Christopher Nolan’s Tenet reviews are in and it’s not what you’d expect

Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated 2020 film Tenet's first reviews are here. From a 'time slipping spectacle' to 'humorless disappointing,' take a look at the critics have to say about the film.


The review for Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated science action-adventure film Tenet is in. However, unlike every other time, the critics stand divided in their reviews of the film. While some called it a ‘mind-bending blockbuster’ others named Tenet a ‘humorless disappointment’.  The movie was touted to reopen cinema halls this year however the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to everything.

Christopher Nolan, who is known for projecting emotional, mind-blowing action thrillers was originally set to debut in UK cinemas on 17 July but was pushed back (several times) to 26 August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tenet Review

Christopher Nolan fans have been keeping themselves distracted trying to decode his spy film, Tenet. However, the initial reviews of the film have them divided. Most Tenet reviews are highly positive and encouraging terming at a ‘time slipping spectacle.’

The Guardian didn’t think the film itself was worth the wait, or the hype, giving it two stars out of five. “Christopher Nolan’s thriller is a palindromic dud,” wrote Catherine Shoard. However, she did mention that the attempt to bring back movie buffs during a global pandemic would outweigh any critic’s comments.

“If the long-awaited sci-fi from the Inception director restarts the summer of cinema it will go down as his finest hour. But Tenet is far from his finest work.”

The Daily Telegraph, on the other hand, gave it an impressive five on five. Its writer Robbie Collin urged viewers: “Don’t try to understand it – just rewind and enjoy the ride.” He wrote: “Christopher Nolan’s time-bending action spectacular is the perfect film to get us back in cinemas – one viewing just won’t be enough.”

“That the film turns out to be more straightforward — however ornately presented — than our wildest speculation about it is quite disarming…Again, his musings are rooted more in physics than philosophy or psychology, with the film’s grabby hook — that you can change the world not by traveling through time, but inverting it — explored in terms of how it practically works, not how it makes anyone feel,” read the review in Variety.

While some critics agreed that Tenet lacked luster with John David Washington’s brooding looks, NME crowned Nolan the “king of cerebral blockbusters”.

“Though it’s sometimes hamstrung by clumsy dialogue – a necessary evil, perhaps, given how much Nolan needs to explain – Tenet is rarely less than thrilling to watch,” offered Nick Levine.

“It’s a challenging, ambitious, and genuinely original film packed with compelling performances – Washington and Debicki are especially excellent – which confirms Nolan as the master of the cerebral blockbuster. And if you can, you need to see this visually stunning movie on a big screen.”

The 152-minute movie focuses on its lead protagonist, played by John David Washington, trying to save the world from disaster. The other important cast includes Robert Pattinson, Sir Kenneth Branagh, and Elizabeth Debicki.

Tenet is touted as Christopher Nolan’s very own ‘Bond Film’. The movie’s performance at the Box Office will give producers and theatre owners an insight into people’s willingness to go back to social-distanced cinema halls.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. recently announced that it would offer early access screenings to Tenet starting August 31 as a gesture of support to the domestic theatres in the US that are reopening after five months of being closed because of Covid-19. Tenet’s release in India has not been announced yet.

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