Interstellar

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4.7
 
4.0 (1)
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Interstellar

Overview

Official Synopsis
In the future, governments and economies across the globe have collapsed, food is scarce, NASA is no more, and the 20th Century is to blame. A mysterious rip in spacetime opens and it's up to whatever is left of NASA to explore and offer up hope for mankind. Interstellar chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
Release Date
November 7
MPAA Rating
PG-13

Interstellar is a thoughtful and heartfelt film whose only drawbacks come from its epic scope and the effort it puts into going above and beyond anything you’ve seen before.  It’s a great night at the movies and it may just give you a lot to think and talk about.

Interstellar is a difficult film to give a rating to.  It’s ambitious, beautifully filmed, powerfully acted, and like many of Nolan’s films, it asks audiences to think even as they are absorbed in an enthralling journey.  Compared to most movies out there, Interstellar is absolutely top-notch entertainment and should not be missed.  But when it’s compared to Nolan’s other films, masterpieces like The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Prestige, I’m not sure it has the same kind of lasting impact or concise focus.  And “Not sure” isn’t a term I like to use in reviews, but in this case, I believe it’s justified.  There are many parts of Interstellar that I loved, and it has several scenes that will definitely stick with me.  Maybe when I see it a couple more times it will gain in value instead of tapering off.  Maybe it just dealt with things I’ve thought about frequently as a scifi author and so it didn’t hit me as hard.  For now though, it was a great movie, but I’m not contemplating it repeatedly the way I did with most of Nolan’s films and analyzing every detail.  It felt too middle of the road somehow.  Interstellar left me wanting to connect with the people around me and gave me an odd sense of artistic glory where Nolan’s other films kept me awake at night deep in thought.  Still, in many ways, Interstellar is what I believe movies should be, and it might be the perfect mix of thought and crowd-pleasing action that directors have been striving to hit since the dawn of the movies. 

 

Ice Planet

The Basics

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”  Dylan Thomas’s classic poem, used throughout the movie, works as a central theme to Interstellar.  At the movie’s start, the Earth is dying, suffering from overpopulation, lack of resources, collapsing governments, and diseased crops.  The main character, Coop, is an astronaut turned farmer who is struggling to raise his two children.  When events force him to pilot a spacecraft to a distant solar system to try to save all of humanity, it’s his connection with his daughter that ends up mattering most.

Interstellar is both a scifi epic and a touching family drama.  Rooted deeply in the theories of physicist Kip Thorne and his predecessors, it deals with relativity, complicated theories of time and its relationship to gravity, and the future of space travel while simultaneously presenting a compelling drama and exciting space adventure.

In Spaceship

The Story

Interstellar, at its core, is about every human’s battle between doing what is right for the people closest to us and doing what is right for humankind as a species.  While immersing audiences in scientific theories and an adventure to save the human race, it also shows the importance of family and love.  To many, the drama aspects of this story may detract from the action space-adventure, and there are moments where they feel a little overplayed or cliché.  To others, the drama will be Interstellar’s biggest selling point, and the space adventure side of the story may feel overlong.  For most though, I think Interstellar will hit the perfect balance, and I was pleased to discover that both my mother and my father enjoyed the movie just as much as I did.  My dad loved the scientific accuracy and the sense of exploration while my mom loved the tale of a father whose love for his daughter literally transcends time and space. 

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but I felt like the movie’s split focus kept it from ever being as powerful as it could be.  As a space adventure, I wanted it to be a little more creative or push the theories a little further, and as a drama I wanted it to be a little more unique.  That said, other than a couple spots that moved a little slowly for my liking, Interstellar was continuously enthralling and I loved everything it did.  In the end, I just wanted more, and that’s high praise for any film.

Coop Cry

Technique & Direction

As expected, Nolan’s direction of Interstellar is nothing short of masterful.  Everything comes together with both purpose and artistic sensibility, and the result is breathtakingly beautiful.  Each shot is carefully planned to emphasize the feeling of the scene it’s portraying, and the pace picks up and drops exactly as intended.  Nolan drew heavily from movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gravity and does a wonderful job of conveying the loneliness of space.  Through contrasting that with the connection between a father and daughter, Nolan expands upon the scope of either of those movies and presents something that feels genuinely new while still making polite nods to the great movies that it draws from.  Interstellar moves at a slower pace than most Nolan films, but in doing so it opens itself to a broader audience and invites anyone who sees it to take the time to think about what it’s trying to say.

Gargantuan

 

The Acting

Matthew McConaughey’s work as both a father and an astronaut is easily the standout performance of this film and he displays an emotional range that few actors can pull off believably.  He solidly anchors the drama and his presence caused me to buy in even in scenes that threatened to be cliché.  The academy tends to be fickle about Nolan movies, but depending on what else comes out during Oscar season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see McConaughey get nominated for Interstellar though I doubt his performance will win it since there was so much going on around him in this movie that prevented him from being the sole focus. 

Aside from him, each and every performance is convincing.  The characters in Interstellar are put through an emotional rollercoaster, and for the most part, they carry the audience along with them in fine style.  McConaughey, Hathaway, and Chastain bring a lot of subtlety to their characters, and the supporting cast does an excellent job of fleshing out the rest of the film.  I particularly enjoyed Mackenzie Foy’s performance as the young version of Coop’s daughter, and Nolan deserves a nod there for pulling a great performance from this child actress.

Coop Father

The Sound

Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is as haunting and emotional as Interstellar itself.  The music is largely what builds the sense of adventure and discovery, and without it, the film would lose a great degree of power.  The music is never too much, and it’s used in all the right places.  The sound editing is excellent as well, cutting off or hitting hard to convey the silence of space or the sudden return of sound. 

My only complaint in this department is that there were a few moments during which the dialogue is difficult to hear due to all the action happening around it, and with a movie as scientifically complex as Interstellar, missing a couple lines can be a big problem.

Chastain Burning Field

What All of This Means to You

 

Interstellar is a thoughtful and heartfelt film whose only drawbacks come from its epic scope and the effort it puts into going above and beyond anything you’ve seen before.  It’s a great night at the movies and it may just give you a lot to think and talk about.

Editor review

1 reviews

Something for Everyone
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Entertainment Value 
 
4.5
Story/Writing 
 
4.5
Performance (Acting) 
 
4.5
Direction 
 
5.0
Production 
 
5.0
The Good: Beautifully filmed, great acting, good mix of mind and heart, thoughtful and explores real scientific theories, enthralling soundtrack, has something for everyone

The Bad: A couple pacing issues, simultaneously simpler and more complex than most of Nolan’s films, occasionally had trouble hearing dialogue
NV
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Entertainment Value 
 
4.5  (1)
Story/Writing 
 
3.0  (1)
Performance (Acting) 
 
4.0  (1)
Direction 
 
4.0  (1)
Production 
 
4.5  (1)
Science fiction films these days are rarely this impressive.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Entertainment Value 
 
4.5
Story/Writing 
 
3.0
Performance (Acting) 
 
4.0
Direction 
 
4.0
Production 
 
4.5
Nolan has shown us that he can do sci-fi, and his newest film proves this. The film is full of adventure, important messages, and inspiring visuals. It is truly an experience in the best meaning of that word. I love science fiction when there is more emphasis on the science, than fiction, and although this film is pretty far out there in terms of premise, it still feels plausible. That link to plausibility makes it have more of an impact and feel less like mindless entertainment. I want a science fiction film to blow my mind, to make me consider things that I have never considered before, and that is exactly what this film does. Nolan is good at doing this, as we saw in Inception even though that one was very much "fiction" over science. Unfortunately, although I enjoyed the film, it didn't quite live up to my high expectations for Nolan. There are a number of plot holes and the way the film ends feels inconsequential compared to the amount of time spent getting there.
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