Initial reactions to Jordan Peele’s No have been pouring in as the film continues its Los Angeles premiere, earning praise for the director’s turn towards science fiction and comparisons to directors like Steven Spielberg.
Expectations are high for No, given Peel’s emergence as one of the most beloved directors of the past five years. His film debut, Get Out, received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for director Peel and actor Kaluuy. Peel won an Academy Award for Original Screenplay. The film’s worldwide gross of $255 million was comparable to Peel’s sequel Us, which was critically acclaimed and had fans immersed in spirals of theory and explanation.
Despite having built a brand for himself with just two films, Peel assured that he entered No relatively free of the public’s expectations of him.
“We tried to make a big summer blockbuster that you can enjoy however you want,” Peele said. Diversity Angelica Jackson at the movie premiere. “You want to come in and just smoke a big joint and talk to a friend about social issues, you can do that. If you want to come and just relax and get away from it all and see Keke Palmer in the middle of a UFO, then this is what we have for you.”
No reunites Peel with his Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya in the story of two siblings (Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who discover an alien spaceship hovering over their family’s horse farm. The duo intend to capture the spacecraft on camera, but the mission does not go according to plan.
Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Wrenn Schmidt and Keith David round out the cast of No. The film marks Peel’s first collaboration with cinematographer Hoyt van Hoytem, best known for Christopher Nolan’s films Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet.
On Tuesday, No begins screening for critics in most major markets, but some members of the press have already seen the film in previews.
Collider Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub did not praise the details, but assured that his opinion was a “thumbs up”.
And cinematographer Hoyt Van Hoytema shot the film using @IMAX cameras, so if you’re going to see #nope watch in IMAX. Hoytema previously directed Tenet, Dunkirk and Interstellar. pic.twitter.com/92z9udtRMT
— Stephen Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) July 19, 2022
CNN entertainment reporter Frank Pallotta called the film “out of this world”, peppering his praise with references to Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter and Adam McKay.
NO not of this world. A monstrous mess with great acting (especially Kaluuy) and a 50s sci-fi invasion motif. A performance about the horrors of spectacles.
Jordan Peele has been compared to Hitchcock, but NOPE shows he’s a new generation Carpenter. Enjoy the show and keep your eyes peeled. pic.twitter.com/dGKwbXg0WF
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) July 19, 2022
People’s senior news editor Nigel Smith called No a “decisive YES”, calling the film “an exciting and strange spectacle”.
#NoFilm this is a resounding YES. Watch it on the biggest screen you can find. A breathtaking and strange sight like no other. I will never look at the sky the same way again.
— Nigel Smith (@nigelmfs) July 19, 2022
Daily Dead News managing editor Heather Wixon called the film “absolutely phenomenal”, praising the combination of the genre with “Hollywood calculation”.
So #NoFilm absolutely phenomenal in many ways. Perfectly combines sci-fi spectacle with a story that is also something of a Hollywood reckoning and it exceeded all my expectations. Superbly shot, the sound mix is thunderous, and the cast shines. Love love loved it. pic.twitter.com/qdcZIvsX5T
— Heather Wixon (@MMEFXBook is available now!) (@thehorrorchick) July 19, 2022
Huffington Post senior cultural reporter Candice Frederick is still working on the film. This seems to have given her a lot of food for thought.
I don’t know how you can react so quickly to #NoFilm. I still think about it.
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) July 19, 2022
A member of the Hollywood Critics Association praised No’s ambition, with the caveat that he felt the film was Peel’s weakest work to date.
No is Jordan Peele’s most ambitious film, but also his weakest. The first act is great, but by the second it loses its footing and becomes a bad M. Night Shyamalan film with Spielberg elements. It lacks a sense of being focused on a story that is never fully realized. #NoFilm
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) July 19, 2022
See more reactions below:
#NOPEMovie it’s not what you expect and the trailer doesn’t do it justice.
Jordan Peele does the unimaginable again.
RUN DO NOT GO TO IT THIS WEEKEND.
GIVE KEKA PALMER ALL THE AWARDS THIS YEAR.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) July 19, 2022
The most important thing you need to know about NOPE is that it is very different from Get Out & Us. This is Jordan Peele spreading his wings and making big-budget sci-fi in the style of Spielberg, but with the expected overtones. Enter with an open mind and you will be rewarded. #NoFilm
— Kevin Polovi (@djkevlar) July 19, 2022
#NoFilm this is an absolute blast!! @JordanPeel created a loving homage to fans of a certain Spielberg masterpiece – I’ll let you figure it out. The cast is great and the sound and scenery is flawless! Full review @joblocom very soon! It’s a wild ride!
— JimmytotheO (@JimmytotheO) July 19, 2022
Jordan Peele #nope this is one of the best movies i have seen this year! It’s frightening and brutal, but at the same time very funny and unlike any UFO movie you’ve ever seen. This is a completely unique and VERY entertaining horror epic full of wild surprises and a memorable performance by Keke Palmer. pic.twitter.com/iua9HPt0RG
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) July 19, 2022
Jordan Peele’s “No” is his most confident, unrestricted, and perhaps most controversial point of view. By swapping horror exclamation marks for sci-fi question marks, it’s less scary. With hints of Close Encounters, Jaws and more. #NoFilm this is a real puzzle. pic.twitter.com/Ny3EVaLTqW
— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) July 19, 2022
#NoFilm otherworldly, but indescribable. From cases of sheer horror to heartfelt moments between characters, #nope it’s an experience that won’t be easy to shake off when you find yourself picking your jaw off the floor. Jordan Peele did it again! @nopemovie pic.twitter.com/bUr1ad5TAx
— Shannon McGrew 🎃🍭 @ Screaming Into the Void (@shannon_mcgrew) July 19, 2022
#reaction #director #Jordan #Peele #praised #critics