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Review: Interstellar

Interstellar
11.05.2014
9 10

PLOT: In a future where Earth has become uninhabitable, a widowed ex-NASA pilot (Matthew McConaughey) is sent on a mission through a wormhole in order to find a new home for the species and save mankind from extinction.

REVIEW: Christopher Nolan is nothing if not ambitious and there’s no doubt that INTERSTELLAR is his most ambitious movie to date. This is considerable as Nolan’s not only made a movie that ran backwards (MEMENTO) but also INCEPTION – which took the pyrotechnics of a mega-budget action movie and set them almost entirely in a dream (within a dream, within a dream, etc). Here, Nolan’s made a close to $200 million three-hour epic about science and relativity, and like his other stabs at the unusual, it’s almost entirely successful.

One common criticism of Nolan’s work is that he lacks a human touch. INTERSTELLAR – co-authored by his brother Jonathan – seeks to remedy that, telling a highly emotional story that at its heart is less about space exploration than an absentee father’s guilt and the effect it has on his family. Think of this as the answer to Steven Spielberg’s highly-criticized ending to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND where the hero abandons his family to go explore the galaxy. While McConaughey’s dilemma here is understandable (he’s literally leaving to go save the world) the loss both he and his children face is the absolute lynchpin of the film and the thing that will make INTERSTELLAR click with an audience that’s looking for more than eye candy – although naturally that’s something the film has in spades.

While INTERSTELLAR will likely become famous (and possibly even iconic) due to its incredible imagery, the one who makes everything come together is without a doubt McConaughey. This continues his amazing resurgence, but unlike TRUE DETECTIVE or even DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, this is the actor playing a highly relatable everyman, and being a father himself, McConaughey is able to brilliantly convey the love he has for his family (particularly his daughter Murph – as played by Mackenzie Foy) with their potential loss informing everything he does throughout the rest of the movie. There’s not a second where we don’t think he’s thinking of them, particularly a nail-biting sequence set on a water-world where time passes so fast that every hour spent on the surface equals a decade in Earth time. McConaughey’s devastation here and in several other scenes (such as the trailer’s image of him driving away from his children with tears in his eyes) is palpable and worthy of being called one of the year’s best performances.

However, INTERSTELLAR is far from a weepie. If the film becomes as iconic as some are suggesting it will likely have a lot to do with the striking imagery. Nolan is one of cinema’s great modern showmen, and INTERSTELLAR allows Nolan to use his preferred large-format IMAX shooting in absolutely brilliant ways. More than half of the film (most of the non-earth or rocket based stuff) has been shot this way, and seeing this on a large format 70MM IMAX screen is a must to get the full effect. The lensing by Hoyte van Hoytema (who – amazingly – has since signed on to do the next Bond movie) is superb, and strikingly different from Nolan’s usual work with Wally Pfister. On Earth, the film looks almost like a Terrence Malick movie, while on the various desolate planets surveyed by the mission, there’s an almost total absence of color, giving these sequences a truly other-worldly feel. Finally, space itself is shot almost like an IMAX HUBBLE documentary (made even more eerie by the scientifically accurate total lack of sound) save for the frequent explosions of color as they travel through worm holes, encounter black holes, etc.

There’s no doubt that van Hoytema needs to take home an Oscar for his work here, and the same goes for Hans Zimmer, with this arguably being the greatest score of his already impressive career. Nolan’s always brought out something special in him, and his incredible score (with heavy use of organs) is gripping and highly emotional. Some will call it manipulative, I call it genius.

 

On the whole, INTERSTELLAR only goes wrong in small bits here and there. As good as McConaughey is, his co-stars have much more thinly written parts. Anne Hathaway is very cold for much of the film, with her character never getting the same kind of stakes McConaughey does, although to a certain extent they remedy this later in the film. Meanwhile Jessica Chastain, as the adult Murph, strains credibility in how much she resents, and even hates her absent father – despite the fact that she’s spent decades working for the very same project (headed by Nolan’s good-luck charm Michael Caine). Casey Affleck fares better in a small part as McConaughey’s grown son.

It’s also clear that Nolan’s taking a page here from a huge variety of films, with not only Malick and Stanley Kubrick having a major influence, but also people like Andrei Tarkovsky, and even Peter Hyams, with this having some striking similarities to his under-appreciated 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY sequel, 2010 (with that film’s star, John Lithgow, turning up in a key supporting part). Nolan’s wise-cracking robot T.A.R.S seems to have been heavily influenced – in personality if not looks – by Roddy McDowell’s robot in THE BLACK HOLE – which in turn was influenced by STAR WARS. Warren Beatty’s REDS even gets paid homage to, with some testimonials of the now aged inhabitants of earth sprinkled into the first act (admittedly this doesn’t quite work).

On the whole, INTERSTELLAR adds up to a film the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s almost too much to take-in with one viewing, but while there are some elements that maybe don’t totally work, it’s a thrilling, emotionally exhausting ride and a rollercoaster for the mind and spirit. In some ways, the flaws only make it more perfect and this stands alongside Nolan’s best work. Heck, twenty years from now we may even think of it as a classic, even if it takes a bit of time for it to sink in.

Also check out JimmyO's Video Review!

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Source: JoBlo.com

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7:13PM on 11/05/2014
9/10! So it`s a borderline masterpiece?The visual are some what amazing.The third part of the movie is a mess.This isn`t a family movie like Nolan says it is.Unless you read your child the bedtime story, 'a brief history of time.Below the line oscars for cinematography and visual effects.Sadly this movie was over hyped.Interstellar is its own worse enemy but in the end it`s each to their own.6/10 from me.
9/10! So it`s a borderline masterpiece?The visual are some what amazing.The third part of the movie is a mess.This isn`t a family movie like Nolan says it is.Unless you read your child the bedtime story, 'a brief history of time.Below the line oscars for cinematography and visual effects.Sadly this movie was over hyped.Interstellar is its own worse enemy but in the end it`s each to their own.6/10 from me.
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5:53PM on 11/05/2014
That's a pretty stellar review. Glavin!
That's a pretty stellar review. Glavin!
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2:53PM on 11/05/2014

Ambitious

That is the definitive word that comes to mind when I left the theater. Whether you walked away satisfied or not, you must agree you won't see many films like this one. Truly unique in its imagery and production. Nolan is a once in a lifetime talent, his dedication to his work being what sets him apart.

The aspirations of Interstellar are massive, and in my opinion, so high that this movie's ideology will go over the heads of many. This is a film that will most likely need to be viewed
That is the definitive word that comes to mind when I left the theater. Whether you walked away satisfied or not, you must agree you won't see many films like this one. Truly unique in its imagery and production. Nolan is a once in a lifetime talent, his dedication to his work being what sets him apart.

The aspirations of Interstellar are massive, and in my opinion, so high that this movie's ideology will go over the heads of many. This is a film that will most likely need to be viewed multiple times to sincerely appreciate and understand what it is all about. I'm not saying this is his masterpiece, because to be honest its still yet to be seen, but what an experience this movie brought, both in story telling and imagery. I also believe in time, this film will garner even more appreciation. Hans Zimmer needs to be mentioned here too, as the most underrated element that can transcend a good movie to being great is the score.
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2:29PM on 11/05/2014
I have my Imax ticket in hand.
I like Nolans films (never saw insomnia) so I have a feeling this will be good.

For how good it will be in the long run of movies - i think of something John Carpenter said about waiting 10 years before saying "this is the best movie ever" i agree. will it stand the test of time - who knows.
I have my Imax ticket in hand.
I like Nolans films (never saw insomnia) so I have a feeling this will be good.

For how good it will be in the long run of movies - i think of something John Carpenter said about waiting 10 years before saying "this is the best movie ever" i agree. will it stand the test of time - who knows.
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1:09PM on 11/05/2014
Seeing this last night at the 70mm IMAX theater at the Henry Ford in Michigan was an experience of a lifetime. You simply are not going to experience many movies like what I did last night. I cannot recommend seeing this on a IMAX film projector enough. Or any IMAX screen for that matter.

Very decisive film, but I think in time it may be one of Nolan's all time greats. The heart in this film shines through above all else, which is key. Love is the driving force of this movie.
Seeing this last night at the 70mm IMAX theater at the Henry Ford in Michigan was an experience of a lifetime. You simply are not going to experience many movies like what I did last night. I cannot recommend seeing this on a IMAX film projector enough. Or any IMAX screen for that matter.

Very decisive film, but I think in time it may be one of Nolan's all time greats. The heart in this film shines through above all else, which is key. Love is the driving force of this movie.
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+0
11:56AM on 11/05/2014
Can't figure out why but I am not excited to see this whatsoever. But, I know I will, and it'll probably knock my socks off that much more just because I had no high expectations.
Can't figure out why but I am not excited to see this whatsoever. But, I know I will, and it'll probably knock my socks off that much more just because I had no high expectations.
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1:13PM on 11/05/2014
I feel the same way. I love Nolan, McConaughey and Chastain but this movie feels like an afterthought to me. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but I have to convince myself to go (not to mention seeing it in IMAX triples the cost from the normal theater near me).
I feel the same way. I love Nolan, McConaughey and Chastain but this movie feels like an afterthought to me. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but I have to convince myself to go (not to mention seeing it in IMAX triples the cost from the normal theater near me).
+0
11:52AM on 11/05/2014
Caught the 70mm IMAX showing last night and loved it. It's definitely not a film without flaws, but Nolan's vision and scope are incredible.
Caught the 70mm IMAX showing last night and loved it. It's definitely not a film without flaws, but Nolan's vision and scope are incredible.
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11:49AM on 11/05/2014
Nolan needs to stop masquerading as a writer/director and direct other people's work. Did not enjoy this at all.
Nolan needs to stop masquerading as a writer/director and direct other people's work. Did not enjoy this at all.
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1:18PM on 11/05/2014
Yeah, because clearly that hasn't worked out for him or anything. The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were only improved on when himself and his brother took over scripting duties and stopped using David Goyer's shitty dialogue.
Yeah, because clearly that hasn't worked out for him or anything. The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were only improved on when himself and his brother took over scripting duties and stopped using David Goyer's shitty dialogue.
2:57PM on 11/05/2014
Improving upon Goyer isnt really an accomplishment. Nolan has issues as a writer.
Improving upon Goyer isnt really an accomplishment. Nolan has issues as a writer.
2:57PM on 11/05/2014
Improving upon Goyer isnt really an accomplishment. Nolan has issues as a writer.
Improving upon Goyer isnt really an accomplishment. Nolan has issues as a writer.
10:18PM on 11/05/2014
Nolan does have weaknesses as a writer, especially female characters, except for perhaps Selina Kyle, but, for me, while they can be improved upon, he makes up for in scope, vision and execution.
Nolan does have weaknesses as a writer, especially female characters, except for perhaps Selina Kyle, but, for me, while they can be improved upon, he makes up for in scope, vision and execution.
10:33AM on 11/05/2014
Already got my tickets for 70mm IMAX, so I absolutely can't wait to see this in the best medium possible! Reading some other reviews have toned down my expectations a bit, but I'm glad to see Bumbray give this a 9/10. My biggest worry is that Nolan didn't nail the emotional aspect of this film, because it seems like so much of it depends on that linchpin. Nolan's been accused of being cold and emotionless in previous movies (notably Inception and The Prestige), so here's hoping that he finally
Already got my tickets for 70mm IMAX, so I absolutely can't wait to see this in the best medium possible! Reading some other reviews have toned down my expectations a bit, but I'm glad to see Bumbray give this a 9/10. My biggest worry is that Nolan didn't nail the emotional aspect of this film, because it seems like so much of it depends on that linchpin. Nolan's been accused of being cold and emotionless in previous movies (notably Inception and The Prestige), so here's hoping that he finally breaks free of that! I'm not expecting a classic or a masterpiece, but as long as it's an optimistic commentary on our species' survival in space, then I'll be happy.
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8:37AM on 11/05/2014
Really looking forward to this. Hopefully it's another classic to add to Nolans impressive filmography.
Really looking forward to this. Hopefully it's another classic to add to Nolans impressive filmography.
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8:30AM on 11/05/2014

Meh

Movie was okay. You clearly sound biased towards Nolan. A classic in 20 years? Yeah right. 7/10 if anything. Visually awesome, story was severely lacking though. But hey, that's just me.
Movie was okay. You clearly sound biased towards Nolan. A classic in 20 years? Yeah right. 7/10 if anything. Visually awesome, story was severely lacking though. But hey, that's just me.
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10:33AM on 11/05/2014
"But hey, that's just me. "

exactly, that's just you. Your opinion
and that's Just him..his opinion.

Neither of you are wrong.
"But hey, that's just me. "

exactly, that's just you. Your opinion
and that's Just him..his opinion.

Neither of you are wrong.
10:47AM on 11/05/2014
@The_ConMan - Go back and read the review. Tell me there isn't a hint of Nolan bias in there. And I never said he was wrong. Maybe just praising it a bit too much?
@The_ConMan - Go back and read the review. Tell me there isn't a hint of Nolan bias in there. And I never said he was wrong. Maybe just praising it a bit too much?
1:16PM on 11/05/2014
Neither are wrong, but Pazuzu's review sounds like the dozens of reviews this movie has seen already. Bumbray's review sounds like it's a much better movie than most others, which means it is, or he's just being a fanboy.
Neither are wrong, but Pazuzu's review sounds like the dozens of reviews this movie has seen already. Bumbray's review sounds like it's a much better movie than most others, which means it is, or he's just being a fanboy.
5:35AM on 11/05/2014

9 / 10 in my books too

Saw it yesterday : as the astronomy is my biggest hobby (right after movies and soccer), this film is an orgasm for everyone who loves Watch the beauty and mysteries of the universe !
Curious thing : in an interview in a french television channel, Nolan said he never saw " Gravity "
Saw it yesterday : as the astronomy is my biggest hobby (right after movies and soccer), this film is an orgasm for everyone who loves Watch the beauty and mysteries of the universe !
Curious thing : in an interview in a french television channel, Nolan said he never saw " Gravity "
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3:47AM on 11/05/2014
9/10 is all I need to hear.
9/10 is all I need to hear.
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1:23AM on 11/05/2014
disappointed that it didn't meet my expectations but the visuals are gorgeous.whats with the father- daughter subplot in the recent movies
disappointed that it didn't meet my expectations but the visuals are gorgeous.whats with the father- daughter subplot in the recent movies
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1:09AM on 11/05/2014
You know the visuals and score are going to be good, but I'm just glad to read that the story is just as good and not or up to par with all of the other aspects in the film.
You know the visuals and score are going to be good, but I'm just glad to read that the story is just as good and not or up to par with all of the other aspects in the film.
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9:09AM on 11/05/2014
Probably another "best film of the year" for you, and then you'll say Matthew McConaughey "absolutely owned the role." So just save yourself the time.
Probably another "best film of the year" for you, and then you'll say Matthew McConaughey "absolutely owned the role." So just save yourself the time.
9:35AM on 11/05/2014
I'm not a Nolan fanboy at all. He makes good films, but whatever.
I'm not a Nolan fanboy at all. He makes good films, but whatever.
10:43AM on 11/05/2014
ROTFLMAO @Pazuzu_Guerilla
ROTFLMAO @Pazuzu_Guerilla
10:53AM on 11/05/2014
He didn't call you a Nolan Fanboy. He is pointing out that every tom dick and harry absolutely OWNS according to you and that EVERY movie is THE BEST MOVIE of the year, regardless of how many times you've said it.
He didn't call you a Nolan Fanboy. He is pointing out that every tom dick and harry absolutely OWNS according to you and that EVERY movie is THE BEST MOVIE of the year, regardless of how many times you've said it.
11:58AM on 11/05/2014
Whatever.
Whatever.
12:05PM on 11/05/2014
Looking forward to your comments on the film Soloist! Don't keep me waiting!
Looking forward to your comments on the film Soloist! Don't keep me waiting!
12:34PM on 11/05/2014
let me save him the trouble.

This movie owned so much ass. It was super sad when (insert name) died and sacrificed himself/herself to save (insert name) from the time distortion. The fact that their mission was successful because so and so, did such and such thing was brilliant.
let me save him the trouble.

This movie owned so much ass. It was super sad when (insert name) died and sacrificed himself/herself to save (insert name) from the time distortion. The fact that their mission was successful because so and so, did such and such thing was brilliant.
10:12PM on 11/05/2014
How about laying off of him and stop being a bunch of dickbags? He comments on the site all the time and obviously is a huge movie fan, why do you feel the need to mock him over it?
How about laying off of him and stop being a bunch of dickbags? He comments on the site all the time and obviously is a huge movie fan, why do you feel the need to mock him over it?
2:52AM on 11/07/2014
con man swoops in with his douchey comments it never fails. you make this site so much better con man. i just dont know where we would all be without you gracing us with your knowledge. just keep up the great work fuck face.
con man swoops in with his douchey comments it never fails. you make this site so much better con man. i just dont know where we would all be without you gracing us with your knowledge. just keep up the great work fuck face.
12:40AM on 11/05/2014
It did remind me of Spielberg's work in the way Nolan tries to marry sentiment and awe-inspiring sci-fi spectacle so I understand why some have called this schmaltzy, but I think it really works. Spielberg was originally attached to direct, so it might be a vestige of that. Never thought I'd see a comic relief robot in a Christopher Nolan movie but TARS was probably the best-written character and was wonderfully performed by Bill Irwin.
It did remind me of Spielberg's work in the way Nolan tries to marry sentiment and awe-inspiring sci-fi spectacle so I understand why some have called this schmaltzy, but I think it really works. Spielberg was originally attached to direct, so it might be a vestige of that. Never thought I'd see a comic relief robot in a Christopher Nolan movie but TARS was probably the best-written character and was wonderfully performed by Bill Irwin.
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7:05AM on 11/05/2014
lmao did you piss someone off?
lmao did you piss someone off?
7:11AM on 11/05/2014
Well The_ConMan, phrasing it that way assumes I and not the troll am in the wrong.
Well The_ConMan, phrasing it that way assumes I and not the troll am in the wrong.
8:11AM on 11/05/2014
-110....whoa! That's awesome
-110....whoa! That's awesome
9:25AM on 11/05/2014
Wow.
Wow.
10:00AM on 11/05/2014
@jedd

well I don't think it does. You can dot he right thing or express an opinion validly and some loser can be pissed off about it. Doesn't mean you are in the wrong.
@jedd

well I don't think it does. You can dot he right thing or express an opinion validly and some loser can be pissed off about it. Doesn't mean you are in the wrong.
10:27AM on 11/05/2014
@The_ConMan you have a point there.
@The_ConMan you have a point there.
1:24PM on 11/05/2014
LOL.....is it wrong that I want to downvote this just to make it higher? Nothing Jedd said was wrong, it's just funny......
LOL.....is it wrong that I want to downvote this just to make it higher? Nothing Jedd said was wrong, it's just funny......
12:30AM on 11/05/2014
I can't wait.
I can't wait.
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