Dr. Jigsaw’s review published on Letterboxd:
NOPE. Extremely similar to Jordan Peele’s previous two stellar outings. Peele sets up multiple themes that work in harmony together, creates some beautiful and startling imagery, and teases the audiences imagination with horrors beyond belief rather than showing them outright and relying on dumb jump scares.
Unfortunately, this time around Peele does not stick the landing. Everything that was so masterfully set up in acts one and two gets completely derailed by a ridiculous finale that is nothing but pure spectacle (ironically one of the things the filmmaker is trying to offer criticism for here).
Where Get Out and Us were slow burn horrid films with steady reveals that kept the audience engaged and frightened; Nope’s themes and scares rely almost entirely on the foundation of an unseen threat wreaking havoc on a rural community from the skies…once this threat is revealed and the twist comes to light, Peele seems to drop all the artistry and depth that separates his films from the rest. The result here isn’t a BAD movie necessarily, but one that is certainly below Jordan Peele’s average. Perhaps he felt obligated to do a third artsy slow burn horror after the success of the first two outings. I think he might’ve been better off letting this one sit a little more in order to work out some of the issues in the finale.
There’s a powerful message and striking ending buried somewhere in this thing, perhaps Peele needs the constraints of a new filmmaker back in his corner to keep him on track to create something beautiful. As the great Bane once said: “victory has defeated you”. This seems to be true for Peele. The massive (deserved) success of his first two films probably meant that Universal gave him a blank check of approximately a gorillion dollars to make this mess.
I’d say it’s worth it just for the ape scenes, Steven Yuen, and Daniel Kaluuya’s outstanding performance.
Bonus points also for the simple spaceship design, even though it gets ruined in the ending minutes.