Now That Critics Have Spoken Out About Both Barbie And Oppenheimer... Which Is Their Favourite?

The shared release date for Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig's long-awaited new films is almost here.
Margot Robbie as Barbie
Margot Robbie as Barbie
Warner Bros.

After months of near-inescapable hype, two of 2023’s biggest films’ shared release date is almost here.

On Friday, both Oppenheimer and Barbie will hit cinemas, with critics having now had their say on the two long-awaited movies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Christopher Nolan’s epic historical biopic and Greta Gerwig’s plastic fantastic comedy have both received largely glowing reviews – but with the two films having been pitted against each other for months in what’s been dubbed the “Barbenheimer” effect, you might be curious to hear which has been best received so far.

Well, when it comes to the critics, Oppenheimer seems to be the preferred choice – but only just.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

On the reviews round-up website Metacritic, Oppenheimer has a score of 90 out of 100, while Barbie is on a still-respectable 81.

Similarly, reviews site Rotten Tomatoes has the Cillian Murphy project on a score of 92%, with Margot Robbie’s new movie just behind on 89%.

Of course, neither film is actually in cinemas yet, so when it comes to audience scores, things could differ. And for what it’s worth, the film-based social media site Letterboxd already has Barbie ahead as the preferred film, with a score of 4.2 stars compared to Oppenehimer’s 4.1, based on users’ early reviews.

And according to The Guardian, Barbie is set to dominate at the box office, with a projected US opening of $110 million (around £85.2 million), more than double Oppenheimer’s predicted takings.

However, the outlet does point out that Oppenheimer is being shown at around 600 fewer cinemas than Barbie, and is also over an hour longer, “allowing for fewer showings”.

There’s also been a surge in people who’ve already booked to see both films in what must surely be one of the most chaotic double features in cinema history.

Oppenheimer and Barbie both hit UK cinemas on Friday 21 July.


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