Joe Biden speaking in front of blurry flags background (l) Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer (r)

Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock Universal Pictures/YouTube (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Without a doubt, he fell asleep’: Biden terse review of ‘Oppenheimer’ prompts speculation he passed out during it

He had three words to say.


Andrea Guzman


President Joe Biden is one of the many Americans who have flocked to the theaters to see Christopher Nolan’s biopic of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, which earned more than $80 million its opening weekend and continues to draw large crowds.

The three-hour-long Oppenheimer follows the life of the famous physicist as he worked at Los Alamos Laboratory to lead the development of an atomic bomb during World War II, and his guilt after the invention was then used to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

The film’s release coincided with another highly anticipated film, Barbie, and created a cultural phenomenon of back-to-back screenings that’s been dubbed “Barbenheimer.” 

Both films have generated discussion online around themes of patriarchy and sexuality. 

In Oppenheimer’s case, people walked away ready to discuss President Harry Truman’s cold feelings in the aftermath and Nolan’s decision to not actually show bombs being dropped on Japan. 

But when Biden was asked how he liked the movie, he replied simply: “it was compelling.” 

Given the movie’s length and Biden’s age, Twitter responded to his terse review by assuming he fell asleep.

“Oh he slept through it. Relatable,” one tweeter said.

Another called it a “perfect nothing answer.”

But others jumped to Biden’s defense, pointing out that the movie was a lot to process and that they still weren’t ready to discuss it immediately after watching either. 

According to the White House Press Pool, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden watched the movie at a public theater. The two are currently on a Delaware beach vacation and reportedly had half a row to themselves.

Biden’s quick review is unsurprising, though, given he hasn’t been known for his pop culture insights in the same way other presidents have, like former President Barack Obama, who annually releases a list of his favorite songs and movies. 

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