Brandon White’s review published on Letterboxd:
Did I possibly watch my first horror film on IMAX? You bet your ass I did. I figured there was a reason for Jordan Peele to shoot this on IMAX, especially since what the main characters are dealing with that is a huge supernatural opposing force. And, of course, with the trailer starting with a short film that looks very similar to Sallie Gardner at a Gallop (directed by the same person for Anne G), which was one of the earliest surviving films of all time, I can see the love of the history of filmmaking will play into it. So as his third film installment to his directing filmography, NOPE is 3 for 0 of Jordan Peele making amazing films.
Daniel Kaluuya gives such a great understated performance as a horse carer that is just waiting patiently for the opportunity for the business to be booming. Keke Palmer is possibly the highlight of the film with such bundles of energy in her likability that really makes her so fun to watch. Her chemistry with her brother OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) is enjoyable to watch and they really make the film work for what it is. Steven Yeun is also great in it as a presenter who is also a former child star actor that the film spends a lot of time on, even giving us flashbacks that honestly can be scarier at times than the aliens themselves adds a lot towards his character that makes him what he is. He’s also kind of like an ex-Disney actor that was hot shit back then, even to the point of seeing a poster that looks like the poster for a film adaptation of Holes. I also need to watch more films with Michael Wincott in it because he was also great in this as an artsy director that wants to really get the shot that he wants to get with such exquisite detail.
Jordan Peele is a master of creating suspense that seeing it in IMAX was scary as shit. I’m surprised that people say the first half is boring. Like I was intrigued from the very beginning, and since it has a Spielbergian feel to it, I was curious to see where it’s leading and figure out how the main characters are going to deal with it, just like with Jaws and Poltergeist (I know it’s not directed by him, but he did the main story and wrote it, so it’s like his baby in a way). I haven’t seen aliens look this disturbing and creative looking in years that truly know how to be scary in the most unexpected ways that Jordan Peele really knows what scares the audience. The sound effects of it were also something that stick out in a disturbing way that I'm never going to forget in a long time. It’s beautiful to watch, and I never thought that the tube man props can be so tense to watch. I also love the ideal that not only is this a love letter for filmmaking, on film, not digital, but also for the film crew that puts in as much effort as they can to get what they want to shoot.
The last act is where it’s at for me, not only for the Akira reference, which I’m always here for, but it also makes for Jordan Peele’s most exciting film as of right now. It just really gets creative for the final fight coming up that I legitimately have no idea how it’s going to end, especially when seeing all of Jordan Peele’s previous films that is. NOPE is another stellar film from Jordan Peele with his creative mindset in his ambition that will always have my interest for what he has in store. Also, seeing Keith David in a film is always a plus for me because he’s always great in anything he’s in.