First Tenet Reviews Are In, See What Critics Are Saying


When movie theaters in the U.S. made the decision to close and the first wave of movies saw themselves get delayed Christopher Nolan's Tenet set itself up to be the first major release to open once theaters were back in business. As theater openings were postponed, so was Tenet. But now, the film is finally poised to open, and that means the reviews are coming in. Overall Tenet is getting solid reviews. While it may not be Christopher Nolan's shining achievement, it's likely everything that fans are looking for from the accomplished director.

Exactly what Tenet is even about has been a major topic of discussion as the trailers were certainly far from clear. What's interesting is that, many critics seems to have trouble explaining that even after seeing the movie. The Hollywood Reporter praises the film's originality but ultimately compares Tenet to another popular palindrome title...

And like Xanax, Tenet makes you feel floaty, mesmerized and, to an extent, soothed by its spectacle — but also so cloudy in the head that the only option is to relax and let it blow your mind around like a balloon, buffeted by seaside breezes and hot air.

The reason Tenet was so hellbent on opening in theaters is that Christopher Nolan is a major proponent of the theatrical experience and clearly makes his movies to be seen specifically in that way. While actually getting to a theater is going to be potentially tough for a lot of people, Mashable at least thinks that it's potentially worth it. Tenet is at least worthy of the experience.

If you’ve spent hours trying to decode the ins and outs of timeplay, set that puzzle-work aside for wildly ambitious stunts and meticulously choreographed fight scenes, which are truly meant for the big screen.

What's clear is that Tenet has a lot going on inside it. Several critics suggest that watching the film more than once might be necessary to get everything out of it. While not everybody is entirely convinced that Tenet actually does all fit together, Variety suggests that maybe it doesn't need to.

The sheer meticulousness of Nolan’s grand-canvas action aesthetic is enthralling, as if to compensate for the stray loose threads and teasing paradoxes of his screenplay — or perhaps simply to underline that they don’t matter all that much.

For the most part, Tenet is receiving solid marks but there are a few that are less than impressed with Christopher Nolan's new film. Indiewire is one of the film's harshest critics, saying...

The setup invites comedy: a world spun on its axes, where bullets return to guns and the rules of gravity are suspended. But there’s zero levity in Tenet: Nolan simply reverses time in an effort to bring dead ideas back to life.

So far the film has only screened for critics in the U.K. The film will be opening in theaters around the world next week, and will follow in the U.S. where the movie is able to open, over Labor Day Weekend.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.