Review: Interstellar

If you know me, you know how much I love Christopher Nolan. Inception has been my favorite movie probably since the day I first saw it in the theater, I loved what he did with Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy, and I loved the twisty-turny mind games of The Prestige. I am happy to report that Nolan is still at the top of his game with Interstellar. In one word, I would describe this movie as profound. In a few, I’d say it’s a deeply moving look at humanity. It both does and does not feel like a typical Nolan film; in many ways it looked and felt different, but the themes of love and tragedy and triumph and humanity that are present in all his films certainly resounded in Interstellar.

sfm_banner_02b (1)I went into this movie virtually blind. Everything I knew was from the trailers, and there is a lot missing from the trailers, including some of the casting that ended up totally surprising me when they showed up on screen. And since I’ve mentioned the casting, it was incredibly perfect. I am not a Matthew McConaughey fan by nature. I blame it on the movie The Wedding Planner and the fact that he is just very hyped and if I don’t love someone who is hyped I sometimes end up disliking them. That’s terrible, I know, but anyways, he really delivered in this film, along with everyone else.

interstellar2I want you to go into this movie mostly blind too, so I don’t want to give away too much. What I will say is that the future that Nolan created was scary, and not in some dystopia way, we’re talking in a the-Earth-is-dying way. There is this certain mysterious element going on, and to my surprise, I actually figured it out (the generalities, not the specifics) really early in the movie. However, it did not hinder my enjoyment of the film, and my husband did not figure it out. For those of you who have seen it, I will be curious to hear if you knew what was going on before the reveal. Despite having an idea of what was happening, the getting there and the how was still quite the ride.

I have heard a few murmurs about this film possibly getting Oscar nods, and I really, really hope it does. I don’t watch many Oscar contender movies, which I’m sure some people would say makes my taste in movies unrefined, but anyway, I could tell this movie was more of an Oscar-esque movie than most of the other movies I watch. There were several gratuitous space shots and other beautiful shots that really deserve recognition in addition to the great story and acting.

My biggest complaint against Nolan in the past has been his underdeveloped female protagonists, or at least me failing to connect with them. I did like Ariadne a good bit in Inception, and I thought Mal was a good character too, but otherwise, I have always been underwhelmed with the ladies in his movies. That is totally not the case with this movie. I LOVED Murphy, and I also liked Anne Hathway’s character Dr. Brand.

As I mentioned before, I had an idea of what generally might be happening, but before/during that reveal came some elements that, as my husband put it, were on the edge of going off the “deep end.” Yes, it’s science fiction, but it also seemed they were trying to make it pretty close to real science, and some of it started to feel like it might be a little hard to swallow. But thankfully I felt the “line” wasn’t crossed. I know that threshold is different for everyone, and heck, this whole paragraph might not even make sense to you, but I thought it was worth noting because it factors into my rating.

Lastly, I’ll vaguely mention the ending. The Prestige and Inception have the make-you-gasp, not-what-I-really-wanted-but-wow, open-ended sort of endings. The Dark Knight Rises ended so beautifully perfect (minus a certain someone in a cafe but I won’t go there now…). This is closer to a Prestige/Inception ending, but it plays out a little slower and doesn’t feel as shocking, if that makes sense. I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t his strongest ending.

This is a really fantastic story, and I am so pleased Nolan shared it with us. And of course, I am already eagerly anticipating what’s next from him. (Not Superman vs. Batman, which he is just producing, not writing/directing. Doesn’t count.) Not a perfect film, and not my favorite of his, but still very noteworthy. And it is definitely an experience in the theater, so go and watch it ASAP!

4-5stars-editHave you seen Interstellar? What are your thoughts on it?

16 Responses to Review: Interstellar

  1. I agree – you can tell this is a Christopher Nolan film. In the way it’s intellectual and the way the story is layered. There were several things I picked up on along the way (or close enough) so I understand what you mean about figuring things out. It wasn’t that it was obvious it was just, this is how these things work in a sci-fi story.

    Without going into detail in case any comments who hasn’t seen it – I really liked how subtle it was, how different themes played out in a very quiet way. I liked that he really captured the length of time it took and the desolation and quiet of space.

    And I also liked his female characters much better. Mal I don’t even love or think is a great character – though I do like Ariadne. Murphy was awesome and the actresses were fantastic. Brand was also pretty good but I would have liked her more, I think, if she wasn’t quite so stoic.

    • I think you make a good point about Brand… I did feel she was sort of keeping the audience at arms’ length, but she had a lot of potential. I like the way you described the layering of the story, I agree with you there!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It was different from what I was expecting and the characters/casting was superb. However, in That Part, I couldn’t stop thinking logically, which just messed with my experience. After the movie, my friend said he just took everything at face value and believed the story, so he wasn’t confused and loved it all the more. My mind couldn’t do it though, unfortunately. I felt the line got a crossed – just a toe over the line. But still, I loved it. (However, I think I like Inception more.)

    • Nolan will really have to blow something out of the water to top Inception, I feel! I understand your feelings for sure, but glad you still loved it!

  3. I haven’t seen it, but I sooo want to! I LOVE The Prestige and the Dark Knight trilogy. They’re my favourite movies of eeever. (I love Inception, but it’s too long for me, and I don’t think it’s fast enough. But Arthur…ohh, much love for Arthur. 😉 I’m very curious about this one, especially with the harder sci-fi angle. Pity it’s not his strongest ending though. And I never thought about his under developed female characters in previous movies but…yes. I see that, now.

    • Well be warned this movie is pretty long… over 2.5 hours. It didn’t feel slow to me though; I thought the time was pretty well-filled. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. YAY, I’m so glad to hear that you liked it so much! Now I actually want to see it in the theater. 😀 (Once I do, I’ll come back and discuss.)

  5. Aaaah! I really want to go see this tonight and review it myself later. But I’ll be sure to come back and check out your review afterwards!

      • Gah!! I saw it a few days ago and I am still floored. I loved every minute of it! I’m pretty sure I had never watched a film with Matthew McConaughey, but consider me converted. I honestly had no clue how the movie was going to end, and I’m really amazed that you did! The science in the movie is entirely plausible, and I have a few great links on my review that explain it perfectly. To be honest, I didn’t completely understand all of the science while I was watching, but that didn’t really take away from the film all that much(because I think the emotion in the film is so much more important than the science). I also can’t say enough about the soundtrack, and I’ve been listening to it almost constantly since I watched it! 😀 I really want to rematch it in theaters, if I have the time.

        • Oh yes, it’s definitely about the emotions! I just discovered this morning that there is a book about the science in the movie, and I think it’s supposed to be written in a way that is friendly to the masses (not just for scientifically minded people), so I want to check it out sometime! SO glad you ended up loving the movie!

  6. Ooh, I am really looking forward to this. I don’t know how I haven’t seen it yet — I usually jump to see movies like this. Maybe a little of that has to do with McConaughey’s whisper talk. Speak up, man!

    • LOL! He is a bit of a whisperer/mumbler. Actually, one other small complaint I have about this movie is sometimes it’s hard to hear anyone over epic music and spacecraft noises. But it’s still definitely worth seeing! 🙂

  7. I haven’t watched The Prestige yet, but I have seen both Inception (!!!) and The Dark Knight trilogy, all of which were fantastic, so it’s not that hard to believe that Interstellar is getting so many amazing reviews from critics everywhere. It’s really making me feel more excited than should be possible! Heh, Mathew McConaughey… I haven’t seen any films with him in it, and the first time I heard of him was from the egoistical speech he apparently gave during the Oscars (I think?), so I don’t have that much of an opinion of him. I’m glad he turned out to be the perfect protagonist, though.

    I kind of get what you mean by the film not “crossing the line.” That’s always the problem sci-fi films face, if they want to make things seem REALLY realistic. I have to admit that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to grasp some part of Interstellar, too, since it looks really science-heavy (and even though I love sci-fi, I don’t always get science as a subject T_T), but after your review, I’m feeling a lot more relieved.

    Apparently this is a show that’s stunning in IMAX, so I’m still deciding if I want to watch it in a normal theater, or go see it in 3D. Overall, though, so, so happy that you loved this, Amy! I just know that I’m going to enjoy it, too. 😀 Fantastic review!

    • It probably would be good in IMAX, if you have that chance. I saw The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX and was sort of disappointed for the money I spent on it, but there are a lot more epic shots in Interstellar, so it would probably be a little more worthwhile.