10 Movies Like Oppenheimer | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 More Movies About Human Ambition

You just finished watching Oppenheimer and now you’re craving more dramas that explore the complexity of human nature and the consequences of war. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of films out there to satisfy your curiosity.

From scientists and leaders grappling with the moral implications of their work to artists struggling to find their voice, these 10 films provide an intimate look at the triumphs and tragedies of human ambition. As usual, you can drop your thoughts in the comments below:

Movies like Oppenheimer
Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Dr Strangelove is a classic dark comedy from Stanley Kubrick that satirizes the Cold War fears of nuclear conflict. If you enjoyed the historical aspects and doomsday scenarios in Oppenheimer, you’ll likely appreciate Kubrick’s film.

Dr Strangelove captures the paranoia of the era through its story of a rogue American general who orders a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. As politicians and military leaders try in vain to recall the bombers, the movie mocks the absurdity of mutually assured destruction.

Movies like Oppenheimer
The Day After (1983)

The Day After was a made-for-TV film that aired in 1983, depicting the aftermath of a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union. Set in Lawrence, Kansas, the story follows various residents dealing with the effects of the nuclear winter that follows.

This sobering film shows in grim detail what life might be like after a nuclear war. Mass casualties, radiation sickness, food shortages, societal collapse – it’s a stark vision of the consequences of such a catastrophic conflict. The special effects, for the time, were quite realistic and helped bring the horrors of nuclear war into people’s living rooms.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)

Fat Man and Little Boy is a historical drama that tells the story of the Manhattan Project and the development of the first atomic bombs. The film is named after the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Like Oppenheimer, this film provides insight into the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the scientists involved in the creation of such a devastating weapon. It follows the relationship between General Leslie Groves, the military head of the project, and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific lead.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Hiroshima (1995)

Hiroshima (1995) is a Japanese film directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara that tells the story of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II.

Like Oppenheimer, the film provides a sobering look at the development and use of nuclear weapons and follows several characters in the days leading up to and following the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

You see the lives of ordinary Japanese citizens as well as key political and military figures involved in the war effort. It provides insight into the decision-making behind the bombing and how it was viewed as a necessity to force Japan’s surrender and end the war, though its destructive power was not fully grasped.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Dark Matter (2007)

Dark Matter is a sci-fi thriller from 2007 that will appeal to Oppenheimer fans. Like the former, it features moral dilemmas surrounding scientific discovery and humankind’s relationship with technology.

The story follows a group of scientists in an underground research facility who are studying dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up most of the universe. They are on the verge of a major breakthrough when strange events start occurring. Equipment begins acting oddly, and people go missing or turn up dead.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Manhattan (1979)

Manhattan, released in 1979, is a romantic comedy-drama directed by Woody Allen, who also co-stars alongside Diane Keaton. The black and white film is a love letter to New York City, capturing the energy and eccentricity of the city Allen knows so intimately.

Much like Oppenheimer, Manhattan centres around complicated relationships and moral dilemmas. Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced New Yorker, is dating Tracy, a 17-year-old high school student, while simultaneously starting an affair with Mary, the mistress of his best friend Yale. Isaac struggles between choosing the excitement of Tracy’s youth versus the intellectual connection he shares with Mary.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Fail-Safe (1964)

Fail-Safe (1964) is a fictional thriller that dramatizes many of the same fears of nuclear war that Oppenheimer explores. Like Nolan’s recent film, Fail-Safe focuses on the political and military leaders responsible for America’s nuclear arsenal.

In Fail-Safe, due to a technical glitch, a group of American bombers is given the irrevocable order to drop nuclear bombs on Moscow. The U.S. president and his advisors must work against the clock to avoid all-out nuclear war. The plot ratchets up the tension as every attempt to recall the bombers fails.

Like Oppenheimer, Fail-Safe suggests how even the most cutting-edge technology can be prone to human error with catastrophic results.

Movies like Oppenheimer
The Sum of All Fears (2002)

The Sum of All Fears is the fourth film in the Jack Ryan franchise, based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. In this political action-thriller from 2002, Ben Affleck plays a younger Jack Ryan as he becomes entangled in a terrorist plot to provoke a war between the U.S. and Russia.

Similar to Oppenheimer, The Sum of All Fears deals with geopolitical tensions and the threat of nuclear war. As in the Manhattan Project, governments are working in secret on dangerous new weapons technology. When a nuclear bomb is detonated during a football game in Baltimore, the U.S. and Russia are quick to blame each other. Only Jack Ryan suspects that neo-Nazis are actually behind the attack in an attempt to start World War III.

Movies like Oppenheimer
Threads (1984)

Threads (1984) is a British apocalyptic war drama that shows the effects of nuclear war on civilians in Sheffield, England. Like Oppenheimer, it deals with the consequences of the atomic bomb.

Set in a parallel universe where the Cold War escalated into a full-scale nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union, the story follows two families as they struggle to survive the aftermath. As the bombs fall, the city descends into chaos. The plot focuses on the human impact of such a catastrophic event and how society breaks down.

Movies like Oppenheimer
The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game (2014) is another film focused on World War II and the development of technology that helped turn the tide against Nazi Germany. Like Oppenheimer, it features a historical figure, Alan Turing, who was instrumental in creating a way to decrypt the German Enigma code.

Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, was a mathematician and codebreaker who built a machine called the Bombe that cracked the Enigma cypher. The film depicts Turing’s struggle in getting the British government to fund his work and take it seriously, while also exploring his personal life as a gay man in a time when homosexuality was illegal.

There we have it, our list of 10 movies similar in temperament to Oppenheimer. What do you think about our picks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

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