The first Tenet (opens in new tab) reactions are here: the kneejerk responses, gut feelings, and OTT social media opinions are always the highlight of any major opening, but perhaps more so now given Christopher Nolan’s time-bending epic won’t open in the United States until September.
With that in mind, these Tenet reactions are going to be spoiler-free glimpses of what to expect for those who want to see Tenet. The feedback has run the whole gamut of emotions too: disappointment, awe, wonder, and people already deciding how high it lands on Nolan’s oeuvre.
Are you ready? Last chance if you want to go in blind: this is what the internet makes of Tenet. So far.
Christopher Nolan “at his best”
The debate on whether this is Christopher Nolan’s best work will likely rumble well into next year. Twitter is similarly divided, with many praising the technical aspects on show as best-in-class.
Slept on it and yup, #Tenet is one of the most carefully crafted, intellectually elevated, magnificently crafter movies ever made and there are things, in that movie, that are *literally* impossible to shoot.Nolan deserves an Oscar for best Director for pulling this off. pic.twitter.com/AHyAnSuYzUAugust 27, 2020
TENET is without a doubt Christopher Nolan’s most complex and confusing film, but it’s one of his best from a technical point of view. The ideas are genuinely original and impressive, but it’ll require a rewatch to actually understand exactly what I’ve just watched. #TENET pic.twitter.com/QvxwbzhdOpAugust 26, 2020
Watched Tenet today. Brilliant thoughtful film - Christoper Nolan at his best. Might need to watch again to truly grasp the concept of the film though. Great to be back at the cinema again #Tenet #ChristopherNolan #everymancinemaAugust 26, 2020
#tenet is fantastic. Genuinely. Fantastic. Very satisfying. Both non spoiler and spoiler review rendering now. Go out and watch it if you have a chance. Best Nolan film by far.August 26, 2020
Is Tenet confusing? The response is mixed
Tenet is confusing. It’s worth knowing that going in. For some, that adds an extra layer of intrigue which drives the plot forward and adds extra spice to the many, many set-pieces in store. For others, it makes Inception look like child’s play – not always a good thing.
#TENET left me utterly speechless. I am currently shivering in exhilaration. It’s a masterful film that deals with concepts beyond imagination. It’s not confusing, it’s innovation beyond all else, Nolan here is operating at his highest and smartest. #TENET is immersion. pic.twitter.com/NFBY4HyndbAugust 26, 2020
Tenet is twice as confusing as InceptionAugust 26, 2020
NO SPOILER TENET REVIEW !! right i just got back n i spent a good 80% of the movie absolutely lost BUT still really enjoyed the sequences. it is confusing but does genuinely all come together at the end & make sense !! the whole cast was amazing & i really really enjoyed it!!August 26, 2020
Tenet. The cinema equivalent of having your teeth pulled. Sadly not the sum of its parts. Being deliberately confusing does not always make a good film. I'd probably enjoy it on a second viewing. But I'm in no rush to do so. #TenetAugust 26, 2020
Wow #Tenet was just... phew. Unbelievable! And i thought inception was confusing!10/10 would recommend pic.twitter.com/t30bMQ4aKdAugust 26, 2020
Praise for the cast, including a “duo for the ages”
With a cast this good, Nolan almost couldn’t miss. Still, it’s reassuring to know John David Washington gives a star-making performance, ably backed by Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kenneth Branagh.
#Inception has left and #TENET has arrived. Before I watched it, I had already decided beforehand that I won't be tweeting about my thoughts on it till I see it again this Sunday. What I'll say though, the cast is outstanding. Washington, Pattinson, Debicki and Branagh. JDW is 😵 pic.twitter.com/j2DFEzDpSYAugust 26, 2020
Got totally immersed in #TENET @4DXglobal today -BOLD, EXCITING and totally ORIGINAL! Nolan has done it again! Fantastic performances by all the leads: Washington, Pattinson, Debicki & Branagh in particular ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #movies #nolan pic.twitter.com/XKj3ZRIq9fAugust 26, 2020
It also features the best action design of Nolan's career. As far as the acting, the four leads are all great, but Washington and Pattinson are a duo for the ages. Anyway, TENET is a juggernaut that I absolutely loved.August 27, 2020
The name’s Bond, Tenet Bond
It’s hard to shake (not stir) the comparisons to a certain 00-agent. If you need anymore convincing, according to the audiences this is about as close as we’re likely to get to Chris Nolan being handed the reins of a Bond movie.
Tenet at times might come off as slow and complex but it delivers HUGE in acts 2 and 3! Great story telling, extremely complex, a wonderful performance by all the cast but Robert Pattinson steals the show! 8.5/10, Nolan's Take on a Bond/Terminator film #Tenet #RobertPattinson pic.twitter.com/Bt4P0YfI8eAugust 27, 2020
Tenet is fun. Not peak Nolan perhaps, but as big and explosive as you'd hope: Bond with an SF twist. You know what you're going to get with Nolan now. You get it and it's very enjoyable, if also VERY LOUD.August 26, 2020
#Tenet thrives in the complex confusion it creates in the crafting of a mind bending puzzle that becomes wholy satisfactory when solvedThe intricate and mesmerizing Bond-esque journey to unravel the mystery is filled with both awe & delightPs: It actually IS quite funny 👌 pic.twitter.com/ItMy6BxohQAugust 25, 2020
The best thing about #Tenet is it’s essentially a James Bond film in which 007 is a supporting characterAugust 21, 2020
Not everyone enjoyed Tenet
Not to end on a downer but there’s a vocal sub-section of the internet who was disappointed with Tenet. Here’s a selection of those who didn’t enjoy it as much as maybe some others.
Saw Tenet on Saturday. Quite disappointing. Packed tension but incoherent mumbling dialogue due to heavy music mix, and a story that doesn't really suggest the reversed film parts are anything other than just that. Shame. Robert P and M. Caine are only standouts. pic.twitter.com/zDQTmQ8vkwAugust 26, 2020
#Tenet was disappointing. Some great stuff but far too interested in making the premise as convoluted as possible and not enough in actually making an engaging narrative. Best soundtrack of the year though.August 26, 2020
Couldn’t concentrate on TENET because the audio mix was so bad. Music drowned out the dialogue. So disappointing for a Christopher Nolan film. Felt like I would’ve actually enjoyed it if I could understand what people were sayingAugust 26, 2020
tenet is an incredibly convoluted film that never really unravels into making sense. the sound mixing is bad to the point where you can’t even understand what some of the characters are saying. the only pluses are cinematography and performances. very disappointed. 5/10 pic.twitter.com/8MxUJ5VXHIAugust 26, 2020
Tenet is in cinemas now in the UK, and comes to US theatres on September 4. For more, read our huge on-set feature, with interviews from Nolan and the cast.