Interstellar

Interstellar Movie ReviewParamount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
Running time: 169 minutes.
Two stars out of four.

Yes, I recognize the egregious tardiness of this review. “Interstellar” has been out for over a week now. I’ve started and stopped writing about it a good, solid half dozen times, including a three-day hiatus while I was at a ladies’ getaway weekend in Palm Springs with a bunch of school moms. Being functional was not on the agenda.

Now it’s time to buckle down and dig in, and I’ll try to do it with both the brevity and directness Christopher Nolan’s film is lacking.

It’s a tricky thing, writing about “Interstellar.” Nolan’s latest provokes intense and conflicting reactions, more so than any of his previous films. (And for the record, I’ve been a fan — I love “Memento,” “Inception” and “The Dark Knight.” “The Dark Knight Rises,” not so much, as you may have heard.) It’s a film I didn’t exactly enjoy and can’t say I would recommend. And yet as an event, as a singular movie-watching opportunity, it’s undoubtedly worthwhile. How often do you get the chance to see a film projected in 70mm IMAX? It’s awesome and overwhelming, but also overbearing and ultimately kind of silly. But that’s only the beginning of the contradictions, which are many and maddening.

Nolan’s space odyssey features some truly striking imagery, and you certainly have to appreciate that he remains a fervent champion of shooting on film. (Hoyte Van Hoytema, whose previous beautiful work includes Spike Jonze’s “Her” and the original Swedish vampire thriller “Let the Right One in,” is the cinematographer.) Individual moments of grandeur are jaw-dropping, including the sight of a spaceship passing as a tiny blip against a massive Saturn and its rings in various shades of brown and gray. But strangely, other shots – including some of the exterior of the ship against a vast blackness, or docking into a space station – look conspicuously like models.

“Interstellar” boasts a strong cast filled with Oscar winners and nominees, and it places them in scenarios which are sprawling in their ambitions and dizzying in their scientific complexity. But then the dialogue they’re stuck working with often inspires either dozing or unintended giggling. The script — which Nolan wrote with his brother and frequent collaborator, Jonathan Nolan — is terrible. It alternates between dry and expository high-tech jargon and weepy, overly simplistic notions of love. Nolan is not exactly known as the most emotional director — although I appreciate the clockwork precision of his filmmaking — but here, when he tries to get a little gushy, the result is just laughable.

That gushiness also comes with the accompaniment of a typically insistent Hans Zimmer score (which is different from the signature WHOMMM from “Inception,” FYI). But “Interstellar” also suffers from some muddled sound issues. You may find yourself straining to hear the dialogue at times — not that you’ll necessarily want to hear it.

Another frustrating inconsistency comes from the film’s pacing, which alternates between draggy and relentless. It takes a long time to establish this post-apocalyptic near future, a withering place where farming has replaced technology as the planet’s primary purpose. And then, poof! Matthew McConaughey’s character is saying good-bye to his kids and heading into space, having been asked to commandeer a dangerous mission within minutes of discovering NASA’s clandestine headquarters.

McConaughey’s Cooper is a widowed former astronaut now living in a modest farmhouse with his inquisitive daughter, Murphy (Mackenzie Foy), his teenage son, Tom (Timothee Chalamet), and his circumspect father-in-law, Donald (John Lithgow). It’s a world where the powers that be are erasing the accomplishments of the past, and where regular folks are struggling to survive just one more day. (The massive, Steinbeckian dust storms that smother and swallow everything are a frightening sight to behold.) As is the case with most McConaughey characters, Cooper gets by on his charm; “Interstellar” requires him to deliver many intricate lines, but doesn’t ask him to stray too far beyond his confident, charismatic persona. His strongest moments actually come when he’s playfully bantering on Earth with the spitfire Foy and earnestly promising he’ll come home to her.

A series of mysterious signs leads Cooper and Murphy to NASA’s underground operations, and to some semblance of hope. As they learn from the dignified gentleman who runs the place, Professor Brand (Michael Caine, Nolan’s go-to voice of reason), a dozen brave pioneers shipped out a few years ago in search of other planets that might be habitable. They accessed these far-away lands through a wormhole near Saturn, which space aliens may or may not have placed there as a gift. (Who’s to say? Aliens are mysterious creatures.) Now, Cooper has the opportunity to save all of humanity by hopping inside a rocket with a group of brilliant scientists — as well as a clunky but omniscient HAL 9000-like robot named TARS, voiced by Bill Irwin — by visiting three of these planets which seem like the safest destinations.

The only one of these supporting characters who gets much of a discernible personality is Brand’s daughter, Amelia (Anne Hathaway). “Interstellar” goes out of its way to establish her as supremely qualified for this mission — one of the top experts in her field — which is commendable. But eventually, the film reveals that it doesn’t think much of its women as it undermines both her and Jessica Chastain’s character, who arrives much later as the grown-up version of Murphy once decades have passed on Earth. (There’s a convoluted space-time continuum issue which complicates matters.) Both women are clearly geniuses, yet they make decisions based on romantic impulses which seem not just contradictory to their natures but stereotypically chickish. If I were an astronaut, I’d be seriously offended.

Eventually, there is a massive, third-act twist. I’m not going to ruin it (although I have a theory about what’s actually going on with it). Regardless, it feels like a cheat, and it doesn’t work. “Interstellar” begins life with great aspirations and originality, but it ultimately devolves into a sorta-clever “Twilight Zone” episode. Still, if you’re going to see it, you may as well do so on the biggest screen you can find. Unfortunately, it won’t stay with you for long afterward.

89 Comments on “Interstellar

  1.  by  Trev

    Nice review! I thought I say that before the trolls come here and write nonsense in the comments.

    •  by  strashilol

      You mean nonsense as in “I’ve enjoyed the movie, I strongly disagree with the review and I don’t think the author actually understood the film?” If yes, then by all means, do count me as one of the nonsense-spewing trolls.

      “HAL 9000-like robot named TARS” – I don’t think the author undestood that movie either (or the book, for that matter). Can anyone name me one similarity between the two, apart from the fact that they’re both AI?

      •  by  John

        I think she may have meant to compare it to the monolith, not HAL, but I’m not sure.

      •  by  trainingtofly

        I also enjoyed this movie very much. It’s more of an intellectual movie than most, which I appreciate. I understood the plot very well and liked the characters and did not consider the women too “chickish.” Emotion is a huge party of why we do what we do. It can make characters more’real’ and I think that’s what it did in this movie. Interstellar is not for everybody, and apparently this author did not like it. That being said-do not pass up this movie based on all the reviews. I’m glad I went to see it, even after reading reviews like this. For me, it was very memorable- and I would see it again. Form your own opinion. I thought it was worth the time. It is definitely not what you’d expect.

    •  by  Omotunde

      I think you need to see that movie again. I agree with some of your criticisms of it especially concerning the third act sort of feeling like a cheat but considering that it is at the core of the entire plot of the film It is not so difficult to let it slide. I totally disagree with your point on the undermining of female characters in the movie. Brand’s emotional decision is the writers honest portrayal her character and does not speak of women as a sex. And more importantly the whole movie is bound by the theme of love and its power as an unseen force so Brand’s sentimentality is totally accounted for. I agree that the movie does require a certain amount of concentration to keep up with the scientific jargon but I don’t at anytime recall it being boring or time wasting, every conversation was meaningful and full of information. Yes it was a typical McConaughey performance but then he does it so well. Interstellar was not a perfect film but it was a very ambitious one and maybe sometimes too ambitious but in all it is a testament to originality and outstanding cinematics. Watching Interstellar like all good films leaves you with the feeling of a memorable experience.

  2.  by  Allen

    I consider you and Richard Roeper as the two critics whose taste hews most closely to mine, and in this case of differing opinions, I have to agree with Roeper, who gave it an A+. It would seem my wife agrees with him too, since she called it “one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”

    I *do* agree, to some extent, with your criticism about Hathaway’s character making a decision based on romantic impulses. But to be fair, she didn’t actually make a decision; it was only the decision she would have made (and to be even more fair, it turns out that it would have been the correct decision), and someone *can* be both romantic AND smart (a la, me, 😉 ) No one smart would ever say that they haven’t made bad decisions for romantic reasons, or for any reasons for that matter. Furthermore, Hathaway’s character explicitly makes the point that Cooper would/will make the very same type of bad decision if the first decision doesn’t work out.

    As for Chastain’s character, I’m not sure what you even mean when you say she made a decision based on romantic issues. I didn’t see that happening at all.

    •  by  Hank S.

      Also, the whole love is science monologue thing was the setup for the whole ending and she was ALSO right about that. As far as genderism, I’d also point out that Matthew’s decisions were often out of love, though for his daughter (not so much for the son, right?)

      •  by  Jesse H.

        @Hank S.: Maybe the aliens told Matthew’s character that his son was a demon.

  3.  by  dman

    Not to sound like “the troll” but I think the people who won’t truly understand or appreciate the movie are those that are not fluent in the idea of space and the new theories of science that were ignored for decades after Einstein presented a theory of possibilities on many dimensions and their relation to us as we know them. This movie yes had its weak points in story line. I refer to it as filler for everyone else that isn’t at the “nerd alert convention” it could have been. However, the science was the best and easiest way to explain much of the science that has only reached the higher levels in the field. Never a fan of either of the two main characters Anne Hathaway and Mathew McConaughey I still found my self riveted to the edge of my seat once they left the ground. Just the cinematography is enough to refer it to someone else. Though as a critic you have to refer it to the masses you appeal to.

    •  by  Narg

      No, not a troll, and you also bring up a big issue with many movie goers these days. Movies today try very hard to mix in reality with fiction to make the fiction more personal and/or believable. It is still fiction. So trying to say it doesn’t follow this scientific fact or that physics fact or this theory is just stupid in so many ways. Like the bashing of Gravity, this film is seeing a lot of negativity built on it’s poke at scientific study, when it is anything but that. Science is just a basic vehicle for the movie to ride it’s background on. Nothing real, nothing new and nothing to be held as any truth.

  4.  by  Angelian

    I strongly agree with Mrs. Lemire’s analysis.I did not read the book before seeing the movie, and I was left lot of unanswered questions. There was a lot that didn’t add up. Some scenes drug on and seemed insignifant. Honestly, the movie was just bad. It had potential, but someone dropped the ball

    •  by  Travis

      There was no book. The movie was not based on a book. What didn’t you like about it? Did you not understand it? So far I’ve met a lot of people who didn’t understand the science so they wrote it off as a “stupid movie”.

  5.  by  Rodney

    Are you sure your brain was functioning when you watched the movie?

  6.  by  Chris

    “Eventually, there is a massive, third-act twist. …although I have a theory about what’s actually going on with it … Regardless, it feels like a cheat, and it doesn’t work”

    Couldn’t disagree more. It’s hardly a cheat. Combining your comment there with “a wormhole near Saturn, which space aliens may or may not have placed there as a gift” also suggests that you missed some key parts of what the film is about. And you don’t really need a theory. They told you what was happening in the film.

    I also agree with strashilol’s comments on your comparison between TARS and HAL. There is no connection, other than them being forms of AI.

    So, full disagreement. This film is amazing, and uses science in a way that few films have ever managed to do. Brilliantly in fact.

    •  by  Brian

      It’s definitely a cheat in the third-act. Come on – humans built a tesseract that led to being behind the bookshelf in the past? Wouldn’t it have been a heck of a lot easier just to WRITE A NOTE and tell him what to do? All this technology and advanced future civilization that can manipulate space and time, but no, you can’t simply tell someone what to do. That’s what made no sense – I liked 3/4 of the movie, but the ending went too far and was a cop out – as the author said, it became a Twilight Zone movie versus an actual science fiction movie. Shame they couldn’t have wrapped it up better.

      •  by  Ryan

        Except they couldn’t manipulate space and time, only gravity, which is why he manipulated gravity to send a message instead of writing a note. So far, every criticism I’ve read comes from someone who didn’t really think things through.

        Interstellar couldn’t be farther away from Twilight Zone’s campiness. I just don’t get that comparison at all.

        •  by  Knopfler

          That still doesn’t explain the ultimate information transfer. Exactly how does one “program” a watch’s second hand with gravity? And that’s only one of the movie’s many failings. Cooper runs out the door upon finding coordinates in the sand, but doesn’t believe it when it tells him to stay?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Nolan fan, especially when it comes to Memento, Batman Begins, and Inception. But the inconsistencies in the character’s choices and actions are a serious problem. Cooper takes specific actions and makes decisions only to further the films plot, logic/consistency be damned. That, and the heavy reliance on emotionality, ultimaley make this flick a hokey schlock-fest. Can’t say I care to ever see it again.

          File this one under #tryingtoohardtobeclever

          •  by  Nlucky

            The watch was mechanical. Cooper was able to influence gravity (eg, settling dust binary code). It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that he could use gravity to affect the movement of the mechanical parts. How exactly he laid out a repeating sequence isn’t explained, but I don’t think it is necessary.

      •  by  Ellen Catalina (@daimondog)

        I agree. It was a cheat and it bothered me too

      •  by  Sal

        Like the author, you must not have paid attention to the movie either.
        a) The singularity wasn’t linked directly to the bookshelf, that’s just what it manifested as because it’s what Cooper could use to grasp the concept. He even says that while he’s in there.
        b) You couldn’t write a note or specific instructions because it’s on the inside of a black hole. Not even light can escape. They can, however, send rudimentary messages like Morse code or binary. And they did, in fact, tell them what to do. Cooper and TARS helped Murph solve the equation by sending the information in Morse.

        •  by  Cara

          I really disagree with this review, I loved the film and genuinely feel it is the best film I’ve ever seen- it was visually stunning, Zimmer’s score was spectacular and such a welcome change, the actors were all very well cast (particularly cooper and young murph) and I thought there was an ideal mix of emotion and science, it wasn’t too gushy at all.
          I do have one question that’s been bugging me though. Half of you will probably jump down my throat for asking and label me as a person who doesn’t pay attention but I am a layman where physics is concerned and I did try to get it all, I even went twice to see it, and I’m not slating the film- as I said before, I adored it.
          My question is- How did ‘future generations of us’ exist to create the tesseract in the black hole to allow cooper to manipulate gravity and communicate with himself/ murph in the past? Humans would have had to have survived without cooper and become very advanced in order to create the tesseract in the first place and allow him to save humanity… How could he (in ‘their ‘ past) save humans when they’ve already survived and thrived? And to have survived and thrived they must have had access to the data needed from the black hole singularity to solve the ‘problem’ of gravity. Hmmm… I think my head is going to explode. And the answer will be something ridiculous I can’t grasp about how time is a loop or a curve or something. But if anyone could explain it to me I’d really appreciate it as it’s bugging me!

          •  by  Mahek

            I’m not sure either but I think it’s because time here is protrayed as a flat circle, meaning that cooper left earth and ended up in the tessaract which enabled mankind to survive and then allow the future humans to create the tessaract so that cooper could use it in the past. So it’s not like the future humans created the tessaract to alter their past, they made it to make sure that their present stayed the same. Does that make any sense?

          •  by  Peter

            The wormhole serves as clear proof that survival was possible without it. Murphy’s Law: Whatever can happen will happen. In some ridiculously improbable scenario, humans survived somewhere and evolved. That’s the basic summary, but it gets so much more interesting from here.

            Your confusion comes from the misconception that these are beings of only four dimensions, freely traveling back and forth through ONE timeline.

            Let’s go back to Murphy’s Law. If we could survive, then somewhere, somehow, we did. Give all conceivable scenarios of what could have happened to humans (survival or not) their own timeline. Beings of five dimensions can not only move up and down through a single timeline, but can float side to side from one timeline to another. If they can exist somewhere in the space-time continuum, then they can then go anywhere in space-time continuum. The brilliant words of Professor Brandt sums it up: “It just has to work once, Murph.”

  7.  by  Lucille Hughes

    Great review. How many times can you go to ‘manual override’? Answer: whenever anything is about to go to absolute hell. The moral mastery of the American alpha male will bring it home, against all reason and physical laws of the universe, with his superior steering skills and good ol’ know-how. Or something. He just needs to get a feel for the thing, Slick.
    Also his love for his grumpy daughter transcends time and space but his son? A thump on the back and the car keys.

  8.  by  John

    Please don’t make a review based on whether or not you understand the movie. If you took the time to research some of the things you ridiculed you would see that they, in fact, make plenty of sense. Also, Nolan has gone on record saying the “sound issues” were meant to be as they were.

  9.  by  Joe

    ….The Nolan Brothers just made M. Night Shamylan’s next movie (and, no, that is not a compliment).

    Ironic that the spaceship was named “Endurance”, because that’s what it took to make it through this 3 hours of nonsense.

  10.  by  flower

    The movie shows quite clearly that Brand’s ultimate act to base such a crucial decision on “romantic love” is a celebration of female wisdom, that takes its root in the emotion known as “love”. An emotion that you seem to show disregard and contempt for.

    As a fellow woman, I am seriously offended.

    •  by  Egotte

      Yep, Brand being the only woman in the crew… her feminine gut instinct, her intuition, was right, against the scientists’/robots non-emotional theories, which didn’t take blatant lies into account.

  11.  by  Bret

    I can’t believe people here that disagree with the review are suggesting that is her lack of scientific understanding that made her dislike the movie.

    I’m an engineer that saw this movie with a physicist; we both thought the movie sucked. So there goes your whole “if you understand the science, you’d like the movie” rhetoric. The ironic thing as that most of you claiming to understand the science probably, most likely, do not. The complexity of theory involved is Ph.D level physics.

    Also, the writer critiqued the movie for things such as dialogue, audio, plot-pacing, and the dumbing-down of the female characters near the end (which I agree with).

    So, those of you being little brats need to stop thinking you’re as intelligence as you perceive yourself to be and don’t put down others because they don’t need agree with your opinion.

    •  by  Narg

      Fiction – something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story…
      Did you seriously go to a movie expecting real science??

    •  by  Rob

      Well said. Couldn’t agree more with the review. As a movie it was just bad. Science can’t save it.

    •  by  Peter

      I call BS on that. I know a hell of a lot about physics and astrophysics and this movie was one of the most sound representations of the “sci” in sci-fi to come along, EVER! There are of course liberties taken with things like what it will be like entering a black hole, because that’s something that we simply cannot know, but that’s where the “fi” comes in. Everything built around that though was very well done. I agree with some of the other commenters when they say that people who simply didn’t understand the movie had the most problems with it. There’s just one comment after another with criticisms that can easily be ripped apart by someone who paid attention. For example…
      ” Cooper runs out the door upon finding coordinates in the sand, but doesn’t believe it when it tells him to stay?”
      -answer, he ran out the door because HE surmised they were coordinates. He’ll believe his own intelligence, but if your 10 year old starts telling you what SHE’s interpreted from ghostly occurences, would you think she’s actually being smart or just using child-like creativity, give her a pat on the head and say “that’s nice dear, now watch your cartoons”. There’s a big difference between an adult making sense of information and a child. It’s a perfectly believable difference. Again, just not paying attention to what’s going on.

  12.  by  bubz

    Wow, so we are taking this from someone who gave Battleship, Divergent and Hunger Games positive reviews? Oh did I mention Twilight? Yes, she gave a Twilight movie a positive review.

    •  by  Christian

      Amen. I typically agree with her but she’s way off on this one

  13.  by  Neil

    One of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. I recommend skipping this one. At the beginning the 2 of us, both very intelligent, well traveled, deep thinking, spiritual yet practical persons really liked the massive dust storms and then the feelings of soaring on an unmanned drone and then the sense of weightlessness on the space ship. Then started the muddled voice of the lead man and a story line that we just couldn’t follow which got continuously more muddled as the minutes, all 269 of them dragged on. About half way through I decided to just give up on trying to understand the film feeling I’d never get to understand it so why bother trying. I felt it was either written by people that had smoked something really weird or had a gigantic knowledge of space science fiction and assumed that their whole audience also did. I have an appreciable understanding of quantum physics and still couldn’t understand where the story was going. I’m absolutely amazed that an acquaintance of mine thought it was far superior to Avatar. My recommendation is stay home and save your money.

    •  by  Cody

      You have appreciable understanding of quantum physics, but couldn’t follow the simple science fiction in interstellar?

      They took a worm hole to look at some planets orbiting a black hole. Cooper went into said hole and was deposited in a tesseract built by future humans and fixed things in the past, thus fixing the future. It was a temporal loop, commonly used in scifi. Kind of a plot hole, sure, but the sci fi was simple.

    •  by  Egotte

      Avatar!? A massive money-grabbing success, but forgettable and highly predictable. Avatar was a waste of money. Interstellar is far more complex, yet far more loving and sensible than Avatar.

      Get with it.

    •  by  JediJones

      Uh, you claim to be a super-intelligent, evolved individual, yet you write that the movie is 4 hours and 29 minutes long? Clearly you’re a product of some heavily downgraded educational standards. I guess they gave you academic trophies just for showing up, making you think you’re much smarter than you are.

    •  by  Peter

      Honestly, everything you needed to understand was explained in the characters’ dialogue in the film. Those that don’t know about relativity and the effects of time dilation, it’s explained. And that’s pretty much all you needed to know. The parts near the end with the black hole were explained while he was in there, telling you exactly what was happening. It was not a cheat. Well, it was if you think that the whole time-looping thing is a cheat in itself, but from a scientific perspective, physicists HAVE postulated on the possibilities of space-time curving in on itself to allow the traversing of time across dimensions.
      If you really want to understand the film, you can always read up on these topics, but even if you don’t, like I said, all you needed to understand what was going on was always explained in no more than a couple sentences of dialogue as it happened/was going to happen, and if you didn’t get it, well, I’m sorry for you.

  14.  by  Kevin K.

    i mostly agree with Christy’s review. I enjoyed the movie, but it could have been a truly great movie had it not had quite so many dumb plot elements in it.

    •  by  Egotte

      “Dumb plot elements”? You sound as “dumb” as the author of the review. A lot of folks just simply aren’t smart enough to get smart films like this.

      It’s okay, there’s a new Penguins film out for you.

  15.  by  Christian

    Also, I don’t know why the critics are writing this off as “hokey”. I’m pretty shallow, and I never cry in movies, and I wept for ten straight minutes. So clearly, the Nolan brothers did SOMETHING right. I think this is the years best movie. I know a lot of you will disagree but I found it incredible.i Liked this even more than boyhood, gone girl, and the grand Budapest Hotel, and I loved all of those.

  16.  by  brambercrombie

    How can you criticize the writing when your own writing sucks so bad. Honestly, this review wouldn’t have qualified for a high-school newspaper. It’s clear you don’t understand sci-fi, 2001, the genre or even the concepts presented in the movie.

  17.  by  Rofl

    It s easy to say the opposite of the majority just to be provocative and attract people to your review and have them debate who is right: It s like a dark hole.
    I m disappointed that your review is not balanced: Pointing out the negative issues in details but missing out the best positive things of the movie. I was expecting this review to drag people to understand more the content and familiarize people with the theories of worm hole, relativity, black hole, also discuss about how was kip thorn ideas used in the movie…this critic is very subjective…

  18.  by  Ryan

    I don’t think I could disagree more with this review. It’s not silly, it’s powerful. None of the ships or stations looked like models. The pacing was perfect. It really seems like you were either paid to naysay the movie or were just too dumb to appreciate it. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in years. Please stop reviewing movies or at least get better so people will take you seriously.

  19.  by  Ian Michael Breske

    If you think astronauts don’t make decisions based on emotions, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the story of Lisa Nowak. She gained notoriety when she drove straight from Houston to Orlando, wearing space diapers, to kidnap a woman who was after her man, allegedly. Ha. I’d watch that movie.

  20.  by  Will

    I think you’re missing the boat on a lot of what happened in that movie. With all Nolan films (yes, even Batman), you’re going to have to view it multiple times to nail down all the angles. Hell, I’ve seen Inception near 50 times, reviewing the script simultaneously, and I still don’t understand it all!

    But you made some egregious errors here which leads me to believe you might not have been paying attention. Most heinous is that you would call Nolan’s script “terrible”. The writing was on point, possibly the best he’s delivered to date. And the Hans Zimmer score only boosted the quality – FYI you’re *supposed* to have to strain at times over the music (the editors wouldn’t mess something like that up, there’s a reason for everything in his films).

    Anyways, go see it again! I think you might find yourself digging in even deeper next time. Nice try on the review, but maybe get a little bit of film experience under your belt before slamming one of the best movies to hit theaters in a decade.

    •  by  DP

      You’ve seen Inception “near 50 times”?!

      I sincerely hope it’s hyperbolic windbagging, otherwise you need to get a life and quit ragging on other’s opinion; of a movie no less!

    •  by  Rob

      Congratulations. You’ve been duped into believing the faux complexity of Nolan’s movies. So sad.

  21.  by  laguna_greg

    I didn’t find the script gushy at all; a couple of examples on this point would have been helpful. And the score is one of the most minimal, literally and stylistically, that we’ve had in recent movies. I had no trouble hearing every word.

    If you don’t like Dylan Thomas, that’s fine. I didn’t find it heavy-handed or trite though. And frankly, I’d pay good money to hear any of those actors recite the phone book out loud, let alone good poetry. Or do you just not like poetry? At all? Is that the gushy part you’re complaining about?

    I take it the reviewer never wanted to visit space, even as a child, and finds the whole subject a bore? That comes through loud and clear. Go watch “Tammy” then, and don’t review movies like this again.

  22.  by  Aisling

    I agree with your review and it has nothing to do with not understanding the space / time travel aspect.
    The story like had serious holes in it and there was zero character development for such a long movie. I mean there were some great moments in it and the effects were amazing but the basic story was poor as far as I was concerned.

  23.  by  laguna_greg

    I missed another point:

    “Both women are clearly geniuses, yet they make decisions based on romantic impulses which seem not just contradictory to their natures but stereotypically chickish. If I were an astronaut, I’d be seriously offended.”

    Did you fall asleep during the show? Or do you not want to admit that men are ruled by feelings too?

    You conveniently skipped over the part where Matt Damon’s character commits murder and threatens the entire mission because he’s a weakling and a coward who has developed strong sociopathic tendencies. Michael Caine, the driving force behind the entire mission and possibly the greatest mind on the show, lies about a crucial piece of data, deceiving everyone about the mission’s goals and even his own daughter for decades. Matthew McConaughey’s choices are severely clouded by his guilt, love for his children, fear for their survival, and his own personal call to duty and ethics.

    Nobody escapes their own flaws here. Every character, especially the men, are all driven exclusively by their own subjective feelings and desires, not just the women. This is one of the central conflicts of the movie, but you missed it. The subject of love, which annoys you so much, is just one of the emotional colors presented here.

    There is no “chick” think going on here. If you think there is, you shouldn’t be reviewing movies because that chip on your shoulder really gets in the way.

  24.  by  ssjfilmking

    I agree this is a difficult film to review. I need to see it again to be completely sure but I thought the characters and plot were fine. Structurally the films pacing is out of whack, I mean, the first 30 minutes kind of felt unnecessary for chunks. And then all of a sudden they were in space.

    I thought the love stuff was a bit weird, sure. But it worked. It led to what I thought was an amazing climax that delivered emotion and a truckload of information. The only trouble I have with it was why did Cooper plunge into the black hole? He said it was a weight thing, so why didn’t he stay with Amelia and plunge the empty ship? Did he have to be in the ship to plunge it?

    I also didn’t quite get the motivation of Dr Mann’s character.

    Overall I think the plot and characters have been unfairly treated in these film reviews. I thought the movie came together nicely but as an editor there are scenes that needed to be cut. It felt like the directors cut of a great movie where he doesn’t want to cut some scenes that may have taken days to shoot.

    But the film was thought provoking, emotional and visually outstanding. I will give it 88/100

  25.  by  Andrew

    Have to agree with your analysis, gave it a 5/10 my wife a 4/10 – characters were a little unidimensional and unbelievable in a way – if it were about a group of 12 year olds it would be much more believable as they all lacked a little maturity – I have a degree in Physics and the Science jumped from okay to barely believable, not sure how you create a giant wave in two inches of water – it’s not that hard to write good SciFi which is why it’s hard to believe so much money is spent on poor scripts – thought some of his other movies were much better – compare Intetstellar to a super tight movie like Moon – oh well at least Guardians of the Galaxy was a bit of fun

    •  by  Cody

      The planet was orbiting a black hole, massive tidal forces would cause those waves. Also, the fact that the waves were so big (contained a huge volume of water) could explain why water covering the planet was only a few feet deep. I’d say that’s fairly believable science fiction…

      •  by  Peter

        Also, the gravity of the planet itself was only 80% of Earth gravity, meaning all things being equal (and they’re not, with the nearby black hole) the waves could get higher than anything on Earth. Again… not paying attention!

        •  by  james

          I dont mean to be trite, but of all the great representations of science in this movie, (which i loved btw) it did have some flaws. The wave planet being possibly the most egregious. Here is why- yes, a planet in close orbit around a black hole could have massive tidal waves, however they simply would not look or behave the way they did. The shallow portions would be in constant motion, as the extreme tides would generate raging currents all over the planet. The water, even though only two feet deep, would be moving at hundreds, or thousands of mph, making any attempt to land (let alone get out and trudge around) impossible. Anybody with even a cursory science background let out an audible groan as soon as they decided to even consider visiting a planet in that deep of a gravity well. Conditions on any planet close enough to a black hole to experience significant time dilation would be hellish. Btw The gases that made up wave planets atmosphere are significantly lighter than water, and so would be privy to the same tidal forces, meaning that those waves should have been accompanied by winds strong enough to literally disintegrate anybody on the surface in seconds. This all leads to another point, the massive amounts of energy created through tidal friction would easily generate enough heat that the concept of liquid water existing there is just silly. More likely the entire surface would be a hellish, windy, undulating mass of fast flowing, molten rock tidal waves. No serious scientist with limited resources would even consider wasting fuel on a trek to such a place. I loved the movie, but i must admit i hated that scene, especially as it directly followed the amazing wormhole scene, which completely knocked my socks off in terms of both accuracy and vision.

  26.  by  Hlynur

    I just saw Interstellar and it is one of the best movies i’ve ever seen

  27.  by  Cobra6

    “Gravity” meets “Inception” meets “Apollo 13” meets “Star Wars” meets “Alice in Wonderland”. It had a great overall story but too much detail, too complicate, too much astrophysics hocus pocus; would have been better with a simpler story line and more settings the audience could identify with – a few ranch houses in the corn fields not some Psycho kind of house that looked like it was furnished in the 1930s and other settings that looked like something from a bad dream. It had the makings of a very good film but definitely overkill. Oh, and being sentimental (and a realist) I would have found it very satisfying if we could have seen Cooper reunite with Brand – hold each other and face kiss – SOME real joy and connection after all the gloom and sadness. Finally, it would have been easier to hear if Mcconaughey hadn’t whispered 90% of his lines. He’s a very believable actor but man, get those words out!

  28.  by  DP

    The reviewer wrote her OPINION, and nothing more. Yet, many are chastising her for being “dumb” and “subjective”; and most of that heavy handedness is coming from self-proclaimed intellectuals who apparently ‘got’ the movie.

    The saddest part of the whole is for anyone to even pretend that they fully understood the flick. Shows how far egos can eclipse common sense and how hopelessly scientifically religious many have become.

    •  by  reality

      It is wrong to chastise her for being dumb and subjective, but it is also wrong to infer that people did not fully understand the flick, some people are indeed knowledgeable about higher dimensional realities and a lot of the metaphysical concepts presented you know.

    •  by  Jason

      So because you didn’t fully understand the movie, in your obvious insecurity you need to proclaim that anybody who did fully understand it is a “pretender” with “ego” issues… I really do hope you see the irony in that statement.

      I did fully understand the movie and can say I thought it was a bust, Nolan’s worst (which is still better than some directors best). Script/dialog was shallow and it sucked, period. The movie has some very cool “WOW” moments and a few twists that are amusing but short of that anyone with any kind of attention span could see the third act twist coming about an hour before it’s revealed. Not Nolan’s best work for sure, but a fun ride. A rental, not a purchase.

  29.  by  Magnameno

    This movie is caught between legitimate criticism and illegitimate. Unfortunately, the legitimate gives credibility to the illigitimate.

  30.  by  Francis J Morris

    Good review and well put. Though I think that the author s review is convoluted by her own stereotypes and misses the underlying message. Anne Hathaway motivated by love is “chickish”, well then Cooper was equally chickish by being motivated to see his children again, and matt Damon was chickish for desiring companionship, most people that I’ve spoken with that disliked the movie have the common issue with the science and the intellectual depth it has, this is not your average go to space and encounter big green aliens movies, the author found the jumping between science jargon and emotion troublesome, I couldn’t disagree more, Nolan blended the two beautifully, its not a movie for the objective thinker, and the mix of science fiction and pure humanity makes this movie excellent, you just have to allow yourself to see the subliminal implications and i believe this movie will appeal to you

  31.  by  Egotte

    It seems like you were too busy at the time of writing the review to really care much about the film.

    I think you should consider rewatching the film and rewriting the review.

    As of now, your take on Interstellar simply makes you appear to have a lower EQ than other film-goers, such as myself.

  32.  by  Richard

    Christy, I highly suggest you see this movie again. I couldn’t disagree more on most of what you said. I feel you lacked the intellect to truly appreciate what this movie is all about. A thought provoking thriller with twists and turns all along the way, I would recommend this movie to anybody who is smart enough to actually appreciate what Nolan has beautifully crafted.

  33.  by  Valerie

    Christopher Nolan is one of the only few directors who can make a movie so deep, so cinematically moving and one that will let a movie-goer walk out of the cinema and recommend to others to go see it.
    Christy, the reason your profession is dying (i.e web blogs vs. AP/USA TODAY – they laid off Scott Bowles – and an array of others) is because the movie going experience is becoming less relevant and as the streaming generation comes up they will watch movies on a 16 inch tablet and be satisfied.
    With that said, I would think that while you might not like this movie you might realize your voice in the this dying circle enough to recognize this is an event film.

  34.  by  Chris

    Your review, like the film is filled with non sequiturs that make it drag out way past expiration date. Your first paragraph; seriously? Who cares?

  35.  by  fritz

    This movie is so much more than a sci/fi story. The main story is the father daughter bond; the music was written around that as Hans Zimmer explained in an interview; the main music theme of the movie is a love letter of Hans Zimmer to his son. And Matt Mc Conaughey plays that part of the father daughter relationship brilliantly. I agree the science facts are too complicated for a layman; as i said the movie is so much more than a Sci Fi movie; is it about the inevitable leaving behind your kids as a parent; Hans Zimmer is a genius.

  36.  by  Ellen Catalina (@daimondog)

    Can I add that I found it most bothersome when Hathaway’s character falls down during a frantic “hurry up, doom is coming!” scene and has to be carried back to the ship. Can we bury that old Hollywood trope that women under pressure invariably fall down and need to be carried to safety?

    •  by  Ellen Catalina (@daimondog)

      I agree with your assessment of this film.

  37.  by  socalsteve

    Lemire you really did not understand this movie. Were you texting your friends the while time while watching or what? Horrible review.

  38.  by  Ann

    You know, I do agree that the female characters seemed undermined, doctor Brand anyway. I remember watching and thinking, “Okay, wow, they would make the woman insist on going to a planet because she is driven by love.” She had more reasons than that, and she ended up being right, but what came to mind is that it would negatively reinforce those sexist comments, “Never let a woman have a position of power because they’re just too emotional to think rationally.”

    It probably won’t, but I agree with the author’s review of this movie.

  39.  by  tony

    I agree with this review, especially how they made dr. brand into a stereotype. The other two characters on the space ship got zero development. Overall it ran a little too long. You either buy into the maudlin sentimentality or not, but they pushed it a little too hard for me. I can see why some would like it though.

  40.  by  yourmom

    It’s a shame that most people are too small-minded to understand this movie, which is quite possibly the best-researched blockbuster – and maybe even movie, period – ever made. The attention to detail and scientific accuracy is extraordinary, and the questions it ponders are on the cutting edge of theoretical physics. Yes, a lot of it is fiction, and yes, some of it gets a little loopy (love is a dimension? really?), but a lot of the problems the characters face are real problems the human race would encounter should we ever evolve to that point. There are a few scientific inaccuracies that are forgivable (Cooper mentioning traveling near the speed of light, for example), and Cooper communicating with his daughter via gravity in the tesseract is pure fantasy. But it’s fantasy that explores possibilities relating to one of the most profound open questions in physics today – how gravity fits in with the other three fundamental forces. Combine this intellectual depth with stunning imagery, plausible character behavior, and a compelling emotional narrative, and you have what might be the best movie made in decades. Shame most people are too dumb to pick up on it.

    •  by  Rupam Shyamal

      Absolutely agreed with you yourmom..
      I’m an Engineer and I have huge interests for physics and to be honest at some part of the film I doubted “is it scientifically possible?” (I’m quite familiar with all the scientific aspects shown in this movie) so I bought the book “Science of Interstellar” by Kip Thorne and I have to admit I was blown away to find that 95% of the film is actually based on proper science and educated guesses. And for all those people criticizing this film I highly recommend to read couple of books on Relativity and Black Holes and the book I mentioned above (But a thorough knowledge of science is highly required to fully understand that book)
      my suggestion is, “Don’t underestimate a film if you can’t understand it,or YOU think THAT’s not possible…. better do some research and then comment”
      and finally it’s a “Film” not a science documentary so It’s better to praise the scientific aspect and enjoy the true masterpiece named “Interstellar”

    •  by  Peter

      This is perhaps the smartest comment regarding this movie’s science. Bravo! The whole notion of gravity fitting in with the other forces and figuring out the quantum relation is at the heart of unifying everything we know about physics, and it’s here that the film makes a conjecture as Cooper enters the black hole, the “fi” part of sci-fi. (or who know, maybe it’s coincidentally right?) 🙂 A brilliant movie that blends real science, theoretical exposition and emotion all into one story.

  41.  by  David

    I think some of the gripes you have are valid, like the quick way the main character decides to leave, or some of the female character’s decisions, BUT you have to give credit where credit is due, both females who made decisions based on “hunches” or “sentiments” turned out to be correct kind of validating their 6th sense…
    The other gripes about feeling cheated by the final chapter of the movie, that’s mostly due because you don’t seem to have a good grip with the science behind it. The end was amazeballs! The best part? It’s all mathematically possible.
    A virtual representation in 3 dimensions of the 4th dimension A.K.A. Tesseract build by our descendants who now live in the 5th dimension is technically possible and the visual representation of it is pretty freaking good!

    •  by  R

      Ultimately the female characters had non-sentimental reasons backing up their decisions along with their feelings (same as male characters), so I wouldn’t say the film was honoring the female intuition or blah blah blah,

  42.  by  R

    >But eventually, the film reveals that it doesn’t think much of its women as it undermines both her and Jessica Chastain’s character… Both women are clearly geniuses, yet they make decisions based on romantic impulses which seem not just contradictory to their natures but stereotypically chickish

    Well, even with Dr. Brand having a romantic entanglement, it is implied that she was not lying about his planet still being the better one. But it is reasonable that Cooper was suspicious about her leanings after learning about her attachment to the guy. As for Murphy, I didn’t find her to be stereotypical except for maybe holding a grudge against her dad as she grew up.

  43.  by  reen

    This movie was much too long, it didn’t keep my attention and I watched the clock for the majority of the second half. I don’t know why I didn’t like it. Ann H. was dry. Matthew M. just ditched his family to head up this weirdly random mission. The whole I’m going to save the world crap was campy at best.

  44.  by  Chris Winters

    I think you may have misunderstood some of the plot twists. While there are a FEW contradictions the story is actually mesmerizing and beautiful when fully understood. As for the female protagonists making decisions based on “romantic impulses”, this is just not the case, unless you consider a woman wanting to finish the lifelong works of their father and the decisions made ounce a paternal trust between father and daughter is broken undermining… I would also hardly call that a romantic decision considering the relationship between father and daughter is not only not romantic but also a very special connection which cannot be matched nor could you blame them for the decisions made based on the plot twists. You are entitled to your opinion of course but I definitely think you have misunderstood the plot of the movie and you yourself have undermined the Beauty in this film i enjoyed it immensely, but I also immensely enjoyed one of the most critically acclaimed television series of all time, The Twilight Zone. But that’s my opinion.

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