#VicksFlicks Special Edition: Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer is "Nolan like you have never seen him before."

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5 out of 5 stars

After five collaborations, Cillian Murphy is finally writer/director Christopher Nolan’s leading man in a mesmerizing and masterful character study presented on an unbelievably enormous scale. It’s Nolan like you have never seen him before, crafting a visceral, immersive, operatic, and chilling to the core historical drama where the fuses of victimization, scientific discovery, desire for power, Communist paranoia, and our world’s destruction are lit and ready to explode. With stunning visuals, spectacular cinematography and editing, a splendid score, and deafening sound – this is unquestionably a crowning achievement for Nolan and the entire cast and crew.

As the “American Prometheus” himself, Murphy delivers a career-best performance of a complicated man grappling with his extraordinary brilliance/arrogance, his flaws of a husband/father, and his moral torment that eats away at him. His creation would eventually become his own personal damnation. The supporting cast is outstanding with sensational turns from Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Benny Safdie, and Emily Blunt. But no one can outshine Robert Downey Jr. as the cunning and insecure Lewis Strauss. He hasn’t been this exceptional in a very long time, reminding us of what he’s truly capable of as an actor.

Told with the perfect balance of an intricate biopic, a riveting courtroom drama, and a race against time war thriller, Oppenheimer is a special American epic that proposes difficult questions back when the atomic bomb was created and the ripple effects we see today. They are the consequences of Oppenheimer’s creation that continue to threaten our very existence. The film’s final few minutes feel exceedingly relevant and significant. There’s an emotional heft to it all once the screen fades to black that instantly makes this horrifying though fully breathtaking, unforgettable, and purposeful.

Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association and the Southeastern Film Critics Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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