Interstellar is pretty much what most critics have said.  It’s a big ambitious movie full of ideas, but ultimately it’s not a very good movie.  It’s visuals are probably better suited for the big screen, but it’s story is really more of a Netflix-sized story in terms of watchability.  I did enjoy the cast, which includes Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, John Lithgow, Jessica Chastain and Topher Grace.  It’s the actual execution and plot that becomes the problem and it’s weighted down with choices that are only made in Hollywood.  For a more detailed analysis, continue to read with the spoilers.  But know, that I thought it was at least better than Gravity, although I hated Gravity.


The set is this: the Earth is dying.  The specifics aren’t clear, but blights are wiping out various crops, so much so that governments have turned all their resources to farming.  People have given up war and piloting planes to farm.  This is literally a one-sentence explanation that goes by and you’re like, “Well, that seems to be a big change in things.”  I mean, you could easily make a movie just about that, it so drastically changes the world.  I believe Christopher Nolan wanted to avoid the usual dystopian future plots with rioting people and an oppressive government.

Next, basically the world has turned into a giant dust bowl like the Great Depression.  Again, I think this is just an excuse for the film makers to make everything retro.  It would’ve helped to see video games and DVR’s just sitting around unused, but no.  Instead, Matthew McConaughey’s daughter Murphy has a library of books.  This is also retro, as any iPad could hold the entire shelf of books.  But continuing…

The long, long wind up is, McConaughey is an ex-pilot for NASA named Cooper.  He had to become a farmer, but he’s super smart.  He and his kids spot a drone, hack it, get it to land and salvage the parts.  This is to show how smart Cooper is, but ultimately it’s a big waste of time.  Cooper visits with Murphy’s teachers and finds out she’s too smart for her own good.  The schools are now teaching that space travel was a hoax, ostensibly to keep normal people from wanting to abandon Earth?  It’s never made clear.

So after this long wind up, Murphy gets a signal from a mysterious “ghost” that lives in her room.  This gives her coordinates, which turns out to be a secret NASA base.  They’re building a ship to find a new Earth.  Cooper, for some reason, couldn’t be found to pilot the ship.  But now that he’s magically stumbled upon the secret base, they want him to fly to find a new home.  Immediately, there’s a time limit.  This is a lame device used throughout the movie to drive things forward.  Cooper drives his kids home, says good bye and heads right back to leave.  Needless to say, there’s tons of melodrama with Murphy, blah, blah, blah.  Daddy, don’t leave.

Now, after 20 minutes of farm, farm, farm, we’re finally in space.  The ship is to fly to Saturn, pop through a wormhole and find one of the 12 scientists who have all taken a one-way mission to explore these planets.  The crew has sleep chambers, so they sleep for 7 or 8 months, then pop through the hole.  The good thing is, there’s no mystery about whether or not the other scientists survive.  They have already confirmed the travel is possible.  So good, no needless thrill ride…except then there is, through the worm hole.

On the other side, the big problem is which planet do they visit.  They immediately eliminate 9 of the 12.  Each scientist was only given a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” method of signalling for some reason.  Except one guy, who was able to send all sorts of data.  Now, the other twist is they have limited fuel AND there’s a blackhole near one of the planets.  They decide to go to the closest one, despite the time lag and the fact that it’s not the one with all the data.  Okay, whatev, but of course they land and it’s a planet with water two feet deep everywhere.  The big reveal is, the planet has giant waves as high as mountains and the scientist that was supposed to set up shop is dead and his pod destroyed.

First, the wreck of the pod is still there.  How could these giant waves not move it?  Second, how can you have giant waves and water that’s only three feet deep?  And finally, we already have the technology to see things from far away.  There’s sonar and radar and infrared and flying drones with cameras—  None of this is done, which leads to the manufactured crisis.  The ship’s engines get flooded, they have to wait an hour for them to dry out and then when they get back to the ship in orbit it’s been 23 years.  Oh, and they lose one of the astronauts who is too slow to get back in the ship.  How can they not see waves as high as mountains while they were landing?  Makes no sense.  Also, the biological facts seem to be missing.  What if there was a virus on the planet that was deadly to humans?

Next, they have to choose.  Cooper mentions all the data coming out of the one planet, but the other is just a thumbs up.  For some reason, it is now revealed that Anne Hathaway’s character is in love with the scientist from the planet with all the data.  Way late in the game reveal.  WTF, Nolan?  Cooper choose the other planet.  Needless drama.  They get there and it’s Matt Damon.  He was the lead scientist that started all this.  He says the planet is great, but weirdly destroyed his robot and won’t let anyone touch it.  Big red flag.  More wasted time.  Damon tries to kill Cooper because, of course, he lied about the data.  He decided he didn’t want to die and was willing to sacrifice humanity to save his own skin.  One problem, he had a sleep chamber to keep himself on ice until rescue.  He literally could’ve stayed there for years and even more considering that he was on a ice planet.  So even if the power ran out and he froze, eventually someone would come looking for him.  Again, more time limits and melodrama.

Damon also rigs is disassembled robot to explode if anyone tries to access it.  This is really stupid because, hey, what if came and accessed the robot first?  Ka-boom!  What if they woke him up AND access the robot at the same time?  Again, Ka-boom!  This red herring is just ridiculous and another excuse to eliminate a few cast members.  Cooper and Hathaway go back up to the ship and are battling Damon for control.  More nonsense.  Damon blows himself up.  Now Cooper comes to the rescue, figures out a way to get the ship to the final planet and save Earth.

And, oh, BTW he finds out there’s no plan to get the rest of the humans there, it’s just fertilized eggs that will be raised into babies and humans “somehow” when they get there.  Sounds like a bad plan to me, in light of the fact that the astronauts only had so much gear, food and fuel.  But wait, it gets weirder.

Michael Caine, back on Earth, was working on some kind of formula that would save mankind.  Big reveal, he was lying!  What?!  Murphy, who is getting older, while her dad is about the same age, ends up taking over as lead scientist.  She’s still convinced her “ghost” is the key.  Well, of course it is!  It’s Hollywood.

Okay, spoiling the ridiculous ending here.  Cooper saves Hathaway by sacrificing himself and one of the robots.  He ends up falling into a black hole.  Inside the hole, he or aliens show him time as a 5th dimensional being.  It allows him to see every moment inside his daughter’s room where the bookshelves are.  There he sends her a message that the robot had decoded to save humanity.  He then ends up falling out of the wormhole and being rescued 124 years later “just in the knick of time” before his air ran out.  Ridiculous.  Pointless really.  It would’ve made more sense just to say he froze in space and they brought him back to life!

Anyhow, now Murphy is super famous, saved humanity using this magic formula.  It gives humans giant space stations to live in.  Neat.  Big meet up with dying, old daughter and still young Cooper.  Almost immediately, she tells him to leave so he won’t see her die.  Weird, but the movie has run so fucking long, I can almost hear Nolan going “Yeah, we gotta end this.”

Cooper grabs a space suit and a space ship (which they imply he steals) and heads right back to Anne Hathaway.  Who, for some reason, isn’t old.  Now, while it is true that faster-than-light or near faster-than-light travel may not age you and black holes mess with time, how is Anne Hathaway still going to be young by the time Cooper reaches her if it’s been 124 years?  Very confusing.  Of course, Hathaway’s love interest is dead and she’s on a barren rock, I guess to somehow raise the human race by herself.

So, are you beginning to understand why this movie ain’t so great?  It’s too much.  If they had stripped out the Hollywood bullshit and melodrama, stuck to real science and had an ending that didn’t need to be so “personal”, it might’ve been pretty good.  Instead, after two and a half hours, you’re like, “WTF?!  That’s the ending?”  Sure, there are some good ideas here and good performances, but as a movie, it’s mess.

I give Interstellar 4 out of 10 keggers.  It’s a rental at best, bros.