If you wander into Interstellar looking for a good sci-fi movie full of suspense, drama, special effects and a message, you might leave feeling a bit let down. Oh, the suspense, drama, special effects and message are all there, but you also get a story that is three hours long. Plus said story is muddled and confusing to the nth degree. There will be critics who will tell you they understood it all and that Christopher Nolan has laid out a perfectly logical scientific tale. I am here to tell you if you don't understand the least bit of what is going on you are not alone.
The basic premise is the earth is dying. It is becoming one big dust bowl and humanity is going to go bye-bye. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer trying to raise corn, which is one of the last surviving crops. Widowed, he is trying to keep his family together with the help of his father-in-law (John Lithgow).
Eventually Cooper meets up with Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a NASA engineer/scientist who convinces him to go into space looking for an alternative planet where life can be sustained. He also has a Plan B but there is no need to go into that here. Cooper agrees much to the chagrin of his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy). His son Tom is okay with it as long as he gets to drive the truck.
The rest of the movie concerns Coop's travels in space. Brand's daughter (Anne Hathaway) is one of the other three astronauts in the ship with him. They have many adventures during the remaining two hours of the movie. They go through worm holes and skim black holes. They go places where there time spent on a planet is seven minutes for a year on earth. This accounts for why Jessica Chastain gets to play the grown up Murph.
The science is laid on with a mallet, beating you into acceptance with every gibberish-sounding theory possible. I am not saying it is not all true. I don't know. I just know I didn't understand anything past the first worm hole reference.
Aside from that, the movie just doesn't deliver on a viable story. The links between the characters are frail and fragmented. Supposedly this is a movie about a father/daughter relationship. It is alleged to be so fraught with emotions that grown men will weep in their seats. Didn't happen to me.
The movie is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.
The look of the movie is great with special effects that take you into space. The acting is okay too though McConaughey won't be getting any award nominations. Ditto Anne Hathaway. Hans Zimmer's musical score is impressive but just a little intrusive.
This movie is sure to be discussed for years and years to come. There will be comparisons to 2001: A Space Odyssey (just to be clear, I really didn't understand that movie either). I am sure people will give interpretations of each and every scene. Good for them. For me it was all a disappointment in that it failed on telling a good, cohesive story. It was a failed effort but a valiant one.
I scored Interstellar an out of this world 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper