Markellus’s Verdict 3.5/5
Christopher Nolan has a lot to make up to me after that last Batman movie. I know some people love it, but I was seriously disappointed in it. I also have to admit that I wasn’t sure how confident I could feel with Matthew McConaughey as the lead role. Nolan had better come through this time.
I’m happy to report that while it’s not as awe-inspiring as his other films, Nolan managed to pull off an incredibly ambitious experience that celebrates technology and the human spirit. Unfortunately the characters are drawn in the broadest of strokes so none of them were very memorable. I had almost completely forgotten that Wes Bentley was in this movie. That being said, McConaughey does his McConaughey thing but somehow makes it work here. Anne Hathaway actually does a good job in delivering a full character, despite what feels like limited screen time. The true reason to see the movie is the spectacle of the visuals, and they’re flat out amazing. I will say that there is underlying mystery in the story that almost anyone who watches movies will be able to figure out within 5 minutes. That being said, when the mystery was solved, where the story went afterward was a complete enjoyable surprise for me, and really shocking if you’ve watched any Christopher Nolan movie before. Just when you think the director might be going full on Hollywood, he delivers an ending that reminds you of exactly who he is.
It does feel a little long, clocking in at close to 3hrs, and I’m still not 100% sure I understand the ending, but I’d definitely go see it again, maybe in full on IMAX to really get all those Nolan visuals in my face.
Adam’s Verdict 5/5
Interstellar is a breath taking and huge undertaking by famed film maker Christopher Nolan. Top notch acting, visuals, and score all come together in perfect measure to deliver a movie that is so much more than just something to watch. Interstellar is the rare blockbuster that pulls a true magic trick with the audience, it makes you suspend your disbelief so you see the film before you, and buy every bit of it just like when you were a child.
Interstellar is set in a very realistic future, not too far from now. The vision of the future in Nolan’s epic doesn’t involve hover crafts, silver jump suits, and flying cars. Big Brother isn’t watching and our country’s caste system is largely the same. The future Interstellar takes place in is our exact world, just more used up. The movie does an amazing job catching the audience up to the state of nearly depleted earth by showing the future as a museum would. One major element to mankind’s dire future is that even one of the greatest pilots NASA ever had, a brilliant engineer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), was forced into farming. The world somehow found peace, technological advancements took a back seat to the very basic need of feeding it’s population. Corn was the staple crop, much like it is today, and other crops were dying out so quickly corn may be the only one left after not too long. All the elements of the dire future explain why Cooper, such a devoted father, would leave his children and head into a wormhole to try and find a new planet for human’s to settle. The brain behind the mission to relocate the human race was thought of by a Professor Brand (Michael Caine). Brand is a brilliant man who has made this mission his life’s work. Brand’s daughter (Anne Hathaway) is also a capable scientific mind and agrees to go on the mission.
If you don’t know the amazing turn McConaughey’s career has taken recently, you don’t like movies. The man was never a D list actor or outright bad, but he was known mostly for romantic comedies and a few catch phrases that seemed to capture the laid back attitude the actor so often portrays. Interstellar is another film in the second phase of McConaughey’s careers, if you want to call it that, and fits in with the quality performances he has been giving in his recent work. He plays a brilliant scientist, a logical man, a man dedicated to his mission, and a father who loves his children above all else. One small fault in the film, that doesn’t take anything away from the impeccable storytelling, is the imbalance of screen time Cooper’s children receive. Murph is played by three incredibly talented actresses. Mackenzie Foy (young), Jessica Chastain (adult), and Ellen Burstyn (old). Murph is the child the story spends more time with. It is established that both Murph and Tom (Timothee Chalamet and Casey Affleck) are as brilliant as their father. While Tom does what he is told and honors responsibility, Murph is always pushing boundaries and questioning larger things. Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Topher Grace, Bill Irwin, Francis X McCarthy, and even a surprise un-credited A-Lister round out an all-star cast. The actors may have varying amounts of screen time but there isn’t a weak performance in the bunch.
Every cast members embodies their specific character, and more. The actors portray peril, wonder, excitement, and love with more real emotion than many of the top dramas of the year. The script is so strong that the depth of the characters helps Interstellar to transcend genres. It becomes something much more than an outstanding sci-fi movie. It becomes a deep character study and look at humanity. Interstellar is a truly entertaining movie on its own, one that begs to be rewatched for its performances and visuals, but it is also a deep look on the world of scientific advancements and humanity.
It probably goes without say, but here is the disclaimer anyway, I am not a scientist. I didn’t do any research to see how accurate the science in the film is and I don’t care. It shouldn’t matter to any audience member. What is important is that the science makes sense within the context of the movie. Rules are established, not created to serve the plot, and those rules aren’t broken. Space travel, zero-g, wormholes, time loops, and the relativity of time are all complex topics discussed in deep and serious ways. These are also all very difficult aspects of a movie to get right. Nolan, in his expertise, nails these elements. Arguments can be made until the end of time whether these scientific theories are sound, if a black hole is a black sphere, if the relativity of time has certain affects on the aging of a human being, etc. The discussions as a result of the film are part of the point, like it or not. The film maker’s have the audience talking and thinking either way. Most intriguing about all the complicated topics discussed in Interstellar is the fact that Cooper and Brand discuss love just as serious, and just as in depth as any of the scientific theories listed previously. The writer’s of the script also do this without shoehorning in the typical Hollywood love plot between the male lead and the female lead. Interstellar has a remarkable love story in it, but like the rest of the film, it isn’t run-of-the-mill.
Generally I use the words ‘film’ and ‘movie’ interchangeably. Most movies nowadays are not accurately films as film is going the way of the dinosaurs. Some true auteurs are sticking by film. Interstellar is available digitally in theaters, of course, but also in the better than high-def 70mm film. Making the trip to see Interstellar in a true projected 70mm film version as well as in a legitimate IMAX is absolutely worth it. With over two hours of the movie filmed in IMAX the visuals are the best they can be. 3D, high frame rate, and other tricks aren’t worth as much as a quality 70mm picture in IMAX, the clarity is unmatched. The space scenes in Interstellar are just as realistic as last year’s amazing movie, Gravity, but the most spectacular space visuals since the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Alien worlds, black holes, a new solar system, space stations, space colonies, and the dynamics of the ships are all so well done Interstellar could be watched in its entirety while muted and the film would still be captivating.
Go and see Interstellar. The bottom line can’t be any more clear. See a 70mm IMAX showing if at all possible, but no matter how you see it Interstellar is a movie that needs to be experienced. The visuals alone are enough of a draw but a clever story, amazing acting, and pure ingenuity are equally strong reasons.
Review via Sit Down, Shut Up