Tenet parents guide

Tenet Parent Guide

The real reason to see this film is the special effects shots: the plot is confusing and the dialogue is difficult to hear.

Overall C+

In Theaters: A mysterious operative of the even more mysterious Tenet organization is faced with a terrible task - a cat-and-mouse game in and out of time, in order to prevent world war 3.

Release date August 26, 2020

Violence C-
Sexual Content A
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Tenet rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Tenet PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language.

Run Time: 150 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The Protagonist (John David Washington) is a CIA agent co-operating with the Russians to steal a strange object, working under cover of a terrorist attack on an opera house in Kyiv. Although they make it out of the building with the item, the Russians soon realize that The Protagonist is not on their side, and torture him to find out who he’s working for – but The Protagonist is having none of it, and takes his suicide pill.

Waking up (always a surprise after killing yourself), The Protagonist is informed that he has been recruited to a secret organization fighting in a temporal cold war against an unknown entity in the future. He is now tasked with tracing some of the technology they’ve hidden in their past – his present – to its source: a Russian oligarch and arms dealer named Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh), who has an uncanny ability to know what’s coming…

Does any of that make sense to you? If not, you don’t want to see this film. It gets more complex from here – significantly more complex. And maybe it was just my theater, but I was having a hard time following the dialogue, as several characters often wear masks and have a variety of accents – none of which is conducive to tracking either the plot (important to my enjoyment of the film) or the profanity (important to my job and the only reason I’m in a theater during a global pandemic in the first place).

But from what I’ve read on the film’s Wikipedia page, the plot mostly makes sense, provided you’re patient and can understand the dialogue. The real draw for this movie is the effects which are stunning. Director Christopher Nolan has an excellent reputation for big effects shots – see the real semi-truck he flipped for The Dark Knight. This one seems to involve crashing a real 747, which is an amazing shot to watch.

In spite of that, I’m going to recommend not seeing this in a theatre. It just isn’t worth it, and for two reasons: First, I would have killed to see this with subtitles (and maybe I’m just an old man but that’s how it is), and secondly you have to be insane to risk catching Covid-19 to watch a movie. This one just isn’t worth the risk – plus the lengthy runtime means you’re going to be wearing a mask for two and a half uninterrupted hours: my face still feels weird and I’ve been home for an hour now. This is a really interesting film, and it will be just as interesting when you can watch it without ruminating on the health of your fellow moviegoers.

Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattison, and Elizabeth Debicki. Running time: 150 minutes. Theatrical release August 26, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Tenet

Rating & Content Info

Why is Tenet rated PG-13? Tenet is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, some suggestive references and brief strong language.

Violence: Many individuals are shot or killed in explosions. Two people are shown being tortured by having their teeth removed with pliers. An individual takes what he believes to be a suicide pill after being captured. A man is beaten to death with a gold brick. There are several scenes which imply or depict domestic abuse.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are two uses of a sexual expletive, four uses of scatological cursing, and occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are occasionally shown drinking alcohol socially.

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Loved this movie? Try these books…

Perhaps the most literary option is Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughterhouse Five, which is built around the sentence: “Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” It’s a classic of American literature and a brilliant read regardless. I own 3 copies, I’ll lend you one.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Tenet movie is December 15, 2020. Here are some details…

Related home video titles:

If you like movies that play with time or bend reality, there is lots to choose from. Back to the Future and its two sequels are classic popcorn flicks with a time travel theme. Inception is a mind-bending film that features a protagonist who enters people’s dreams and steals secrets from their subconscious minds. And Doctor Strange and Avengers Endgame rely on manipulation of time and reality.

For a goofy look at time travel, you can watch Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted Face the Music