Movie Review: Nope (2022)

Synopsis: After watching his dad, a Hollywood horse trainer, get killed by coins and keys falling from the sky, OJ Haywood struggles to keep his father's ranch up and running while, at the same time, suspecting the phenomena was caused by aliens. As more strange events happen on the ranch, he and his sister, Emerald, try to capture the UFO on film, hoping to make money from the footage but soon find their lives in danger.

Who's in it? The movie stars Daniel KaluuyaKeke PalmerBrandon PereaMichael Wincott and Steven Yeun.

Review: I have wanted to see this movie ever since I first saw the trailer. I loved one of writer/director Jordan Peele's other movies, Get Out and was interested to see how he'd approach the alien invasion genre. My wife and I watched it last night and were not disappointed.

There were a couple things I really enjoyed about this movie. One of the main ones is how the film does a good job building the mystery and suspense. OJ (Kaluuya) knows there is something hiding behind a mysterious cloud, but it manages to be stealthy enough to keep mostly hidden until toward the very end. Having the power go out just before it strikes was also a nice touch because it gave just enough warning something bad was about to happen without taking away from the surprise.

As a result of this, while I would consider the film a comedy, it does have some surprisingly intense scenes as well. During the barn scene early on in the film, for example, I thought for sure my wife would need to leave the room (and she was afraid she'd end up with nightmares from it). The scene where you see the alien for the first time also had me on the edge of my seat (and I especially loved how the movie ultimately used that scene to explain the falling coins/keys from earlier in the film).

I also liked the twist involving the alien and how the movie not only strayed away from the whole flying saucer concept but also made the alien animal-like, stalking humans for the basic need to eat without necessarily being more intelligent. This, in turn, left the creature's origins up for debate. Everyone assumed it was an alien, but it could have just been an undiscovered terrestrial species too.

Final Opinion: The movie does take a little bit to get going but will ultimately reward you for your patience. It is definitely a film that is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A


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