/Film’s own Jeremy Mathai called the movie “staggering in every sense of the word,” noting on Twitter that even after structurally and stylistically ambitious films like “Inception” and “Tenet,” “Oppenheimer” still might be director Christopher Nolan’s “most formally daring work yet.” Associated Press writer Lindsey Bahr said the film is “truly a spectacular achievement,” while Total Film’s Matt Maytum said it’s a “character study on the grandest scale” that “‘left [him] stunned.” The Telegraph’s Robbie Collins perhaps put the mind-blowing effects of the movie in the plainest terms, tweeting that Nolan’s latest is “a total knockout that split my brain open like a twitchy plutonium nucleus and left me sobbing through the end credits like I can’t even remember what else.”
Though many fans anticipating the release have been fretting about potential pacing problems in a film this lengthy, that doesn’t seem to have been an issue for the first round of critics who caught the movie. Maytum and Sunday Times writer Jonathan Dean both praised the movie’s tension and while Dean also called the movie “dense,” Bahr actually noted that it’s a “concise adaptation” of Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s “American Prometheus,” the doorstop of a book on which it’s based. According to Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri, the movie’s tension leads to a memorable conclusion. The critic tweeted that the movie is “incredible” and “fearsome,” and called it “a relentlessly paced, insanely detailed, intricate historical drama that builds and builds and builds until Nolan brings the hammer down in the most astonishing, shattering way.” I imagine Collins will be far from the only person left in tears.