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Tenet (2020)

PG-13 | | Action, Sci-Fi | 3 September 2020 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.


Christopher Nolan
6 ( 1)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Juhan Ulfsak ... Passenger
Jefferson Hall ... Well-Dressed Man
Ivo Uukkivi Ivo Uukkivi ... Uniformed Official
Andrew Howard ... Driver
John David Washington ... Protagonist
Rich Ceraulo Ko ... SWAT / Target
Jonathan Camp ... SWAT 2
Wes Chatham ... SWAT 3
Sander Rebane Sander Rebane ... Ukrainian SWAT
Martin Donovan ... Fay
Clémence Poésy ... Barbara
Josh Stewart ... Male Voice (voice)
Robert Pattinson ... Neil
Dimple Kapadia ... Priya
Denzil Smith ... Sanjay

Director's Trademarks: The Films of Christopher Nolan

IMDb dives into the distinct trademarks of Christopher Nolan's directorial style to illustrate what The Dark Knight, Inception, and Memento have in common.

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In a twilight world of international espionage, an unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist, is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet to participate in a global assignment that unfolds beyond real time. The mission: prevent Andrei Sator, a renegade Russian oligarch with precognition abilities, from starting World War III. The Protagonist will soon master the art of "time inversion" as a way of countering the threat that is to come. Written by jesusblack-91294

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Time Runs Out


Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia doubled as the fictional "Oslo Freeport." See more »


It is established that going backwards requires an external breathing apparatus, but Kat does not wear one at any point while on the boat with Andrei. However, this is because she only went backwards in time while in the shipping container, and on the yacht she was going forwards again after "reversing" in Oslo. See more »


The Protagonist: To do what I do, I need some idea of the threat we face.
Barbara: As I understand it, we're trying to prevent World War III.
The Protagonist: I'm not seeing Armageddon here. Nuclear holocaust?
Barbara: No. Something worse.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros and Syncopy logos are respectively shaded red and blue, the colors used in the film to represent normal/inverted time. See more »

Alternate Versions

British theatrical version was cut (in one fight scene) to secure the desired "12A" rating. See more »


Referenced in Sky News Breakfast: Episode dated 21 August 2020 (2020) See more »


The Plan
Written by Travis Scott (as Jacques Webster), Wonda Gurl (as Ebony Naomi Oshunrinde) and Ludwig Göransson
Performed by Travis Scott
Produced by Ludwig Göransson and Wonda Gurl
Travis Scott appears courtesy of Cactus Jack/Epic Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

User Reviews

Intellectually challenging but emotionally underwhelming
31 August 2020 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

It's simply great to return to the cinema and watch a new movie for the first time in half a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this, it's not just any movie but the new film by British cult director Christopher Nolan who has just celebrated his fiftieth birthday. As you might expect from his films, Tenet is visually stunning, profoundly philosophical and challengingly intellectual.

On the positive side, the visual aspects of this science-fiction film are quite impressive. Especially the battle and car chase scenes are memorable and should be experienced at your local cinema and not on a streaming platform. The story comes around with a few surprises and multiple details that might take some time to sink in. Still, the plot never gets too complex or confusing. You need to stay fully focused for two and a half hours but you will get rewarded with a unique movie that walks off the beaten path. While the overall acting performances are overall average, Kenneth Branagh is absolutely stunning as unpredictable antagonist worthy of a classic movie of the James Bond franchise.

Tenet is however not without a few flaws. While the story is quite intellectual, the emotional component is overall rather underwhelming. The protagonist is sympathetic but nothing more and the side characters are often lacking depth to a point when you stop caring about their fates. Instead of adding complex twists and turns to the story, the director should have developed the film's characters as only the antagonist can fully convince. The acting performances are overall unremarkable with the positive exception of Kenneth Branagh. John David Washington is at times lacking charisma and doesn't quite seem to fit the shoe of a blockbuster protagonist and Robert Pattinson doesn't exploit his full potential either and seems almost disconnected from his role as he seems to portray a careless youngster rather than a clever strategist.

In the end, Tenet is an intellectually challenging science-fiction drama with stunning sound and visual effects. However, it isn't the masterpiece some people seem to suggest. If you haven't been watching any science-fiction movies recently, then you might be quite impressed but let me tell you that films like Freaks, Upgrade and The Witch are at least as great as and sometimes even better than Tenet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Russian | Ukrainian | Estonian

Release Date:

3 September 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Merry-Go-Round See more »

Filming Locations:

Linnahall, Tallinn, Estonia See more »


Box Office


$205,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,200,000, 6 September 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros., Syncopy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.43 : 1
See full technical specs »

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