If Oppenheimer’s 13 Oscar nominations, announced on Tuesday, weren’t enough to convince you that director Christopher Nolan’s latest opus was perhaps the dominant cinematic achievement of 2023, here’s something else to go on: The newly released results of a Rotten Tomatoes poll, following separate polling that identified the fan-favorite TV series of 2023, which points to the movie that fans loved above all others last year.
That movie was Oppenheimer — starring Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, regarded as the father of the atomic bomb — which edged out Taylor Swift’s Eras tour concert movie in the #2 spot. To put that into perspective, Rotten Tomatoes noted that Swifties pushed the Eras tour movie way, way out in front early on, giving it a commanding lead with as much as 55% of the vote at one point. But Nolan’s masterpiece ultimately prevailed in the end. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” … and of the collective effort of Swifties, am I right?
Unlike the fan-favorite TV poll (which landed on Netflix’s Shadow and Bone as the winner for 2023), the result here shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Grossing more than $955 million worldwide made Oppenheimer the third-highest-grossing film of 2023. And setting aside the fan furor that surrounds a concert movie like Swift’s, Oppenheimer paired with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie was very much the movie event of the year, with both directors and film marketing teams leaning into the attendant hype around the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon.
By the way, for those of you who haven’t seen Nolan’s latest yet — who, perhaps because of the three-hour runtime, couldn’t bring yourself to catch Oppenheimer in theaters — your chance to stream it is just around the corner. Oppenheimer will start streaming exclusively on Peacock starting February 16th. “Oppenheimer,” reads the critics’ consensus summary from Rotten Tomatoes, “marks another engrossing achievement from Christopher Nolan that benefits from Murphy’s tour-de-force performance and stunning visuals.”