To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

In the battle of the summer blockbusters, it looks like we have a winner – for now, at least.

In the lead-up to 21 July, all eyes have been on Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

While the two could not be more dissimilar in nature – one being a biological thriller about the creation of the atomic bomb, the other a bright pink fantasy-comedy caper about a plastic doll – there's one thing they have in common, and that’s that people have been very excited for their arrival.

But as all eyes turn to how their respective box office figures compare when cinema seats start filling up tomorrow, there’s already one that’s in the lead in the eyes of the critics.

Both films are out today.
Warner Bros

Oppenheimer is based on the 2005 novel American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

It follows real-life physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, who is working alongside a team of scientists to build the world's first atomic bomb during World War II.

Barbie, meanwhile, is a decidedly brighter affair, with Margot Robbie starring as the titular doll alongside Ryan Gosling's Ken - with the pair joined by the likes of Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Sex Education star Emma Mackey and Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings actor Simu Liu.

A synopsis says: "After being expelled from Barbieland for being a less than perfect-looking doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness."

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer.
Universal Pictures

Gerwig’s dazzling comedy has roller-skated onto Rotten Tomatoes with a very respectable 89 percent, based on 167 reviews from critics.

However, Nolan’s latest offering had just inched ahead with 92 percent, based on 142 reviews.

Bloomberg review said the latter was ‘dense material’ but ‘thoroughly engrossing and by its end, shattering’, while The Atlantic said: “It’s more impressive for how the director has made such a personal narrative feel epic, not just in visual breadth but in dramatic sweep, presenting a story from the past that feels knotted to so many present anxieties about nuclear annihilation.”

Screen Rant also said the film was a ‘devastating portrait of man's hubris in the face of change’, adding that it sees 'some of the most startling and horrifying images of Nolan's career’.

But that’s not to say that you should simply dismiss Barbie, as there’s been a lot of love for that as well.

Barbie is also absolutely bonkers — and I was 100 percent on board with wherever it took me,” Odie Henderson of the Boston Globe said.

“I sat in the theater beaming with a grin not even a bright-pink bazooka could wipe off my face.”

The Observer’s review also gushed with praise, saying: “Somehow, director Greta Gerwig has struck a balance between unhinged whimsy, deep humanity and comedic bliss.”

Of course, while Oppenheimer’s in the lead for now, it'll be interesting to see how the two fare when the audience score rolls in...

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures/Warner Bros

Topics: TV and Film, Oppenheimer, Barbie