"Interstellar" Review

“Interstellar” may single-handedly give NASA a new crop of aspiring astronauts across the United States. The film immerses you into its world with the enthusiasm of its lead character Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) about exploring the stars, and it’s a visual marvel! It’s also an incredible ride that looses fuel twenty minutes out from landing and crashes. 

Earth is slowly wasting away, mother nature is turning on us, and our food supply is dwindling. Most humans have to be farmers in order to ensure that we might continue to live. After receiving a binary message in his daughter Murph’s (Mackenzie Foy) room, ex-astronaut turned farmer, Cooper, goes to the coordinates to find a thriving underground NASA organization. 

Cooper gets a quick education as to what the organization, headed by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), has been doing out of the scrutiny of the public eye, and how they plan to save the world. Cooper then has to decide if he wants to be a part of it. In an effort to save his family, Cooper makes the decision to embark on the journey, in spite of the fact that he may miss years of their lives in traveling light years away. (There is plenty of “science” that explains things throughout the film, but it’s laid out in a user friendly way.) 

The strength of the film is in the relationship between Cooper and his kids, specifically his daughter Murph. Their bond is undeniable and his love for them drives each decision he makes, especially life and death decisions. In fact, writer/director Christopher Nolan pushes the point that love can triumph anything, including time and space. The father/daughter bond was so genuine and resonated with me so personally that if I wasn’t trying to be so cool during the press screening I think I would have cried a lot more. 

There is no question that Nolan is a visionary. The film challenges the boundaries of cinema and dares other directors to do the same. The galaxies and planets that Nolan has created are fresh, and make you wonder what’s past our skies. Hans Zimmer once again proves to be a master of musical composition with his hypnotic, eery and edgy score. Using organs and horns, the score perfectly bridges the drama between parallel stories on Earth and in space while keeping the mood off-kilter.

Unfortunately, after investing in the well being of Cooper and his family for the first couple of acts, in the midst of the third act things start to unravel. It’s sad that all of the innovation, suspense and wonderment that is built up towards the climax is shattered by lazy writing. Regardless, more filmmakers should follow in Nolan’s shoes with efforts like this! So while the film may be worth the trip to the IMAX (you should see it in IMAX for an amazing immersing experience) this weekend, expect to see a film that swings for the stars and falls short. 

Rating: B


Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.