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Critics say 'yep' to Jordan Peele's 'Nope,' hailing it his most 'ambitious' & 'wild' film to date

The first reactions are here, and Nope sounds like a fun, perhaps a little puzzling, time at the movies.

By Matthew Jackson
Steven Yeun as Ricky “Jupe” Park in Nope

As with his first two films, Get Out and Us, writer/director Jordan Peele has been relatively tight-lipped about the story he's trying to tell with Nope. Peele's third feature is, as far as audiences are concerned, still a bit of a mystery box ahead of its release on Friday. What Peele's been far less secretive about is his desire to make his third film a big summer spectacle with the grandest scale of any of his efforts so far. 

Billed as a "horror epic" by Universal Pictures, Nope follows a brother and sister (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who reunite at the family horse ranch after the death of their father and try to keep the business going. When a strange event in the sky suggests that they might be targeted by alien visitors, they decide it might be their ticket to recapturing some of the family's Hollywood history, and hire a documentary film crew to help them capture high-quality evidence of UFOs. What happens next...well, that's the big question right now. 

There's no question, though, that Nope is one of the most-hyped and most-anticipated movies of the year, and the first reactions from early screenings seem to indicate that fans were justified to be so excited. The social embargo for the film was lifted late Monday, and those lucky enough to have seen it already are calling Nope an ambitious, thrilling, and sometimes even a little puzzling summer thrill ride with shades of Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Carpenter. Let's take a look at some of the most intriguing early responses to the film below. 

"Jordan Peele’s #Nope is one of the best films I’ve watched this year! It’s frightening & ferocious, but also very funny & unlike any UFO movie you’ve ever seen. It is a wholly unique & VERY entertaining horror epic full of wild surprises & an unforgettable Keke Palmer performance," Erik Davis of Fandango said.

"With #Nope, Jordan Peele continues his brilliant run crafting detailed, layered, and fascinating horror films, and it's a blast. It's a summer spectacle about spectacle, and while there are many flavors mixed in, it's particularly an excellent tribute to Jaws. Peele is 3-for-3," CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg said.

"NOPE is out of this world. A monster mash with great performances (esp. Kaluuya) and a 50s sci-fi invasion motif. A spectacle about the horrors of spectacles. Jordan Peele has been compared to Hitchcock, but NOPE shows he’s a next-gen Carpenter. Enjoy the show and don’t look up," CNN's Frank Pallotta said.

Find out how the film plays for you when Nope hits theaters this Friday.