#NOPEMOVIE – Movie Review

Nope – Budget of $68 million – 2 hours and 11 minutes

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Otis Haywood and Otis Jr. prepare their horse, Ghost, for Ghost’s next film role. The Haywood Hollywood Horseranch is the only black-owned wrangler ranch in the country, and Otis’s great-great-grandfather was the jockey in The Horse in Motion. During training, debris falls from the sky and gravely wounds Otis. Otis Jr., also known as OJ, tries to get Otis to the hospital, but it’s too late. When OJ gets home, he notices shrapnel in Ghost’s skin.

Now, shy OJ has to run the business with his outspoken little sister, Emerald. While Emerald wants to be in front of the camera, she does all the talking on set. At first, the horse is ok, but it panics when a gaffer puts a mirror in its face. The director tells OJ to spend more time with the horses. OJ takes the horse and Emerald to Jupiter’s Claim, a small western-themed attraction in town. OJ sells his horse to the owner Jupe but hopes to repurchase it. Emerald can’t believe OJ is selling the horses, but he doesn’t want to hear her opinion because she isn’t involved with the ranch. They make up over drinks and music when Emerald notices Ghost is in the arena. OJ goes to wrangle the horse but sees something moving in the clouds, causing anything electrical to go out. 

OJ tells Emerald what he saw, and they go to the electronic store to get some cameras. The cashier, Angel, offers to help set it up as part of the store’s deal. At first, Emerald says not but changes her mind after Angel discusses the set-up’s complexity. Angel sets up the cameras but becomes curious when OJ asks him to point the cameras at the sky. So he hacks in and watches. Angel notices one cloud never moves. He knows the Haywoods have a UFO or UAP. With proof, Emerald calls the director, Antlers, from the shoot and asks for help to capture the Oprah shot. Antlers says no. When dozens of people go missing from Jupiter’s Claim, Antlers wants to assist. Emerald and OJ hope the footage will save their ranch, but they have no clue what they are dealing with in the sky.

Executives marked this film as a horror, but this Jordan Peele experience is more thriller and comedy, and it gives a brief history of cinema but focuses on the ranch. The script allows viewers to see the relationship between Emerald and OJ and OJ’s growth. The juxtaposition between the sibling’s personalities blares on screen. Emerald is outspoken, assertive, and a jill-of-all-trades. OJ is soft-spoken, doesn’t look people in the eye, and focuses on one job. At times, he appears to be on the spectrum, but he has more in common with his horses than people. Of course, there is a twist in this film. It makes OJ’s skills a necessity. Let’s not forget the statement the movie makes about paparazzi and lookie-loos. At times you want to cover your eyes, but Peele adds comedy to keep your eyes on the screen. The graphics on the UFO and its inner working are visually compelling. However, you don’t get the full effect until halfway through the film, but the unveiling is worth it. This movie has less social commentary than other works by Peele. So it won’t be your favorite of his works, but it is fun to watch.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Nope – Otis Jr.

You good – Otis

Why is Ghost in the arena – Emerald

Yeah, probably not my lifetime – Antlers

There is a bug on the camera – Angel

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