“Nope” First reactions: Director Jordan Peele praised by critics

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”.

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.

People’s senior news editor Nigel Smith called “no” a “resounding YES” and called the film an “exciting and odd spectacle.”

Daily Dead News Editor-in-Chief Heather Wixson called the film “absolutely phenomenal” and praised the blend of genres with “a Hollywood reckoning”.

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.

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.

For more reactions see below:

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