged him.

Image from the movie "Oppenheimer"
© 2023 Syncopy − All right reserved.

In 1954, Strauss surreptitiously arranges a private security hearing on Oppenheimer’s Q clearance before a Personnel Security Board in an attempt to undermine Oppenheimer’s political power. But it soon becomes apparent that the hearing will have a predetermined conclusion. Groves’ and other associates’ evidence is twisted against Oppenheimer, and his previous ties to the communist party are used. Teller says in his deposition that he doesn’t trust Oppenheimer and suggests revocation. Oppenheimer’s clearance is revoked by the board, harming his reputation and reducing his power over nuclear strategy.

Hill speaks about Strauss’s personal motivations in orchestrating Oppenheimer’s demise during his 1959 Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of Commerce, which led to the Senate rejecting his nomination. As a sign of political rehabilitation, President Lyndon B. Johnson gives Oppenheimer the Enrico Fermi Award in 1963. A flashback shows that Strauss was not brought up in the 1947 conversation between Oppenheimer and Einstein. Oppenheimer, on the other hand, voiced concerns that they had, in fact, sparked a nuclear weapons race that may eventually wipe out humanity.

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