Posted November 8, 2014 by in


Total Score

2/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: science fiction
Director: Christopher Nolan
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Length: 169 minutes
Release Date: 11/7/2014
Studio: Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Paramount Pictures, Syncopy, Warner Bros.
What We Thought

It often feels like a physics lecture that goes on for almost three hours. It’s as mind-numbing as it is butt-numbing.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
For a movie that boasts more IMAX footage than any before, Interstellar is light on visuals, and long on dialog.
     The story takes place sometime in an apocalyptic future.  Famine, pestilence, war and death have come, and ravaged mankind.  Humanity won’t last much longer on Earth.
     Fate brings Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former test pilot, to a secret NASA facility.  Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a physicist, asks Cooper to pilot a shuttle through a worm-hole near Saturn, where new, possibly inhabitable worlds await.
     Cooper leaves Earth, and the film smartly juxtaposes this with leaving his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy) behind.  It’s a heart-breaking thing to do, but he must leave so he can save her and—everyone else.
     An action-adventure like this needs to find a balance between exploring its world and delving into it, between telling us why it’s so important that the characters risk their  lives, and then actually putting them in peril.  However, most of Interstellar‘s running time is talking heads delivering expository dialog.  It often feels like a physics lecture that goes on for almost three hours.  Frankly, it’s as mind-numbing as it is butt-numbing.
     No, it’s not even dialog.  It’s spoken dissertation.  Nolan’s Inception has a lot of expository dialog, but it balanced it with an equal measure of imaginative set pieces.  Interstellar tips the scales in favor of talk.  It’s nearly a stage-play, with static scenes of nothing but chatter.
     And it’s pretentious (and not nearly as smart as it thinks it is).  Interstellar waxes philosophical (and soporifically) about man’s nature, fate, etc., in the context of a by-the-numbers Hollywood script, in which the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a few.  The plotting of the third act is horrendously clichéd.  You’ll know the moment when you see it.
     The story has the ambition of a TV series, condensed down to 169 minutes.  It’s ambitious beyond the bounds of the big screen, even an IMAX screen.  It’s too long, and yet it can’t accomplish everything it sets out to do, skipping over key events in mankind’s struggle to survive itself.  And yet at the same time, it’s an epic of narrow scope.  Interstellar is about a man when it should be about humanity; it’s too personal of a story, and oddly solipsistic.
     The ending nods to 2001:  A Space Odyssey, however, it lacks the abstraction.   Kubrick let his symbols speak for themselves.  2001 did not explain itself, and explain and explain and explain…

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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