GWoodhouse’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was unsure whether to give it 4 stars or 3 and a half, but as it's 3 hours later and I still have a genuinely painful headache, it's down to 2 and a half. It was 3 but I got a grip whilst editing this and in retrospect, this film's much worse.
Between Hoytema's cinematography, Lame's editing and particularly whichever moron heads up the sound dept (couldn't get a straight answer from iMBD)- Nolan's team has forgotten human beings need to sit down and watch this and not crash driving home afterwards. I can live with disorientating, but the technical arrogance to make films that give people headaches and not 'compromise' is peak self-indulgence. It may just be me, but I find it hard to believe it isn't. At least Dunkirk had a historically valid reason to do this to you. Ranting part over.
The story is utter Nolan puzzle box, and there's lots of dialogue and strands to keep up on. For me, it was a bit too many so I had to follow the gist of what was going on, which still worked. Whilst I understand Nolan's intent, I feel that the disorientation undermined the big emotional hits and even amongst the complexity several big twists were very predictable early on. To detract even more, the characters in this (and Dunkirk for that matter) were so locked into 'Nolan-world' they never really developed as people and sunk into the scenery. Only Debecki and Branagh stood out and that's because the plot needed them to.
Ultimately- this is inferior (and self-indulgent) Inception. A similar film which was way less convoluted, better made and filled with characters I can still remember. EVERYTHING done in Tenet is done better in Inception. Nolan (who's now stagnating as a filmmaker) needs to reshuffle his team and his ideas, and reconnect with his audience.