Tenet Reviews Are In And Critics Have A Definitive Stance

By Rick Gonzales | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Tenet Reviews

As 2020 descended upon moviedom, the anticipation for Christopher Nolan’s expected masterpiece Tenet was riveting. Unfortunately, COVID happened and what was expected to be a July 17, 2020 release date was moved to July 31. When it was apparent that wasn’t going to happen, it was moved to August 12. The date has since moved but it’s a staggered release, one that has already hit in some countries. Now the Tenet reviews are in.

At the present time and barring any more COVID delays, Tenet is expected to hit whichever few U.S. theaters are actually open on September 3, 2020. As mentioned, though, the movie has made its appearance and the reviews are slowly coming out.


With 33 Tenet reviews filed, Nolan’s new movie currently has an 88% favorable rating with critics. While many fans are becoming more and more skeptical of the Rotten Tomatoes scoring system, they are still the benchmark many employ.

On a nearly $225 million budget, Tenet clocks in as one of Nolan’s shorter films at 2 hours and 31 minutes. It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Washington is the Protagonist (his actual title in the movie) of the story, an operative who must deal with international espionage in a time-bending, time-altering mission that could start World War III if unsuccessful. One thing critics are quick to point out in their Tenet review is that the title is palindrome, spelled the same forward and backward. They also point out that it is fitting in the film because it involves technology that “inverts” people and things, allowing them the ability to go back in time.

Here’s a look at the Tenet review are saying so far…

Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter said this about Nolan’s movie in her Tenet review: “Altogether, it makes for a chilly, cerebral film – easy to admire, especially since it’s so rich in audacity and originality, but almost impossible to love, lacking as it is in a certain humanity.” A little love-hate right there.

Charlotte O’Sullivan of the London Evening Standard seemed to have the same take: “To point out that Tenet has flaws feels ungrateful. It’s like slagging off Santa. But, I confess, some of the yick yacking – vis a vis physics, metaphysics and so on – made me sleepy… Those quibbles aside, Tenet is an eye-popping, ground-breaking blast.”

Rosie Fletcher of Den of Geek added this in his Tenet review: “The most important film of the year is a heavyweight to carry, and Tenet, for the most part, pulls it off. This may not be a perfect film but it could just be perfect cinema.”

Jessica Klang of the New York Times says: “Seek it out, if only to marvel at the entertainingly inane glory of what we once had and are in danger of never having again.”

Catherine Shoad of The Guardian is one of the few Tenet reviewers who really seemed to hate it. She says: “The world is more than ready for a fabulous blockbuster… It’s a real shame Tenet isn’t it.”

The theme of many Tenet reviews is that they want to love Tenet but can’t fully invest. As Matt Purslow of IGN Movies claims, “Tenet feels a little conservative, as if Nolan’s style is a franchise rather than a framework. Despite this, it remains more interesting than most other tentpole movies and acts as a beacon for the director’s strengths.”

As with many of Nolan’s movies, you’re either in or you’re out. Many have been in and Tenet, by early accounts, appears to follow this same pattern.



Warner Bros. plan, at the moment, is to release Tenet to its international fans on August 26, 2020. The countries included in this release are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

As it pertains to the United States, the September 3rd date holds firm but Warner Bros. plan is to go at it on a city-by-city basis, all hinging on the select cities’ ability to handle their COVID situation.

So, while September 3 is solid (we hope), fans around the country will have to scan Fandango or whatever movie app they follow in order to see if Warner Bros. has chosen their city to show Tenet. As the date gets closer, more information about the where’s should be available. And watch for more Tenet reviews rolling in as that gets closer.