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Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” Finally Reveals Itself With A First Wave Of Reviews!


Earlier today, the Tenet embargo lifted for those select few critics in places like the United Kingdom. Obviously, this latest Christopher Nolan work has been even more hushed and wrapped in secrecy than usual for him. Nolan always liked to cloak his films in an aura of mystery, so this was no exception there. The difference is, the COVID-19 pandemic made it a movie that many wondered if they’d ever see. Now, with the new release schedule in place, screenings are happening and people have seen the flick. What’s the word? Well, read on to find out how those pundits who’ve seen Tenet came down on it…

For those who don’t know, this is a spy thriller as well as a high concept science fiction film. This is the IMDb synopsis: “Armed with only one word — Tenet — and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.” As we said last time around, the movie seems to follow John David Washington as he attempts to prevent some sort of global catastrophe. The catch is, this isn’t just some spy flick, as time is a heavy factor, in ways the genre has likely never seen before. Nolan writes and directs, with cinematography once again by Hoyte Van Hoytema, while Ludwig Göransson composed the score. Comprising the cast, in addition to Washington, are Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki in major roles, as well as the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Martin Donovan, Himesh Patel, Clémence Poésy, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, among others.

The general consensus is mostly positive for the movie, if not world-shattering. Mostly, it sounds like Nolan has made his version of a James Bond flick, just with a sci-fi concept that some don’t fully understand. In short, it could be, at its best, a mix of Inception and Skyfall. Currently, I’m not sure when I’ll be seeing it, as stateside press screenings are still being worked out, but once I see it, I’ll be sure to return with a review of my own, so sit tight until then.

Here are a few of the early reviews:

Variety – “Christopher Nolan’s Grandly Entertaining, Time-Slipping Spectacle Is a Futuristic Throwback”

The Hollywood Reporter – “Easy to admire, hard to love”

BBC – “It feels like several blockbusters combined”

The New York Times – “Tenet dazzles the senses, but it does not move the heart”

The Guardian – “Christopher Nolan’s thriller is a palindromic dud”

The Wrap – “Has the spectacle and the apocalyptic “event movie” grandiosity to tempt people into cinemas”

The Telegraph – “Don’t try to understand it – just rewind and enjoy the ride”

Stay tuned for more on Tenet soon!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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