BenMakesTalkies’s review published on Letterboxd:
There is a scene in Nope that will leave the viewer asking "does Jordan Peele listen to vaporwave?" Additionally a character wears a t-shirt for one of my favorite bands Earth in one scene. Finally, Jordan continues the old testament motif he used in Us. It feels like he made a movie just for me.
For me, Jordan Peele is one of the most important filmmakers working in the mainstream for one simple reason: he is extremely committed to keeping blockbuster genre films that are unattached to previous IP alive. The fact that he is able to do this while also injecting plenty of thematic depth is a cherry on top.
Nope may be his best film yet, its certainly his most confidently directed, and while some of the scripts structural decisions are questionable, they pay off in a big way at the end. Additionally, he hires the help of cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema to create some of the most beautiful nighttime shots ever put to film.
As has been the case in all of his films, the cast is nothing short of phenomenal. The character writing in the script is strong here as well. Another highlight is the design of the films antagonist, it uses a familiar point of inspiration but in a completely different way than I have seen in this sort of film.
Thematically, many have already touched on the notion of spectacle (the thread Peele pulls from the OT), race, and the meta-cinematic qualities (and the interaction between these things). Two elements I have not seen talked about as much (yet), is the way the film tows the line between horror and western, and the theme of ecology that runs throughout.
Nope is many things, but most importantly it is a damn good sci-fi horror (western?) film, and while it goes out of its way to rightly sing the praises of all the types of labor that are necessary to bring a film to life, it left me pretty convinced in Jordan Peele auteur theory.