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Quick Review - Warner Bros.' Tenet

Time runs out.

Tenet is a 2020 science fiction action thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, written by Christopher Nolan, produced by Syncopy, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. The film was nominated for and won Best Visual Effects while also being nominated for Best Production Design.

"Don't try to understand it. Feel it." - Barbara


After a mission goes awry, a SWAT officer is recruited by a mysterious organization to help fight a war with the future. Unaware of what he's up against, the SWAT officer is slowly exposed to the mind-bending nature of inverted technology, a new mechanism from the future that allows objects to move backwards in time.

My Favorite Part of Tenet

Tenet is the ultimate Christopher Nolan film. Visually, it's like Inception on steroids. Things move backwards a ton like in Memento. The stakes are as high as The Dark Knight Rises. And the scope feels as epic as Interstellar. That's the best part of this movie. It's an epic, visually stunning film that has tons of exciting, new action. It's incredibly ambitious. Nolan goes for a ton of mind-bending sequences that have bullets moving backwards and people flipping all over the place. This film feels bigger and higher-stakes than any of his other films. It's truly a unique experience, like all of Nolan's films are.

My Least Favorite Part of Tenet

What makes Inception and Interstellar great movies is there mind-bending concepts combined with their fantastic story and complex characters. Tenet has none of that. The movie is incredibly, incredibly confusing. The plot doesn't make sense from the get-go. You're immediately thrown into action without any setup or context. Characters are just introduced randomly. Plotlines are just introduced randomly. And all of that is before the time element is introduced. Your head will feel like it's about to explode throughout the duration of this movie. It's so much to process. It's too much to process, actually.

Why Tenet Doesn't Work

One of the reasons I love Nolan is because he combines style and substance so well. He can give you things you've never seen before while providing a compelling, complex story. Look at Memento. Look at Inception. Look at The Dark Knight. Tenet feels like him prioritizing style. There's so much here that's cool to look at. There's so many cool ideas. But none of them tie together and make sense to create the awesome, crazy experience that we've come to expect from a Christopher Nolan movie. I just cannot say that I enjoy a movie that I barely understand.

Final Thoughts and Score

Tenet has all of the visual masterpiece that Nolan is known for, but it doesn't have any of the complex storytelling and intricate characters that he is also known for. Instead, it's just confusing.

I have to go Sour here. Age range is 8+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


Fun Factor: 5.5/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Story: 4/10

Characters: 4/10

Quality: 5.5/10

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, language, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements

Released on September 3, 2020

2 hours and 30 minutes

John David Washington as The Protagonist

Robert Pattinson as Neil

Elizabeth Debicki as Katherine Barton

Kenneth Branagh as Andrei Sator

Dimple Kapadia as Priya Singh Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Captain Ives

Michael Caine as Sir Michael Crosby

Martin Donovan as Fay

Fiona Dourif as Wheeler

Yuri Kolokolnikov as Volkov

Himesh Patel as Mahir

Clémence Poésy as Barbara


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