The first reactions to Jordan Peele‘s”nope” pour in as the film continues its Los Angeles premiere, earning praise for the director’s turn to science fiction and drawing comparisons to filmmakers like Steven Spielberg.
With Peele’s rise to become one of the most popular directors of the past five years, expectations are high for Nope. His film debut, Get Out, garnered four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Direction for Peele and Actor for Kaluuya. Peele won the Oscar for Original Screenplay. The film’s worldwide gross of $255 million was surpassed by Peele’s sequel, Us, which received critical acclaim and sent fans spiraling into theories and explanations.
Though he’s built a brand for himself with just two films, Peele assured that he went into Nope relatively unhindered by audience expectations.
“We tried to make a big summer blockbuster that you can enjoy whatever you want,” Peele said diversity Angelique Jackson at the premiere of the film. “You want to go in and just smoke a big blunt and talk about social issues with a friend, you can do that. If you want to come and just relax and get away from it all and see Keke Palmer in the middle of a UFO, then we have just that for you.”
Nope reunites Peele with fellow Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya in the story of two siblings (Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who discover an alien spacecraft hovering over their family’s horse ranch. The duo set about capturing the spaceship on camera, but the mission doesn’t go according to plan.
Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Wrenn Schmidt and Keith David round out the “Nope” cast. The film marks the first collaboration between Peele and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, best known for filming Christopher Nolan’s tentpoles Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet.
“Nope” begins screenings to critics in most major markets on Tuesday, but the film has already been seen at previews by some members of the press.
Collider Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub did not offer praise for the details, but assured that his opinion was a “big thumbs up”.
And cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema co-directed the film @IMAX Cameras so if you’ll see #nope see in the IMAX. Hoytema previously directed Tenet, Dunkirk and Interstellar. pic.twitter.com/92z9udtRMT
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) July 19, 2022
CNN entertainment business reporter Frank Pallotta called the film “out of this world” and peppered his praise with references to Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter and Adam McKay.
NOPE is out of this world. A monster mash with great performances (especially Kaluuya) and a 50’s sci-fi invasion theme. A spectacle about the horror of glasses.
Jordan Peele has been compared to Hitchcock, but NOPE shows he’s a next-generation carpenter. Enjoy the show and don’t look up. pic.twitter.com/dGKwbXg0WF
– Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) July 19, 2022
People’s senior news editor Nigel Smith called “no” a “resounding YES” and called the film an “exciting and odd spectacle.”
#NoMovie is a resounding YES. See it on the biggest screen you can find. An exciting and strange spectacle that has never existed before. I will never look at the sky the same way again.
— Nigel Smith (@nigelmfs) July 19, 2022
Daily Dead News Editor-in-Chief Heather Wixson called the film “absolutely phenomenal” and praised the blend of genres with “a Hollywood reckoning”.
So #NoMovie is absolutely phenomenal in so many ways. Perfectly combines a sci-fi spectacle with a story that is also something of a Hollywood reckoning and blew my expectations away. Beautifully recorded, the sound mix is thunderous and the cast is brilliant. love love loved it pic.twitter.com/qdcZIvsX5T
— Heather Wixson (@MMEFXBook is available now!) (@thehorrorchick) July 19, 2022
The Huffington Post’s senior culture reporter Candice Frederick is still working on the film. It seems to have given her a lot to chew on.
I’m not sure how you can get such a quick response #NoMovie. I’m still in my head about it.
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) July 19, 2022
A member of the Hollywood Critics Association praised the ambition of “Nope,” with the caveat that he believes the film is Peele’s weakest performance to date.
Nope is Jordan Peele’s most ambitious film, but it’s also his weakest. The first act is great, but in the second it loses its grip and becomes a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie with Spielberg elements. It lacks a sense of focus with a story that is never fully realized. #NoMovie
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) July 19, 2022
For more reactions see below:
#NOPEMovie is not what you expect and the trailer doesn’t do it justice.
Jordan Peele is doing the unimaginable—again.
RUN, NOT WALK TO SEE IT THIS WEEKEND.
GIVE KEKE PALMER ALL THE AWARDS THIS YEAR.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) July 19, 2022
The most important thing you need to know about NOPE is that it is completely different from Get Out & Us. This is Jordan Peele spreading his wings and making Spielberg-esque sci-fi on a big budget, but with the subtext you’d expect. Enter with an open mind and you will be rewarded. #NoMovie
– Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) July 19, 2022
#NoMovie is an absolute blast!! @JordanPeele has crafted a loving tribute to the fans of a certain Spielberg masterpiece – I’ll leave that to you. The cast is excellent and the sound and set design are impeccable! Full Review @joblocom very soon! This is one wild ride!
— Jïmm¥†ðtheO (@JimmytotheO) July 19, 2022
Jordan Peeles #nope is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year! It’s scary and cruel but also very funny and unlike any UFO movies you’ve ever seen. It’s a totally unique and VERY entertaining horror epic full of wild surprises and an unforgettable Keke Palmer performance pic.twitter.com/iua9HPt0RG
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) July 19, 2022
Jordan Peele’s Nope is his most confident, unconstrained, and possibly most controversial vision yet. Swapping the exclamation marks of horror for the question marks of sci-fi, this is less about horror. With references to Close Encounters, Jaws and more, #NoMovie is a real puzzle box. pic.twitter.com/Ny3EVaLTqW
— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) July 19, 2022
#NoMovie is otherworldly and yet indescribable. From sheer scares to heartfelt moments between characters, #nope is an experience that won’t be easy to shake off once you find yourself picking your jaw off the ground. Jordan Peele has done it again! @nopemovie pic.twitter.com/bUr1ad5TAx
— Shannon McGrew 🎃🍭 @ Screaming Into the Void (@shannon_mcgrew) July 19, 2022