Oppenheimer blows past Barbie with near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score

‘Barbie’ debuted with impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 89 per cent

Tom Murray
Saturday 22 July 2023 11:21 BST
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The reviews for Oppenheimer finally landed on Wednesday (19 July), the day after critics revealed their thoughts on Barbieand Rotten Tomatoes has revealed a winner.

Follow live updates as ‘Barbenheimer’ day approaches here

Rotten Tomatoes compiles critics’ reviews from across the web to create a score based on what percentage of the reviews were favourable versus unfavourable.

On Tuesday, Barbie debuted with an impressive score of 89 per cent on the review aggregator site, which has increased to 90 per cent at the time of writing.

However, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has blown Greta Gerwig’s picture out of the water with an opening score of 94 per cent. Of course, these scores are subject to change as more reviews come in.

Oppenheimer’s score makes it Nolan’s best-reviewed picture to date. His next best is the second film in his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight (2008), which stands at 94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

2020’s Tenet is his lowest-scoring film on the site with 69 per cent. The cerebral film confused viewers with its prominent themes of time travel.

Ryan Gosling in ‘Barbie’ (left) and Cillian Murphy in ‘Oppenheimer’

Starring Irish actor Cillian Murphy in the lead role, Oppenheimer follows the life of theoretical physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, who spearheaded the development of the first nuclear bomb.

Barbie, meanwhile, stars Margot Robbie as the titular Mattel doll who goes on a quest to visit the real world in order to understand her true purpose.

The Independent’s reviews went against the grain on Rotten Tomatoes. Our film critic Clarisse Loughrey awarded Gerwig five stars for Barbie while giving Nolan’s effort a near-perfect four stars.

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Barbie is one of the most inventive, immaculately crafted and surprising mainstream films in recent memory – a testament to what can be achieved within even the deepest bowels of capitalism,” she wrote.

Despite calling Oppenheimer Nolan’s “best and most revealing work”, Loughrey argued that the film is occasionally “a little too conscious of itself, and the ways cinema crafts its own reality”.

Writer and filmmaker Paul Schrader, meanwhile, described Nolan’s film as the “best” and “most important film of this century”.

“I’m not a Nolan groupie but this one blows the door off the hinges,” The Card Counter (2021) director wrote.

Both Oppenheimer and Barbie are out in cinemas on 21 July.

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