Keith MacDonald’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Don’t try and understand it. Just feel it.”
I really have no idea where to start with this. I can't say that going in I was knowingly looking forward to this because I'm definitely not the biggest Nolan fan, but it couldn't even live up to my low expectations. It's so fucking incoherent. None of it makes any sense whatsoever. I shit on Inception for it's many plot holes but at least that film has enough of a plot for me to say there's holes in it. Nothing about the story of this works from a logic standpoint. All the Nolan fanboys will try and tell themselves that (and everyone else) just because they didn't understand it it means that it just went over there heads; no, it just doesn't work. I cannot stress enough how NONE of this makes sense, it’s all bullshit and contains no logic whatsoever. About half way through it started getting so incoherent that I could almost just forget and watch it as absolute nonsense, and past that point it was fun to watch. The sound is genuinely awful at times (particularly that first scene is atrociously mixed/edited), there's some really bad editing in here that just jumps to new scenes when it shouldn't. Thats not usually a criticism I make in films because generally speaking I never notice that sort of thing, but it was so apparent here I had to mention it. The score was a major disappointment, sometimes it was good and others it was just too loud or unnoticeable. Kenneth Branagh was really bad in this. The film really should've focused more on it's characters because John David Washington and, in particular, Battinson, were the best part of the movie. See at this point I know I'm just rambling on but at least I know that I could keep writing more random bullshit and this review would still be more coherent then the entirety of this film. The more I think about it this might be some of the worst story telling in the entire history of film.
I do need to add that this does have 2 1/2 stars because 1. Like I said before, I had a good time watching parts of this, and 2. I still respect the hell out of Nolan as a filmmaker of pure spectacle. I can write about the terrible storytelling in this all I want but he also blew up a freaking airplane for this so I gotta respect it. It's just a real shame that every time I tried appreciating his filmmaking, particularly with the backwards movement through time, I was reminded how none of this "reverse time travel" makes any sense.
This paragraph is going to contain very minor spoilers for a line in the trailer so if you want to know nothing, don't read the next couple sentences. "As I understand it, we're trying to prevent World War lll." Um, what??? There's nothing in this film whatsoever that resemble that. That kind of conflict isn't even mentioned another time in the film. What?!?!?! That’s basically the logic that the entirety of this film contains.
So yeah, I'm obviously pretty mixed on this (leaning negative). I'm sure I'll watch it again at some point, and if I get the chance I'll see it in a theater. Throughout the entire runtime I knew how stupid it was, and in the back of my head I was thinking "3/5", but then something happened when the credits started. I looked up at the screen, saw "Directed by Christopher Nolan" and just whispered "fuck". I had finally seen this anticipated movie from one of the most respected directors in Hollywood, who we won't see another film from in 3-4 years, and that was it. This guy will only get to make so many films in his life time, and THAT WAS IT. By the time his next film comes out I’ll be a college graduate. All that time and I’ll never get to see another film on the big screen that ends with “Directed by Christopher Nolan.”
All I have for you is a word: disappointment