Jordan Peele's Latest Will 'Blow You Away'

'Nope' is 'consistently surprising,' will leave you 'in awe,' critics say
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2022 9:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jordan Peele's third feature film is Nope, a story of Black horse trainers in Hollywood (siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who, after coming to suspect their father's death might have been caused by aliens lurking around their ranch, hope to make it rich by capturing evidence of the creatures on film. According to critics, which give the film an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the director does not disappoint. Four takes:

  • "Is it a western? A horror film? Science fiction? Satire?" It's actually all of the above, writes AO Scott at the New York Times. He describes sequences "that nod to past masters, from Hitchcock to Spielberg to Shyamalan" and "some fascinating internal tensions within the movie, along with impeccably managed suspense, sharp jokes and a beguiling, unnerving atmosphere of all-around weirdness." Ultimately, "you can't take your eyes off it."

  • Peele has "managed to subvert our expectations" once again, writes Aisha Harris at NPR. But "Nope isn't so much a plot-twisty experience to be meticulously deconstructed as it is a consistently surprising one." "Tapping into themes about a cultural obsession with taming nature and profiting off of pageantry," it's "less social commentary-forward than its predecessors, yet still stacked with plenty of meaning," Harris writes. But "first and foremost, [Peele] wants us to be in awe. And on that front, he doesn't disappoint."

  • "A sci-fi thriller shot through with elemental admonition, it celebrates the wonder of staring at spectacle while shuddering at the terror of what's coming at us," writes Peter Howell at the Toronto Star, who gives the film 3.5 stars out of 4. Peele's "approach to flying saucer myth-spinning is as fresh as it is confounding" and leads to "a blockbuster finale that takes full advantage of the IMAX lensing by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema." After it was over, Howell notes he was eager "to see it again immediately."

  • Peele will "blow you away" with this "alien invasion saga that questions whether it's wise to gaze at the monstrous, and then dares you to look away," writes Nick Schager at the Daily Beast. "Peele has a gift for generating intense, dreadful portent with a silky pan or unexpected cut, and he operates at peak-performance levels in Nope," he writes. "It's large-scale filmmaking done right, and proof that when he's on his game, Peele remains one of contemporary cinema's most skillful genre artists."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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