Scott Tailford’s review published on Letterboxd:
Just utter, utter confusion. Nolan has made something that fundamentally does not work under the base rules of filmmaking - those being character development, pacing, exposition, narrative grounding etc.
Tenet is a film that is LITERALLY just a concept. It's like he looked at the critics over the years - the ones saying Inception was too confusing; that Interstellar wasn't brainy *enough* - and wrote something clearly only he and a handful of quantum physicists would understand.
Don't get me wrong, everything is understandable... at least from about 2 hours in and fully by the end. The entire reason you're supposed to care whatsoever comes in the closing moments, and this unique time-bending adventure does wrap up fairly neatly - at least on paper.
However, when you have a script that tells the audience - multiple times - not to care about the rules of what's going down, you can't then hang what is otherwise a character-devoid, overly noisy action flick on such flimsy foundations.
There is nothing but the concept, but unlike the majesty and magician's tricks of Inception or The Prestige, "figuring it out" along the way isn't satisfying. Post-credits it's just baffling as to why you'd make a movie this way.
Maybe just to show off? Just to own all the criticisms, Tarantino-style, and do a Nolan-ised version of a woman's foot centre frame?
"Look guys, I know what I'm doing! My main character's called The Protagonist!"
Honestly I like that Nolan can do these movies; I like that Mad Scientist Shit can happen on such a grand scale, in an industry so increasingly devoid of originality. This though? As the great bastion of why non-franchise flicks work for the masses? It simply doesn't work.