'Tenet': Every Major Performance, Ranked
Christopher Nolan's thriller Tenet contains many great performances throughout the movie but which of the major players is the best of the best?

Screen Rant, 29 August 2020
By Rhys McGinley

The long, long wait for Christopher Nolan's eleventh film and next cinematic epic is just about over, with 'Tenet' now out in various countries around the globe. It is the film that will usher in the hopeful return to theatres around the world, and will hopefully show the value of the cinematic experience in the future when all the uneasiness the world is in concludes.

The film has proven to have some divisive aspects to those who have seen it, but one of the undoubted highlights of it is the cast who, despite the lack of character insight and emotional core they may get, are all cool as cool can be, and just fantastic overall.

9/9 Clémence Posey

There are no bad performances in this film, everybody does an excellent job in the role they get given, some simply have smaller parts than others, and a last-place has to exist, which is where Clémence Posey unfortunately lands.

Posey, known from In Bruges and the Harry Potter films, plays Laura, a scientist involved with the Tenet organization who explains the idea of inversion to the Protagonist, and who is in the know, to some degree, about what is happening.

8/9  Michael Caine

The Christopher Nolan bingo card gets a box ticked for a Michael Caine appearance, with the legendary Brit appearing in a single scene opposite John David Washington's Progatonist in what is a funny, memorable exchange taking digs at stereotypical British snobbery.

Caine is great as intelligence officer Sir Michael Crosby as he sits eating his lunch and conversing with Washington. Honestly, he and the next two performances can easily get switched around as, while Caine has the least time out of them, he probably has the best singular scene of the three.

7/9  Himesh Patel

Challenging that scene is another box on the Christopher Nolan bingo card, the three-way conversation as the camera pans around each of the people involved, one of which is Himesh Patel, who has a decent role in the first part of the movie helping Neil and the Protagonist.

Patel brings a levity to the screen alongside the cool suaveness of Pattinson and Washington, and in the few scenes, he is in, gives a solid performance, arguably just edging out Caine due to how much influence and involvement he has.

6/9  Dimple Kapadia

It is that very same factor that puts Dimple Kapadia ahead of Patel, as she plays Priya, a criminal arms dealer who initially gets shown to be simply the wife of an arms dealer, before revealing herself as the mastermind.

She gets a couple of scenes throughout the movie, each time revealing herself and her motivations more. Patel is calm and collected, and gives crucial information to the audience and the Protagonist, slowly but surely helping the plot along.

5/9  Aaron Taylor Johnson

Aaron Taylor Johnson, known for his lead role in the Kick-Ass franchise and other movies, plays Ives, a military commander in the Tenet organization, very in the know about everything going on, leading the temporal pincer movement in the film's climax.

Johnson plays the role very well, rugged, tough, and a real leader. Fans do not get to know the character much at all; he is just a military commander and a crucial component of the story and the organization. He has some great moments and delivers a good performance overall.

4/9   Elizabeth Debicki

Elizabeth Debicki is the emotional core of the film as she plays Kat, whose entrapment in the relationship with Sater, as well as the threat against her son, is what drives her character.

It is in her scenes and her involvement where Nolan wants the audiences to feel something out with the tension and experiential nature of the film. Debicki performs it very well. At times her character can be a bit one-note, and like everyone else is not fleshed out enough to please everyone, but that does not take away from Debicki's acting.

3/9   Robert Pattinson

Anybody who holds the idea that Robert Pattinson will not be an incredible Batman/Bruce Wayne, either due to his years of Twilight or some other reason, is ludicrous, and this film proved once again why that is the case.

Pattinson plays Neil, the Protagonists partner throughout the movie, and a character who it turns out knows all about time inversion and even got hired by the Protagonist in the future. He is as cool as Bond, as suave as Bruce Wayne, and the sheer class and British charisma ooze off him.

2/9   John David Washington

Just as debonair as Pattinson's Neil is John David Washington in his role as merely 'the Protagonist,' the main character of the movie. This movie once again solidifies Washington as an absolute star.

Pattinson is arguably better in terms of performance when it comes to the conversations, and with all the non-action related performing, but Washington is fantastic also, and his work in the action sequences is superb, as seen in the behind the scenes video. Anyone of the top three could arguably be number one; just on this day of the week, Washington falls above Pattinson.

1/9   Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh plays the villain of Tenet, Andrei Sater, a Russian who is nothing short of psychopathic, and, in one of the films biggest twists, is dying of cancer in the film, with a dead man's switch in place so that the world ceases to exist when he dies.

Branagh plays it big in the movie. He overpowers the scene with his thick Russian accent, and a presence which threatens to shift from calm, collected, and intimidating, to loud and scary. It may not be to everyone's liking, but Branagh plays the hell out of this role, and it is a joy to watch, and he is a joy to root against.

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