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Tenet Reviews Hail Nolan’s Latest as a Thrilling Spectacle Despite Being Cold, Confusing

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Reviews have flooded in for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which was released in many territories outside the U.S. on August 26 (and is slated to land stateside on September 3).Critics have praised the film, which currently holds an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, as an exciting, but confusing, spy thriller, with our own review touting the project as “a thrilling addition to the Nolan canon, but is slightly held back by a sense of over-familiarity.”

After ruminating on the major themes and ideas of Tenet for over a decade, Nolan spent five-years crafting the script. Did the endeavor pay off, or is the finished project to much of a thinker to resonate with a mass crowd?

Variety’s Guy Lodge hails Tenet as being a “big, brashly beautiful, grandiosely enjoyable” movie. Though Tenet is no “Holy Grail,” Lodge says 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.”

Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Cain, and Kenneth Branagh in an time-bending espionage adventure film that, while captivating most critics, is leaving some cold. The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard says the flick is a “pandemic dud” and that she’s not even sure “in five years’ time, it’d be worth staying up to catch on telly.”

If critics do agree on one thing however, it’s that Tenet’s plot isn’t the easiest to follow. The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey says Tenet is Nolan’s most confusing film, but that it’s also a “rare action film where the characters don’t just say the world will end if they fail in their mission – you feel it, too.”

Meanwhile, GameSpot called the film a “mind-melting stunner” while THR said the movie was “rich in audacity and originality, but almost impossible to love, lacking as it is in a certain humanity.”

The New York Times’ Jessica Kiang noted that the film was “undeniably enjoyable, but its giddy grandiosity only serves to highlight the brittleness of its purported braininess.”

Both The Telegraph and Total Film both loved Tenet, calling out the movie’s “heart-stopping grandeur” and saying “one viewing just won’t be enough.”

Empire’s Alex Godfrey writes that Tenet “proves Nolan’s undying commitment to big-screen thrills and spills.”

Check out IGN’s Tenet review here…
Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.

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