Interstellar (2014)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking

Felt secrets of the story were predictable, too long

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Interstellar

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Drama

Release Date(s):  October 26, 2014 (Premiere)/November 5, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

interstellar black hole

I wish that in the black hole that the Maximilian robot from The Black Hole turned out to be the real villain

Earth is dying.  Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) discovers a strange sequence of events involving messages from his daughter’s “ghost” has led him to humanity’s last hope.  NASA is plotting a trip through a wormhole to investigate the possibility of three inhabitable planets that could save the population.  Teamed with Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), Doyle (Wes Bentley, and the robots TARS and CASE, Cooper is about to bend time and space in an attempt to save Earth for his children Murph and Tom.  As time passes quickly on Earth, Cooper’s children Tom (Casey Affleck) and Murph (Jessica Chastain) find humanity quickly on the verge of dying unless hope is found in the stars.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar was written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan.  The film received mostly positive reviews and praise for its special effects and scientific accuracy.  The movie won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects with nominations for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, and Hans Zimmer’s Best Original Score.  Due to the style of the film, a *****Spoiler Alert***** is active throughout this review.

interstellar case water planet anne hathaway

Fortunately CASE was built to carry someone and run in knee deep water…

I didn’t get to see Interstellar in the theater.  With a runtime of almost three hours and the bustle of the approaching holidays, sometimes even the most visually appealing movies get lost in the shuffle.  In addition to time constraints, I heard extremely mixed reviews from friends and critics about this film…from high praise to high criticism.  I find myself falling somewhere in between.

The problem I have with this movie is the story.  There is a lot of ego in the story which seems to feel that by simply trying to be confusing, it means that the film is smart.  I don’t necessarily agree.  I suppose if you are completely clueless about things like wormholes or relativity, the idea of bending time and space could be surprising and shocking…but I read A Wrinkle in Time as a kid and have known about things like tesseracts and wormholes for years growing up.  All you had to do is watch an episode of Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine to get the concept (even the explanation of a wormhole they stole from Event Horizon).  It just wasn’t that deep.

interstellar matt damon

As punishment for your actions, Matt Damon, you will be forced to live on Mars…and do science

In addition to this attempt to blind the audience with science (which Nolan did go to great and admirable lengths to make sure was technically correct as far as we’ve been able to explain), the basic set-up seems painfully obvious.  There are only a few choices for who Murph’s “ghost” is and it was as I predicted at the first mention of it.  The movie acts like it is a big reveal when they explain the black hole Gargantua and that “shock” Cooper is the ghost!  It takes three hours of putzing around to do it…and then wraps up the movie in the simplest and dumbest way.

The movie does have a gifted cast with McConaughey playing McConaughey.  Michael Caine returns from Nolan’s Batman series along with Anne Hathaway and the movie also features Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Topher Grace, William Devane, and Matt Damon in supporting roles.  Jessica Chastain continues to prove herself as an up-and-coming star as the middle age Murph with perfectly cast Mackenzie Foy and Ellen Burstyn playing her younger and older versions.

interstellar matthew mcconaughey bookshelf

Whoa (fake shock). I am the ghost that no one seemed to really care about despite having government secrets and intel?

The movie excels however in its visuals with stunning space representations.  With Gravity, you saw a very technical and Earth-based space, but here, you get more freedom for sci-fi and fantasy by exploring beyond Earth.  I even liked the water and ice planets that managed to still be original.  I can’t say that I loved the robots TARS and CASE who were functional, but seemed like unrealistic constructions.

Interstellar would have probably been much better if it was a two hour movie.  I also wish that the it didn’t believe itself to be cleverer than it really was.  The movie has a lot of potential and is smarter than most films, but I felt it was retread of lots of little sci-fi films and TV shows…and with the visuals, the cast, and the extreme length, I expected a bit more.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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