John Maguire on film: It’s a 5-4 win for Oppenheimer in the cinematic showdown of the year

Christopher Nolan’s explosive biopic and Margot Robbie’s pink sensation are both dealing with potentially seismic shifts

Cillian Murphy as the theoretical physicist J Robert Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the director’s 12th feature film and a soaring, immersive triumph, tells the story of the creation of the atomic bomb from three points in time – before, during and after – through the conduit of theoretical physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, magnetically played by Cillian Murphy.

These three perspectives are overlaid in a complex, looping chronology reminiscent of Memento and Inception, thrillers where time was a malleable property, while carrying forward the central idea from Nolan’s last film, Tenet: what if humanity could uninvent a terrible technology?