simon taylor’s review published on Letterboxd:
in Tenet, life and experience are not story-like journeys nor are they even personal histories; they are passages of time defined by information intake rather than the forward momentum of plunging into the future. instinct and action break through the barriers of time in mind-twisting fashion while being manipulated into the weapons of espionage in a communicative technological war. it is fascinating to see how the film plays with the role industrialization has taken with "speeding up" time (especially in military), but instead, time collapses in on itself here; it inhabits a level of progress that was never supposed to happen for the good of everyone based on how properly disordered and mazed this feels. nolan inflates these stakes by bending notions of a "divided knowledge" into more than just differences of opinion in discourse and disinformation, but rather a hammer swinging down from the future to cause chaos and destroy all sense of continuity humanity has (psychically and literally). the film is cold and clinical with a hard-hitting score that is truly designed for a movie-going experience. its soul does not match its size, but that is not really a bad thing considering not only its often overwhelming structure but also how nuanced the performances are. these characters admittedly have little interiority, but this was never about the life of one individual person as much as it is about fixing past mistakes at both micro and macro levels; the latter setting being where nolan shines the brightest. a bond-like spectacle that i have wanted from this director for a long while.