It would appear that Chris Nolan‘s Tenet is widely admired — 88% and…wait a minute, only 71% on Metacritic? Okay, it’s mostly admired. Three out of ten in the negative column.

When it comes to assessing the pros and cons of any heavy-duty blockbuster from a major distributor, at least 90% if not 95% of critics will strive for some kind of generosity if not positivity, even if the critic in question wasn’t completely knocked out. Somewhere between 5% and 10% will speak more honestly. That’s simply the way it works. Now and then that percentage can extent to 15% or 20%

The most trustworthy reviews in the world are when you run into a friend in a parking lot who’s just seen it, and he/she gives you 75 or 100 words of straight dope. This is what I’ve always aimed for — parking-lot candor, no time for bullshit, etc. I’ve dropped the ball two or three times in that regard, but to err is human.

Robert Pattinson, John David Washington.

Indiewire‘s Mike Cahill: “Where did it all go wrong? Deep in the film’s tangled DNA, there are traces of an effervescent, boundless, city-hopping romp. Turn time back! Reopen cinemas! Save the world!

“But there’s zero levity in “Tenet”: Nolan simply reverses time in an effort to bring dead ideas back to life. And if he couldn’t have envisioned Saturday-night moviegoing being among them, it feels doubly sorrowful that a film striving to lure us all outdoors should visit this many locations and not once allow us to feel sunlight or fresh air on our faces.

“Visually and spiritually grey, Tenet is too terse to have any fun with its premise; it’s a caper for shut-ins, which may not preclude it becoming a runaway smash.”

From Catherine Shoard’s review in The Guardian:

“It’s no wonder Christopher Nolan thinks Tenet can save cinema. That’s a doddle compared to the challenge faced in his film, which, we’re frequently reminded, is a proper whopper. Prevent world war three? Bigger. Avoid armageddon? Worse. To spell it out would be a spoiler, but think 9/11 times a hundred, to quote Team America: World Police, a film Tenet faintly resembles.

“Lucky, really, because Tenet is not a movie it’s worth the nervous braving a trip to the big screen to see, no matter how safe it is. I’m not even sure that, in five years’ time, it’d be worth staying up to catch on telly. To say so is sad, perhaps heretical. But for audiences to abandon their living rooms in the long term, the first carrot had better not leave a bad taste.

“For all Tenet’s technical ambition, the plot is rote and the furnishings tired.

Tenet’s real engine is its action sequences, in particular one involving a cargo plane and another multi-car chase. They’re good; they have to be.

“As the eagle-eyed have pointed out, Tenet is a palindrome, which means it’s possible you’ll see some of the same scenes twice. Yet, for all the nifty bits of reverse chronology, there’s little that lingers in the imagination in the same way as Inception or even Interstellar’s showcase bendy business.

“There’s something grating about a film which insists on detailing its pseudo-science while also conceding you probably won’t have followed a thing. We’re clobbered with plot then comforted with tea-towel homilies about how what’s happened has happened.

“You exit the cinema a little less energized than you were going in.”

Not to get all textbooky, but a palindrome “is a word, number, phrase, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as madam or racecar. There are also numeric palindromes, including date/time stamps that mean the same both ways — 11/11/11, 11:11, 02/02/2020,” etc.