Tenet ★★★½

For months, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has been promoted more as a canary in a coal mine than an actual film. With every shifted release date, the reality of the dangers surrounding COVID-19 only increased, all while the film flirted with those same hazards. Nolan had hoped his blockbuster would bring back theaters, but that dream still feels fanciful — even as the blockbuster nears its questionable release. Given his insistence for the theater experience, Nolan’s reputation has likely taken a hit, but his rank as a cinematic puzzlemaker remains intact. Mirroring the film’s perplexing route to release, Tenet is a murky globetrotting spy thriller, elevated by cinema-changing set pieces, and yet lowered by a classic case of visual ambition thwarting basic storytelling. [full review, available at Consequence of Sound]

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