Cillian Murphy offers an assured and considered performance here as the man who is credited with developing the bomb that hastened the end of WWII in the far east. He is the increasingly acclaimed, eponymous, physicist who is made aware by Admiral Lewis Strauss (another strong performance from Robert Downey Jr.) that it just possible that the Russians have the A-bomb. Now Oppenheimer already suspects that the Nazis are also well on their way to weaponising the atom - his earlier education and career had introduced him to some of the prominent minds in the UK and in Germany who were quite capable of taking the theory forward; so he begins to pressurise the American government to begin it's own programme - and the "Manhattan Project" is born. Motivated/goaded/galvanised by the ambitious "Col. Groves" (Matt Damon) he assembles a formidable collection of scientific minds at a purpose built, desert, location which he christens Los Alamos, and over the next three years - and with $2bn to spend - they work on the science whilst plutonium and uranium are being simultaneously processed at an irkingly glacial pace! Given that much of this is reasonably well documented history, the actual plot here has little by way of jeopardy. Instead, Christopher Nolan attempts via his writing and direction to put some meat on the bones of the characters here. It's clear that Oppenheimer is a bit of a Lothario, but it's also clear that he can engender the loyalty of a variety of people with diverging views - not just surrounding the science of their project, but around the morals and ethics of creating something that - well, you can't get the toothpaste back into the tube. The latter portion of this drama focusses on the subsequent, communist-obsessed, witch-hunting that went on attempting to persecute and smear this remarkable and flawed individual, and it makes some interesting postulations about just who was pulling whose strings. It also has quite a penetrating resonation about it - not just, specifically, about Oppeneheimer - but about all of those post-event "enquiries" that rarely deliver an honest appraisal of what was done in the name of expediency at the time, but ends up more of a character assassination exercise by those who didn't do anything against those who did and had to. Though at times the pace of this thing helps to keep it enthralling, it is too long - at times it really does plod along. Perhaps an other, objective, eye on the writing/direction may have tightened it up without having to sacrifice any of the potency of the story. Maybe someone needs to tell Mr. Nolan that a three hour film isn't always required! That said, it's a gorgeous film to look at. The aesthetics are first rate and the entire sentiment of the film reeks of authenticity. I do think this thrives better on a big screen so try to see it as it was intended. It's though provoking, complex, characterful - and well worth a watch.