“Nope” is out of this world


Art by Mandy Zhang.

Joey Harinsky, Deputy Culture Editor

This previously ran in our September 2022 issue. 

Following up the massive success of his previous two films, Get Out and Us, writer and director Jordan Peele brings us into a new world of fright and spectacle in this past Summer’s biggest blockbuster, Nope, a nice acronym for “Not Of Planet Earth.” 

Peele’s movie features an all-star cast of Emmy Winner Keke Palmer, Oscar Winner Daniel Kaluuya, as well as Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea, and Michael Wincott. 

The film follows two siblings, OJ and Emerald Haywood, who are horse trainers for Hollywood films. OJ is a stoic and quiet character, reminiscent of cowboys in old westerns, foiled by Emerald, who is an outgoing, larger-than-life personality, her antics clash with OJ’s at times, but, ultimately, her drive is what fuels the narrative of the movie. 

After the mysterious death of their father six months prior, their horse ranch begins to undergo strange occurances. As it turns out, this is the result of an alien ship feeding off of the horses on the ranch. With the help of a young “tech guy” named Angel and a grizzled cinematographer named Antlers, the group attempt to capture this wondrous extraterrestrial phenomenon on camera. 

Nope starts with a slow burn and builds suspense much like Peele’s other two films. It also follows his trend of increasing the scope of each successive movie, pushing the boundaries of how human a story can be as it grows in scale. Jordan Peele is able to craft his films in an incredibly unique manner, his emphatic voice in his writing shining through and seamlessly blends fantastical ideas and metaphors for trauma. 

At its core, Nope is about the dangers of profiting off of others trauma, shown primarily through two characters in the film: Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park and a TMZ paparazzi photographer, both of whom meet not-so-fortunate fates towards the climax in the movie.

Nope gets a lot right, as a visually beautiful film, and only rivaled by Top Gun: Maverick in the field of blockbuster filmmaking this year. The soundtrack and licensed music choices are great and the acting across the board is phenomenal, especially from lead actress Keke Palmer.

The film is not a perfect one and may not even be Jordan Peele’s best movie, but if you’re looking for a very enjoyable way to spend two hours of your life, I highly recommend Nope

4/5 stars.