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Reviews are on the way for the summer’s head-to-head box office showdown.
On Tuesday, the critics embargo was lifted Barbie. Reviews were posted on Wednesday for Oppenheimer.
Below is a summary of what top critics were saying about both films set to release this week.
But first: which one scored higher, on average?
Both Barbie AND Oppenheimer they are getting overwhelmingly positive reviews. According to Rotten Tomatoes, that of Greta Gerwig Barbie starring Margot Robbie as the doll icon has a very hip 89% positive rating, while Christopher Nolan’s historical drama Oppenheimer played by Cillian Murphy is only slightly more explosive at 93 percent. (Reviews are still being posted for Oppenheimerso his score may change and this story will be updated if/when he does).
In terms of the box office, their competition shouldn’t be that close. Barbie it’s estimated to bring in $90 to $110 million during its opening weekend, while Oppenheimer (in part hampered by its three-hour running time) is expected to total between $40 and $49 million.
Here are some of the highlights of the review for Barbie:
The Hollywood Reporter: “Gerwig revels in the richness and strangeness of her material in this clever parody of Barbie dolls and their complex legacy. She is impressive how the director, known for her astute and narratively precise dramas, has inserted herself into a corporate film. Barbie it’s driven by jokes—sometimes outrageous laughter, always chuckle-worthy—that poke fun at Mattel, prod the ridicule of doll lore, and hint at the contradictions of our sexist society. … However well done Gerwig’s Barbie is, an infausure haunts the whole exercise. … The muddled politics and flat emotional landing of Barbie they are signs that the image ultimately serves a brand.
BBC: “Not only is it a genuinely funny and warm live comedy — and there aren’t many of those around these days — but an arthouse passion project so bold, inventive, and politically charged that it’s sure to be nominated for all kinds of awards. Barbie as a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars 2024? I wouldn’t bet against it.”
NPR: “Barbie it is not As soon as a film that could never fully escape the weight of its artistic compromises. It’s a hoot, a feast for the eyes and ears. Sarah Greenwood’s stage design is sensory astounding. … It’s a film that is at an interesting turning point in cinema and film consumption, when almost every idea seems to have sprung from a pre-existing product. … Something like Barbie it lays that tension bare and exposed in its unabashed commercialism and heightened sensitivity, so that you can’t help but think how its goals might be at odds with its execution. But that’s also part of what makes it such an interesting oddity to witness. It’s a Barbie world you’ll be more than glad you visited, even if it’s confusing.”
Los Angeles Times: “From Greta Gerwig Barbie, an exuberant, at times extremely clever piece of Mattel’s neorealism. … Whatever you think Barbie, the mere existence of this clever, funny, conceptually playful, and sartorially dazzling comic fantasy speaks to its director’s irreverent wit and metacritical sensibility. … Gerwig conceived Barbie like a bubblegum emulsion of silliness and sophistication, an image that both promotes and deconstructs one’s brand. It’s not just about renewing the never-ending ‘Barbie: Good or Bad?’ discussion. He wants that to emanate that debate, to vigorously argue both positions for the better part of two hours of fast-moving, furiously multitasking.
Vulture: “It has cringeworthy aspects, like Robbie, who as well as looking the part, is as capable of a heartbreaking earnestness as humor, and who at times effortlessly pulls off both simultaneously. … Gosling comes close to stealing the film as a Ken who has no purpose outside of his obligatory devotion to Barbie; he is a limp himbo whose posture is an act of physical comedy. … There is a vein of defense a Barbie, as if he is trying to anticipate and acknowledge any criticisms leveled against it before they are made, which renders him emotionally inert despite efforts at extravagance. … But the problem with trying to sneak subversive ideas into such an inherently flawed project is that, rather than get away with something, you might just be creating a new way for a brand to sell itself.
And here are some of the top reviews for Oppenheimer:
The Hollywood Reporter: “Both an in-depth character study and an expansive account of the story, that of Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer is a smart, brawny thriller about the man who led the Manhattan Project to build the bomb that ended World War II. To dispense with the inevitable weapon of mass destruction metaphor, it’s more slow-burning than explosive. But perhaps the most striking element of this audacious epic is that the struggle for atomic weaponry ends up being secondary to the ferocious portrayal of the political game, as one of the 20th century’s most brilliant scientific minds is vilified for expressing erudite opinions. that go against America. think about the arms race.
AV Club: “Oppenheimer deserves the title of masterpiece. It is Christopher Nolan’s best film so far, a step towards a new level for one of our best directors and a film that burns in your brain. … It is a remarkable exercise in narrative balance, and it is made all the more impressive by the sheer mythic quality of the story of a man who took command of primal, incomprehensibly destructive forces, then spent the rest of his life collapsing under the weight of what he had wild.
Mashable: For Nolan devotees, there’s plenty Oppenheimer marvel, from the crackling chemistry of his incredible ensemble to Ludwig Göransson’s immersive and haunting score, to a corner of modern history that challenges audiences with complex moral questions and unrepentant dread. But after a year of waiting and a rivalry with Greta Gerwig Barbie – Candies Oppenheimer live up to the hype as Nolan’s best film so far? From where I am, no. … My patience ran out when the director succumbed to one of his favorite indulgences: a bloody soundscape. The music, screaming with strings, horns and even Geiger counter-bait, is sensational in its swell but is also used without remorse throughout the Oppenheimer.”
The New York Times: “It is a dense and eventful story to which Nolan – who has long embraced the plasticity of the cinematic medium – has given a complex structure, which he divides into revealing sections. … The film’s virtuosity is evident in every frame, but this is virtuosity without self-aggrandizement. Great subjects can turn even well-meaning filmmakers into exhibitionists, to the point of overshadowing the story they seek to do justice to. Nolan avoids this pitfall by insistently placing Oppenheimer in a larger context, particularly with the black and white portions.
The daily beast: “Oppenheimer– a film of endless contrasts and contradictions – is the most complete expression of the writer/director’s artistry to date. Propelled by the inexorable march of progress and imagination and electrified by the terrible thrill of theories, dreams and miracles performed in all their devastating glory, it is a divided epic of awe and horror, fission and fusion. It is at once a unified portrait of a man in conflict and a singular achievement for Hollywood’s reigning best-selling author. … There is an embarrassment of riches to digest, savor and mull over in this saga, touching on the exhilaration of scientific discovery, the fear of inventing something over which the inventor has no control, and the alarming consequences of paving a path historical, especially when it leads directly to Pandora’s box.