Tenet is a 2020 action-thriller and spy-fi film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who produced it with Emma Thomas. A co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, it stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. The plot follows a secret agent (Washington) as he manipulates the flow of time to prevent World War III.
Nolan took more than five years to write the screenplay after deliberating about Tenet's central ideas for over a decade. Pre-production began in late 2018, casting in March 2019, and principal photography extended over three months in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and United States, from May to November. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot on 70 mm and IMAX. Time manipulation scenes were done both backwards and forwards. In excess of a hundred vessels and thousands of extras were brought into play during filming.
Delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenet was released in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020, and United States on September 3, 2020, in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm. It was the first Hollywood tent-pole to open in theaters after the pandemic shutdown, and has grossed $207 million worldwide, making it the fifth highest-grossing film of 2020. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances, production value, and visuals, though some criticized the confusing plot and sound mixing.