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Nope (IMAX in some cinemas)


Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Michael Wincott, Brandon Perea, Steven Yeun, Donna Mills, Keith David, Osgood Perkins, Alex Hyde-White

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer-director Poole, who kicked off his career with a cracker in Get Out, then hit the buffers with his second, Us, recovers some of that lost ground in this visually striking sci-fi thriller with some hackle-raising, creepy moments, but a more conventional, if still imaginative denouement.

Horse wrangler O J Haywood (Kaluuya) is stunned to see objects fall out of the sky, one of which kills his father (David). Later, working his desert horse ranch with his motormouth sister Emerald (Palmer), he's disturbed by the sight of a cloud on the hilly horizon that doesn't seem to move.

Soon, a glimpse of a flying saucer has him crouching in his barn. The saucer later reveals lethal intent at a fairground, and brother and sister are joined by a local camera nerd (Perea) and later by a grizzled chronicler of unusual events (Wincott). If photographing the extra-terrestrial intruder is tricky, getting rid of it looks impossible.

Palmer, all grown up from the child star of Akeelah and the Bee, is easily the best thing in the film, although Perea has his moments and there's a nice cameo for one-time TV movie queen Mills, who made her first impact as long ago as 1967 in Play 'Misty' for Me. Kaluuya is pretty monosyllabic, though that's not entirely his fault given the script.

Peele conjures up some very scary sequences that owe not a little to the Japanese horror genre , and there's a neat and suspenseful climax. The story isn't really strong enough to sustain a film of this length, but the director's skill sees it through.

The meaningless title hardly suits the movie, but I guess that they couldn't come up with anything better.

David Quinlan

USA 2022. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Company 3.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 07 Aug 2022