In the midst of World War II, The U.S. and Germany would both find themselves in the atomic race, questing for nuclear proliferation and the power of the A-Bomb. Ringleader of quantum physics and scientific thought for the U.S. was Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), a troubled genius in his own right, but a master organizer just the same. Through Oppenheimer’s management the U.S. would ultimately win the race, meanwhile the philosophical and moral debates amongst the scientific community would be reaching a fevered pitch as well– a weight Oppenheimer would feel largely responsible, could this in fact be a chain reaction that would send earth towards a certain doom? Written By Christopher Nolan based on the book by Kai Bird, and Martin Sherwin and Directed by Nolan this three hour monster of a film comes as a crash course in history highlighting a number of key signposts along the arms race and proves to be narratively dense material but worth the ride. Working mainly as a character study on J. Robert Oppenheimer the film efforts to show a fair amount of the man’s genius, but also misses a fair amount of his peculiarities as well, focusing mainly on his own reservations and concerns as a modern day Prometheus; meanwhile, the true sense of the “race” and social context is all but a footnote in this science light but drama heavy period piece chugging its way to the Trinity launch and eventual political aftermath in post war times. With an ensemble made up as a Hollywood who’s who of amazing talent, there isn’t a single character out of sync and Murphy’s Oppenheimer is haunting. Brilliantly shot with the eye of Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Nolan clearly has assembled an all A team for this production, although Score by Ludwig Göransson clearly seems inspired by another Nolan favorite Hans Zimmer, this falls short of the rest of the team in creativity. A far cry from an action, thrills, chills and spills popcorn chomper this intellectual talker may not require the full IMAX experience, but is still worthy of your attention and the theater experience. No doubt this film will be discussed further at Oscar time, consider multiple tickets punched in that regard. Incidentally, for further reading on the subject and deeper understanding, The Making of The Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes would be an excellent shelf mate. Oppenheimer is rated R.