By The TV Answer Man staff.
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer opens in theaters today. Cillian Murphy plays Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the building of the atomic bomb during World War II. Critics are raving about the film, calling it Nolan’s best ever which is high praise for the man who made Dunkirk, The Dark Knight, Interstellar and Inception, among other instant classics.
Since it may be months before Oppenheimer is available on home video, we have compiled the five best movies/documentaries about the scientist and the Manhattan Project that are now available on streaming.
1. Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
This powerful historical drama directed by Roland Joffé chronicles the Manhattan Project and the scientists behind it. Featuring Paul Newman and Dwight Schultz as General Leslie Groves and Oppenheimer respectively, the movie explores the moral struggles faced by scientists as they race to create the first atomic bomb.
Now available for free on Pluto TV.
2. The Trials Of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2008)
The Trials of Robert Oppenheimer is a thought-provoking and deeply engrossing account of the life of one of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Directed with finesse and performed with exceptional skill, this theatrical production leaves audiences captivated by the complexities of Oppenheimer’s life and the moral dilemmas he faced during the tumultuous era of World War II and the Cold War. David Strathairn plays Oppenheimer with all his flaws and genius.
Now available on Apple TV+ for $3.99.
3. Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995)
This documentary film offers a gripping compilation of declassified footage from various nuclear tests conducted during and after World War II. Narrated by William Shatner, Trinity and Beyond provides a bone-chilling visual account of the atomic bomb’s terrifying power and its global impact.
Now available for $2.99 on Amazon’s Prime Video.
4. White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)
Another documentary on the list, White Light/Black Rain examines the consequences of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Directed by Steven Okazaki, the film includes first-hand accounts of survivors and vividly portrays the human suffering caused by the bombs.
Now streaming on Max.
5. The Day After Trinity (1981)
The Day After Trinity is an exceptional documentary that delves deep into the fascinating world of science, showcasing the brilliance of human intellect, the profound consequences of discovery, and the ethical dilemmas that arise from our thirst for knowledge. Directed by Jon Else, this thought-provoking film takes us on an emotional and intellectual rollercoaster, leaving us contemplating the profound implications of our actions as a species.
The documentary revolves around the life and work of Oppenheimer. It brilliantly combines historical footage, interviews with key figures, and captivating narration to present a nuanced portrayal of Oppenheimer’s personality, brilliance, and internal struggle. The filmmakers explore how Oppenheimer’s work on the Manhattan Project during World War II, which led to the creation of the first atomic bomb, brought both awe-inspiring scientific achievement and devastating consequences for humanity.
Now streaming on The Criterion Channel.