October 28, 2014
'Interstellar': The Reviews Are In - Is The Sci-Fi Epic Worth Seeing?

The details of Interstellar have been kept pretty well under wraps up to this point - at least as well as a director could hope for in the days of internet leaks and loose-lipped extras. However, when Christopher Nolan's new film, Interstellar, was recently screened for critics, they had so little advance information to go on that they were practically foaming at the mouth for a glimpse.

Now that those critics have seen Chris Nolan's outer space opus, what did they have to say about it?

The Independent thinks that Matthew McConaughey's performance is Oscar worthy, which is a quite a compliment for an actor in a science fiction film - a genre notoriously snubbed by the Academy. The paper says his "performance is almost as strong as his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club.

Their review goes on to say that Nolan shot for "the stars" with Interstellar, and he hit the mark.

"Nolan aims very high indeed. In the process, he has delivered a cerebral and original blockbuster that (thankfully) is the utter antithesis of Transformers-style franchise filmmaking."
Variety calls Interstellar "surprisingly emotionally accessible science fiction." Its review touches on the grandness of Nolan's set pieces - digital and actual - and the film's running time.
"Nolan stages one thrilling set piece after another, including several hairsbreadth escapes and a dazzling space-docking sequence in which the entire theater seems to become one large centrifuge; the nearly three-hour running time passes unnoticed."
The reviewer of Interstellar from The Hollywood Reporter wasn't quite so taken with the film, calling it "a grandly conceived epic that engrosses but never quite soars." The review goes on to explain that notion, mimicking the review from Variety; in essence, Interstellar shoots so high, with so many concepts and emotions, there are some things in the film that aren't going to succeed.
"Feeling very much like Christopher Nolan's personal response to his favorite film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, this grandly conceived and executed epic tries to give equal weight to intimate human emotions and speculation about the cosmos, with mixed results, but is never less than engrossing, and sometimes more than that."
Indiewire thought Interstellar hit the mark in multiple ways. Their review says that the film is not typical Christopher Nolan - that being often "cold and clever." Instead, the review says that Interstellar is a "genuinely moving spectacle" with a two-pronged approach of both "smarts and sentimentalism." Though some previous rumors have said that Christopher and his brother Jonathon Nolan - the screenwriters - "dumbed down" some of the film's science to make it more accessible. Indiewire believes that science is at the forefront of the film, and that it makes Interstellar that much more satisfying.
"Interstellar eventually derives its emotional undertones from the way it uses the passage of time. It's as much a movie about time travel as space travel, though anyone with a working knowledge of the theory of relativity should understand that those ingredients are always connected."
From the few dozen major reviews posted online, it seems as if Christopher Nolan has made a film that is not only emotionally satisfying for the heart, but intellectually stimulating for the mind.

Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway and Casey Affleck, opens nationwide on November 5.

[Image via Wired]