Tenet (2020)

titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
I saw it again, this time with digital projection and subtitles, on a large screen. The sound mix was still awful. I really wanted to like the film - after all, this is the movie that the whole industry is now watching to see whether cinema can start up again. I sincerely hope Tenet does well, so that we will be able to see the likes of the new James Bond, West Side Story and other eagerly-anticipated event movies on the big screen, where they should be seen. But for me personally, this ranks among the lowest of all the Christopher Nolan films. I saw Tenet last week with 30 friends and we were split 50-50 between liking and disliking the film.
 

ptb2020

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Paul Trevor Bale
I saw it again, this time with digital projection and subtitles, on a large screen. The sound mix was still awful. I really wanted to like the film - after all, this is the movie that the whole industry is now watching to see whether cinema can start up again. I sincerely hope Tenet does well, so that we will be able to see the likes of the new James Bond, West Side Story and other eagerly-anticipated event movies on the big screen, where they should be seen. But for me personally, this ranks among the lowest of all the Christopher Nolan films. I saw Tenet last week with 30 friends and we were split 50-50 between liking and disliking the film.
Agree with you on all points except seeing it with 30 friends! Hope you were socially distanced and wearing masks!
 

cinemiracle

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Had a free ticket to see TENET.It was truly the most tedious piece of rubbish that I have ever endured in a cinema. Not surprised at the mostly negative reviews in Australia
 

WillG

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Here's my spoiler free (truly!) review (except for the one in the tag below).

The movie almost consciously keeps stuff from the viewer for the first half: as though the movie was alive and has secrets to protect. Partway through something happens (not a twist--this is not a spoiler!) and I said to myself, "oh, I see" and instantly the first half of the movie dropped into place.

There are a few set pieces and they are different and differently fantastic. Nolan and his team have done some crazy stuff here. Inception-level standard of execution. There's one moment (again, not a spoiler) near the end that is just supremely cool. It made my chuckle at the sheer awesomeness. The last time I was struck by a moment of action like this was the "Holdo Maneuver" in Episode 8.

For those who have seen the film, this moment is: the red and blue team rocket launcher shots at the building.


John David Washington and Robert Pattinson are both great, though Pattison steals most of the scenes they share (by design, I think). Branagh was Branagh (but Russian!).

The music is fantastic but at times oppressively loud. Louder than my memories of the sound in both Inception and Interstellar.

In typical Nolan fashion the dialogue was often hard to make out. He does this all the time so it shouldn't be a surprise at this point. He's never going to change, so if this bothers you know that it's on full...er...display in Tenet. That said, I think it makes sense most of the time here since many of the scenes are set in (very) loud places. There were a few bits of dialogue that were purposefully hard to follow, I think.

The writing itself was fine and mostly in service to the plot. There was one particular line from Elizabeth Debicki that was so dumb I think my eye-roll was louder than the explosions. Again, both Washington and Pattinson deliver good performances and the dialogue never lets them down--though it never does them any favours, either. This isn't the type of movie where the characters experience tremendous growth.

Like Inception and Interstellar (and to a certain extent The Prestige) the plot deliberately moves just a few minutes faster than you want. In the quiet moments I found myself thinking about the previous set piece or expository scene and working it through again in my head. Just when I finally think I had it, there's something new to think about. I wouldn't say the pace was breathless, but it was certainly relentless.

I loved it. Like many other Nolan movies I can see myself watching the disc version once a year or so.

Happy to answer questions with truly non-spoiler answers.
what was the scene and bit of dialogue you were referring to?
 

WillG

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"Including my son." I immediately thought of Eitri in Avengers: Endgame saying "Yes...that's what...everyone...means."
ah, yeah I kind of was like “we get it lady, you love your son”

what was the part where the 1st half “clicked” for you
 

Jeff Adkins

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I'm clearly in the minority, since I think it is hands-down the best film so far this year.
 

Jeff Cooper

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DaveF

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Watched Tenet last week at an Alamo Drafthouse pop-up drive-in theater. I enjoyed it. I will likely buy the disc to rewatch. I enjoy Inception more; it’s a more accessible film. And I was missing details in the drive in experience. But, without denigrating the genre, it was so nice having a novel, non-franchise, non-Marvel, smarter-than-me, sci-fi movie!
 
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Colin Jacobson

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Considering it is Nolan I would be surprised if the dialogue was easy to hear.
I had no trouble understanding the dialogue.

Understanding what the hell the story was about? Different matter!

Though "Tenet" is really pretty simple at its core - it's just been Nolanfied into something more complicated because... Nolan!!!

I'm a huge admirer of Nolan, but sometimes I wish he keep it simple and not go convoluted for convoluted's sake.

Disappointed by the movie after 1 screening, but could well change my mind later. I thought "Interstellar" was meh 1st time and came to love it.

Hope it gets to the real IMAX screen at the Smithsonian. LIEMAX is better than standard 2.40:1 the whole way, but I want real IMAX!
 

Edwin-S

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Had a free ticket to see TENET.It was truly the most tedious piece of rubbish that I have ever endured in a cinema. Not surprised at the mostly negative reviews in Australia
Not sure this can be considered valid criticism since you appear to dislike all of his films. Actually, sometimes it appears you dislike any fil made after the 1970s. ;)
 
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Edwin-S

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I would like to see this at the theatre but the whole Covid 19 thing has me kept me from doing so. I might go and see it if it is still in town since the local theater appears to be making sure that people are well spread out from each other.
 

Garysb

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Per this NY Times article Tenet's US box office was less than expected, possibly leading to more movie postponements.

 

George_W_K

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Per this NY Times article Tenet's US box office was less than expected, possibly leading to more movie postponements.

This movie was the one I most looked forward to seeing this year. I haven't gone to see it for obvious reasons. Not sure what Hollywood thought would happen.
 

Malcolm R

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It will take a long time before the box office recovers to any "normal" level. I think high unemployment is as much to blame as any virus concerns. A lot of people don't have any disposable income right now, and may not for years to come. Then there's all the theaters that may close permanently while the studios screw around with the release schedule. If the studios wanted to kill the theatrical release business model, they couldn't do it much better than they are. I don't know how they're planning to get their big tentpoles and event films to gross over $1 Billion with streaming and VOD.

I don't think there will be any new box office records for a long, long, time, if ever.
 

Dave Miller

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Saw it tonight and loved it. Still trying to figure it all out. I will go and see it a second time, maybe in IMAX, but I will definitely request the closed captioned device at my second viewing.

It is by far, the loudest movie I have ever seen. I've got an app on my phone that purports to measure db levels and it peaked at 109 during the last segment of the film.
 
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