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Nope Reviews Are Online, And While The Critics Are Split, They All Agree On One Aspect Of Jordan Peele’s Storytelling

Daniel Kaluuya in Nope.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Jordan Peele appears primed to creep us out and make us think yet again with Nope, his third go-round as director/writer in the horror genre. Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun are set to star in this sci-fi story, whose details remain mostly a mystery to its would-be audience — and that’s totally by Peele’s design. The reviews are in, however, to give us an idea of what to expect, and while they don’t all agree on how successful the movie is, there’s no argument amongst critics that Peele remains a master at creating suspense. 

Audiences’ first reactions to the film were pretty positive, with many praising the brother-sister duo of Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya. Let’s dive right in and see what they have to say about the atmosphere Jordan Peele was able to create and about the movie overall, starting with our own CinemaBlend review of Nope. Eric Eisenberg rates the movie 4.5 stars out of 5, saying Peele continues to make waves in Hollywood in the most remarkable way, and with his third project he again proves successful at dropping jaws and making viewers unconsciously stop breathing:

Jordan Peele’s latest feature is certainly a different flavor of horror than his previous two endeavors in terms of aesthetic, themes, and scale, but it is no less thrilling, captivating and awe-inspiring. Nope is a spectacle that puts the modern notion of spectacle under a microscope, and with the Spielbergian DNA of Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind in its blood, it’s a big screen experience that is as clever and fun as it is arrhythmia-inducing and stunning.

Robert Daniels of Polygon, however, doesn't agree. He says while Nope will certainly enthrall and frighten audiences, it's unlikely to stick with them. While this critic refuses to call this a "bad" movie, it is the weakest of Jordan Peele's trio, he says:

Nope’s larger issue lies in the ways in which Peele’s script perpetually stops short of adding up all the moving parts into a whole. It feels as though Peele is stuck between trying to craft an entertaining blockbuster monster movie and wanting to carve out greater thematic depth from his fascinating premise. That first impulse makes Nope one of his more approachable films, in terms of its humor and the things it leaves open for interpretation. The latter leaves the burden to Palmer and Kaluuya to create richer interior lives for their characters than Peele can provide.

Matt Rodriguez of Shakefire enjoys the ride that Nope provides the audience, rating it 4 out of 5 stars. The director takes moviegoers on a roller coaster ride, building the tension to a climax before taking it back down to allow people to breathe before doing it all over again. From the review:

Jordan Peele always swings big, painting his films with broad strokes and big themes that go well beyond the visceral fright of the horror genre. The manners in which Get Out addressed racism and Us tackled privilege are why they continue to be a part of the discourse to this day. For his third directorial feature, Peele sets his sights to the skies with Nope. As expected, it’s not just your run of the mill alien horror film. Anchored by superb sound design and cinematography, Nope delivers frightful awe with an intensity and terror that cannot be contained.

Lovia Gyarkye of THR says Jordan Peele proves, as with his previous ventures, that he's unafraid of his imagination. While she admits parts of the movie don't gel, this critic says Nope is as fun as it is ambitous, and Peele does a great job of balancing the humor with the overall suspenseful mood:

Nope, Jordan Peele’s latest offering, slinks and slithers from the clutches of snap judgement. It avoids the comfort of tidy conclusions, too. This elusive third feature from the director of Get Out and Us peacocks its ambitions (and budget) while indulging in narrative tangents and detours. It is sprawling and vigorous. Depending on your appetite for the heady and sonorous, it will either feel frustratingly perplexing or strike you as a work of unquestionable genius.

Like the critics above, Alonso Duralde of The Wrap notes that the director maintains a masterful level of being able to create suspense, and he does so several times over the course of the film. However, the metaphor he's trying to relay fails to come together, the review says:

As with his sophomore feature Us, he throws out a lot of concepts that seem to require either much more or much less explanation, while frustratingly ignoring essential elements of plot and character that would assemble all of his beautiful pieces into a satisfying whole. (That said, viewers who were on the wavelength of Us may well find themselves on board for what Nope has to offer.)

Does Nope sound like a movie you’ll be saying “Yep” to? If you’re excited to catch this one in theaters, you don’t have long to wait, as it will premiere on Friday, July 22. You can also check out these other Jordan Peele TV shows and movies, and be sure to take a look at our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what else is coming to theaters soon.

Heidi Venable
Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.