Entertainment ‘Like Jaws meets Third Encounters’: critics are in awe at Jordan Peele’s Nope
‘Like Jaws meets Third Encounters’: critics are in awe at Jordan Peele’s Nope
The first reactions for Nope, Jordan Peele’s latest horror movie, are in – and critics have been lavishing praise on the award-winning director’s latest film.
Nope, which lands in theaters on Friday, July 22 in the US – it’s out in the UK on Friday, August 12 and Thursday, August 4 in Australia – has received universally positive reactions following its world premiere, which was held on Monday, July 18.
The horror movie, which stars Black Panther alumnus Daniel Kaluuya, Lightyear actor Keke Palmer, and Invincible‘s Steven Yeun among others, is the latest feature from Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Universal Pictures. And, based on journalists and other attendees’ reactions, it could be the best and most terrifying film of 2022.
First up is Erik Davis, regular scribe for Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes. Taking to Twitter post-premiere, Davis called Nope “one of the best films I’ve watched this year”, adding that Palmer’s performance stood out among the movie’s talented cast:
Jordan Peele’s #Nope is one of the best films I’ve watched this year! It’s frightening & ferocious, but also very funny & unlike any UFO movie you’ve ever seen. It is a wholly unique & VERY entertaining horror epic full of wild surprises & an unforgettable Keke Palmer performance pic.twitter.com/iua9HPt0RGJuly 19, 2022
CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg picked out Peele’s ability to craft “detailed, layered, and fascinating horror films”, and even went as far as to say it’s an “excellent tribute to Jaws”:
With #Nope, Jordan Peele continues his brilliant run crafting detailed, layered, and fascinating horror films, and it’s a blast. It’s a summer spectacle about spectacle, and while there are many flavors mixed in, it’s particularly an excellent tribute to Jaws. Peele is 3-for-3. pic.twitter.com/aFKg2uTZ5vJuly 19, 2022
Clearly, Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed 1975 shark-centric horror film was a big influence on Nope, with other critics finding parallels between the two flicks. Freelance journalist Brandon Norwood called Nope “a cross between Jaws and Close Encounters [of the Third Kind]”, while another freelancer critic in Simon Thompson (opens in new tab) likened it to the same movies.
Really liked NOPE. Like a cross between JAWS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Jordan has created a vert unique sci-fi horror epic. Love the Western vibes in the final 20 minutes. See it in @imax. Awesome use of the format.#NopeNight #NopeMovie #Nope pic.twitter.com/v4WBNxWXagJuly 19, 2022
Nightmar1sh’s Shannon McGrew (opens in new tab) said Nope was “an experience you won’t be able to shake off”, while ComicBook.com’s Chris Killian labeled it an “entertaining head-scratcher, equal parts confusing and terrifying”:
Nope is nothing like what you’d expect. An entertaining head-scratcher, equal parts confusing and terrifying and, like most of the films by @JordanPeele, offers layers you likely won’t peel back in one sitting. (CONT’D) #NopeMovie pic.twitter.com/GwkHzqkyntJuly 19, 2022
Other premiere attendees offered their two cents on the film’s less horror-infused vibes, too. POC Culture (opens in new tab) called Palmer and Kaluuya “pitch perfect as a sibling duo”, as well as lauding Yeun’s and Brandon Perea’s performances as key supporting cast members. Meanwhile, Daily Dead News’ Heather Wixson suggested Nope “perfectly blends… sci-fi spectacle with a story that’s also something of a Hollywood reckoning”. How intriguing:
So #NopeMovie is absolutely phenomenal in so many ways. Perfectly blends together a sci-fi spectacle w/a story that is also something of a Hollywood reckoning & it blew my expectations away. Gorgeously shot, the sound mix is thunderous & the cast all shines. Love love loved it. pic.twitter.com/qdcZIvsX5TJuly 19, 2022
Finally, Beyond the Trailer’s Grace Randolph said Nope was a movie akin to “Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Tarantino having a baby”. High praise indeed, then, for Jordan Peele’s latest cinematic endeavor:
#NopeMovie @JordanPeele’s best film yetAs if Hitchcock, Kubrick & Tarantino had a baby!Breathtaking FunnyTerrifying Review Wednesday pic.twitter.com/uVTbMbMPhqJuly 19, 2022
Set in present day California, Nope tells the story of Palmer’s Emerald and Kaluuya’s OJ Haywood, siblings who work on their dead father’s ranch. One day, the duo encounter an unidentified flying object (UFO) and attempt to capture video evidence for the whole world to see.
The pair enlist the help of Perea’s tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott), while Yeun’s Ricky “Jupe” Park also tries to muscle in on the potentially money spinning project. Unbeknownst to the quintet, though, their would-be documentary stars aren’t about to play ball – and it isn’t long before things start to go terribly, terribly wrong.