By OSV News
Impressive but uneven portrait of the famed theoretical physicist of the title (Cillian Murphy in a complex portrayal) who died in 1967, aged 62.
Writer-director Christopher Nolan compellingly depicts both the scientist’s collaboration with a hard-driving Army general (Matt Damon) in the race to develop the atomic bomb during World War II and his far more complicated relationship with a former patron-turned-critic (Robert Downey Jr.) whose eventual opposition contributed to the travails the left-leaning theorist faced once anti-Communist sentiment became prevalent during the early stages of the Cold War. Chapters of the three hour-long film devoted to his early career and murky personal life (Emily Blunt plays his feisty biologist wife, Florence Pugh his troubled psychiatrist girlfriend) are less intriguing.
Offsetting its potential educational value as an absorbing retrospective, and the subtlety of its approach to the morality of war, is the inclusion of needlessly frank scenes of the protagonist’s womanizing that even mature viewers may wish to avoid.
Strong sexual content, including graphic activity and recurring upper female nudity, an adultery theme, brief gruesome sights, about a half-dozen profanities, a couple of milder oaths, several rough terms, occasional crude and crass language. The OSV News classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.