Nope is a 2022 American neo-Western science fiction horror film directed, written, and co-produced by Jordan Peele under his Monkeypaw Productions banner. It stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as horse-wrangling siblings attempting to capture evidence of an unidentified flying object. Appearing in supporting roles are Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea.
Peele officially announced his then-untitled third directorial film in November 2020. Palmer and Kaluuya joined in February 2021. +more Yeun was cast the next month, and Peele revealed the title in July 2021. Filming began in June 2021 in northern Los Angeles County, and wrapped in November.
Nope premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on July 18, 2022, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 22, 2022 by Universal Pictures. It has grossed $171 million worldwide, and received praise for its ambition, performances, themes, cinematography, and direction, although the screenplay drew a mixed reaction.
In 1998, in front of a studio audience for the sitcom Gordy's Home, the titular chimpanzee animal actor attacks several of its human co-stars after being startled by the pop of a balloon. Child actor Ricky "Jupe" Park hides under a table and is unharmed, though traumatized by the experience. +more The chimp finds Jupe and extends his hand for a fist bump, before being shot dead by authorities.
In present-day Agua Dulce, ranch owner Otis Haywood Sr. trains and handles horses for film and television productions. +more When he is killed by a nickel through the eye that falls inexplicably from the sky, his children Otis "OJ" Haywood Jr. and Emerald "Em" Haywood inherit the ranch. OJ tries to keep the business afloat and maintain his father's legacy, while Em seeks fame and fortune in Hollywood. The Haywoods claim that the jockey in "Plate 626" from Eadweard Muybridge's Animal Locomotion series of photographs was their ancestor.
Six months later, while filming a commercial with prominent cinematographer Antlers Holst, one of the horses, Lucky, reacts aggressively when the crew startles it, and the Haywoods are fired from the project. The ranch's financial woes have forced OJ to sell horses to Jupe, who operates the nearby Jupiter's Claim, a small Western theme park where he exploits his story of the Gordy's Home massacre for profit. +more Jupe offers to buy the ranch from the Haywoods, an offer which Em encourages a reluctant OJ to accept.
That night, the Haywoods notice their electricity fluctuating and their horses vanishing and violently reacting to an unknown presence. They discover an unidentified flying object (UFO) shaped like a flying saucer that has been taking their horses and then spitting out the inorganic matter, which caused their father's death. +more Motivated by a desire to save the ranch with wealth and fame, the siblings decide to document evidence of the UFO's existence and recruit Fry's Electronics employee Angel Torres to set up surveillance cameras. Electrical interference from the UFO and a mantis on one of the cameras prevent them from getting clear footage, but Angel notices a nearby cloud that never moves. They deduce that it is the UFO's hiding place.
Jupe introduces a live show in Jupiter's Claim and plans to use Lucky as bait to lure out the UFO, which he has been feeding the Haywoods' horses to for months, in front of an audience. The UFO arrives but devours Jupe and the entire audience. +more OJ deduces that the UFO is not a spaceship, but a predatory, territorial creature, and that it eats anything that looks directly at it. Utilizing similar methods to those used to break and train horses, OJ believes they can influence the creature's behavior to capture footage of it without being killed. Dubbing the creature "Jean Jacket" after a horse from their childhoods, the Haywoods decide to hire Holst for assistance. Holst initially refuses, but eventually agrees after hearing about the Jupiter's Claim incident.
To circumvent Jean Jacket's effects on electronics, Holst brings a hand-cranked IMAX film camera to capture footage. With Angel, the group devise a plan to bait out Jean Jacket, with a field of electrically-powered tube man props to help them deduce its location in the sky. +more However, a paparazzo trespasses onto the field and is thrown from his electric motorcycle when it shuts down near Jean Jacket. He is devoured by Jean Jacket while begging OJ to film the event. Though Holst captures footage of Jean Jacket, his obsession with "the impossible shot" results in him being devoured alongside his camera, forcing the remaining three to flee. Angel survives an attack from Jean Jacket by being wrapped in a tarp and barbed wire, causing the creature to unfurl from its saucer shape to a jellyfish-like form.
OJ intentionally looks directly at Jean Jacket, allowing Em to use the motorcycle to rush to Jupiter's Claim. There, she untethers the park's large helium balloon mascot of Jupe. +more Jean Jacket attempts to feed on the balloon while Em uses an attraction's analog camera to photograph Jean Jacket before the balloon explodes, killing the creature. With the picture as proof of the creature's existence and reporters arriving nearby, Em sees an unharmed OJ and Lucky standing outside of Jupiter's Claim.
Daniel Kaluuya as Otis "OJ" Haywood Jr. , Otis' son * Keke Palmer as Emerald "Em" Haywood, Otis' daughter * Steven Yeun as Ricky "Jupe" Park, a former child actor and owner/creator of the theme park "Jupiter's Claim" ** Jacob Kim as young Ricky "Jupe" Park, who plays Mikey Houston on Gordy's Home * Michael Wincott as Antlers Holst, a renowned cinematographer * Brandon Perea as Angel Torres, a tech salesman at Fry's Electronics * Wrenn Schmidt as Amber Park, Jupe's wife * Barbie Ferreira as Nessie, Angel's co-worker at Fry's * Terry Notary as Gordy, a chimpanzee and star of the sitcom Gordy's Home * Devon Graye as Ryder Muybridge, a paparazzo who rides an electric bike * Donna Mills as Bonnie Clayton, a commercial actress * Osgood Perkins as Fynn Bachman, a commercial director * Eddie Jemison as Buster, a crew member on the commercial * Keith David as Otis Haywood Sr. +more, the owner of Haywood's Hollywood Horses Ranch * Sophia Coto as Mary Jo Elliott, who plays Haley Houston on Gordy's Home ** Haley Babula as Mary Jo Elliott (adult) * Jennifer Lafleur as Phyllis Mayberry, who plays Margaret Houston on Gordy's Home * Andrew Patrick Ralston as Tom Bogan, who plays Brett Houston on Gordy's Home.
Themes and interpretations
[wiki_quote=9f82ecdf] The film has been characterized as containing themes related to spectacle and exploitation. GQ Gerrick D. +more Kennedy wrote that Nope "is a movie about spectacle. More specifically, our addiction to spectacle [. ] Nope is about holding a mirror up to all of us and our inability to look away from drama or peril. " Kennedy also states that "the erasure of black contributions" to the history of filmmaking plays a significant role in the film. Writer-director Jordan Peele was partly inspired to write Nope by the COVID-19 lockdowns and the "endless cycle of grim, inescapable tragedy" in 2020.
Richard Brody of The New Yorker considered Nope to be a film about exploitation and the cinematic history of exploitation in film; he wrote that he thought the premise of the film was "acknowledging and extending cinema's legacy while also redressing its omissions and misrepresentations of history. " Brody also noted that the film's action "pivots on the power and the nature of movie technology", and felt that the film critiqued computer-generated imagery (CGI) in its TV commercial production scene, writing, "Peele presents [CGI] as a dubious temptation and a form of dangerous power. +more" Brody interpreted the choice to have the space creatures target a black-owned horse farm as "a sardonic vision of the universality of racism".
Los Angeles Times writer Jen Yamato noted that Steven Yeun's Ricky "Jupe" Park attempts to profit off Jean Jacket with his "Star Lasso Experience" show, falsely believing that, because he survived the Gordy incident, he shares a similar kinship with Jean Jacket. Zosha Millman of Polygon argues that Jupe's belief that Gordy and Jean Jacket are well-intentioned, despite their capacity to be unpredictable and dangerous, contrasts with the life experience of Daniel Kaluuya's OJ, "who grew up around unruly animals that it was his job to tame. +more As a horse trainer, he knows that animals are worthy of our respect. But it's not part of a grand design, or born from a special relationship with the horse. It's an animal, and it could kill you-but it can be tamed and worked with, if you know what you're doing. " Discussing Jupe's fate, Michael Wincott's character, Antlers Holst, makes mention of Siegfried & Roy-a duo known for training white lions and white tigers-the latter of whom was attacked and severely injured by one of his tigers. GameRevolutions Jason Faulkner further noted "Peele quoting Neon Genesis Evangelion's Angels as the principal inspiration for the film and the monster within", and of the true meaning of Jean Jacket's true form's resemblance to the biblical description of angels; he notes the verse from Nahum prefacing the film as indicative of Peele's thoughts on the Bible, and how if one "think[s] about the way [Jean Jacket] feeds and the concept of people ascending to heaven, [one can] connect the dots [that] Jean Jacket['s species has] been with humanity for a long time, and an attack from one of the creatures could [be] misinterpreted as something from the divine. ".
When watching Gordy move about the wrecked set of Gordy's Home, Jupe notices one of his co-star's shoes inexplicably standing upright; as an adult, Jupe has the shoe on display in his room of Gordy's Home mementos. Millman, along with Cooper Hood of Screen Rant, identify the mysteriously standing shoe as a possible example of a "bad miracle", a label which OJ uses when he and Keke Palmer's Emerald learn that they are seemingly dealing with a UFO. +more Hood writes that the shoe standing up can be viewed as a "bad miracle" due to "the unexplainable nature of the phenomenon and how it happened during a tragedy. It plays into the movie's theme of turning tragic events into a spectacle, as Ricky is profiting off the collectible despite the trauma of its circumstances. " Yamato, however, questions if Jupe "merely imagine[d] the shoe standing impossibly in the air-and is he misremembering that just before being shot, Gordy turned to him in friendship?" Yamato asserts that Jupe has disguised his trauma from the incident "under a veneer of capitalist hustle and humor", and characterizes Jupe's experience as a child actor as one in which he was "exploited and then spit out by the fame machine [. ] and this sets him up to make the fatal mistake of underestimating a creature that's too dangerous to wrangle. ".
On October 1, 2019, Universal Pictures announced a five-year exclusive production partnership with Peele's Monkeypaw Productions. Nope, then an untitled project, was announced on November 9, 2020, with Peele set to write, direct and produce. +more He said, "I wrote it in a time when we were a little bit worried about the future of cinema. So the first thing I knew is I wanted to create a spectacle. I wanted to create something that the audience would have to come see. " Speaking to GQ, Peele stated, "So much of what this world was experiencing was this overload of spectacle, and kind of a low point of our addiction to spectacle. " He added that he "wrote [the film] trapped inside, and so I knew I wanted to make something that was about the sky. I knew the world would want to be outside and at the same time, I knew we had this newfound fear from this trauma, from this time of what it meant to go outside. Can we go outside? So I slipped some of that stuff in. ".
Peele publicly cited King Kong and Jurassic Park, movies about humanity's addiction to spectacle, along with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Signs, and The Wizard of Oz as influences in his writing. He later identified the Angels of Neon Genesis Evangelion as the principal inspiration for the film's premise and monster in the film's production notes, impressed by the "hyper minimalism" and "biomechanical design flair" of Sahaquiel, the 10th Angel. +more He explained his decision to include a major focus on clouds in the film: "The beauty of the sky is enthralling-the first movies, in a way. Every now and then you'll see a cloud that sits alone and is too low, and it gives me this vertigo and this sense of Presence with a capital P. I can't describe it, but I knew if I could bottle that and put it into a horror movie, it might change the way people look at the sky. ".
Peele originally wrote the character of Angel Torres as a "happy-go-lucky" geek-like character until Brandon Perea was cast as the character, who wanted to expand upon and portray him as more grounded. It also took several rewrites for Perea to convince Peele and the Universal executives to change the character's fate in the film's climax from being killed by Jean Jacket to surviving the entire ordeal, saying, "There's no way the story's over in my head. +more There's no way. For how heroic everything kind of seemed at the end, I'm like, there's no way they leave the heroes like this. This is just the start of something new. ".
In February 2021, it was reported Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya had joined the cast, while Jesse Plemons turned down a role in favor of starring in Killers of the Flower Moon. Peele wrote the script with Kaluuya in mind for the role of OJ Haywood. +more In March, Steven Yeun was added to the cast.
Principal photography took place from June 2021 to November 2021 in the Agua Dulce desert in northern Los Angeles County. The production received an estimated $8,364,000 worth of tax credits to shoot in the state of California. +more The film was shot on a budget of $68 million after tax incentives. It was the first to employ trainees (in this case, six) from Universal Filmed Entertainment Group's California Below-the-Line Traineeship for individuals seeking careers behind the camera. Nope was shot by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema using Kodak film, including 65mm film in IMAX, making it the first horror film in history to be shot in this format. Two cameras were used for the nighttime scenes-one for infrared light with narrow bandwidth, and another that captured 70mm film. The overlaid images from these two were then added to the information captured from the film camera, creating the needed footage. On July 22, 2021, Peele revealed the film's title and shared its first promotional release poster, and further castings were confirmed. Peele chose Nope as the title because he wanted to acknowledge movie audiences and their expected reactions to the film. He said he had considered calling the film Little Green Men to reference a theme in the film of humanity's "monetization of spectacle". Filming also took place at the Burbank, California location of Fry's Electronics, which had closed along with all remaining Fry's locations several weeks before filming. The store was recreated in its operating state for filming. Fry's co-founder Randy Fry and his wife, reporter Vicki Liviakis, were present during filming at the Burbank store; they also had a cameo appearance at the Star Lasso Experience scene, which they filmed in two days.
The 1972 Western film Buck and the Preacher, starring Sidney Poitier, is featured throughout the film; Peele said it was "the first film that I know of that had Black cowboys represented in it. The myth that cowboys were just white guys running around, it's just not true, but we don't know that because of Hollywood and the romanticized view of a very brutalized era. +more The film, it shares a spirit. " For her introductory scene, which also opens the film's first trailer, Palmer shot 14 takes of Emerald's monologue about her and OJ's family's history, which initially was not in the script prior to principal photography. Peele described each take as ". very wildly different, uncuttably so. But just a tour de force, one of these things where you see somebody like, 'I'm going to make this choice this time and go for it. ' There's improv in there. ".
CalTech professor John O. Dabiri collaborated with Peele and his team on the design of the Jean Jacket creature's UFO form, and in particular its final true "biblical angel" form, which was inspired by those of Neon Genesis Evangelion and sea creatures such as jellyfish, octopuses and squid, to imagine a hypothetical undiscovered previously extinct sky predator, realistically imagining "how could something like hide in the clouds", with its ability to "generate electric field" taken from electric eels and ghost knifefish, allowing for electric propulsion ("Jean Jacket's fast flying without wings/sails"). +more Guillaume Rocheron of Moving Picture Company (MPC) also worked with Dabiri and Peele on the visual effects shots featuring Jean Jacket, utilizing both CGI and practical effects, the latter particularly involving the use of a helicopter to swirl the dust and dirt on the ground the way the creature does when consuming its victims in the film. The film held its first test screenings just 12 weeks before its July 22 release, with the special effects still being worked on.
Costume designer Alex Bovaird employed a "method approach" to create the characters' wardrobes, using 1990s sitcoms, indie rock bands, and the 1985 film The Goonies as inspiration. To match the film's Californian setting, Bovaird, Peele and their teams decided to create a contrast between "super neon colors against the desert backdrop," and make the film's main characters "look like action heroes, but cool ones. +more" For OJ and Emerald's outfits, Bovaird went against the clichés of how horse ranchers would dress and gave them casual clothes, an example being OJ's orange The Scorpion King crew hoodie, along with portraying Emerald as "tomboy-like" by having her wear clothing that she and OJ may have "left at the ranch. " Bovaird saw the character of Angel Torres as "a bit of a cynical, angry guy" and some sort of "Latin-emo," but still "perky" due to his being a comic relief character, so he dressed him with a dark-colored palette that gets lighter as the film progresses, using band tees, cut-offs and Vans. Ricky "Jupe" Park's red cowboy suit that he wears in the Star Lasso Experience scene almost did not make the cut, for Bovaird was unsure if Peele wanted to go "bold". For the costume of Gordy, Bovaird and his team dressed human actor Terry Notary in a cardigan sweatshirt in the vein of the one Andy (Kerri Green) wore in The Goonies, with yellow and black stripes. Notary's actions were then transferred to the CGI chimpanzee created in post-production.
Sound designer Johnnie Burn said in an interview with IndieWire, "Jordan Peele is a director who really knows how to write for sound. " He continued, "The early conversations were along the lines of 'We want to be super realistic. +more'. And for that, we were kind of resisting the urge to hear anything from the monster too early on, because we wanted it to be credible that this was a predator-and how could something so large be getting away with this if it was making a big noise? . One of the main sounds we used was silence. " Burn represented Jean Jacket's presence in the environment by stripping back layers, such as dialogue, wind, and the chirping of crickets. He additionally engineered wind soundscapes containing faint, obscured sounds, such as screams, to suggest Jean Jacket's movement through the air. The soundtrack was mixed in Dolby Atmos.
The film's score was composed by Michael Abels, who worked with Peele before on Get Out and Us. Abels described his score as having to meet the "threat level" described by Peele in the script and the ideas imposed by the film's quote "What's a bad miracle?" He added, "The music needs to have both those senses together. +more Both a little bit of a sense of awe like we would have looking at the Grand Canyon, but then also the urge to run far away from the Grand Canyon because falling in would not be good. That's the dichotomy that's present in the film [. ] you hear a sense of a little bit of awe and magic, and then there's sheer terror. But then there's also a sense of a real epic adventure towards the end and giant music that accompanies a giant, historic adventure. " Working with the film's sound designer Johnnie Burn, Abels felt that the use of silence played an important role in scoring the film, saying, "The tension between the negative space and the music is actually part of the music. Leaving room for the sound design, even when there's a cue playing, was an important part of the way I approached it. A lot of times in the scariest parts, especially in the earlier parts of this film, you're listening to what you hope you're not going to hear or what you thought you might have heard. The stillness allows you to freak out in that way. ".
The soundtrack album was released by Back Lot Music on July 22, 2022, the same day as the film. The score album also features a remix of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night. +more" Additionally, the film features the songs "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick, "This Is the Lost Generation" by the Lost Generation, and "Exuma, the Obeah Man" by Exuma.
The release of a teaser poster in July 2021 and first-look images in February 2022 were followed by a trailer on February 13, 2022. The trailer, which featured the 1962 Regal Theater recording of Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips", was praised by critics for simultaneously creating suspense and keeping the storyline under wraps; some reviewers began to speculate the film would be about extraterrestrial life. +more Jeremy Mathai of /Film said it "immediately lit the internet on fire and sent fans scurrying for answers as to whether the main antagonist of the film could really be alien invaders from outer space or if Peele has yet another trick up his sleeve. " Jordan Hoffman from Vanity Fair said he enjoyed the song choice and an included static shot with scrolling text, which he compared to a similar shot in the trailer for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The Verges Charles Pulliam-Moore called it "one of the rare modern movies with this much hype around it to make it this close to its release date without the public knowing basically anything about it. " The trailer was also broadcast during Super Bowl LVI, and it earned 86 million views across social media websites during the 24 hours after it aired.
A second poster showing a floating horse was released on March 1, 2022. Bloody Disgustings John Squires said it was "entirely possible that Nope isn't at all the movie it thus far appears to be, with the marketing throwing us off the scent. +more" Lex Briscuso from /Film said that "despite the fact that the new visual doesn't give us very many fresh clues, I'm just happy to see new content continue to pop up out of the blue". On April 16, the NBA Playoffs cross-promoted the film with a clip starring NBA player Stephen Curry. Larry Fitzmaurice of BuzzFeed called it "terrifyingly funny". On April 27, additional footage was shown to around 3,000 exhibition insiders at CinemaCon; Peele asked attendees to be discreet and not reveal any detail about the story. This footage, depicting several characters saying a variation of the word "nope", was later aired as a 30-second television spot during the NBA Finals, confirming the existence of UFOs in the film. Jeremy Methai of /Film called it "thrilling" and noted similarities to the filmography of Steven Spielberg while expressing his belief that "there's something much more going on underneath beyond the extremely easy answer of extraterrestrials terrorizing our helpless protagonists. " Four character posters were released on June 7, 2022, with a featurette released the next day. The final trailer was released on June 9, 2022, featuring the Undisputed Truth's 1971 rendition of the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion". Reviewers noted its lighter tone and said it did a better job at explaining the premise. Justin Carter of Gizmodo said it was reasonable to believe the trailer shared too much information, inadvertently robbing audiences from any potential mystery in the story.
IMAX and Dolby posters were released by the end of June 2022. On July 1, an interactive website for Jupiter's Claim, the fictional theme park Yeun's character owns in the film, was published; in addition to providing hints of the plot, it held weekly drawings with in-world prizes. +more Valerie Ettenhofer of /Film compared a poster on the website for a fictional film titled Kid Sheriff to the poster for the 2003 comedy film Holes. She described the website as "wonderfully interactive, sort of like an old Flash game site, but it also gives some insight into what Nope might be about. " A real-world version of Jupiter's Claim was added permanently as a part of Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour on July 22, making it the first Studio Tour attraction to open the same day the movie it replicates opens in theaters, the other addition to the attraction is the atmosphere such as the lights and tube men flicker off while the sound of the alien be heard and the actors starting to panic then begin to look up. On July 24, 2022, Peele released the intro to Gordy's Home, the fictional sitcom depicted in the film, on his Twitter account.
Nope premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on July 18, 2022. It was released in theaters in the United States on July 22, 2022, by Universal Pictures, a date first revealed in November 2020. +more The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema hosted an outdoor screening of the film at Sunset Ranch Hollywood on July 25, 2022.
It screened at the Cinesphere in IMAX on September 12, 2022, during the Toronto International Film Festival as a special presentation in the main film slate with a pre-film Q&A session with Jordan Peele and Hoyte van Hoytema, despite being released to the public prior to the festival. The film was released to VOD on August 26, 2022. +more It was released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD on October 25, 2022.
Nope grossed $123.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $48.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $171.4 million.
In the United States and Canada, Nope was projected to gross around $50 million from 3,785 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $19. +more5 million on its opening day, including $6. 4 million (down 14% from the $7. 4 million earned by Peele's 2019 film Us) from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $44. 4 million, topping the box office. It also posted the best opening weekend for an original film since Us. While the film came in on the low-end of projections, Deadline Hollywood still deemed it a success, noting its opening was higher than Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ($41 million), another R-rated original film released in July 2019, as well as its Friday-to-Saturday gross not steeply declining, indicating possible legs at the box office. Deadline also reported that despite failing to meet Universal's $50 million opening threshold for a longer 31-day theatrical window before going to premium video on demand, Universal would still honor the longer window for the film. The film dropped 58% in its sophomore weekend to $18. 6 million, finishing second behind newcomer DC League of Super-Pets. It finished third and fifth the following two weekends, with $8. 5 million and $5. 3 million, respectively. On August 9, 2022, during it's third week, the film crossed the $100 million milestone in the United States and Canada, making it the first R-rated film to pass the milestone since Bad Boys for Life in January 2020. It also surpassed Universal's other horror film Halloween Kills ($92 million in the United States and Canada) to become the highest grossing R-rated film in the United States and Canada during the pandemic.
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as Us, while PostTrak reported 79% of filmgoers gave it a positive score.
+more_Scott'>A. O. Scott of The New York Times praised the film's "impeccably managed suspense, sharp jokes and a beguiling, unnerving atmosphere of all-around weirdness", and noted that, "While this movie can fairly be described as Spielbergian, it turns on an emphatic and explicit debunking of Spielberg's most characteristic visual trope: the awe-struck upward gaze. " Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a score of four out of four stars, calling it "an exhilarating piece of cinema filled with memorable characters", and "a classic example of a bold and original film that pays homage to a seemingly endless stream of great movies and yet is more than the sum of its parts. " Odie Henderson, writing for RogerEbert. com, gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, commending the film's sound mixing and calling it "definitely Peele's creepiest movie," and writing that Peele himself "remains a master of misdirection".
David Sims of The Atlantic wrote that "Nope is tinged with the acidic satire that suffused [Peele's] previous two movies, as Peele examines why the easiest way to process horror these days is to turn it into breathtaking entertainment." Likewise, Michael Shindler of The American Spectator singled out Holst as a "polite caricature" of Werner Herzog, highlighting how the latter contrasts favorably with the film's heroes, and noted that Peele "resists the temptation to warp the plot into a hackneyed morality play," instead playing "the story straight" in the vein of Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers.
Chris Evangelista of /Film wrote that "Nope may not be Jordan Peele's best movie to date, but it is his most enjoyable. A true summer movie spectacle meant to be writ large across the screen, giving us thrills, chills, laughs, and that most precious of things: movie magic. +more" David Ehrlich of IndieWire praised the film, saying "It doesn't hurt that Peele's latest boasts some of the most inspired  design since H. R. Giger left his mark on the genre, or that Kaluuya's eyes remain some of Hollywood's most special effects, as Nope gets almost as much mileage from their weariness as Get Out squeezed from their clarity. It's through them that Nope searches for a new way of seeing, returns the Haywoods to their rightful place in film history, and creates the rare Hollywood spectacle that doesn't leave us looking for more. " Screen Rants Ben Kendrick called it "a love letter to filmmaking" and called Brandon Perea's portrayal of Angel Torres a "stand-out" among the supporting cast, while praising Kaluuya and Palmer's performances.
Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair was mixed about the film, saying "As Nope swerves and reels, it often seems distracted by itself, unable to hold its focus on any one thing long enough for deeper meaning, or feeling, to coalesce. " Alonso Duralde of TheWrap wrote "This ultimately feels like four very promising movies mashed together, with spectacular highlights bumping into each other in a way that's ultimately lacking, even as they all demonstrate the prowess and bravado of the filmmaker. +more" Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, writing, "There is something clotted and heavy about this film, with sadly not enough of the humour for which Peele justly became celebrated in his double-act days with Keegan-Michael Key. ".
In July 2022, Perea revealed that he had convinced Peele and the Universal executives to change his character's fate in the film's climax from being killed primarily out of interest in a potential sequel, saying: "There's no way the story's over in my head. There's no way. +more For how heroic everything kind of seemed at the end, I'm like there's no way they leave the heroes like this. This is just the start of something new. " In an interview with Thrillist, Jean Jacket designer John O. Dabiri suggested that the creature survived its apparent death at the film's conclusion. In an interview with The New York Times, Peele addressed a character that was cut from the film, listed on IMDb as Nobody, saying "The story of that character has yet to be told, I can tell you that. Which is another frustrating way of saying, I’m glad people are paying attention. I do think they will get more answers on some of these things in the future. We’re not over telling all of these stories".