JoeVan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nope, more like Dope! Quality-wise this is the spiritual sequel to Get Out. Peele is back in full force with this one, from messaging, to motivations. The story is a complete homerun in my book. From OJ (Daniel Kaluuya), to Emerald (Keke Palmer), to Ricky the cowboy (Steven Yeun), and Angel (Brandon Perea), Antlers (Michael Wincott), and the TMZ guy; every character is written incredibly well.
One of the more subtle characterizations that I feel most people being confused or disappointed by is in Ricky. I won't go into spoilers but will just say that his portrayal of a person who went through a terrible thing which motivates him to perform questionable actions is fully justified in the context of the film, in my opinion.
The twist is incredible and dips into a subgenre of storytelling that is sorely underused in modern American cinema. It's laid out in an amazing way, a classic slow burn, but pays everything off ten fold.
The third act, while formulaic, delivers on every front. It concludes everything it set up, not just with the plot but each characters' stake in the game. Outside entity be damned, each person has a drive, a life that led them to where they were at the beginning events we see in the movie, and this external threat acts as a vehicle for their dreams, disappointments, and desires.
One final note, and still without any spoilers, there are two major themes that poked out to me while watching Nope, and both resonated as clearly as if it weren't messaging between the lines. The amount of work it takes to have a message sandwiched between the main story is a hard thing to convey. I feel like Get Out did an incredible job with it's one main message, and with Us I feel like it didn't have any underlying message or theme to be found unfortunately. That, in and of itself amplifies Nope to being a top tier film and instant classic.
If you haven't seen Nope yet, get on it! I highly recommend it.