Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Interstellar (2014)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain


Mature and contemplative science fiction on an epic scale. It makes you think, it makes you feel. This is a space adventure, but there are very human elements that tie everything together. Nolan’s take on love is actually quite poignant.

Nolan does something subtle but impressive here, cleverly skipping over the usual dramatic elements and standard shots that one might expect to see in a space exploration movie and instead focusing on things we haven’t seen before. There’s no cryogenic sleep mumbo-jumbo, very few wide shots of his ships shooting through space, and absolutely no training sequence, but we do see pods hurtling into a black hole, other worlds with wild physical properties, and a very real and desolate future on Earth. The quick cut from Cooper’s drive away from his farmhouse to a launching rocket was genius, avoiding 20 minutes of fluff and advancing the story tremendously with a single edit.

As a Nolan film, there’s the blaring score (more bass than horns this time) and some fantastic visual effects. The shots of the wormhole and black hole were particularly stunning. Perhaps there were a few scientific liberties taken, but it’s easy to look past them. This is a fun ride.

One cannot help but find parallels with other space movies. The recurring gravity plot element urges a comparison to last year’s Gravity, but Interstellar is much bigger. The scale of this story, the depth of these characters, and the physical distances involved make Gravity seem like it was a conversation between two people on the front porch. The wormhole effects are reminiscent of Contact (another McConaughey movie), and the robot/black hole combo reminded me of Disney’s The Black Hole. Glad there weren’t as many parallels to The Astronaut Farmer as there could have been.

McConaughey is brilliant as the lead, and he’s surrounded by a cast of appealing actors who all turn in quality performances. Caine, Chastain, Affleck, Bentley, and Devane are all good. A surprise performance by the interestingly uncredited Matt Damon was a nice touch (love his “pray you never learn how good it is to see another face” line). Even TARS was an engaging character with good dialogue, though I would have preferred that he didn’t sound so much like I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. from Team America: World Police.

Nolan has established himself as one of premiere filmmakers of our generation. His films have a certain style and heaviness to them. And they’re all quality.

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