‘Nope’ reviews: Is Jordan Peele’s third film as ‘thrilling’ as his last two?

With just two films, “Get Out” (2017) and “Us” (2019), director Jordan Peele established a reputation for awards-worthy, socially conscious horror. His third film “Nope” opened on July 22. Does it hold up against his previous work? Let’s consider the “Nope” reviews from critics across the media landscape.

As of this writing the film has a MetaCritic score of 76 based on 51 reviews counted so far: 42 positive, eight mixed, and only one outright negative. That’s his lowest score on the review aggregator so far after “Get Out” averaged out to 85 and “Us” received 81. But if a director’s films have all been rated higher than 75 by the critical establishment, they must be doing something right.

Over on Rotten Tomatoes, which classifies reviews simply as positive or negative without MetaCritic’s sliding scale from 0 to 100, the film currently rates 81% fresh based on 177 reviews, only 34 of which are listed as rotten. The RT critics’ consensus says, “Admirable for its originality and ambition even when its reach exceeds its grasp, ‘Nope’ adds Spielbergian spectacle to Jordan Peele’s growing arsenal.” Compare that to “Get Out’s” 98% Rotten Tomatoes rating and the 93% for “Us.” So again, Peele hasn’t matched his previous highs, but he’s still got most film journalists on his side.

Six of the film’s positive MetaCritic reviews give it a perfect score of 100, with A.O. Scott (New York Times) praising the film for its “impeccably managed suspense,” Kambole Campbell (Empire) calling it “an ambitious, provocative swing,” and K. Austin Collins (Rolling Stone) describing it as “thrilling.” Among other positive reviews, David Ehrlich (IndieWire) highlights the “inspired alien design,” while Lovia Gyarkye (Hollywood Reporter) lauds the “first-rate cast” that balances the film’s”comedic notes with its more haunting, suspenseful overall mood.

Among the more critical assessments, Owen Gleiberman (Variety) argues that “logic often takes a back seat.” Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) thinks it’s “unable to hold its focus.” And Alonso Duralde (The Wrap) feels the pieces of the film “just don’t fit together.” Where does your opinion of the film fall? Are you a “yep” or a “nope” for “Nope”?

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