Nope ★★★★

“The hero of Get Out, Jordan Peele’s tense, tightly wound debut film, is a photographer. His camera – his ‘eye’ – becomes the primary means by which he does battle with evil. Its flash frees hypnosis victims from brainwashing, restoring them to themselves, and so the symbolism comes neatly into focus. The camera renders invisible evil visible, robbing it of its power. One might take this to be the driving thesis of Peele’s films: the director intends to do battle with various evils by turning his camera against them. To see them is to defeat them… right?

The hint is in the title: Nope.

Peele’s latest film, his third, turns his first on its head. In Get Out, the camera was a healer, a liberator; in Nope, the camera becomes a consumer, a devourer. In hindsight, maybe the premise that seeing would save the world seems a little naïve, a little simplistic. To see evil is not necessarily to turn away from it. Quite the opposite: if we contemplate it too deeply and too long, we might not be able to tear our eyes away.”

I loved Top Gun: Maverick just like everybody else, but now that the dust has settled, I’m pretty sure Nope was my favorite movie of the summer – and maybe even the entire year.

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