Tom Cruise vs Oppenheimer vs Barbie: which movie are you most excited for?

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer, Margot Robbie in Barbie
Tom Cruise, Cillian Murphy and Margot Robbie (Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Universal Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures)

In the span of nine days in July, movie fans are going to be in heaven. On July 12, Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, releases worldwide, then on July 21 we get the one-two punch of Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's Barbie. There probably hasn't been a run of such highly anticipated movies releasing in such a short window since pre-COVID; all three movies made WTW's list of blockbuster movies we're excited to see this summer.

As of publication, there's still more than a month before any of those movies are available to watch, but a rivalry among the three of them is already brewing. 

The one between Oppenhimer and Barbie has been talked about for a while, pretty much since we learned they were going to release on the same day. But a recent report by Puck News revealed that Tom Cruise may have his own beef over Oppenheimer taking away IMAX movie screens away from the latest Mission: Impossible and is pushing to change their minds.

Most of this is just business and hype around these movies. As Matt Damon, who stars in Oppenheimer, correctly pointed out, there is no rule against people going to only one movie in a weekend; there are even ways to help make multiple trips more affordable with movie theater subscriptions and membership deals if that's a worry. We know we'll certainly be seeing these movies on the big screen as soon as we can. Oppenheimer and Barbie could make for a fun double feature.

But, in all fairness, it is kind of fun to stack these movies against each other. We'll have to wait to see how they compare at the box office, but we can find out right now how excited you, the average moviegoer, are about each one of these films.

So, between the new Mission: Impossible, Oppenheimer and Barbie, which one are you most eager to see?

You can cast your vote in the poll below, but here's a brief rundown of each movie in case you need some additional info to help make your pick.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

Release date: July 12
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Hayley Atwell, Vanessa Kirby, Pom Klementieff, Esai Morales, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Shea Whigham and Henry Czerny
What's it about: Dead Reckoning is the seventh movie in Cruise's Mission: Impossible franchise, and as the Part One of the title suggests, the first half of a larger story. We don't know a lot of plot specifics, but we do know it is going to deliver another incredible Tom Cruise stunt, which some are calling his biggest stunt ever. It has felt like each Mission: Impossible movie has been better than the last (OK, maybe not Mission: Impossible II), we can only hope that continues here.


Release date: July 21
Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, Helen Mirren, John Cena, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, Kingsley Ben-Adir and plenty more.
What it's about: Greta Gerwig wrote the script with her partner Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), so get ready to have your expectations rocked for what a Barbie movie can be. From the trailer, Barbie (Robbie) begins to have questions about the Barbie-centric world she inhabits and must venture into the real world to get some answers. The movie looks colorful, absolutely hilarious and stuffed to the brim with fun actors.


Release date: July 21
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Jack Quaid, Gary Oldman, Olivia Thirlby, Josh Peck and Benny Safdie
What it's about: Nolan tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, considered the father of the atomic bomb. If that doesn't necessarily sound like a blockbuster movie to you, consider that Nolan reportedly recreated a nuclear explosion without the use of CGI. Add in that he shot the movie in IMAX, it has a reported three-hour run time and it is the first R-rated movie of Nolan's in 20 years and there's plenty of intrigue around Oppenheimer.

Let us know which of the three movies you are most excited to see when they release in July (though we hope you see all of them).

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.