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Atomic Bomb Movies to Watch After “Oppenheimer”

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Intro: Atomic Bomb Movies

This summer saw the arrival of Christopher Nolan’s three-hour epic Oppenheimer. It details the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb. But if you’re looking for a little more information about who Oppenheimer was, here are some atomic bomb movies and documentaries that explore the subject even further.

Editor's Note: The subject of nuclear warfare is a grim topic, especially considering the impact the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan have to this day. Beyond the spectacle of summer blockbusters, we encourage empathy for Japan's victims and ethical consideration of the harm caused by the development of nuclear weapons.

To End All War: Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb

Release date: 2023

Where to Stream It? Fubo, Peacock, DirecTV

Director: Christopher Cassel

Starring: Christopher Nolan, Bill Nye

If you’re looking to learn more about the true story of Oppenheimer and the man behind the Manhattan Project, look no further than this companion piece to the film itself.

This documentary provides footage from the actual development and tells more of the true story than a dramatic film ever could. Christopher Nolan even provides some commentary on the film so it really proves itself as the perfect companion piece to Oppenheimer

Fat Man and Little Boy

Release date: 1989

Where to Stream It? Kanopy, Pluto TV

Director: Roland Joffe

Starring: Paul Newman, Dwight Shultz, John Cusack, Laura Dern

For those classic film buffs, this is a powerful film about the project told from the angle of General Leslie Groves. The clashes between him and Oppenheimer that led to the atomic bomb’s development provide plenty of drama even if it’s not as well shot or developed as the modern version. 

Countdown To Zero

Release Date: 2010

Where to Stream It? Kanopy

Director: Lucy Walker

Starring: Graham Allison, Tony Blair, James Baker III

For your post-Oppenheimer viewing, this could be a recommended documentary. It opens with a lot of archived and declassified footage of the Manhattan Project but really focuses on its effects on society. Utilizing fears about the atomic age all the way to today with fears about terrorism and expiring regulations, it’s a dire look at the history and modern state of the nuclear arms race. 

Genius: Albert Einstein

Release Date: 2017

Where to Stream It? Only Available for Sale on digital storefronts including iTunes and Google Play

Director: Kenneth Biller

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, Samantha Colley

In this National Geographic drama, Geoffrey Rush plays the titular genius expertly as the first season of this anthology drama focuses on the man’s life and legacy. The whole season goes through Einstein’s entire life; and it’s very well made, but for those just looking for the Oppenheimer connections, episodes 9 and 10 are the ones that cover Einstein’s connections to the Manhattan project and the ensuing aftermath. 

The Atomic Cafe

Release Date: 1982

Where to Stream It? Tubi, Plex

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty

Less of a documentary, but a collection of actual clips of US propaganda from the 40s and 50s about the atomic bomb and how the society of the time viewed it.

The clips were made to assuage people’s fears about the bomb and the threats it posed, and in this window to the past we see just what society’s thoughts were at the time. 

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie

Release Date: 1995

Where to Stream It? Amazon (Only For Sale)

Director: Peter Kuran

Starring: William Shatner, Edward Teller

This documentary, narrated by William Shatner, covers the nuclear arms race, including footage of Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. But it also features footage from other countries around the world about the tests and Europe/Russia’s experiments into Atomic creation. It’s a fascinating look that also terrifies. 

Where to Stream Oppenheimer?

While no streaming dates have been released yet, due to distribution by Universal Studios, it is expected to stream on Peacock later this fall. 

Final Thoughts: Atomic Bomb Movies

For more on Oppenheimer, check out our review here. Have you seen Oppenheimer or any of the other movies mentioned in this article? Let us know if the comment section below!

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Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves is a writer based in Overland Park, KS. He is a fan of all things in the entertainment industry including movies, music, TV, Gaming, theme parks, and Broadway. He is also a screenwriter with two different projects going through the competition circuit. He can be found on Twitter @chad_shreeves and on TikTok @everythingentertainment.
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