The First ‘Nope’ Reviews Praise Jordan Peele For Delivering His Biggest Genre Love Letter Yet

Whenever a studio holds back reviews until just before the release date, the conventional wisdom is to be concerned about the final product. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Jordan Peele‘s latest directorial effort, Nope, which reunites him with Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya for a surprising summer blockbuster. The film is racking up positive reviews from critics, which suggests that the embargo was simply to avoid spoilers that, don’t worry, you won’t find below.

After delivering smaller-sized horror fare like the aforementioned Get Out and Us, Peele appears to have taken his genre love to new heights with Nope, which sees the director tackling his largest spectacle yet via a UFO invasion. For the most part, Nope appears to be hitting hard with critics with only a few reservations about whether the movie’s parts work as a whole.

You can scope out excerpts from the first batch of reviews below:

Mike Ryan, Uproxx:

With Nope [Jordan Peele]’s proven he knows how to make an unbelievably entertaining summer alien movie that can draw the masses … while at the same time warn people about the nature and danger of spectacle.

David Ehrlich, IndieWire:

While Jordan Peele has fast become one of the most relevant and profitable of modern American filmmakers, “Nope” is the first time that he’s been afforded a budget fit for a true blockbuster spectacle, and that’s exactly what he’s created with it. But if this smart, muscular, and massively entertaining flying saucer freak-out is such an old school delight that it starts with a shout-out to early cinema pioneer Eadweard Muybridge (before paying homage to more direct influences like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”), it’s also a thoroughly modern popcorn movie for and about viewers who’ve been inundated with — and addicted to — 21st century visions of real-life terror.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap:

There’s no accusing of Peele of playing it safe, but the further he gets from the lean cohesiveness of “Get Out,” the more divisive and perplexing his films become. That may well be the point, and “Nope” will certainly set off new debates about what he’s doing, and why, and whether it was worth it.

Nick Schager, The Daily Beast:

Peele finds himself back on solid footing with Nope, a science-fiction horror show that flourishes on its own monster-movie terms, and then laces its mayhem with pointed and invigorating undercurrents. It’s large-scale filmmaking done right, and proof that when he’s on his game, Peele remains one of contemporary cinema’s most skillful genre artists.

Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter:

This elusive third feature from the director of Get Out and Us peacocks its ambitions (and budget) while indulging in narrative tangents and detours. It is sprawling and vigorous. Depending on your appetite for the heady and sonorous, it will either feel frustratingly perplexing or strike you as a work of unquestionable genius.

Brian Truitt, USA Today:

Yep, it was a good idea for Jordan Peele to have the keys to a flying saucer movie. The subtly ambitious “Nope” trades the writer/director’s penchant for horror – where he’s become one of the most important new voices in recent years – for some old-fashioned sci-fi terror and full-on big-screen spectacle.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is a tantalizingly creepy mixed bag of a sci-fi thriller. It’s a movie that taps into our fear and awe of UFOs, and for a while it holds us in a shivery spell. It picks the audience up and carries it along, feeding off spectral hints of the otherworldly.

Alison Willmore, Vulture:

Nope is a work of sly devastation from writer-director Jordan Peele that, like his previous films Get Out and Us, is a horror comedy with a speculative premise — in this case, by way of the saucer-shaped UFO lurking in the clouds about the Haywood Ranch in Agua Dulce. Unlike in Get Out, where Kaluuya’s character Chris discovers he’s been lured into a trap by a cabal of body-snatching white liberals, or Us, where malevolent doppelgangers swarm out of the earth like collectors coming for a long-overdue bill, in Nope, the danger is, to a certain degree, opt-in.

Nope opens in theaters on July 22.