Tenet Reviews

  • 34m ago

    Tenet is the most Chris Nolan movie that Chris has ever Nolaned. From the timeline that jumps around more than a grasshopper, to the big bombastic action sequences (including loads of complex practical effects and ear-shattering music,) this movie is drowning with Nolan’s trademarks. There’s one thing I certainly cannot criticize about Tenet and that is the level of excitement and engagement. I was never even close to bored by the film, and could not handle any distractions for fear that I might miss something. As is typical with these high-concept Nolan movies, this is a film that will reward multiple viewings to try and piece together what exactly happened. I rejoice in the fact that there was enough thrilling action to keep me interested for those repeat viewings, although there are some repetitive elements to the story that might get old over time. What is most shocking about Tenet is, despite all its complexity, I feel like I could summarize the plot quite easily. It’s a surprisingly simple story structure with obvious good guys and bad guys. They even do us the courtesy of abandoning any illusion that the main character is a real fleshed-out human being with a name, instead he is simply labeled “the protagonist.” However, it’s when you begin to examine the minutiae that you realize none of the story really makes any sense. It’s like a pointillism painting: If you just stand back and take in the whole canvas, you can see a delightful picture; but if you look too closely at any one part of the canvas, you’ll find a nonsensical arrangement of dots. I’m certain some of the confusing aspects can be explained with a whole lot of analysis and maybe a few complex diagrams, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are some significant plot holes that will never make sense. These are the kind of things that will nag at me even after I’ve watched the movie again, and that’s a problem. I have some other issues with Tenet that go beyond just the concept. For starters, it is a film that struggles a great deal with setup and payoff. There are some times when the setup is so obvious that I can’t believe any film-maker still thinks the payoff will surprise audiences. There are a few times when there is something interesting set-up, but there is no real payoff for it. And, perhaps worst of all, there is at least one time that something is set up in a line that is delivered for no good reason simply to pay off 2 minutes later. I cringed more than once at all of these moments. In fact, there is a lot of clunky dialogue. There are too many scenes of people stopping everything for massive speeches that are lazily dropped in so the audience can try to keep up with the story. Tenet is far from a perfect film, but Nolan has made worse movies. He’s having fun playing around with a new idea, and it works well enough to be entertaining.

    Tenet is the most Chris Nolan movie that Chris has ever Nolaned. From the timeline that jumps around more than a grasshopper, to the big bombastic action sequences (including loads of complex practical effects and ear-shattering music,) this movie is drowning with Nolan’s trademarks. There’s one thing I certainly cannot criticize about Tenet and that is the level of excitement and engagement. I was never even close to bored by the film, and could not handle any distractions for fear that I might miss something. As is typical with these high-concept Nolan movies, this is a film that will reward multiple viewings to try and piece together what exactly happened. I rejoice in the fact that there was enough thrilling action to keep me interested for those repeat viewings, although there are some repetitive elements to the story that might get old over time. What is most shocking about Tenet is, despite all its complexity, I feel like I could summarize the plot quite easily. It’s a surprisingly simple story structure with obvious good guys and bad guys. They even do us the courtesy of abandoning any illusion that the main character is a real fleshed-out human being with a name, instead he is simply labeled “the protagonist.” However, it’s when you begin to examine the minutiae that you realize none of the story really makes any sense. It’s like a pointillism painting: If you just stand back and take in the whole canvas, you can see a delightful picture; but if you look too closely at any one part of the canvas, you’ll find a nonsensical arrangement of dots. I’m certain some of the confusing aspects can be explained with a whole lot of analysis and maybe a few complex diagrams, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are some significant plot holes that will never make sense. These are the kind of things that will nag at me even after I’ve watched the movie again, and that’s a problem. I have some other issues with Tenet that go beyond just the concept. For starters, it is a film that struggles a great deal with setup and payoff. There are some times when the setup is so obvious that I can’t believe any film-maker still thinks the payoff will surprise audiences. There are a few times when there is something interesting set-up, but there is no real payoff for it. And, perhaps worst of all, there is at least one time that something is set up in a line that is delivered for no good reason simply to pay off 2 minutes later. I cringed more than once at all of these moments. In fact, there is a lot of clunky dialogue. There are too many scenes of people stopping everything for massive speeches that are lazily dropped in so the audience can try to keep up with the story. Tenet is far from a perfect film, but Nolan has made worse movies. He’s having fun playing around with a new idea, and it works well enough to be entertaining.

  • 2h ago

    Although action packed with brilliant writing, the story makes zero to no sense. It doesn't bother to explain itself in any way and still ends up being predictable. Would not suggest people to watch it

    Although action packed with brilliant writing, the story makes zero to no sense. It doesn't bother to explain itself in any way and still ends up being predictable. Would not suggest people to watch it

  • 2h ago

    amazing and very mind bending

    amazing and very mind bending

  • 2h ago

    Fantastic movie! Really wonderful for fans of Nolan!

    Fantastic movie! Really wonderful for fans of Nolan!

  • 4h ago

    Very fun, if a little contrived and pretty predictable. Captured the wonder I felt when watching movies as a kid.

    Very fun, if a little contrived and pretty predictable. Captured the wonder I felt when watching movies as a kid.

  • 6h ago

    I personally loved this movie. You have to think to understand it, which is what makes it so good, but it's not impossible to understand it. Watching it again helps and so does pausing it once in a while to think about it.

    I personally loved this movie. You have to think to understand it, which is what makes it so good, but it's not impossible to understand it. Watching it again helps and so does pausing it once in a while to think about it.

  • 10h ago

    Tenet is an action science-fiction thriller, the latest film directed by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, and Kenneth Branagh. Nolan staple actor Michael Caine also shows up briefly in a small but delightfully witty role. The film centers on an unnamed CIA agent (played to cold perfection by Washington) who is recruited into a secret organization to help stop an upcoming apocalyptic event. This seems like typical action-thriller fare, but leave it up to Christopher Nolan to add in a mind-numbing caveat: time inversion. It turns out that a villainous businessman (played by Branagh) has obtained bullets and items that travel backwards through time, and is attempting to assemble a weapon that could destroy the past, and the protagonist must stop him, with the help of fellow agent Neil (played by a very suave Pattinson). Over the course of the film, we see various events from different perspectives, both in normal time and inverted, backwards time, and it is not until later in the film, or even towards the very end, that those events will have their true significance revealed. Basically, the film throws a lot at you in the opening hour, but all of the questions you may have will be largely answered by the film's end, giving plenty of "Aha!" moments. One of the highlights of the film are the performances of Washington, Pattinson, Debicki, Branagh. Washington plays an ice-cold professional, laser-focused on his mission, equally a capable field agent and keeping a cool head during negotiations and unexpected situations. Pattinson's character Neil is no less a professional, but is a bit more witty than the comparatively serious CIA agent. Their characters' constant back-and-forth and general delightful chemistry provides a great deal of entertainment throughout the film. Branagh's villain Sator is gloriously over-the-top in his lines, yet delivers every line with a chilling effectiveness. However, all of those performances can feel a little one-note, existing as vehicles to propel the story forward, without much character development and coming off as cold and detached in spite of the engaging dialogue. Debicki's character Kat, on the other hand, has a simple yet relatable motivation: escaping from Sator's control. She gets a timely and understated character arc of finding the strength to escape from her abuser on her own initiative. This gradual development of Kat's character makes her feel that much more three-dimensional than many of the other characters in the film, who largely exist specifically to fill a certain role in the plot. The film is amazingly shot, with a lot of attention to detail, with the sequences of time inversion invoking a sense of wonder and subtle uneasiness even though it does not make use of excessive computer-generated effects. The same goes for the action sequences. Yes, many of the action sequences and stunts were done with completely practical effects, and the effects of inversion is accomplished by playing footage backwards. It is all done so cleverly that you can easily find yourself on the edge of your seat during the intense action, both when they are seen in normal time, and when they are inverted. The editing is smooth, so the complex action and time inversion sequences can be followed with minimal difficulty. The soundtrack is also superb, with Ludwig Göransson filling in for longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer. The score gives a lot of gravitas to every scene, no matter if it is an action scene, a quiet dramatic scene, or a tense negotiation scene. The sounds throughout the film provide a real sense of immersion into the world of the film. However, one complaint I have regarding the sound is that many loud sounds can be a little too loud, and can occasionally drown out important dialogue. Tenet is an exciting thrill ride from start to finish, with a suitably twist-filled time-bending plot, exciting action sequences, and a fantastic score, bolstered by engaging performances, an emotional arc for Debicki's character, and awe-inspiring visuals. Even though the sound can be a bit too loud at times and many characters may be somewhat one-note, Tenet is undeniably an extremely entertaining film well worth your time.

    Tenet is an action science-fiction thriller, the latest film directed by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, and Kenneth Branagh. Nolan staple actor Michael Caine also shows up briefly in a small but delightfully witty role. The film centers on an unnamed CIA agent (played to cold perfection by Washington) who is recruited into a secret organization to help stop an upcoming apocalyptic event. This seems like typical action-thriller fare, but leave it up to Christopher Nolan to add in a mind-numbing caveat: time inversion. It turns out that a villainous businessman (played by Branagh) has obtained bullets and items that travel backwards through time, and is attempting to assemble a weapon that could destroy the past, and the protagonist must stop him, with the help of fellow agent Neil (played by a very suave Pattinson). Over the course of the film, we see various events from different perspectives, both in normal time and inverted, backwards time, and it is not until later in the film, or even towards the very end, that those events will have their true significance revealed. Basically, the film throws a lot at you in the opening hour, but all of the questions you may have will be largely answered by the film's end, giving plenty of "Aha!" moments. One of the highlights of the film are the performances of Washington, Pattinson, Debicki, Branagh. Washington plays an ice-cold professional, laser-focused on his mission, equally a capable field agent and keeping a cool head during negotiations and unexpected situations. Pattinson's character Neil is no less a professional, but is a bit more witty than the comparatively serious CIA agent. Their characters' constant back-and-forth and general delightful chemistry provides a great deal of entertainment throughout the film. Branagh's villain Sator is gloriously over-the-top in his lines, yet delivers every line with a chilling effectiveness. However, all of those performances can feel a little one-note, existing as vehicles to propel the story forward, without much character development and coming off as cold and detached in spite of the engaging dialogue. Debicki's character Kat, on the other hand, has a simple yet relatable motivation: escaping from Sator's control. She gets a timely and understated character arc of finding the strength to escape from her abuser on her own initiative. This gradual development of Kat's character makes her feel that much more three-dimensional than many of the other characters in the film, who largely exist specifically to fill a certain role in the plot. The film is amazingly shot, with a lot of attention to detail, with the sequences of time inversion invoking a sense of wonder and subtle uneasiness even though it does not make use of excessive computer-generated effects. The same goes for the action sequences. Yes, many of the action sequences and stunts were done with completely practical effects, and the effects of inversion is accomplished by playing footage backwards. It is all done so cleverly that you can easily find yourself on the edge of your seat during the intense action, both when they are seen in normal time, and when they are inverted. The editing is smooth, so the complex action and time inversion sequences can be followed with minimal difficulty. The soundtrack is also superb, with Ludwig Göransson filling in for longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer. The score gives a lot of gravitas to every scene, no matter if it is an action scene, a quiet dramatic scene, or a tense negotiation scene. The sounds throughout the film provide a real sense of immersion into the world of the film. However, one complaint I have regarding the sound is that many loud sounds can be a little too loud, and can occasionally drown out important dialogue. Tenet is an exciting thrill ride from start to finish, with a suitably twist-filled time-bending plot, exciting action sequences, and a fantastic score, bolstered by engaging performances, an emotional arc for Debicki's character, and awe-inspiring visuals. Even though the sound can be a bit too loud at times and many characters may be somewhat one-note, Tenet is undeniably an extremely entertaining film well worth your time.

  • 12h ago

    Turned it off after 40 minutes. I had no idea what was going on. Even the actors sound bored.

    Turned it off after 40 minutes. I had no idea what was going on. Even the actors sound bored.

  • 15h ago

    The best film of 2020. 9.4/10.

    The best film of 2020. 9.4/10.

  • 16h ago

    Visually it delivers, but the script is weak. It wants so badly for you to believe they've thought through all the sci-fi physics.

    Visually it delivers, but the script is weak. It wants so badly for you to believe they've thought through all the sci-fi physics.