Bobby Jones’s review published on Letterboxd:
Huh. I can't recall being this unsure about whether or not I liked a film, maybe ever. I genuinely can't decide if I thought it was good or not, and honestly I'm not even really leaning one way or the other.
The first act is rough. There are some pretty insane editing and dialogue choices that had me real worried about the rest of the film. Once the action kicks in though, it does click pretty well. It's obvious that the premise of the horror and how it would play out was the focus of Peele's writing, unfortunately to the detriment of the rest of the movie. It feels like he spent way more time thinking about what devices would be cool to include in a movie than he did actually thinking about the movie as a whole. Because of this, some pretty sloppy mistakes are made in the script that seem like they would have been ironed out after a rewrite or two.
Now, some positives. I am definitely a fan of Mike Gioulakis, and his cinematography here is pretty great. He sometimes can get carried away with a few too many slow push-ins, but that split diopter shot at the end earns him +100 cinematographer points; it's really gorgeous. Although a good deal of the music is soundtrack, Michael Abels does a really great job with the limited amount of score he is allowed. Lupita Nyong'o and Elisabeth Moss are absolutely incredible in both of their roles, but Tim Heidecker took the cake for me without a doubt. It is insane how talented that man is.
Overall, I just don't know how to feel. There's a lot of fun to be had with this movie, that certainly isn't up for debate. But it just didn't quite do for me what it seemed like it wanted to do. The bones around which the fun, campy meat is laid feel hollow, and when they are revealed in the climactic expository speech (which actually makes zero sense contextually), I didn't feel as though I was getting anything more of substance than I was already exposed to in the natural storyline. I would have rather it just stuck to being a fun horror comedy. I don't not like it, but I can't say that I do like it either?
I'm gonna see it again, probably a few more times, and maybe I'll have a change of heart then, but right now I just feel kind of disoriented and unsure. Weird.