Critics are ready for the summer box office head-to-head showdown.
On Tuesday, the critical embargo was lifted for Barbie. Reviews of oppenheimer.
Below is a rundown of what top critics are saying about both movies opening this week.
But first: Which has scored higher, on average?
Both Barbie and oppenheimer they are receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews. According to Rotten Tomatoes, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Starring Margot Robbie as the doll icon, it has a very modern positive score of 89 percent. While Christopher Nolan’s historical drama oppenheimer starring Cillian Murphy is a bit more explosive at 93 percent. (Reviews of oppenheimerso your score could change and this story will be updated if it does).
In terms of the box office, its competition is not expected to be that close. Barbie it is estimated that it will gross between $90 and $110 million during its opening weekend, while oppenheimer (partially hampered by its three-hour runtime) is expected to command between $40 and $49 million.
Here are some of the highlights from the review of Barbie:
the hollywood reporter:: “Gerwig revels in the richness and rarity of her material in this clever parody of Barbie dolls and their tense legacy. It’s impressive how much the director, known for her sly drama and precise storytelling, has fit into a corporate film. Barbie is built on sometimes laugh-out-loud, always laugh-worthy jokes that lightly mock Mattel, incite the ridiculousness of doll lore, and gesticulate about the contradictions of our sexist society… No matter how cleverly done Gerwig’s style is Barbie es, an ominousness haunts the entire exercise…. The muddy politics and flat emotional landing of Barbie they are signs that the image finally serves a brand”.
BBC: “Not just a genuinely funny and warm-hearted live-action comedy—and there aren’t many of those these days—but an art-essay passion project so bold, inventive, and politically charged that it’s sure to be nominated for all manner of awards. Barbie as a best picture nominee at the 2024 Oscars? I wouldn’t bet against it.”
npr: “Barbie it’s not fair a film that could never fully escape the weight of its artistic commitments. It is a hoot, a feast for the eyes and ears. Sarah Greenwood’s production design is sensorially striking… It’s a film at an interesting inflection point in film-making and consumption, when almost every idea seems to be born out of a pre-existing product… Sort of like Barbie it lays that tension bare and exposed in its unabashed commercialism and heightened sensibilities, so that you can’t help but wonder 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 happy to have visited, even if it’s confusing.”
The Los Angeles Times: “The one with Greta Gerwig Barbiean exuberant, sometimes exhaustingly intelligent piece of Matelian neorealism… Whatever you think Barbiethe mere existence of this intelligent, funny, conceptually playful and elegantly stunning comedic fantasy speaks to its director’s irreverent wit and metacritical sensibilities… Gerwig has conceived Barbie like a bubblegum emulsion of silliness and sophistication, an image that promotes and deconstructs its own brand. It’s not just about revamping the endless “Barbie: good or bad?” debate. wants enact that debate, to forcefully argue both positions for the better part of two fast-moving, furiously multitasking hours.”
Vulture: “There are worthwhile aspects, like Robbie, who in addition to looking like the part, is as capable of heartbreaking seriousness as he is humor, and who sometimes effortlessly pulls off both at once… Gosling comes close to stealing the movie as a Ken who lacks any sense of purpose outside of his obligatory devotion to Barbie; he’s a flexible himbo whose postures are an act of physical comedy… There’s a streak of defensiveness in Barbieas if it’s trying to anticipate and acknowledge criticism leveled against it before it’s even made, rendering it emotionally inert despite efforts at madness… But the problem with trying to introduce subversive ideas into such an inherently compromised project is that instead of getting away with it, you may just create a new way for a brand to sell itself.”
And these are some of the main reviews of oppenheimer:
the hollywood reporter: “Both a probing character study and a sweeping account of history, the work 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 metaphors, it’s slow rather than explosive. But perhaps the most surprising element of this daring epic is that the atomic weapons struggle ends up taking second place to the scathing depiction of the political game, as one of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century is vilified for expressing scholarly opinions that go against the thinking of America’s arms race.”
audiovisual club: “oppenheimer deserves the title of masterpiece. It’s Christopher Nolan’s best film yet, a step to a new level for one of our greatest filmmakers, and a film that burns into your brain… It’s a remarkable exercise in narrative balance, made all the more impressive by the sheer mythic quality of the story of a man who seized command of primitive and incomprehensibly destructive forces, then spent the rest of his life collapsing under the weight of what he unleashed.”
mashable: For Nolan devotees, there’s a lot in oppenheimer to marvel at, from the crackling chemistry of their incredible ensemble to Ludwig Göransson’s haunting, immersive score, to a corner of modern history that challenges audiences with complex moral questions and unapologetically dreadful. But after a year of anticipation and a rivalry with Greta Gerwig Barbie – can oppenheimer Does it live up to the hype as Nolan’s best movie yet? From my point of view, no… my patience ran out as the director indulged in one of his favorite indulgences: a gory soundscape. Screaming with strings, horns, and even the noise of a Geiger counter, the music is sensational in its bloat but also used without remorse throughout. oppenheimer.”
The New York Times: “It is a dense and eventful story that Nolan, who has long embraced the plasticity of the film medium, has given a complex structure, which he divides into revealing sections… The film’s virtuosity is evident in every frame, but it is virtuosity without self-aggrandizement. Big themes can turn even well-intentioned filmmakers into braggarts, to the point of overshadowing the story they seek to do justice to. Nolan avoids that trap by insistently placing Oppenheimer in a larger context, especially with the black and white parts.”
the daily beast: “oppenheimer—a film of infinite contrasts and contradictions—is the highest expression of the writer/director’s artistry to date. Driven by the inexorable march of progress and imagination, and electrified by the terrifying thrill of theories, dreams, and miracles accomplished in all their devastating splendor, it is a split epic of wonder and horror, fission and fusion. It is at once a unified portrait of a man in conflict and a singular achievement for the reigning auteur of Hollywood blockbusters… There is an embarrassment of riches to digest, savor, and ponder in this saga, touching on the exhilaration of scientific discovery, the fear of inventing something the inventor has no control over, and the alarming consequences of paving a historical path, especially when it leads directly to Pandora’s Box.”