Like many other reviewers, I’m giving this a 1 in a feeble attempt to balance out all the unwarranted 10s I keep seeing, even though I really think it deserves a 5, or maybe a 6. I actually created an account just to do this, so I figured I might as well include a review along with my rating.
Many will say try to tell you that you shouldn’t attempt to compare this movie to 2001, that they are two totally different movies, etc. This is ridiculous; they are quite similar on multiple levels, with Interstellar obviously taking many cues and inspirations from Kubrick’s masterpiece. I feel that if we compare the two, we can get a good idea of where Nolan’s film went wrong. The main reason 2001 has remained so powerful and held up so well is that it doesn’t try to explain and rationalize everything that happens. We see the events of the movie unfold, but as the movie nears its psychedelic conclusion, we are really left to our own guesswork as to what is going on. Has he entered another dimension? An alternate universe? An alien spacecraft? Is he just dead? The mere fact that we have no idea whether this scene depicts something spiritual, something scientifically quantifiable, or a mix of the two makes it so much more moving than if Kubrick had tried to explain it through the available science of his time.
Interstellar answers far too many questions, which, as is often the case, ends up raising infinitely more. Nolan makes it clear from the get go that this film is supposed to function on more of an emotional level than a scientific one. Then why even bother have the film “fact checked” by a astrophysicist? Why create this confusing mixture of real- and pseudo- science in the first place? To me, in a lot of scenes this kind of shatters the air of mysticism Nolan seemed to be going for. The “floating bookcase in a black hole” sequence, for instance, seemed really magical until Cooper suddenly has a bunch of epiphanies and becomes positive that the structure was created by future humans, not aliens, that they created it specifically for him so he could navigate 5D and communicate with his daughter, and that he can save the world only by manipulating a watch with gravity. BOOM. There goes all the mystery. And lets assume his theory is correct, and this structure was indeed constructed by mankind from the future. Hmmm, guess it turns out that we didn’t perish from constant dust storms after all—instead we survived hundreds of thousands of years into the future and went on to create mind-blowing, interdimensional space technology. Then what exactly is future us so worried about? They seem to be doing just fine without any alteration of the past. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as far as all of the inconsistencies and unanswered questions you’ll find in this movie. If you have a very analytical mind, steer clear of it—I am not a mathy or science-y person by any stretch, yet even I struggled at times to put my logic in the backseat and just enjoy the ride.
That’s what I’d advise you to do if you want to have a good time watching this movie: DON’T OVERTHINK IT. If you can just do that, you’ll find an entertaining film with truly stunning visual effects, a great (if maybe a LITTLE too over the top) score from HZ, and very convincing performances from the actors. I found some scenes very moving. I liked the concept of a future that, as a result of a technological lull, doesn’t look very different from our present. There are a lot of positive things to say about this film, and yet the end result is, sadly, maybe just a couple pegs above mediocre.