Interstellar Screen 67 of 26 reviews

Interstellar

2014

Interstellar Poster
  • Interstellar is Nolan’s best and most brazenly ambitious film to date... The film is a feast of extraordinary ideas, each one depicted by Nolan’s cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema, and his visual effects team with heart-swelling grandeur.

  • [The part where Coop communicates with his daughter from another dimension] loses some viewers, but it leaves me a wreck every time. Interstellar has never really been about science; any science in it has always been at the service of Nolan’s more poetic ambitions. And here, the film abandons any pretense to physics and enters a strange, wonderful netherworld between dreamy metaphor and literal-minded fantasy.

  • Christopher Nolan's new film Interstellar, which addresses both science and poetry in implicit and explicit ways, offers us a possible “theory of everything”—one in which the simple beauties of art are conjoined with the complex mathematics of science in a middle space between the two, with that middle space corresponding to the pathway from our collective reality so many of us have been seeking for so long.

  • Nolan makes this familiar trajectory wonderfully strange and intellectually compelling by imaginatively directing it into and through a wormhole of his own design. Fully aware that cinema is, itself, a time machine, he has expanded—and compounded—the relativity of space-time and its effects by layering them in the multiple dimensions not only of Interstellar’s narrative but also of the film’s overall structure and its immersive mise en scène.

  • "Interstellar" is an impressive, at times astonishing work, and one of a handful by Nolan that overwhelmed me to the point where my usual objections to his work melted away... There’s something unusually pure and powerful about this movie. I can’t recall a science fiction film hard-sold to a director’s fans as multiplex-“awesome” in which so many major characters wept openly in close-up, voices breaking, tears streaming down their cheeks.

  • The films of Christopher Nolan generate emotion in much the same way that a supercollider generates particles, accelerating until they achieve a velocity that allows the abstract concept at their core to be seen and confirmed. Nolan may not be looking for the Higgs boson, but he uses a similar approach to distill and demystify the subatomic elements of narrative fiction.

  • An enormous undertaking that, like all the director’s best work, manages to feel handcrafted and intensely personal, “Interstellar” reaffirms Nolan as the premier big-canvas storyteller of his generation, more than earning its place alongside “The Wizard of Oz,” “2001,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Gravity” in the canon of Hollywood’s visionary sci-fi head trips.

  • INTERSTELLAR believes in love and family as real forces in the physical world, and I don't have the heart to tell it otherwise. (It also literalizes string theory as a multicolored pane of time-bending strings behind your bedroom wall. Think about that for a moment!) The ambition of INTERSTELLAR is inseparable from its clean-shaven nuttiness and its discreet romanticism.

  • ...These are actual, astrophysical equations, but as seen on screen, line after line, covering the entire blackboard, they actually look like an exotic script, an alien language hardly anyone can read. This is what math is to 99.99 percent of moviegoers: mysterious and never to be understood.

  • Through scale and speed, Interstellar‘s first half builds enough beyond-human momentum to sustain a not inconsiderable amount of entertainment value — but when Mann appears to explain man, it collapses under the weight of a repeated thesis that doesn’t merit such explicit, redundant reiteration.

  • The first half sometimes drags, admittedly. The second half – the mission itself – is better, the vastness of space coming up against human frailty. Spaceships and wormholes are fine for science nerds – but when people lie, or deceive their loved ones, or succumb to all-too-human weaknesses, that’s real drama.

  • A film of wide-open spaces and lofty ambition—and fields of corn literally as high as an elephant’s eye if you’re watching it in IMAX—Interstellar is Nolan’s most enjoyable film since 2006’s The Prestige and in many ways his least enervating movie ever, drained as it is of the acidic pessimism that infected so many of its predecessors.

  • Viewers have to infer the particulars of his futuristic scenario gradually, as evidence presents itself, and he trusts that we're smart enough to do so. It's a bold decision, but it has a strategic purpose, because Interstellar ultimately turns into the sort of hard sci-fi in which characters are constantly and necessarily spewing exposition. By providing no information at the outset, Nolan creates a context in which later onslaughts of practical verbiage feel like a gift rather than like a slog.

  • The thing that makes me always come back to Nolan films despite their awfulness is the mystery of how someone can be so obsessed with so many things that interest me and come up with an experience that speaks so little to what makes them worthwhile. Interstellar despite its unevenness, length, stops and starts (it plays more like a collection of stock of classic sci fi scenarios than a coherent narrative) and some truly laughable parts is one of his more credible films.

  • It's become obligatory for critics to harp on the Nolan Brothers' penchant for endless exposition, but it's hard not to when you're subjected to so damn much of it. Every forthcoming action is explained at length ahead of time, and the explanations themselves aren't especially helpful.

  • Nolan’s effects are clever and, above all, elaborate—they resound with the amount of work that he and his team devoted to them—but they’re devoid of astonishment; they’re not up to the cosmic vision that they’re supposed to suggest (just as Zimmer’s banal music isn’t up to such a vision, either—compare it with Kubrick’s use of music by Ligeti). Nolan’s images seem to be at arm’s length, like illustrations of what space travel might be like—they’re not in themselves an experience of that travel.

  • Once this movie got to where it was going, I had an involuntary spasm of laughter. What else could I do? Partly, I laughed at the cleverness of the revelation. The sequence delivers. And partly, I laughed because Nolan believes cleverness is the same thing as audacity. He thinks that the click of realization is profound, that it’s the key — when, really, it’s just the gears of a giant machine locking into place. All of this effort, all of these questions, all of this movie, and for what?

  • [Nolan's method] is, on paper at least, to the good. So it is without great relish that I must report that Interstellar, like Inceptionbefore it, is a movie that feels like being tangled up in a pile of infinitely-unfolding some-assembly-required instructions in the watching, full of dialogue that’s like the recital of a How To manual.

  • There’s nothing wrong in itself with flipping between these different modes of adventure, especially because Nolan’s analogue style gives even the more other-worldly episodes a distinctive edge of concrete realism... Yet the flip side of this deglamorizing tendency is a banalization of the space experience: the explorers seem to get to the wormhole in no time at all, and they’re in that other galaxy (“We’re here!”) as easily as they might change subway lines.

  • Oddly, Interstellar rarely feels suspenseful... The film seems to lack any unifying theme that might give substance to the various scientific concepts, and the thin characterization (a chronic shortcoming of Nolan's films) prevents one from really engaging with the material emotionally. After the first hour, with its poignant depiction of humanity's decline, Interstellar always seems to be rebuilding its momentum, offering plenty to think about but little to hold on to.

  • The problem with Nolan’s need to explain is that he and his brother Jonathan (his frequent co-writer) are incapable of doing it in an elegant way, and it’s an obstacle that Interstellar never overcomes. He can’t show without telling, and here the documentary-style talking heads used to set up the premise of a dying Earth are simply a warning sign of what lies ahead.

  • In its best stretches, which tend to come in the middle, it is a fatalistic adventure that pits peaceful science types against themselves and each other as they struggle to achieve a greater goal; in its worst moments, toward the end, it is a dopey exercise in humanist metaphysics, a movie about facing the cosmic unknown that explains everything several times over.

  • Nolan’s films, both in terms of narrative and theme, always turn out to be so tidy. There are no questions left at the end of Interstellar... If anything, let’s critique Christopher Nolan for his use of the medium itself. When the essential property of film forces us to believe in an illusion, he’s become the least-spiritual director in contemporary cinema.

  • Underneath its sheen of invention and imagination, Interstellar turns out to be all business, a fancy way of reciting rote thematic concerns and storytelling tactics without humor or potent self-awareness. And yet, the references are abundant, from the Bible and Douglas Adams to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind-era Spielberg.

  • Time certainly seemed to stretch beyond all recognizable parameters for me. The robot programmed to have a 60 percent sense of humor, and more specifically the Nolans' total lack of self awareness in presenting it, is also by the grace of some cinematic wormhole the only non-humorless thing about the movie.

  • For all the “fantastic” otherworlds—such as the tidal-wave planet where one hour is equivalent to seven earth years, or the topsy-turvy ice star where our heroes run into special guest cosmonaut Will Hunting—Nolan is loathe to let us take any of it in with genuine horror, wonder or awe. Not even a massive black hole nicknamed, in a very unobtanium-esque touch, “Gargantua” manages to put stars in the eyes. They sent a prosaic poseur to do a poet’s job.

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